The West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) proudly serves Veterans in 33 counties across 53,000 square miles of rural geography in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. The George H. O’Brien, Jr. VA Medical Center is located in Big Spring, Texas. The Permian Basin Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) is located in Midland/Odessa, Texas, with other CBOCs in Abilene, TX, San Angelo, TX, and Hobbs, NM. There are two outreach clinics in Stamford, TX, and Fort Stockton, TX. Two Vet Centers also provide services and are located in Abilene, TX and Midland, TX. More than 56,000 Veterans reside within the service area, of which approximately 17,000 (30%) receive care from the WTVAHCS. On average, the health care system supports over 170,000 outpatient visits annually.
The expertise and mission of the WTVAHCS has shifted from that of an inpatient hospital to an outpatient leader in rural health care and telehealth services. While inpatient services ceased in October 2013, the medical center in Big Spring maintains dynamic 40-bed Community Living Center and 40-bed Domiciliary Programs, in addition to providing services in Mental Health, Audiology, Social Work, Pharmacy, Dental, Women’s Health, Ophthalmology/Optometry, Prosthetics, Cardiopulmonary, Nutrition and Dietetics, OEF/OIF/OND Program, Laboratory/Pathology, and Radiology. The WTVAHCS, due to the extreme rural geography of its catchment area, employs creative methods by which to serve its Veterans, such as a robust Home-Based Primary Care Program, a diverse and rapidly expanding Telehealth Program, a solid cadre of Non-Institutional Care Programs, a strong tertiary referral system, and use of Non-VA Coordinated Care. New and expanded services are continually reviewed and provided at CBOC/Outreach Clinic locations as the need for those services becomes apparent.
Providing continuity, access, and appropriate services to the Veterans within the WTVAHCS service area requires both capital and non-capital solutions. Establishing and expanding partnerships with academic affiliates, other federal health care facilities, non-federal health care facilities, and even proximal VA Medical Centers in VISNs 17 and 18 is crucial to future delivery of health care services to rural Veterans in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Moreover, repurposing space formerly dedicated to services no longer provided for those that have experienced an increase in utilization will comprise a compendium of non-capital solutions to narrowing and meeting gaps.
In addition to our main facility in Big Spring, we offer services in four community-based outpatient clinics and two Outreach Clinics. These clinics are located in;