Story County Veterans Affairs director urges Ames veterans to take advantage of mobile clinic

Danielle Gehr
Ames Tribune

Ames-area veterans will have the opportunity to receive health care services without making the trip to Des Moines. 

The Veterans Administration Mobile Medical Clinic, hosted by the VA of Central Iowa, will park from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6 and veterans can call to schedule their appointment today. The white bus will be found at 126 S Kellogg Ave.

Story County Veterans Director Brett McClain said the clinic has seen low participation recently, causing a cancellation in July — likely due to a lack of publicity. 

“The biggest thing is if you’re not enrolled in VA healthcare I would really like to get as many veterans as possible to do the paperwork,” McClain said. “Make an appointment, bring your DD214 (discharge papers), and let’s get you enrolled. They earned these benefits and so many veterans I’ve talked to don’t take advantage.”

To get enrolled, veterans only need to bring their DD214, McClain said. McClain, a 21-year Navy veteran, said he's been enrolled in veteran medical benefits, with the only downside being the drive to Des Moines. 

McClain said one of his initiatives is to bring a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, or CBOC, to Ames. 

Of the eleven Veterans Affairs Medical Clinics around Iowa — including in Iowa City, Waterloo, Shenandoah, Spirit Lake and Knoxville — Ames is home to none. The closest clinics to Ames, in Marshalltown and Des Moines, are both about a 40-minute drive. 

Participation in the mobile clinic could help McClain advocate for bringing a CBOC to Story County or increase the frequency of the mobile clinic which makes an Ames stop every few months. 

Those using veteran health benefits must be treated at a CBOC or mobile clinic, except for certain circumstances such as long wait or distance, McClain said. 

The clinic will involve a mix of onsite care and communications with Des Moines doctors via telehealth. The staff will also assist veterans who struggle with technology through the telehealth process. 

Veterans can schedule appointments. The clinic also offers walk-in services for blood-pressure checks, battlefield acupuncture, telehealth eligibility, home telehealth screening and enrollment scheduling, live telehealth scheduling and "My HealtheVet" enrollment.

To schedule an appointment, call (515) 699-5999, ext. 1501. 

Veterans can schedule appointments for, according to a news release: 

  • Primary care
  • Respiratory
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Tele-wound
  • Tele-dermatology
  • Urology
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Social work
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical Therapy 
  • Lab draws
  • Some Immunizations 

Danielle Gehr is a politics and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at, phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.