GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett and several veterans’ advocates took up hammers Monday and smashed through the walls inside an empty Gaithersburg office building — the first step in creating the county’s first outpatient veterans’ health clinic.
Once all the walls are smashed, rebuilt and refinished, the more-than-11,000 square-foot space in a generic light industrial area will be a medical mecca for more than 40,000 area veterans.
The new center will offer primary care, mental health services, telemedicine options and a special area women’s health, said Brian Hawkins, the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic.
The center also plans to offer hearing-aid fittings, specialty care and patient education.
“That’s what care is all about,” Hawkins said.
Until the facility opens in December 2017, vets will still have to make the long drives to D.C. or Prince George’s County for outpatient care.
“This facility will help meet that need by having it here, in their community, close by,” said Sen. Ben Cardin.
Maryland Reps. Chris Van Hollen and John Sarbanes were also on hand for the hammer-swinging ceremony.
The new center will be located near the Shady Grove metro station.
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