Heinrich To Join Veterans At Grand Opening Of New VA Clinic In Raton

Continues fight to improve health services for New Mexico veterans

WASHINGTON, D. C. - U. S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will join veterans, military families, and local leaders at the grand opening of the new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Raton, N.M.

The new clinic covers 6,921 square feet, which is more than double the size of the current Raton VA clinic, and provides greater access to quality health care for veterans across northern New Mexico, including expanded primary care, primary mental health, laboratory, and telemedicine services.

The grand opening comes less than a year after Senator Heinrich toured the construction site last August where he met with veterans, VA staff, and local officials to discuss issues affecting patient quality of care.

Senator Heinrich has advocated for much-needed improvements to the quality of care and chronic infrastructure problems at VA clinics across New Mexico. Last July, he met with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel, and received assurance that the VA will address the issues with New Mexico clinics, including expediting upgrades and addressing infrastructure problems to ensure safety, confidentiality, and timely access to care.

Senator Heinrich is a lead proponent in the effort to reduce the veterans disability claims backlog. He is a cosponsor of the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Reform Act, a bipartisan proposal to help the VA achieve its goal to eliminate the backlog by 2015. The bill includes language from the Veterans Benefits Claims Faster Filing Act, a proposal Senator Heinrich introduced to require the Veterans Benefits Administration, an agency under the VA, to provide veterans with accurate information for faster filing options. 

Senator Heinrich is a member of VA Backlog Working Group. The working group provides a forum for lawmakers, veterans, and Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) to tackle the disability claim backlog.

The information below is for planning purposes only. Media must RSVP to press@heinrich.senate.gov to attend.

Raton -- Friday, April 25, 2014

WHAT: PHOTO AND PRESS AVAILABLITY - Raton VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic Grand Opening
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Raton VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 1493 Whittier Street, Raton, N.M. 87740