North Florida Congressmen Tour VA Medical Facilities
Last week, three North Florida Republican congressmen--U.S. Reps. Neal Dunn, John Rutherford and Ted Yoho--toured VA hospitals in Lake City and Gainesville and weighed in on what they found on Tuesday.
The congressmen visited Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville where they met with North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Director Thomas Wisnieski and his team, met with medical staff and veterans and toured the various clinics. They also headed north to Lake City where they visited the Lake City Commerce VA Clinic and the Lake City VA Medical Center.
Dunn, the chairman of the U.S. House VA Subcommittee on Health who served as a doctor in the Army, weighed in on the visits on Tuesday.
“As a veteran and a doctor, I take my responsibility to serve those who fought for our freedoms very seriously,” Dunn said. “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.”
Yoho also offered his take on Tuesday.
“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,” Yoho said. “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.”
Yoho added that visits like the one he made last week ensure that recent attempts in Congress to improve the VA medical system are implemented
“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," Yoho said. “Thank you to Representative Rutherford and Representative Dunn for spending the day touring these North Central Florida facilities along with our team.”
“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.”