California VA health system pairs with walk-in clinics to serve veterans

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By Patricia Kime

A Veterans Affairs health system in Northern California has enlisted the help of the largest U.S. provider of walk-in medical care to expand treatment options for veterans.

Beginning May 24, veterans who have a minor illness or injury and are enrolled in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System may be able to seek care at a MinuteClinic, the walk-in health facility available at many CVS pharmacies.

Under a regional pilot program, veterans who call the VA Palo Alto nurse advice line may be referred to a MinuteClinic.

Dr. Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, VA Palo Alto deputy chief of staff, said the $330,000 one-year pilot program could serve as ahire vets model for other VA facilities nationwide.

The program, he said, is designed to give veterans access to medical treatment closer to home and when VA hospitals and clinics are closed or at capacity.

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