By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD - Fort Hood is set to receive three new medical clinics, the most out of 11 Army installations picked to get the new facilities.
The reason for the high number of clinics stems partially from its high population, and also from the post's geographic location near Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Killeen.
"Basically, it's based on the population, the size of our installations and how many family members and soldiers we support," said Christie Vanover, a public affairs specialist at Darnall Army Medical Center. "Because we have three major cities outside of our installations, (including) Copperas Cove and Harker Heights, that was taken into account as well."
The clinics will serve the family members of active-duty soldiers and give closer locations for those seeking medical care. The changes could have a positive impact on as many as 8,000 beneficiaries per clinic.
"We're looking at providing services that are most convenient for our soldiers' families by having off-post, community-based clinics," Vanover said. "We'll give our patients the option to receive care at locations closer to their homes."
According to a news release, construction will begin on the first clinic in January in Harker Heights. All three facilities are expected to be completed some time next year.
While Fort Hood is set to receive a larger share of the new clinics, three other installations - Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Bragg, N.C., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington - will each get two clinics for their surrounding communities.
Vanover said seven other installations are set to receive one clinic, and that letters will be sent to family members of active-duty soldiers to let them know about the changes.
The clinics will be leased space operated with civilian medical staff. Each location will have six primary-care providers and one behavioral health provider. Pharmacy and limited laboratory services will be made available to patients at the clinics.
Contact Anthony Scott at (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.