Veterans Affairs

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A Veterans Administration (VA) clinic was first proposed in 1992 to improve the quality of health care for veterans of the Tenth District.  Upon arriving in Congress in 2005, Patrick McHenry built bipartisan support to cut the bureaucratic red tape that had stalled the project for years.   The Congressman brought the Secretary of Veterans Affairs into his office to make the case for expediting a VA clinic in Hickory, NC.

With relentless pressure and persuasion, the clinic was finally approved and opened its doors on June 4, 2008.  In its first phase, the VA clinic is serving 5,500 local veterans and is staffed by 39 full-time health care personnel and 5 primary care physicians. 

The Hickory CBOC moved to a larger facility (23,000 Sq. Ft..) on Tate Blvd in June of 2010.   The Clinic serves 8,200 veterans with 57 full-time staff.  The staff includes nine providers in primary care, nine providers in mental health, two providers for eye care. two providers in audiology, one provider for home-based primary care, and features an on-site lab. 

Since the opening of the Hickory CBOC, a new outpatient clinic opened in Rutherford County; and the Charlotte VA  Clinic was moved to a newly built mega- facility on University  East Drive in Charlotte. 

Congressman McHenry was recognized by the North Carolina Chapters of the American Legion and Marine Corps League for his work in getting the VA clinic opened.

Patrick McHenry helped pass the modernized and more generous GI Bill.  The new GI Bill provides qualified veterans with the equivalent of four years of college education at a state university.  Congressman McHenry supported a provision in the bill that allows benefits to be transferable to spouses and children.

Congressman McHenry has worked tirelessly to end the systemic crisis facing the VA.  In 2014, following revelations of schedule manipulations by the Phoenix VA, Congressman McHenry called for Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to resign.

Following this crisis, Congressman McHenry supported and helped pass the negotiated bill between the House of Representatives and the Senate that requires the VA to offer non-VA care at the Department’s expense to any enrolled veteran who cannot get an appointment within the VA wait time goals or who lives more than 40 miles away from a VA medical facility.  It would also limit bonuses for VA employees and provide authority for the Secretary to fire or demote senior officials running the VA.  Finally, the legislation requires an independent assessment of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) performance to include recommendations for improvement.  Congressman McHenry also voted to provide $71.5 billion to the VA, as well as additional support for those veterans with TBI. 


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