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Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System

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Panama City Beach VA Clinic set to offer audiology services to Veterans

August 28, 2018

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – Audiology and Speech Pathology officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System are pleased to announce the availability of audiology services for Veterans at the Panama City Beach VA Clinic.

From Sept. 4-14, enrolled Veterans will be able to receive hearing aid adjustments and repairs via walk-in, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Starting on Sept. 17, Veterans will be able to schedule appointments for hearing tests, hearing aid fittings and more.  Walk-in service for hearing aid adjustment and repair will be available from 1-2:30 p.m. daily, starting on Sept. 17. 

The PCB VA Clinic is located at 2600 Veterans Way, located along Magnolia Beach Road.  It is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  It is closed on federal holidays and weekends.

Any Veteran who is eligible and enrolled for VA care is deemed eligible for these services at the PCB VA Clinic, according to Dr. Margaret Peak, GCVHCS chief of audiology and speech pathology service.

Initially, PCB VA audiology staff will provide support and follow-up care for existing patients who have had to travel to the JACC to receive audiology services, Peak said.  New audiology patients may still be referred to the JACC, as well as patients who need more complex testing and/or treatment options.

“We are over the moon to be able to provide these services to Veterans,” Peak said.  “Panama City Veterans have waited a long time for these types of services, so we are very excited to get started.”

Up to this point, Veterans receiving VA care who needed audiology services frequently had to travel to the Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola to receive those services, or receive VA-purchased care in the community.  But since the new PCB VA Clinic opened in December 2016, Peak and her staff worked with other clinic officials behind the scenes to build, equip, and staff an audiology clinic in the facility, bringing much needed care closer to where Veterans live – a long-standing and ongoing goal of VA care nationwide.

Peak said the clinic has recently hired a staff audiologist and will soon hire an audiology health technician to handle 1,000 to 1,800 patients she believes they will serve in the new clinic’s first year of operation.

Dr. Lee Helen Weeks, PCB VA’s new staff audiologist, looks forward to serving Veterans in Bay County.

“The sacrifice that Veterans have made for me, my family, and my country continues to drive me to provide the utmost quality of patient-centered care possible,” Weeks said.  “I am elated to be a part of the new services that the Panama City will be offering.”

One of the exciting new features of VA care is telehealth.  Using this technology, Peak foresees the ability to offer Panama City Veterans tinnitus management, remote hearing aid adjustments, even cochlear implant mapping services via tele-audiology.

“We are striving to provide better service to Veterans in that area, including those who live in the Sims Veterans Home,” she said.

To schedule an audiology appointment in the PCB VA Clinic, existing VA patients receiving care in PCB should call 850-636-7000.  New VA patients should visit the facility to enroll for VA care.  Veterans can learn more about VA health care enrollment at: https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/apply/