Senator Jon Tester today announced that groundbreaking for the expansion of the Billings VA Clinic will occur Friday, October 19.
Once complete, the expanded facility will provide outpatient surgery and specialty services to an estimated 11,000 veterans in Montana, and about 10,000 veterans from neighboring Wyoming. The new facility will offer many of the services now available at Fort Harrison, Montana's only VA hospital.
Tester has led the charge to expand the clinic, pushing for the new site when he brought then-VA Secretary James Peake to Montana in 2008. He also delivered the keynote address at the new clinic's dedication in 2009, where he called for the clinic's expansion. Tester will attend the October 19 groundbreaking ceremony.
"Expanding services at the Billings VA clinic will make sure veterans can access the care they earned closer to home," Tester said. "Montana veterans deserve the best facilities and health care providers available, and I'll make sure the expansion is done right."
In addition to a same-day surgery center, the expanded clinic will offer new services in audiology, physical and occupational therapy, dental care and magnetic resonance imaging. Additional space will be added for existing primary-care services.
Tester recently toured the VA clinic in Great Falls. He also announced that the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services will follow his roadmap and work together to more effectively contract with local health care providers to enhance rural veterans' access to quality mental health services.
Tester is Montana's only member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.