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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


CARES Commission Announces Recommendations

February 12, 2004, 08:00:00 AM

Printable Version

WASHINGTON – The independent commission charged with studying the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposal for realigning its health care system will hold a press conference on Friday, Feb. 13, to discuss its findings.

The commission's report deals with VA's Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services, or CARES, process.

“I appreciate the hard work that went into producing this report, and I commend the commission, chaired by Everett Alvarez, for its service to veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi.

The news conference will be at 2 p.m. in the Paris Ballroom of the Sofitel Lafayette Square Hotel in Washington, D.C.  A telephone line will be set up at the news conference so members of the media can listen and ask questions.  The telephone number is 1-800-767-1750, access code 29013.

The CARES Commission conducted 38 public hearings and 10 public meetings around the country, heard from 770 witnesses, including 135 members of Congress and seven governors, and received written comments from more than 212,000 people since it began its work in August.

VA operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,300 sites of care.  The system is expected to treat more than 5 million patients this year during 600,000 hospitalizations and 51 million outpatient visits.

Principi said VA will not publicly comment on the CARES Commission's report until after he has made a final decision on its recommendations in approximately 30 days.

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