Prepare for Your Visit - North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
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North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System

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Prepare for Your Visit

Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. Face coverings are mandatory. Please contact us first before going to any of our locations. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video.

Importance of Wearing a Mask

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend all individuals wear masks in public or when around people who don’t live in the same household to stop the spread of COVID-19. VA requires masks to be worn while on our campuses and in our facilities.

This is especially true for people with lung diseases like asthma, emphysema and COPD because they may be at greater risk of severe complications and even death from COVID-19.

The American Lung Association, among others, indicate wearing a mask does not significantly affect oxygen or carbon dioxide levels.

Individuals who have trouble tolerating a mask due to claustrophobia or anxiety can lessen these feelings by progressively wearing the mask for longer periods of time to adjust. They can also try different kinds of masks to find one that fits better or is more comfortable. Patients can speak with their health care provider about other options that may be available but still provide an acceptable level protection.  It is important to note that masks with breathing valves do not offer protection but rather allow for the spread of the virus. If patients arrive on campus with this type of mask, they will be required to wear a VA issued one.

Your Safe Care is Our Mission

If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room closest to you.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

If you are sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is the best, first contact before visiting our facilities. Staff are available 24/7 for nurse advice and triage, VA Video Connect, VA Health Chat and more. Contact us at: 1-877-741-3400

Testing for COVID-19

Currently, VA is testing patient who are symptomatic as well as those who are scheduled for certain medical procedures - by appointment only. If a Veteran suspects they have COVID-19 symptoms, we ask they contact their VA health team or the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center (1-877-741-3400) for nurse advice and triage 

We are also testing patients admitted to our inpatient units, Community Living Center, and other inpatient residential programs in accordance with CDC guidance. Ongoing testing is provided to employees that are taking care of our most vulnerable patients (i.e. Community Living Center).

Drive Thur Testing By Location 

Location

Hours of Operation

Gainesville VAMC
1601 SW Archer Rd. Gainesville, FL 32605

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only) M-F 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Lake City VAMC
619 S. Marion Ave.
Lake City, FL 32025

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only) M-F 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Jacksonville OPC (Jefferson)
1536 N. Jefferson St.
Jacksonville, FL 32209

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only) M-F 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Tallahassee HCC
2181 East Orange Ave
Tallahassee, FL 32311

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only) M-F 9:oo am – 10:00 am 

The Villages OPC
8900 SE 165th Mulberry Ln.
The Villages, FL 32162

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only) M-F 7:30 am – 8:30 a

Ocala CBOC
1515 E. Silver Spring Blvd. 
Ocala, FL 34470

Drive Thru (By Appointment Only)
Tues, Wed, Thurs 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Safety Measures at Our Facilities  

Your safety is important to us. The following measures have been implemented:

  • All individuals should wear appropriate face masks (cloth, surgical/generic) while on our campuses and in our facilities; health care providers will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • No Visitations; virtual visits are encouraged. Review our current visitation policy.
  • Entry point screenings, to include temperature checks. (Utilize COVID-19 screening tool via your cell phone for expedite screening).
  • Drive-thru/curbside pick-up options
  • Cleaning of high-touch surfaces in our facilities
  • Increased physical distancing in common areas like waiting rooms, Canteen and retail stores

What to expect when you’re here

When you come to our facilities for your appointment, things will likely look a little differently and some of our processes have changed for your continued safety.

  • Currently, access to our facility is limited for emergency care or by appointment only.
  • Patients, visitors, and employees will all be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into our buildings. Please allow a few extra minutes for this process.
  • Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • You are asked to wear a face covering or mask while in our facilities; our staff will wear masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well. If you do not have a face mask, one will be provide at our designated entrances.
  • Please observe physical distancing signage in waiting areas, elevators, canteen and other common areas.
  • Caregivers will not be allowed to join you for your appointment unless you need them for mobility or cognitive support.  They will be asked to wait in the designated visitor parking locations. It is important that your care team has their contact information so we can call them when you are ready for pick-up.


VEText - New Check-In Procedure Beginning August 3, 2020

This new feature allows Veterans with scheduled appointments to notify their care team when they arrive at the facility.

To use this feature, Veterans must have a text-capable cell phone number on file with us.  If you are unsure if we have a number on file, please contact your care team or you can verify that information when you are contacted to schedule an appointment.

The process is simple! 

1)         Once you arrive, send a text message stating “HERE” to 53079. This will alert your care team you are at the facility waiting to be called to your appointment. 

2)         You will receive a text acknowledging your check-in status.

3)         When your care team is ready for you, you will receive a text instructing you to proceed to the facility’s entrance for your appointment.

If you are unable to use the VEText feature please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.


Drive-thru/Curbside Pick-up Options

In effort to prioritize your health and safety we are offering several drive-thru and curbside pick-up options.

Malcom Randall VAMC

  • Prosthetics Pick-up
  • Pharmacy Pick-up
  • Mental Health Injection (scheduled service)
  • Women’s Health Injection (scheduled service)
  • Sleep study equipment pick-up and drop-off (scheduled service)
  • Cardiology Device Clinic (scheduled service)

Lake City VAMC

  • Prosthetics Pick-up
  • Pharmacy Pick-up
  • Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Service Mobility Clinic (scheduled service)
  • Mental Health Injection (scheduled service)
  • Women’s Health Injection (scheduled service)

Outpatient Clinics (Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and The Villages)

  • Prosthetics Pick-up
  • Pharmacy Pick-up
  • Women’s Health Injection (scheduled service)

Virtual Care Options

The VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is a service of the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) - providing 24/7, virtual care and support to Veterans enrolled for VA Health Care in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Veterans who receive care in the network can call 1-877-741-3400 around the clock to get their health questions or concerns answered from the comfort and convenience of their home, or wherever they may be.  Veterans can also contact the center using VA Health Chat – a secure mobile chat application available for IOS and Android devices – Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Services include general administrative support, nurse advice and triage, virtual visits with a doctor or nurse practitioner via telephone, VA Video Connect, or VA Health Chat.

Other virtual access to care options available too.  Learn more at www.connectedcare.va.gov.


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