Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) announced the formation of a panel of veterans, servicemembers, and other community leaders who will work together on recommendations to name the new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic to be located in Ventura, CA after a woman veteran. The advisory panel will review nominations submitted by the community and submit their recommendations on distinguished women veterans from the region worthy of this honor.
“When I was first elected, it was clear that Ventura County veterans were being tragically underserved by the undersized and understaffed local clinic. I’m proud to have passed legislation to authorize a much larger clinic which is anticipated to open next year. I’ve also worked tirelessly as Chair of the Women Veterans Task Force to bring a voice to the needs of the women veterans who have served our country. I’ve put together this advisory panel, comprised of local veteran community leaders, to appropriately name this exciting new clinic after a woman veteran,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley.
“Women have served in every American conflict since the Revolutionary War, and today there are over two million women veterans in the United States. They comprise the fastest-growing, and most diverse demographic in both the military and veteran population. Through my work with the Women Veterans Task Force, I am constantly reminded that women are the most visible while serving, and the most invisible when they return to civilian life. Because so few veteran facilities are named after women, this inequity sadly reminds our nation of this disservice every single day.”
The members of the advisory panel include: Shawn Terris (USMC Veteran), Kim Evans (Founder of the Ventura County Military Collaborative, Veteran Spouse), Delta Caldwell (U.S. Navy Veteran), Robin Lee (U.S. Army Veteran), Theresa McKendrick (U.S. Navy Veteran, Veteran Spouse, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division), Tammy Bender (U.S. Navy, Ret., Ventura County Veterans Services Officer), Nazareth Quiroz (Channel Islands Air National Guard), Capt. Jeff Chism (Commanding Officer of Naval Base Ventura County), Armando Delgado (USMC Veteran, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 805), and Dave Wilson (U.S. Army Veteran, President of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County). Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.
The first meeting of the advisory panel is scheduled for Wednesday, February 17, at 5:30 p.m. PT.
In Congress, Brownley championed the improvement and expansion of the outdated VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. In 2012, when Brownley was first elected to Congress, the small clinic was not meeting the needs of veterans due to its outdated design and small footprint. Brownley immediately set to work working with the VA to make improvements and expand the clinic’s size and scope of services. Brownley’s legislation to authorize VA to move forward with a new 41,000 square foot facility became law in 2017. In October 2019, VA awarded a contract for the new facility, which will be located at 5250 Ralston Street in Ventura. This new clinic will be better equipped to deliver high-quality healthcare to the growing community of veterans living in the area. The new clinic will be VA-run and will offer expanded services and more specialty care.
Brownley is now seeking community input on the naming of the new clinic, which is slated to open next year.
Under existing procedures, the names of VA facilities are designated via legislation. Facilities can be named after an individual who is deceased and was either a distinguished veteran, a Member of Congress directly associated with the facility, a high ranking VA or DOD official, or a person who performed outstanding services for veterans. In the past, limited waivers have been permitted to name facilities for living individuals who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. For legislation to be considered by Congress, the bill must be supported by each Member of a state’s delegation, and the request must have support from Congressionally chartered veterans’ organizations.
Constituents are encouraged to submit suggested names of women veterans – who meet the eligibility criteria – for the advisory panel’s consideration by filling out the form located at this link: https://forms.gle/wxJjrmWqot84RaWF6
The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 23, 2021.