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WASHINGTON – Veterans in the Walla Walla, Wash., area will be receiving a new, state-of-the-art outpatient facility for primary care, specialty care and mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, announced today while visiting Walla Walla.
"Walla Walla veterans will get a modern outpatient facility that continues the high quality of care they receive from VA,” Nicholson said. “Veterans and their families can rest assured that a new world-class outpatient facility will be established.”
Nicholson said the new facility will be located on the Walla Walla campus. As suggested by a local advisory panel, VA plans to use of the rest of the campus for housing and other services for veterans.
“I want to thank the local advisory panel and the many leaders for their helpful input, including the Washington congressional delegation, veterans groups, state and local leaders, other stakeholders and VA employees,” Nicholson added.
Nicholson was joined at today's announcement about Walla Walla by Rep. Cathy McMorris and Max Lewis, director of the VA regional office responsible for Walla Walla. Lewis will oversee establishment of the new facility.
VA will work in partnership with local officials, non-profit organizations, and state and local governments to develop innovative ways to provide nursing home care, residential rehabilitation, inpatient health care and inpatient mental health services in Walla Walla, although not necessarily on the VA campus.
Nicholson noted the Walla Walla complex first opened in 1929 -- 10 years after the end of World War I and 12 years before the start of World War II. No major improvements have been made on the campus in 50 years.
The Walla Walla decision was made after a study was completed that has been in progress since 2004 to upgrade health care facilities across the country that serve veterans. into the next step.