MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Department of Veterans Affairs broke ground at the site of the new VA Outpatient Clinic in the Market Common on Friday.

The closest VA Outpatient Clinic is currently in Charleston. Local veterans say once the Myrtle Beach clinic is complete, they will have better, closer access to medical care.

“My husband is a 100 percent, service-connected, disabled veteran, so we make a lot of trips to Charleston, so this will help cut down on some of that travel too, I’m sure,” Kathy Plourde, a local Marine veteran said.

CEO and Director of the VA Medical Center, Scott Isaacks says out the 27,000 veterans living in Horry County, the VA serves 14,000 of them, and that number is growing each month.

“We are trying to move care closer to where our veterans live. This Myrtle Beach clinic is a new clinic that we need to add providers, add services to take care of the many, many veterans that are coming to the VA,” Isaacks said.

James Everette Livingston, retired Major General in the Marine Corps and Medal of Honor recipient says having a VA Outpatient Clinic in Myrtle Beach will help other veterans who aren’t able to travel to Charleston for medical care.

“A lot of veterans who are not using the services now because of the proximity factor will use this facility,” General Livingston said.

“Veterans in this area are lucky to be here and have these facilities, they really are, because I know the American people; they want their veterans taken care of, they do, and it’s great to be here to get that care,” Plourde said.

Once construction is complete, the Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic will be approximately 84,000 square feet and will provide services in primary care, mental health,tele-mental health, telehealth, dermatology, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics, optometry, audiology, compensation and pension, blood collection, an optical shop and radiology. The facility will also feature a designated women’s health area.