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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Beaumont Staff Continue Caring for Veterans
By Todd Goodman
Friday, September 27, 2019Tropical Storm Imelda may have flooded the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the Beaumont staff as it continues to provide exceptional service to area Veterans.
A medical mobile unit, medical tents, temporary medical shelters were set up to provide Veterans with primary care, mental health, and laboratory services. In a difficult situation, staff members have made the best of it.
“We pulled together and did what we had to do to take care of our patients,” said Liz Taylor, RN, clinic nurse manager. “They are the reason we’re here. And we’re just happy that we can continue to care for them while the clinic is repaired.”
The Veterans who have utilized services at the temporary clinic have been impressed with the efficiency of the operations.
“Hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do in situations like this,” said Marine Corps and Vietnam Veteran Frank Buchholz. “I think they’ve done a great job.”
Buchholz is a Beaumont clinic regular, where he gets his primary care and lab work. He travels to Michael E. Debakey for his cancer treatments. He was diagnosed with stage four bone marrow cancer several years back. He currently is in remission. However, this is his third or fourth time being in remission.
“I was supposed to have been dead already,” Buchholz said. “The VA has kept me alive. I’m one of a few who has lived this long with this type of cancer. The VA has taken good care of me.”
Navy Veteran Otis Patterson echoed those sentiments. Patterson, who was diagnosed with stage 3 bone cancer, raved about the mobile clinic setup.
“This is tremendous,” he said. “This is top of the line. Seeing this (mobile clinic) takes me back to Iraq, but looks better because it’s got no sand and it’s not 142 degrees.”
When asked about his care at the Beaumont clinic, Patterson spoke effusively.
“God placed Dr. Pedrito Mangawang at the Beaumont Clinic in my life to see me through this situation because he has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” he said. “I love him. I get my care from the Blue Team. When the clinic stops at 4 p.m., they don’t stop until the job is done. They’ve stayed with me until 6 p.m. I appreciate what they do so much, at the highest levels.”