Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

In Case You Missed It: Greg Walden invites Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman to southern Oregon to meet local veterans, tour SORCC in White City

October 16, 2017
Press Release

In Case You Missed It: Greg Walden invites Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman to southern Oregon to meet local veterans, tour SORCC in White City

Lawmakers to take input from area veterans, VA officials back to Washington, D.C.

Rep. Walden and House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Phil Roe (to Walden’s left) meet with VA officials at the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics (SORCC) in White City on Saturday.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) is continuing his efforts to make sure Oregon veterans are receiving the care and benefits they deserve through the VA. Over the weekend, Walden invited House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) to southern Oregon to meet with local veterans and tour the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics (SORCC) in White City. Walden and Roe held roundtable discussions to hear about the issues affecting area veterans, and receive an update on how VA officials in the region are working to alleviate veteran homelessness in southern Oregon.

Their meetings come as Walden has introduced several proposals in Congress to improve benefits and reduce wait times for Oregon veterans. In July, Walden’s VA Medical Scribes Pilot Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives. Walden’s bill would unburden VA doctors and improve care for veterans by bringing medical scribes into the VA system to handle paperwork and patient record keeping – allowing the doctor to focus their full attention on veterans. Walden also introduced the Doctors for Veterans Act to help Oregon VA facilities recruit medical providers for veterans in rural and underserved areas. Both bills are products of feedback Walden has received from veterans themselves and VA officials in southern Oregon.

Walden has also introduced legislation (H.R. 3561) to reduce the appraisal backlog for veterans using their VA home loan benefit to purchase a home. Walden has heard from local veterans about the lengthy process for receiving an appraisal for their VA-guaranteed home loan, and this legislation would help alleviate the wait times for appraisals that has put veterans at a disadvantage when bidding on a home. The House Veterans' Affairs Committee unanimously approved Walden’s bill last week, setting up a potential vote on passing the bill out of the House for later this year.

Please read on for excerpts from local news coverage of Walden’s recent meetings in southern Oregon with House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Phil Roe.

Signs of improvement seen during SORCC tour

A just-built residential facility at the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics and newly redesigned outpatient programs were touted to U.S. Rep Greg Walden and the head of the House Veterans Committee.

More than a year after the Department of Veterans Affairs rated the White City facility one star, new construction and restructured programs for homeless veterans were shown to the Republican congressman and Dr. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee.

The tour Saturday showcased a residential facility that for 10 days has been housing 30 homeless veterans. The program has the capacity to aid 50 veterans, according to SORCC Nurse Executive Sue Thurston, who said patients are still being integrated into the new building.

Roe, a Vietnam veteran, was visibly impressed after checking out a bright, clean TV room inside the new building, complete with a wall-mounted 21-inch flat screen.

Click here to read more from the Mail Tribune.

Rep. Greg Walden, Rep. Phil Roe (R-Ten.) visit White City VA

On Saturday, Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Ten.) – also the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman – visited the White City VA to address the issues of homeless veterans.

Throughout the tour, both Walden and Roe were shown the new in-patient facility as well as the out-patient facility on the campus, including the rooms of the in-patient facility and hearing about the programs at the White City VA for homeless veterans.

Click here to watch coverage from KTVL News 10

Congressmen visit VA to find new ideas to bring back to Washington

At the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics, administrators met with Congressmen Greg Walden and Dr. Phil Roe, chairman of the house veterans affairs committee, to discuss how to better assist veterans.

“We really are focused on how do you put the patient first. The veteran first,” said Congressman Walden. “And get them access to care as close to home as possible, as soon as possible, in the most efficient way.”

Roe and Walden are hoping to take information back to Washington to help shape policy. One issue they’re focusing on -- drug abuse.

Click here to watch coverage from KOBI NBC 5

Congressman tours southern Oregon VA

Congressman Greg Walden is continuing his mission to help veterans in southern Oregon. He toured the VA facility in White City Saturday. The Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Congressman Phil Roe, also toured that facility. They were able to speak to a few veterans and some administrators and understand how this VA facility helps homeless veterans in southern Oregon.

Click here to watch coverage from KDRV Newswatch 12

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