VA pressed to honor promise

Posted May 13, 2012, at 5:18 p.m.

Bravo to U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, and others in the community for persuading the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department not to backpedal on the health care services to be provided at its outreach clinic in Lewiston.

The VA had promised to provide primary care, mental health, phlebotomy and electrocardiograms in addition to podiatry, optometry, cardiology and urology services.

Last month, the agency announced it was trimming those services, eliminating vision and hearing care.

Besides pressure from Michaud, U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins weighed in, along with local legislators.

In 2010 the VA committed $20 million to the clinic, which is nearing completion at 15 Challenger Drive, just off Alfred Plourde Parkway.

“We’re happy now that they’ve turned around,” said veteran Jerry DeWitt, one of several local veterans who worked for two years to secure the project for Lewiston. “And we’re going to keep close watch on them.”

This a large community full of veterans, and the clinic near the Maine Turnpike is in an ideal location to serve veterans from a wide area.

Thanks to those who fought for the clinic here and who continue pressing the VA to live up to its commitments.

Sun Journal, Lewiston (May 10)

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/13/opinion/va-pressed-to-honor-promise/ printed on August 2, 2014