News Releases

Murray Applauds Announcement of New Veterans Clinic to Serve Nearly 6,000 Veterans in Lewis County, Thurston County and Surrounding Area

Mar 25 2010

Murray has lobbied the VA to increase access for region's veterans who currently have to drive long distances for care

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, commended the announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that they will locate a new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Chehalis, Washington. Murray has worked for years to improve access for veterans in Lewis County, Thurston County and surrounding areas.

“This is a big win for veterans in an area that has been underserved for too long,” said Senator Murray. “No longer will they have sit in traffic, search for transportation, or sacrifice their health because there is not a local VA doctor to see. This clinic will give local veterans an incentive to seek care, a familiarity with doctors and staff, and easily accessible preventive care.

“For years, veterans in the region have told me how difficult it is to get to Tacoma, Seattle or Portland to receive the care they need, and I've worked to carry stories back with me to Washington D.C. I applaud the VA's decision and am proud to have been able to fight to help make this clinic a reality."

Senator Murray, who is also a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the VA, has repeatedly included language in Appropriations bills pressuring the VA to fund a new clinic to serve veterans in the South Puget Sound area. She has also publically pushed VA officials to commit to helping the region’s geographically isolated veterans.

The South Sound CBOC will be located in the Lewis County Mall at 151 NE Hampe Way, Suite B2-6, Chehalis WA, 98532. During the clinic’s first year of operations, the VA estimates that there will be 5,600 unique patients who will utilize the clinic from throughout Lewis County, Thurston County and the surrounding region, with an estimated 53,000 total visits.

According to the VA, letters will be going out shortly to already enrolled Veterans asking if they would like to transfer their care to the new CBOC.  In the coming weeks, a separate mailing including detailed directions, maps, and instructions regarding appointments will be sent to these Veterans. The clinic plans to see its first patients sometime in mid-May, with an open house celebration planned for later in the month.

The clinic will be operated by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and Sterling Medical Associates.