A van from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System made its way to the American Legion post in Princeton on Friday.
Two doctors and an associate from the VA sat in the van enjoying the nice afternoon. They didn’t make much use of the van, which is a mobile makeshift medical clinic. It’s become a common scene on the Coastside.
The van comes to the Coastside on the third Friday of each month, but there haven’t been many patients lately.
It’s enough of a concern that Russell Bissonnette, former commander of the local American Legion chapter, fears that the mobile clinic might be sent elsewhere. There is no official plan to do so, but Bissonnette is worried.
“We do need this,” Bissonnette said.
Open to veterans, the clinic provides medical services, from routine physical exams to injections to battle the flu and shingles.
“On a good day, we will see 10 patients,” said Dr. Jean Lighthall, one of the doctors in the mobile clinic. “At Sutter Creek (Thursday) we saw about 30 patients.”
The van covers an area from Sonora to Monterey as well as the Bay Area.
In Princeton, the doctors usually see a handful of patients. However, in June and July, there were no patients at all to see.
The van was parked in the front of the American Legion Friday, providing more visibility. It is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the third Friday of every month. The Legion post is located at 470 Capistrano Road in Princeton. To learn more, call 728-9224.
“We want to make sure the veterans can stay healthy, or get the services needed,” Bissonnette said.