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C.O. veterans get new health care option

Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:10:00 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 25 2014 02:13:27 AM CDT

The Center offers its services as a patient-centered community care option for veterans

BEND, Ore. -

The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care & Research is now the first provider in Central Oregon to participate in Patient-Centered Community Care, or PC3.

"We're really happy to be the first specialty care group to sign up for the PC3 program with the Veterans Administration to take care of veterans of Central Oregon," Mike Gonsalves, general manager of The Center, said Tuesday.

PC3 is a program designed to offer specialized health care service to servicemen and women.

It’s a new option for veterans that have had a lack of available specialists, live too far away, or have had long wait times at Veteran Affairs hospitals.

Gonsalves says won't happen at the privately-owned facility, because the door is already open.

"As soon as veterans begin to sign up for the program, which I'm assuming is now, we're happy to receive those calls, so really any time,” he said.

Gonsalves estimates that dozens of veterans in Central Oregon will sign on for aid.

And now that veterans can go to the Center to seek relief, Dr. James Verheyden is happy to provide it.

"This topic is access issue for the veterans,” said the upper-extremity surgeon. “This is a critical need, so we're just trying to do our small part to tackle access issues for veterans."

The Center is located next to St. Charles Bend, which has offered to provide additional care for veterans if services can't be met by The Center.

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