VA breaks ground on new Presque Isle clinic
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A new, larger facility in Presque Isle will soon replace Caribou’s Veterans Administration health clinic at Cary Medical Center.
Local veterans joined Tracye B. Davis, Veterans Administration Maine Healthcare System medical center director, in Presque Isle on July 7 for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of what will be the new community-based outpatient clinic at 732 Main St.
“This project has been in the works for over 18 months,” Roger Felix, Veteran Advisory Board member for the project, said Thursday. “The new facility will be larger and accommodate our northern Maine veterans in a modern, upgraded facility which will include telehealth as well as female-focused vet care.”
Felix said the new facility will build on what the Caribou clinic has been able to offer local veterans. VA Maine and the Aroostook County veteran community have worked together on the project as a means to better serve the health care needs of northern Maine vets.
“This new clinic will continue to support the needs of our veterans and carry on the long-standing positive reputation that our current CBOC held, not only in care but setting the example for others to follow as the first clinic in the nation,” Felix said.
The new facility will have more than 8,000 net usable square feet, which is 50 percent larger than the current clinic in Caribou. That facility opened in 1987 and was the first of Togus’ community-based clinics and the first rural VA clinic in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The site will include primary care and mental health care rooms, with an eye toward efficiency for staff and improved patient flow. There will be two designated virtual, or telemedicine, rooms, as well as a conference room in which veterans can connect virtually with specialties and groups. In addition, all exam rooms within will have virtual care capabilities.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this month with completion targeted for February 2022.