(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today joined local, state, and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials, area veterans, and Montana hero Travis W. Atkins’ family for the grand opening of the new veterans’ Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Bozeman. This new facility was made possible following years of Tester efforts to improve and expand Bozeman veterans’ access to quality VA health care and services.
“Today is a testament to the entire Bozeman community, that gave so much to help deliver this new clinic for southwest Montana veterans in honor of heroes like Sergeant Travis Atkins,” said Senator Tester. “As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have secured funding to get this facility off the ground and get VA employees the tools they need to better serve veterans in the community with the quality care they deserve. This was possible because we fought for it together, and together, we’re going to keep fighting for veterans and their families’ every step of the way.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester successfully secured funding for this new state-of-the-art facility over three different fiscal years. He was the only member of the Montana delegation to vote for all three federal spending bills used to fund the new clinic. The new $4.7 million, 14,161 square foot clinic is more than twice the size of the old facility it is replacing, and will offer a range of services including primary care, dedicated women’s health rooms, behavioral health, mental health, laboratory, physical therapy, audiology, and telehealth services to more than 2,275 veterans.
In his role as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, he also called on VA Secretary Denis McDonough last year to further expand the new space and offer more services for veterans. As a result of Tester’s push, VA agreed to expand the space by several thousand square feet to provide additional physical therapy and audiology services. The Senator also led a bipartisan effort to rename the new clinic after local Medal of Honor recipient and Army Staff Sgt. Atkins.
Tester has led the way in expanding veterans’ access to care in Montana—securing resources to build new and modernized facilities across the state. Through years of focused work with multiple Administrations of both parties, and working across the aisle in Washington and with communities across Montana, Tester’s efforts resulted in new facilities opening in several areas including Fort Harrison in Helena, Missoula, Miles City, Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings, Havre, Cut Bank, Lewistown, and Butte. Additional VA projects Tester fought for are underway in other parts of the state.