VA Officials Tell Akaka Kauai Will Receive A Home Health Care Program

Lihue, Kauai - U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Larry Craig (R-ID) and Ranking Member Daniel K. Akaka listened to the needs of Kauai veterans today. About a hundred veterans attended the congressional hearing where officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and health care professionals testified on the state of long term care services.

After years of delay, VA officials announced today that they will be establishing a home health care program based out of the Kauai Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). Vietnam veteran, Edward Kawamura, told the Senators that Kauai veterans need a Home Health Care Nurse. "Our aging population, coupled with problems of getting veterans to the medical clinic, mandates the need to provide the care and services at the homes," said Kawamura. "This nurse would help in reducing time now serviced by our doctor and nurse practitioner so more veterans can be served and reduce scheduling time for appointments."

Senator Akaka stated, "My purpose in bringing the Committee to Hawaii for field hearings is to find out more about the state of VA care in Hawaii. I applaud the efforts of every VA employee in Hawaii - these men and women work hard to help our veterans. There are many things that the VA does well in Hawaii. However, there is always room for improvement. I want to hear about how we can help the VA help Hawaii's veterans."

Collette V. Browne, Professor at the University of Hawaii School of Social Work, stated, "The VA provides a number of critically important services for our veterans. Nonetheless, they face similar challenges that our state and private entities face: a growing aging population with increasing fiscal restraint. We are all here today because we understand the enormous sacrifice that our soldiers and their families make everyday to serve their country. The question is: Will the nation be there for our veterans with the necessary long term care services when they need us?"

Senator Akaka and Chairman Craig continue the Committee's statewide hearings on the State of VA Care in Hawaii TOMORROW on Maui at 10:00 a.m. at the J. Walter Cameron Center Auditorium located at 95 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.