That’s especially true of those in treatment for mental health issues, he said. The Roswell clinic will have psychologists but not psychiatrists on staff.
The other clinics in the pipeline will be on Dallas Highway in west Cobb, Herodian Way in Smyrna, and Bells Ferry Road in north Cobb.
In a statement, the VA said its clinic locations were chosen “based on the needs of Veterans through a competitive solicitation process.”
“The VA would be interested in learning of opportunities for improved transportation in Cobb County that would serve our Veterans and support efforts to do so,” it said. “The Austell clinic will not close until the South Cobb County and West Cobb County clinics are fully operational.”
Gregory Kendall, a spokesman for the VA, said the agency had sent letters to affected veterans but “we can always do a better job of communicating.”
The VA is also working to expand telehealth options, officials said.
Robert Smith, 59, an Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, had his first appointment at the new clinic Thursday. Smith, who lives in south Cobb, said even though it was a longer commute for him, he is willing to travel for better service.
“I like what I see and what I’m feeling,” he said. “They seem like they’re more up to helping a soldier here. Austell, I wasn’t too happy there.”