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VA dedicates Price clinic

Kelli Knighton takes computer retinal scan (inset) of community clinics administrator Andrew Kallenin.

Sun Advocate associate editor

With ceremony, speeches and a snip of the ribbon, the new Department of Veterans Affairs outreach clinic opened for business in Price Thursday.

The facility at 189 S. 600 West is dedicated to serving 600 to 800 veterans in Carbon and Emery Counties. It is part of Veterans Affairs' efforts to locate clinics closer to rural veterans instead of having the vets travel long distances to get primary health care.

VA has been investing in technologies for "telemedicine," which enables examinations and diagnosis by health care professionals far away from the patient. Holly Martin, APRN, will be the primary care provider via tele-medicine.

In Price, Matthew Heath, RN, is the on-site case manager and Kelli Knighton is health technician.

Mario Dicaro, an Army veteran and former commander of the Price Post 3 American Legion, and Neldon Huff, the Navy veteran who now leads the post, were keynote speakers.

Others who addressed the crowd under the canopy at the outdoor ceremony were Price Mayor Joe Piccolo; Glen W. Grippen, Director of the VA Rocky Mountain Network; Mary Beth Skupien, Director of the VA Office of Rural Health in Washington, D.C.; and Steve Young, Director of the VA Health Care System in Salt Lake.

Visitors got a tour of the technology inside that will bring professional care electronically to vets in Carbon and Emery.

Ms. Knighton demonstrated a retinal scanner that can photograph the inside of the eye, then create and store a digital image for diagnosis at a distance.

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