Special parking aids Lyster clinic's patrons
Kara Patton and her daughter, Natalie, 2, use the expectant mother parking spots at Fort Rucker's Lyster Army Health Clinic March 18. Patton is expecting her second daughter in July, and said the parking's close proximity to the clinic is helpful when traveling with a young child and another on the way.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Lyster Army Health Clinic officials recently established easier access to their facility for some patients.

New signs designate specialty parking spots for expectant mothers outside the pharmacy entrance while others around the building's corner allocate parking for Veterans Affairs Wiregrass Community Based Outpatient Clinic customers.

Installing the latter signs was a joint venture between LAHC and VA staff "to identify a reserved parking area for veterans coming to Lyster for health care to have easier access to the building. This parking area with its handicap reserved spaces and wheelchair ramp entrance is closer to the VA clinic," said Martha Frausto, LAHC patient advocate.

"Veterans feel very positive about having a parking area more conducive to their needs," said Edward Donnelly, VA clinic administrator.

Frausto said convenient parking benefits mothers-to-be in similar ways.

Expectant military spouses Carrie Watson and Beth Stovall acknowledged this service makes the nine months of pregnancy easier.

Stovall said she would have appreciated LAHC's reserved spaces when she was pregnant with her daughter, MacKenzie, 21 months, and will utilize them as the due date for her second child approaches.

"When you get to where you're sore and out of breath from walking, it's nice to go right out the door to your car," she said.

Watson, who is four months along, said she won't begin using the LAHC spots for another month or two until "it starts getting tough." She said the close proximity to the clinic will also make traveling to appointments with her 27-month-old daughter, Ada, easier.

Both women agree it's not always the physical aspects of pregnancy that make walking to and from buildings difficult, but mostly bringing along their toddlers who need helping hands.

Stovall noted the Soldier Service Center, Commissary and Post Exchange provide the same service, making running errands manageable for mothers. Watson said she advocates officials consider establishing the signs at other popular, high-traffic installation facilities.

The LAHC service is beneficial to the community, she added, since the installation is home to a multitude of moms awaiting little ones.

LAHC officials are pleased with the results so far from happy customers.

"It is the goal of Lyster and the VA to increase patient satisfaction and continue to make improvements as we progress in our endeavors," Frausto said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16