New Veterans Affairs clinic opens in Cody

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As of Friday, the new VA clinic in Cody is open.

The Veterans Affairs Community Based Outreach Clinic is run by Valor Healthcare.

Located at 1432 Rumsey Ave., the new VA clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Veterans can make appointments by calling 307-587-4015. Those not currently enrolled should press 4 to find out how to enroll.

The clinic is staffed by an interim physician, Dr. Alan Schonfeld; a registered nurse, Blanca Archard; a licensed practical nurse, Sheila Sankey; and a medical support assistant, Kristi Taylor.

Toni Durrance is the clinic operations director. A telehealth clinical technician, Kim Little, will join the team later this month, and Valor Healthcare is still recruiting for a social worker, said Kristina Miller, public information officer for the Veterans Affairs office in Sheridan.

Schonfeld is Valor’s West Coast regional medical officer. He is seeing patients in Cody until another physician is on board, Miller said.

“We had a doctor lined up for a permanent position, but that doctor opted not to take the job, so we had to backtrack and restart the process,” she said. “Dr. Schonfeld already worked for Valor, so he is able to fill in during the credentialing process for a new doctor.”

The outreach clinic had been located within Powell Valley Healthcare’s facilities for 18 years. It was moved to Cody after the VA awarded the five-year bid to Texas-based Valor Healthcare in May.

The VA has been moving away from “blended clinics” in favor of clinics that only see veterans, Valor President Dr. Scott Wise told veterans at an October meeting in Cody.

Terry Odom, chief executive officer for Powell Valley Healthcare, said doctors at the clinic saw VA patients through Thursday, as specified in the contract.

Odom said it will take about a month to determine the financial impact of losing the contract.

“Anecdotally, we’ve heard that several patients have asked for their medical records from the VA, because they’re going to use their Medicare to come here,” she said.

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