Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, is pleased to announce that the full committee approved H.R. 4590, legislation that would authorize a new 47,000 square foot, VA-run Community Clinic in Ventura County.
Since coming to Congress, Brownley has advocated for a standalone, VA run clinic that would better serve Ventura County veterans, closer to home. While the project was included in the President’s FY2016 and FY2017 budgets, authorization by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is a critically important next step.
“Since I joined the VA committee just after being elected in 2012, I made it my mission to improve the care Ventura County veterans were receiving,” said Brownley. “One clear need was a larger, VA run facility, that would allow Ventura County veterans to access more care, closer to home. I am extremely pleased with the authorization from the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and am proud that we have passed yet another crucial milestone in achieving our goal.”
“As a Vietnam veteran and someone who relies on the VA for healthcare services, I can say that traveling to and from the West Los Angeles and Sepulveda facilities for medical services is difficult and challenging,” said Richard Camacho, President of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County. “It should not be a burden to a veteran to travel such long distances to receive such basic healthcare needs. The proposal to bring a standalone, VA-run clinic to Oxnard and closer to home will make for much easier access to quality care for many veterans throughout the region.”
“Since day one, Congresswoman Brownley has worked to bring necessary care to our veterans, who have been underserved for so long. It is through her tireless efforts that we see real progress being made here in Ventura County,” said Jenn Zimmerman, a Navy veteran. “I know firsthand the importance of having specialized and specific care available to veterans here in Ventura County. Having local access to services will not only benefit me as a mother and professionally, but other veterans in similar situations.”
“Having spent years working with local veterans, I understand the need for local healthcare including specialized services like audiology, optometry and cardiology as well as physical therapy and continued mental health services,” said Mike McManus, Veterans Services Officer for the County of Ventura. “Congresswoman Brownley has championed veteran’s health concerns and is making the VA’s promise of care a reality here in Ventura County. I am glad to see this proposal moving forward.”
Although the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Oxnard has almost tripled in size since Brownley was elected to Congress, the new Oxnard Community Clinic would offer expanded primary care and mental health services, as well as optometry, audiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation services, and dermatology in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient VA-run health care facility. This lease would allow the VA to offer new services and expand existing services to keep pace with the needs of the increasing veteran population in Ventura County and along the central coast. This project would allow for easier access to care for veterans who currently must commute to the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center or West Los Angeles VA Medical Center for treatment.