Local Congressmen Tour Gainesville and Lake City Veterans Medical Centers
Last week, House VA Subcommittee on Health Chairman Neal Dunn (FL-02), Congressmen Ted Yoho (FL-03) and John Rutherford (FL-04), conducted oversight visits of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SGHVS) in Gainesville and Lake City.
The representatives visited Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville Florida and met with NF/SGHVS Director Thomas Wisnieski and the Executive Leadership Team. They met with veterans receiving care and toured the different clinics within the health center, including the Emergency Department and the Primary Care Clinic. They also visited the Lake City Commerce VA Clinic and the Lake City VA Medical Center and heard from VA doctors on innovative research in robotics and 3D printing.
The visit also focused on the implementation of the VA MISSION Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in June. This important legislation builds upon the success of the Choice Program and streamlines community care programs, so a veteran can readily access care from a provider outside of the VA when needed.
“As a veteran and a doctor, I take my responsibility to serve those who fought for our freedoms very seriously. We must remain committed to oversight, and believe me, this is not an easy task. I hear from veterans every day who face unnecessary roadblocks because of bureaucracy at the VA. We are working to fix this and visiting the clinics where our veterans receive care is an important piece of this effort,” said Dr. Dunn, Chairman of the House VA Subcommittee on Health.
“The tours of the facilities that make up VISN 8 were an additional opportunity for us as legislators to see the areas that need continued improvement. Being the largest service area in the nation, we face both unique challenges and opportunities. The care that our Veterans receives can and will always be improved upon which is why these visits are critical. Addressing key issues like unions, patient care, administrative oversight, appointment waiting times, facilities, and much more was all part of our visit but most importantly, being able to hear from the veterans themselves. While we have passed the VA Mission Act which will guarantee more resources as well as better and more responsive care to the veterans, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the intention of our legislation is implemented on the ground. Thank you to Representative Rutherford and Representative Dunn for spending the day touring these North Central Florida facilities along with our team,” said Congressman Ted Yoho.
“As members of Congress, we have a solemn obligation to do all we can to provide care and services to our veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend our nation,” said Rutherford. “Conducting oversight of the agencies and programs we establish is a critical congressional responsibility, and I am proud to work with Representatives Dunn, Yoho, and our entire delegation to stand up for our veterans. I am grateful to the health care providers, administrators, and support personnel in our region’s health system for all they do to care for the veterans of our communities, and I appreciate the opportunity to work together with them to enhance the level of service we provide each day. We must collaborate to ensure that our veterans are receiving the resources and effort necessary to meet growing needs, and I remain fully committed to fighting for our heroes just as they fought for us.”