Dear Secretary Shinseki:
I would like to respectfully request that the Veterans Administration make the acquisition of a new permanent home for the Craig TeleHealth Outreach Clinic in Craig, Colorado a top priority.
In 2007 I fought to bring the much needed veterans outpatient clinic to Craig so that my fellow veterans could have better access to medical care. The TeleHealth technology there has been a blessing for rural Colorado, where major medical facilities are often hours away or in mountainous areas. The Craig clinic provides a vital service to veterans by providing basic care and services without the cost, time or effort of traveling to Grand Junction or Denver.
It has come to my attention that the clinic has been so beneficial to the community that it is no longer able to reasonably accommodate the number of patients who need to be seen there. The amount of veterans served by the Craig clinic has increased largely because of a very successful outreach and enrollment effort led by the Grand Junction VA Medical Center. Now, we need to help the Craig clinic increase effectiveness, efficiency and provide greater privacy as it continues to serve the growing veteran population in northwest Colorado.
As we face increasing numbers of aging veterans and veterans returning from recent wars, helping those who have given so much in the defense of our nation must remain a top priority. I ask that the acquisition of a new community based outpatient clinic in Craig become a top priority for the VA and I would encourage you to give serious consideration to the old Craig Hospital as a final location.
I want to thank you for all of your efforts in providing my fellow veterans the services that they have rightfully earned. This relocation of the Craig clinic will ensure that a viable facility remains to serve the growing needs of the veterans in my district. I look forward to working with you in supporting this important cause.
John T. Salazar
Member of Congress