Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) announced that the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began seeing patients at an interim clinic in Mount Vernon, Washington on Friday, February 15. Murray and Larsen continue to push the VA to open a permanent community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) in Northwest Washington as soon as possible.
"Veterans in Northwest Washington have fought for our nation's freedom, they shouldn't have to fight for access to the care they deserve here at home," Senator Murray said. "The opening of this temporary clinic is a move in the right direction, but Rep. Larsen and I will continue to work to ensure that the VA fulfills its commitment to open a permanent facility here. Northwest veterans have waited long enough."
“Northwest Washington’s veterans have traveled too far, for too long, to get the health care they need and deserve,” said Larsen. “This temporary facility is a positive step, and Senator Murray and I continue to urge the VA to open a permanent facility as soon as possible to bring health care and services closer to home for Northwest Washington veterans."
For a number of years, Murray and Larsen have pressed the VA to open a permanent community-based outpatient clinic in Northwest Washington, advocating on behalf of many local veterans who spend hours in traffic to get needed medical care at the VA hospital in Seattle. In February, 2007, Murray and Larsen praised the VA's announcement of plans to open a community-based outpatient clinic in Northwest Washington to serve veterans in a five-county area.
On Friday, February 15 the VA announced that it has opened a temporary facility at Skagit Valley Hospital to provide primary and mental health services to some veterans enrolled in the VA system.