Veterans' Medical Commute Just Shrank

From Times Staff Reports

The county's veterans no longer have to travel far to see a doctor.

Beginning this week, patients of the Department of Veterans Affairs will be able to see a physician at Community Memorial Hospital's Citrus Grove Clinic, in Oxnard.

Until now, veterans who wanted to see a VA physician had to travel to Santa Barbara or the San Fernando Valley, said Michael Lurie, Community Memorial's director of planning and managed care.

"This is going to give them a much more local option for treatment," Lurie said.

George Compton, the county's Veterans Service officer, said that until now, getting medical treatment could take hours.

"To go to an appointment, it was an all-day affair," Compton said. "This is a real step above that. This is a real plus for the veterans of Ventura County."

For now, the Oxnard clinic will offer only primary-care services, Lurie said. Patients needing specialized care will still be referred to other VA facilities.

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