Valor Healthcare opens Hillsville VA clinic, one of 16 clinics open or soon to be open
October 17, 2007 – HILLSVILLE – Valor Healthcare officially opened its new veterans' clinic in Hillsville on Monday with a flag-raising and flagpole dedication.
A couple dozen vets from the Grover King Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1115 conducted the flag raising, along with about 18 members of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Others in attendance represented veteran organization from across the Twin Counties - including the Vietnam Veterans post in Galax and the Independence-based VFW Post 7726 - and included Hillsville leaders and citizens.
The new clinic is on Pine Street, across from the Carroll Governmental Center, in the former Hillsville Family Care Center building.
Dr. Ray Lanier, president of Valor, explained that the large American flag and POW-MIA flag are intended to show the absolute respect to veterans, prisoners of war and those missing in action at all times.
Valor officials asked the veterans to act as a color guard. The flags will remain flying for three months and then will be retired and new colors will be posted, again with the help of veterans, Lanier explained.
Mayor Randall Gravley welcomed Valor, calling it a great day for Hillsville and Carroll County, but more importantly a great day for veterans.
Valor contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide services through community-based outpatient clinics across the country.
A number of Valor administrators were in Hillsville on the first day the clinic received patients, including Chris Matson, vice president of veterans outreach. Matson is also a serviceman, who was injured in Iraq this year.
Previously working in medical device sales, Matson served as a reservist with a military transition team as a military advisor to an Iraqi infantry battalion in Mosul.
The Charlotte, N.C., man was blown across a room by an explosion on Feb. 27. He suffered shrapnel and traumatic brain injuries, skull and facial fractures and a broken wrist.
It took about a month in hospitals and medical holdover facilities to recover, he said. In the meantime, he was laid off from his job in a restructuring.
When the opportunity arose to make veterans aware of the services they can get through Valor and the VA, Matson saw a chance to help his comrades.
"When the Valor opportunity came along I knew in my heart and my gut that I could do something I loved and could make a difference," he told The Gazette. "My mission is simple: get the word out to all veterans in the communities in which we have clinics and encourage them to take advantage of these services."
It's important for veterans to get in the VA system in order to receive the services they deserve, he said. That goes for National Guard members guardsmen and reservists, as well.
"It is very important for them to do so shortly after returning from deployment or they might lose the ability to take advantage of these services," he said. "Getting this word out quickly and effectively is my daily challenge."
Matson and Valor Executive Vice President Donald Fruge encouraged veterans to visit the new clinic, one of 16 opening recently or soon to open across the country.
Valor also opened a clinic in Danville on Monday.
"We're here," Matson said. "Come and take a look at it."
The location of the clinic in Hillsville makes receiving care more convenient than the VA hospital in Salem.
Fruge expects the clinic to attract veterans regionally from as far as 50 miles away, including from North Carolina.
All veterans are welcome, including those traveling through the area.
The Valor clinic will offer evaluations and annual physicals, help with medications, lab work, X-rays, EKGs, flu shots and more.
While the clinic expects to serve 2,000 veterans initially, Fruge said the facility was designed to accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 patients.