(U.S. Senate) – Kalispell veterans will receive a new clinic following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester. As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester called on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough directly to speed up the delivery of new facilities in Montana, including in Kalispell, to better serve Montana veterans and clinic staff. He was also the only member of the Montana delegation who voted for the funding that allows VA to establish this new clinic.
“This is exciting news for Kalispell-area veterans who can look forward to a new and improved clinic that’ll deliver better access to convenient, quality care,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have worked with local veterans to secure this new facility for our men and women in uniform who make our country the best in the world. These folks deserve nothing less, and I’ll continue to hold VA accountable in ensuring this important project stays on track and opens its doors as quickly as possible.”
Tester worked with local veterans for years to secure the new clinic which will offer expanded health care services—including primary care, mental health, pharmacy services, and women’s health—to an estimated 5,800 veterans in the area. VA also confirmed the new clinic will be nearly twice the size of the existing space and located on the northwest corner of Reserve Place and Old Reserve Drive, Kalispell, MT, 59901.
As the only member of the Montana delegation who sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, 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 Montana communities, Tester’s efforts resulted in new facilities opening or in planning for construction in ten areas in the last several years—two at Fort Harrison in Helena, Missoula, Miles City, Bozeman, Great Falls, Havre, two in Butte, Hamilton and now Kalispell.
These efforts build on historic veterans infrastructure investments in Tester’s Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act that is now the law. The PACT Act invested in VA’s infrastructure workforce through new recruitment and retention incentives, provided funding for 31 new facilities in 19 states, and delivered additional tools to allow VA to build clinics more efficiently in the future, including through partnerships with the Department of Defense and academic hospitals. It also provided VA new authorities to repurpose or lease-out unused or vacant VA buildings benefiting veterans and saving taxpayer funds in the process.
Continuing his fight to strengthen veterans’ access to health care and benefits, Tester is pushing to pass his commonsense Build, Utilize, Invest, Learn, and Deliver (BUILD) for Veterans Act of 2023 to modernize delivery of VA infrastructure projects, bolster the Department’s construction management workforce, and save taxpayer dollars.