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New veterans health clinic in Idaho Falls hosting open house

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IDAHO FALLS – A new clinic serving veterans in eastern Idaho is now up and running and the staff is inviting you to take a look inside.

An open house for the East Idaho Vet Center at 1000 River Walk Drive in Idaho Falls is happening Wednesday, Nov. 10. Veteran Outreach Specialist Cody De Los Reyes tells it’s happening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there will be a lot for people to see.

“We are going to have the U.S.S. Idaho replica out front because that’s pretty new … for our nuclear vets that live around here,” De Los Reyes says. “We’ll be letting people know what we have to offer and services that are available to veterans and their families.”

State and local officials are expected to be in attendance and there will be food catered by Weekend Warriors.

RELATED | New healthcare clinic for veterans opening in Idaho Falls this summer

The 3,000-square-foot space is double the size of the Pocatello location and is on the third floor of the Joseph A. Clark building. It was completed in August after eight months of construction.

De Los Reyes says it offers a wide variety of social and psychological counseling services for veterans, including confidential readjustment counseling, outreach, and referrals for active-duty members and National Guard reserves. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is also available.

The Vet Center is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which means all the services are available to qualifying veterans for free. It comes equipped with larger rooms and better technology.

“It comes with two conference rooms … where we can host groups for veterans, whether it be PTSD groups or anger management or alcohol and substance abuse groups. We have the capability in every single room to do video appointments if they can’t make it in,” says De Los Reyes.

De Los Reyes says the building’s proximity to the river and the interstate made this an ideal spot for the vet center because it’s easily accessible and they’re able to host activities outside during the summer.

joseph clark building
The East Idaho Vet Center is on the third floor of the Joseph A. Clark building. | Cody De Los Reyes

For many years, the vet center operated exclusively out of Pocatello, which will continue to operate. With more than 300 clients scattered throughout eastern Idaho, De Los Reyes says the Idaho Falls location is more centrally located for patients.

“The demographics in eastern Idaho have changed significantly. There’s a higher population of veterans north of Blackfoot, and especially in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, even up to Ashton, Island Park, Jackson Hole. Those are all areas that we cover and there’s (been an influx of veterans in those areas in recent years),” De Los Reyes explains.

The creation of a special group at the vet center in response to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan has been helpful for some veterans in working through their emotions and several new counselors were hired when the vet center was complete to improve their ability to care for new patients.

With extra office space, De Los Reyes says there’s a lot of room to keep up with the growing demand for services. He’s excited about this new location and is looking forward to better serving veterans in eastern Idaho.

“When we were in Pocatello, we were stuck because there was no place to put our counselors,” he says. “As long as we keep getting veterans, we can keep hiring people to serve them.”

vet center open house