Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced today that the VA has agreed to upgrade the Grants Pass health clinic, expanding services for the 11,000 veterans living in Josephine County.
"As a nation, we owe the men and women who wore the uniform the best care possible. This long-overdue announcement by the VA will allow the more than 11,000 veterans in Josephine County to access high-quality care close to home. Some veterans must currently travel 30 to 70 miles to White City or Roseburg for routine medical treatment, so this will save many veterans and their families the time and expense of making the trip for routine medical care." Rep. Walden said.
The VA will upgrade the current Rural Outreach Clinic in Grants Pass to a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). The VA expects the expanded clinic to become operational this year or next, telling Rep. Walden's office that the expansion will begin as soon as possible. The CBOC will offer expanded primary and mental health services to veterans.
In an April 1, 2011, letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, and in a follow-up meeting with VA staff, Rep. Walden urged the agency to designate the Grants Pass Rural Outreach Clinic as a community-based outpatient clinic to serve additional veterans.
During a visit in 2011 to commemorate Veterans Day, Rep. Walden announced expanded access to the present clinic in Grants Pass while the request for the upgrade worked its way through the VA. Since that time, the clinic has hired two nurses, including a nurse practitioner, and has been in the process of recruiting a physician. In the interim, the VA has implemented telehealth for veterans served by the Grants Pass clinic.