LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s now easier for thousands of veterans in Livingston County to get needed medical services after a new VA Center opened up in Howell.

“All of our staff have been with the VA for some time,” Deputy Associate Chief of Staff Sean Kesterson said. “So, yeah, it’s not our first rodeo we are ready to go.”

Especially with the upcoming holiday.

“We’re a little more than a week away from Veteran’s Day. And as of today, we’re here for the veterans,” he said.

The new 7,100-square-foot location offers two primary care teams. It also includes six exam rooms, a blood draw lab, social work, dietetics, and even a pharmacist. Officials said all of it will be put to good use.

“Seeing our veterans make that long travel to Ann Arbor to get their care, and so the thought went into bringing primary care to our veterans and we are very very happy to have a facility here to offer that community care,” Nurse Manager Christine Rosemary-Clark said.

During planning, officials wanted to reach veterans eligible for services. Many had to drive to Ann Arbor or Detroit. Now, assistance is available in their own community.

“So, it’s a very deliberate decision, strategically to be exactly where the veterans are so they have access,” Kesterson said.

According to a Veteran Affairs report, veteran suicides dropped to their lowest numbers since 2006. A 10% decline between 2018 and 2020. And the staff here wants to lower in even further.

“One of the great things about the VA is our staff, our physicians, the whole system is built to serve those who have served our community,” he said.