(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-Metairie) and Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-Baton Rouge) and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, (R-Lafayette) applauded the opening of the Lake Charles VA Interim Clinic on 814 W. McNeese St. The VA is holding an open house to celebrate the clinic’s official opening today from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.
Vitter and Boustany wrote to the VA in February asking the Secretary to visit Louisiana and see the facilities firsthand. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson visited Lafayette and New Orleans later that month at Vitter and Boustany’s request, calling the existing Lafayette clinic “inadequate and unacceptable.” During the Deputy Secretary’s visit to Lafayette in February, he announced that veterans in Lafayette would be granted access to temporary additional clinic space by the VA. After follow-ups from the Louisiana delegation, Gibson authorized additional clinic space for Lake Charles.
Vitter said: “While I’m glad to see my years of hard work with Congressman Boustany have come to fruition with the opening of this much needed VA clinic providing access to quality healthcare for veterans living in Lake Charles, I will not stop pushing until the permanent Lake Charles clinic is up and running, as are the interim and permanent clinics in Lafayette. The veterans of southwest Louisiana have waited long enough.”
Cassidy said: “Securing a lease for a permanent VA clinic and opening the interim clinic are steps in the right direction. Until the clinic opens and starts seeing patients, we must continue to ensure our veterans have access to reliable, quality care in south Louisiana. Making sure the VA fulfills its mission to serve our veterans and not bureaucrats must be one of our highest priorities.”
Boustany said: “When I called for the Secretary of the VA to come to Louisiana to view the conditions where it’s treating our veterans, Deputy Secretary Gibson called the facilities ‘unacceptable.’ Today’s opening is the result of a lot of hard work and diligence from our congressional delegation in holding the VA’s feet to the fire and ensuring our veterans’ needs are met. I’m proud to have led this effort to provide better facilities and expanded services for our South Louisiana veterans, because they’ve earned it.”