REP. DEFAZIO CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW EUGENE VA HEALTH CENTER
EUGENE—After fighting to overcome years of bureaucratic delays and mismanagement, Congressman Peter DeFazio today participated in the ribbon-cutting of the brand-new VA Health Center in Eugene. Congressman DeFazio was instrumental in securing nearly $80 million in federal funding for a new, larger VA clinic.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so proud to be here today to help open this new facility,” said Rep. DeFazio. “Our nation’s veterans answered the call of duty to serve and protect our country. When they come home they should receive the highest standard of healthcare. They should not be faced with inadequate care, long waits, and delayed service. This new facility accommodates a much larger staff and will include a number of medical services that local veterans previously had to travel long distances to obtain. The larger staff and new specialties available will cut wait times and will help to ensure that our local veterans will be able to get the care that they deserve.”
As the area’s veterans’ population has grown in recent years, the existing VA clinic in Lane County has become inadequate to meet the growing demand of their healthcare needs, leading to long wait times and delayed service for local veterans.
Rep. DeFazio has long been a champion of Oregon veterans and secured approval and funding for the construction of the new larger Eugene Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in 2008.
The Office of Management and Budget approved plans for the clinic in July of 2009. However, the project was stymied by delays and bureaucratic red tape. Rep. DeFazio continually pressed the VA over the course of several years, working to expedite construction and bypass delays. Rep. DeFazio also pressed VA Secretary Shinseki to reform the CBOC contracting process so that future facilities would not face the same delays. The contract for construction of the CBOC was finally awarded in 2013.
The 120,000 square foot facility will provide primary care, including mental and women’s health, as well as an on-site pharmacy. In addition, the clinic includes new specialized medical services, including ambulatory surgeries, speech pathology, cardiopulmonary, podiatry, lab, pharmacy, imaging, dental, and other specialties such as gastroenterology, optometry, orthopedics, and urology.
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