The Department of Veterans Affairs is opening 13 new community-based outpatient clinics in nine states over the next three years, Secretary Eric Shinseki announced Thursday.
Shinseki said in a department release the VA wants to provide veterans outpatient care closer to where they live.
The first set of clinics is set to become operational later this year and the VA said it expects to complete this expansion by 2015.
According to the department, 152 medical centers and more than 812 community-based outpatient clinics will provide health care to about 6.1 million patients in fiscal year 2012, as well as handle 80 million outpatient appointments.
In April, Shinseki announced the department plans to expand its mental health clinician ranks by 1,600, including psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and nearly 300 additional support staff.
The VA currently has 20,590 mental health workers on staff and Shinseki said the expansion is intended to help returning veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq.