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 and the six Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC’s) that comprise the remainder of the health care system are located in Abilene, TX, Stamford, TX, San Angelo, TX, Odessa, TX, Fort Stockton, TX, and Hobbs, NM. Two Vet Centers also provide services and are located in Abilene, TX and Midland, TX. Approximately 17,000 (30%) of the 55,876 Veterans who reside within the service area receive care from the WTVAHCS.
Though the medical center maintains a 20 bed inpatient unit, no patients have been admitted since February of 2012. The average daily census, however for the 40 bed Community Living Center and the 40 bed Domiciliary is currently 80% and 85%, respectively. On average, the health care system supports over 155,000 outpatient visits annually. The WTVAHCS, due to the extreme rural geography of its catchment area, employs creative methods by which to serve its Veterans. These methods include: 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. Gradually, 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.
Providing continuity, access, and appropriate services to the Veterans within the WTVAHCS service area will require 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 will be 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 for which there is diminished demand to services 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;