Veterans care closer to home will be available following an agreement announced Tuesday.

Veterans living in the Fort Leonard Wood vicinity may now receive medical care at the post hospital and spare the commute to Columbia for Veterans Affairs-approved treatments.

Under an agreement, signed Sept. 8, between the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, inpatient care is authorized at the Fort Leonard Wood hospital, including surgery.

“The new agreement will allow us to enhance access to certain specialty care services for many veterans in that portion of our service area. We are excited about our expanded relationship with the department of defense,” said Wade Vlosich, director of the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

Currently, veterans who live in and around Camden, Dallas, Dent, Laclede, Miller, Phelps, Pulaski and Texas counties must make a two-hour drive, depending on their residence, for VA patient care.

“Our veterans deserve excellent care closer to their homes and family,” said Col. Peter Nielsen, GLWACH commander.

“While primary care enrollment is fundamental, our goal is to fully engage the hospital’s capability and capacity, including specialty and inpatient services, to effectively improve the health of all beneficiaries.”

Nielsen added a byproduct of the agreement is reduced travel time and related costs.

“Making care available to veterans here also provides enhanced wartime clinical skills for the Fort Leonard Wood hospital staff and its medical team,” Nielsen said. “The agreement will better serve the medical needs of patients at both facilities.”

Details will be released as soon as possible explaining the application process for veterans choosing to receive VA treatment at the post hospital.

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