With the opening of the newest veteran’s outpatient clinic in Golden, about 42,000 Jeffco veterans will now have a more spacious facility that offers a spread of medical services along with compensation and pension exams.
The Golden clinic …
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The Golden clinic located at 1020 Johnson Road is a brand new two-story 39,634-square-feet building that replaces the Lakewood VA Clinic at the Denver VA Regional Office on Van Gordon Street. The Lakewood location was considerably smaller than the Golden clinic at approximately 2,000 square feet in size.
“We’re the third largest county for veterans’ population in the state of Colorado,” said Peter Mortaro, veterans service officer at Jeffco Human services. We’re second to Arapahoe County which has about 800 more veterans than we do,” he said. As the Jefferson County Veterans Service Officer, Mortaro’s job is to provide assistance for the filing of claims for veterans injured while on active duty. Mortaro can also assist with state benefits including service connected compensation, none service connected pension, Survivors Pension, burial benefits, educational benefits such as the GI Bill and enrollment in the VA Health Care System, he said.
Patients can expect a wide range of services to be available at the Golden facility including primary care, mental health, X-ray, physical therapy and labs. Services for compensation and pension exams have been consolidated to one location contributing to a more comprehensive service center for veterans.
“It is going to be great for the veterans and families to get to with the light rail just up the street from the building,” County Commissioner Faye Griffin said. “It is also close to the County’s Veteran Services,” she said. “I was so glad there were a large number of veterans who attended this grand opening.”
Jeff Birdwell, U.S. Army veteran and adjutant for Chapter 1041 for the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Arvada, said the new facility will help tremendously by relieving the large case load from the main hospital. “It’s great, the more clinics they open the more veterans they can serve the better,” he said.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a volunteered based organization run by veterans who are dedicated to working on community based projects including providing funds to VA hospitals. Birdwell, a Purple Heart recipient after his military experience in Vietnam, hopes to open up a coffee and popcorn kiosk at the outpatient clinic.
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