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House Passed Legislation Includes Study of Potential VA Outpatient Clinic in South Central Illinois

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Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today voted in favor of the Fiscal Year 2011 Military Construction VA Appropriations bill. At Hare's request, it included language requiring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to study the viability of a Community Based Outpatient Clinic in the following counties: Pike, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Macoupin, Montgomery, Madison, Bond, and Fayette.

"My constituents in South Central Illinois have spoken loud and clear," Hare said. "They want and need a VA outpatient clinic and I am determined to help them get it."

After learning that the VA previously conducted a feasibility study for Hillsboro and determined that there were not enough veterans in that city to warrant its own clinic, Hare asked Military Construction VA Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Chet Edwards (D-TX) to submit language studying a wider area.

"This is the beginning of a long process," Hare said. "But it is a critical first step toward getting a VA outpatient clinic that would provide our veterans with more convenient access to quality medical care."

On June 15, Hare wrote a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki asking him to establish a clinic in South Central Illinois and requested a formal meeting to discuss this issue. In 2008, Hare was successful in securing a VA clinic in Whiteside County.

The Senate must pass and the President must sign this legislation for the study to be authorized. Hare said he will push for it to commence as soon as possible. Click here for more information about the current process for establishing a new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

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