Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly's office hosted a meeting with more than 30 local veterans on his advisory board and three representatives from the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System Home (VANIHCS) to discuss the new VA health facility, expected to open in the South Bend area in 2015. The meeting was an opportunity for VANIHCS to gather input from the veterans about how the new facility can best serve them.
"Since I came to Congress, the effort to bring a new health facility to the South Bend area has been one of my top priorities, and I am glad that, at today's meeting, VANIHCS received feedback from veterans in our community about the new facility," said Donnelly. "Many local veterans will go to the facility to get the medical care that they have earned through their service to our country, and their feedback will help the facility better provide care to veterans in the area."
VANIHCS representatives and local veterans discussed the new VA health facility this afternoon.
As planned, the expanded VA CBOC will be a leased, 65,000 square foot facility, nearly 10 times the size of the old South Bend clinic and nearly four times the size of the interim facility that opened on April 30th. It will offer primary care; expanded mental health care; laboratory, radiology, audiology, and pharmacy services; and outreach programs for newly-returned veterans. The location of the new facility and whether it will be new construction or in an existing building have not yet been determined by the VA. The VA expects to open the new facility in 2015.
Donnelly has worked with the VA to improve medical care for veterans in the South Bend area since he took office in 2007. In April 2009, VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki announced approval of a new medical facility in South Bend. This project was included in the President's FY2012 budget request submitted to Congress last year. In December 2011, the bill appropriating $6,731,000 for an expanded VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in South Bend was signed into law.
Donnelly has also successfully advocated for the opening of the Logansport Veterans' Multi-Use Outreach Clinic in June 2008, the Goshen VA Community-Based Outreach Clinic in October 2008, and the Peru VA Community-Based Outreach Clinic in June 2010.