Third Navajo Nation veterans clinic opens July 12 in Kayenta

AboNavajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez (center) attends a ribbon cutting ceremony July 12 at the grand opening of a veterans clinic in Kayenta. Submitted photo

AboNavajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez (center) attends a ribbon cutting ceremony July 12 at the grand opening of a veterans clinic in Kayenta. Submitted photo

KAYENTA, Ariz.- The grand opening of a veterans clinic in Kayenta July 12 marked the third veterans clinic open on the Navajo Nation and the sixth VA clinic activated in northeastern Arizona since 2010.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The new clinic will extend operations from one day a week to five days per week as use grows for providing primary care, mental health and limited specialty services. Enrollment and eligibility services will also take place.

Nez viewed the facilities and state-of-the-art medical equipment, which provides extended service via tele-health services. Cameras and monitoring devices provide primary care physicians from other locations a bird's eye view of veteran patients at the clinic.

"During our campaign, we made a commitment that the first of our four pillars would be our Navajo veterans," Nez said. "It is an exciting moment for the Begaye-Nez administration to open this clinic. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and I are ecstatic that this clinic will serve up to 400 veterans."

Many partners worked diligently through this process, including the Northern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System, Veteran Administration Office of Rural Health and the Navajo Area Office of Indian Health Services, Nez said.

"We thank all who were involved in this effort," he said.

During the signing of the Navajo Nation Veterans Act in February 2016, Begaye said he hoped someday to have a VA hospital on the Navajo Nation, which would serve Navajo veterans.

"Opening a VA clinic like the one in Kayenta is a first step toward the future vision of having a hospital to serve our Navajo veterans, and we hope to have more of these facilities," Begaye said.

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