Saturday, September 30, 2023

Exclusive: Take a peek inside the new free mental health clinic in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH — Construction of the new mental health clinic here that will provide free care to veterans is nearly complete, and will be accepting patients by May, said Kate Sullivan, communications coordinator for the new clinic.

The facility is part of the Cohen Veterans Network of clinics, which is a privately-funded group of mental health clinics for post-9/11 military veterans, said Anthony Guido, vice-president of communications and marketing for CVN.

With the new Virginia Beach clinic nearly complete, CVN is busy getting the clinic staffed.

“In conjunction with construction, there is a lot to be done,” Sullivan said. “We’re currently in the process of hiring. Once we have our team on board, they will go through rigorous training with our clinical programs team to ensure we provide the highest-quality clinical services to our veterans and military families.”

According to the CVN website, there are currently six job openings at the Virginia Beach clinic, located inside the Bon Secours Medical Group Building off South Plaza Trail.

The Virginia Beach clinic will offer short-to-medium term outpatient mental health care to veterans and their families, regardless of the veterans’ discharge status. Guido said that means some veterans not eligible for health care at veterans hospitals may get access to much-needed mental health services through the clinic.

CVN is entirely supported by Steven Cohen, a billionaire hedge-fund manager who pledged $275 million to combat PTSD in veterans. Guido said CVN set a goal of opening 25 clinics by 2020, and they are about halfway there — there are currently 11 clinics opened nationwide, Sullivan said, with three additional clinics under construction in Virginia Beach, Tampa, and San Diego.

The network partners its clinics with local groups to better understand the needs of the community, and selected The Up-Center as its local partner organization in October, 2018.

“We look for partners who best align with our values” and who will “offer a continuum of care beyond what we provide,” said Anthony Hassan, CEO and president of CVN.

Sullivan said the clinic plans to start accepting patients in May, and will have a ribbon cutting in July.

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