By Heath Steele

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center public affairs

Family members of active-duty soldiers stationed at Fort Hood will soon see changes in the way they receive their medical care when three new community-based clinics open next year.

The clinics will be based in Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove and are among 16 clinics the Army is opening near 11 installations across the U.S. and Hawaii.

The clinics are designed to provide a long-term clinical presence in the communities where active-duty family members reside and work and serve as an extension of the quality care provided at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

"Our goal is to have the right provider, providing the care at the right time, using the right venue that's best for the soldiers' families by providing quality health care out in our local communities," said Col. Steve Braverman, commanding officer of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

The Fort Hood community is currently the only installation receiving funding for three clinics. The majority of other Army communities will receive funding for one clinic.

"This initiative advances our patients' access to primary care. The community-based clinics will help family members avoid using the emergency room for routine health care needs," Braverman said.

"We are committed to increasing access to care. The clinics ensure access to primary care near where our patients live and work," he added.

The Harker Heights clinic is scheduled to be the first community-based clinic to open in the area and is expected to start patient care by mid-January. Active-duty family members in the Harker Heights community will receive notification letters providing detailed information for enrollment. Priority placement for enrollment is for family members of active-duty soldiers.

The clinics will be in leased spaces and staffed with civilian medical staff consisting of six primary care providers and one behavioral health provider to offer patient-centered care to more than 7,000 family members. Limited laboratory services, pharmacy and other primary care services will be available within the clinics.

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