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The Veterans Health Administration is relocating and doubling the size of an outpatient clinic that once served veterans in Eastern Baltimore County.

Veterans were being served until March by a clinic in Fort Howard, which closed after a flood revealed mold and other structural issues. Since then doctors have seen patients at a temporary clinic in Baltimore's Loch Raven community.

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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat, said Tuesday that the federal government approved the relocation to an area with a large veteran population and located near mass transportation, major roadways, and other healthcare facilities. The next step is a competitive leasing process, Ruppersberger said in a statement.

The clinic will provide primary care and mental health services for veterans and serve twice the number of patients than the old facility.

"My top priority has always been providing our nation's heroes the very best quality medicine in a clean, modern clinic near where they live and work," Congressman Ruppersberger said in a statement. "I am urging the VA to continue working to return VA healthcare to Eastern Baltimore County as quickly as possible and stand at the ready to assist in any way I can."

The Army built Fort Howard in 1900. It housed troops and was used for training exercises until 1940 when it was turned over to the VA for a veterans hospital.

The inpatient hospital was closed in 2002 and plans were announced for redevelopment. An outpatient clinic continued to operate there until the flood.

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