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041718-blm-loc-2townhall

Robert Netzke, wearing hat, a U.S. Army veteran from Danvers, listens with other veterans and veterans' relatives to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs representatives talk about plans for a VA outpatient clinic for McLean County during a town hall meeting in April 2018 at John H. Kraus Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454 in Bloomington. An update on the clinic is among items on the agenda during the VA Illiana Health Care System Veterans Health and Service Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Illinois State University Alumni Center in Normal.

NORMAL — A Veterans' Health and Service Expo will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Illinois State University Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main St., Normal.

VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) Illiana Health Care System is partnering with the Veterans and Military Services at ISU in presenting the expo.

VA will provide on-site eligibility and enrollment for VA services, health screenings, and information and updates on caregiver support, suicide prevention and myhealthevet. Myhealthevet is the VA's personal health record, designed for veterans and their caregivers with internet access.

The expo also will include a breakout session, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., on the recently passed Mission Act, and updated information on the VA outpatient clinic being developed in McLean County.

The building at 207 N. Hamilton Road, Bloomington, formerly an Illinois Department of Employment Security office, is being remodeled and expanded into the first VA clinic in McLean County.

VA is spending $6 million to re-purpose the former office building into a medical clinic and add 7,000 square feet, bringing the clinic's size to 20,000 square feet, VA facility planner Jonathan Hall told The Pantagraph earlier this spring.

The clinic is expected to open in the fall.

At the expo, in addition to the VA, more than 20 veteran-affiliated organizations will be available to provide resources for veterans and their families.

The expo will include a Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance led by the Bloomington-Normal American Legion Honor Guard, which includes veterans from the American Legion Carl S. Martin Post 635 and the Louis E. Davis Post 56.

"We are committed to serving those who serve and want to extend our thanks to the partnership we have built with Jess Ray from ISU and Jerry Vogler with the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission Office," Maridith Hearnley, co-chair of the VA Illiana Health Care System Outreach Committee, said in a statement.

Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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