Amid national controversy, Pocatello’s local Veterans Affairs Clinic keeps up with business as usual.
Clinic Director Jon Fox says the local clinic isn’t perfect, but they do their best to see as many patients as possible.
“We’re 100% transparent,” Fox says. “We are not hiding anything with our access numbers and we have not. Our numbers reflect that yes, there is a problem. There’s a problem with needing more resources and more providers to improve the access to care. “
Fox says their clinic does have a backlog, but is moving forward to address these issues. They’re hiring new providers in order to see more patients at Pocatello’s clinic as well as provide service to the V.A.s Tele-health Clinic in Idaho Falls.
Pocatello’s V.A. Clinic currently sees about 5,000 patients while there are also 1,000 veterans served in Idaho Falls.
As a veteran, Fox says the quality of care found at the clinic is one of his top priorities.
“Not only do we have a diverse staff, we also have veterans on our staff from varying services,” Fox says. “I think that helps in providing the care and understanding the veterans and their needs.”
Cody De Los Reyes served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman and Haiti and is still active reservist in the air force. He currently works as a medical support assistant at Pocatello’s V.A. Clinic.
“I’m a patient here and I use them for everything, everything from primary care to specialty care,” De Los Reyes says.
Working at the front desk in the office, De Los Reyes says some patients bring up the controversies surrounding the V.A.
“It’s kind of offensive because I think we try really, really hard here in Pocatello and Salt Lake to give veterans the right care that they need,” he says.