McALLEN, August 14 - U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Reps. Rubén Hinojosa and Henry Cuellar are due to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new VA Outpatient Clinic in the Rio Grande Valley tomorrow.
The event takes place at 12 noon on the north east corner of N. McColl and Hackberry in McAllen. City of McAllen officials will also be in attendance.
Robert M. Walton, director of the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, said Valley area Veterans and the entire community are invited to attend this “important milestone” in the expansion of veteran health care services in the region.
“I am truly excited about this important project for our McAllen area veterans,” Walton said. “Doubling the size of the McAllen VA Outpatient Clinic will allow us to maintain and expand VA health care services and those two goals are very important to our Rio Grande Valley veterans and very important to me.”
The VATVCBHCS provided the Guardian with a Fact Sheet about the new facility:
• The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded a lease contract in December 2011 for the construction of this new facility.
• The new facility will be located at the intersection of North McColl Road and East Hackberry Avenue in McAllen, Texas.
• The project is expected to create 217 construction jobs.
• The new facility will be 58,700 net usable square feet and will replace the current 27,700 square foot facility that has been in existence since August 1991.
• The facility will include 408 parking spaces.
• The facility will provide extended primary care services and some outpatient specialty care including: laboratory, radiology, mental health, nutrition, podiatry, optometry, prosthetics, physical therapy, social work, women’s health, pharmacy and telemedicine. This site also houses the Rural Mobile Medical Unit.
• The facility is expected to open late summer 2013.
Congressman Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, said that while he supports the new clinic for McAllen, he still believes Valley veterans deserve a VA hospital.
“Our Veterans deserve the very best in health care services,” Hinojosa said. “While this new outpatient clinic will provide Veterans in South Texas with state-of-the-art medical care, I continue to do all I can to bring a full service Veterans hospital in Deep South Texas.”
The nearest VA hospital to the Valley is in north San Antonio. Valley veterans complain that the four or five hour each-way trip is too arduous for those suffering illness.