(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and U.S. Representative Brian Baird today announced great news for Vancouver area veterans and local community members. Acting on the insistence of Murray, Cantwell and Baird, VA Secretary Anthony Principi has signed-off on a 30-day Congressional Notice of Intent to Execute (NOIE) for the Clark County Community Health Services Center.

The Center will allow both veterans and area residents to access a greater range of health care services at one convenient location. The multi-agency medical center will provide such assistance as health care and mental health services, drug and alcohol programs and programs for the deaf and elderly.

“This center will provide convenient access to quality health care services for veterans and others with special health needs throughout Clark County,” Senator Murray said. “Moving ahead with this project is a great way to honor those who have served our nation.”

Senator Murray has met with Clark County veterans and community leaders including the Mayor Royce Pollard and Clark County Commissioners to move this project forward. Murray has also pressed the importance of the Center with VA officials, including Secretary Principi.

Cantwell wrote to Principi, requesting approval for the lease.

Cantwell explained, “Clark County Center for Community Health will be a one-stop shop, providing quality and efficient health services to veterans and the community as a whole. With an entire floor dedicated solely to the VA, veterans will have a convenient outlet designed to serve their needs. I am proud of the dedicated efforts of Clark County and I am pleased to be able to work with my colleagues to make a difference for veterans.”

“The consolidated services building is a win-win for our local veterans and the community,” said Baird. “Combining county and VA health services under one roof is a common sense approach to improve the quality and availability of care to our region.”

The Notice of Intent will now be sent to Congress for a 30 day review period. Once the agreement obtains Congressional sign-off, Clark County can move ahead with construction of the Community Health Services Center.