PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Crews finished up renovating the Panama City Beach VA Clinic back in October.
On Monday, the director of Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care system, Bryan Matthews, visited the facility to see the improvements for himself and to find out face-to-face how patients feel about the latest renovations.
“It’s important to be here to interact with staff and veterans and find out what the concerns are: what’s going well, what we can do better. It’s always good to get that information directly,” he told News13.
An awning was built on to the building to protect patients from inclement weather.
A flagpole was also constructed: one thing Matthews said patients really wanted.
47 parking spots were also added, and 53 lamp poles were posted up with dimmable light fixtures, addressing concerns made by residents in the area.
“It means better access,” Reginald Labossiere, chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said. “I mean, it was built for them, you know. They come, there’s a lot of camaraderie, and the staff are really trained in understanding their needs, so it means a lot for veterans.”
In addition to the new construction, Labossiere says they’re also looking to hire more staff.
“It’s very important because when we did a market analysis, we saw our greatest growth was in the panhandle: Eglin and Panama City. So it’s important that we hire to continue to match the demand,” he said.