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Emerson to speak at VA clinic

FARMINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joann Emerson will speak at an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the clinic’s expansion Saturday at the Veterans Administration (VA) clinic in Farmington.

The clinic has doubled in size thanks to donations, said Bill Henson, commander of the American Legion Post 416. The Post is next door to the clinic, which is located at 1580 W. Columbia Street. There also is a new garden, which will be dedicated during the open house.

Festivities begin at 1 p.m. with the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The public is invited to attend. From 1 to 4 p.m., visitors may tour the facility, including the new 3,400-square-feet expansion.

The expansion allowed the clinic to expand its services and includes a lab, x-ray equipment and an interactive TV unit to provide classes on medical issues. Staff at the clinic will provide mental health care, eye exams for diabetics and support groups.

The clinic is run by the John J. Pershing Veterans Administration Medical Center in Poplar Bluff. It was located for six years at 715 Maple Valley Drive until the state agreed to lease land next to the American Legion Post. The American Legion funded construction of a 3,416 square-foot building to house the clinic, which opened at its new site in August 2006.

In April 2007, the clinic was named the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert Silvey Outpatient Clinic after Bob Silvey, whose persistence was a big reason the facility was built. Congress unanimously had agreed in February to name the clinic after him.

Work on the expansion began in 2009 and finished in April. However, permits for the parking lot, occupancy and other final items were not ready for an official opening at that time, Henson explained.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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