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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

DeFazio Calls on Federal Agencies to Step Up With Solutions to VA Health Care Staffing Retention and Recruitment in Southwest Oregon

Aug 21, 2019
Press Release

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today sent letters to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, calling on the agencies to be better partners in the effort to recruit and retain quality health care workers for the Roseburg VA Healthcare System (RVAHCS). Last week, staffing shortfalls within RVAHCS forced the abrupt closure of the Roseburg Emergency Department (ED) and conversion to an Urgent Care (UC) facility, leaving Roseburg-area veterans with few immediate medical care options after 8pm on weekdays and on weekends.

"Simply put, we must do more to recruit and retain top-tier health care providers," said DeFazio. "Multiple candidates declined employment offers from the Roseburg Healthcare System between 2017 and 2019 because the salary and benefit packages did not cover the higher cost of living and housing shortages in Douglas and Lane Counties. The federal government needs to be a better partner and work closely with RVAHCS to address these systemic issues in order to provide the high quality health care services our veterans earned in service to their country."

DeFazio will host a town hall meeting in Roseburg on Friday, August 23, focused on health care issues, including the Congressman's efforts to maintain a high quality VA healthcare system in Southwest Oregon. The town hall meeting will be from 2:00-3:00 PM at Umpqua Community College's Center Stage Theater (1140 Umpqua College Road).

The letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert Wilkie, can be found here.

The letter to U.S. Office of Personnel Management Deputy Associate Director of Pay and Leave, Brenda L. Roberts, can be found here.

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