Cuellar, City of Laredo, UTHSC Break Ground on Veteran Outpatient Clinic Expansion
Apr 2, 2012 -
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, joined City of Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, The University of Texas Health Science Center President Dr. William Henrich and VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System Acting Director Ms. Danna Malone at the ground breaking of the new Laredo VA Outpatient Clinic.
“Today we celebrate the future of our veteran community, ”Cuellar said. “This groundbreaking marks yet another milestone to the mission my partners and I started three years ago of providing an increase in health services to the 6300 Laredo veterans. Our veterans rose to the call when our country was in a time of need, and it is only fitting that we honor their service by caring for their health and well being.”
In 2009, the expansion project partners, at the direction of Cuellar, began searching for land for a new veteran outpatient clinic due to the growing veteran population and the need for more services. The land was donated by the City of Laredo, under the leadership of Council Member Johnny Rendon, to The University of Texas Health Science Center, the affiliate to the Laredo VA Outpatient Clinic.
“The City of Laredo is proud to be able to donate this land for the express purpose of providing much-needed medical care and services to our local veterans, who previously had to travel hours out of town to receive the treatment they deserve,” said Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas. “This project would not have been possible without the commitment of Congressman Henry Cuellar, who was instrumental in bringing all parties together to help find a solution to the challenge faced by Laredo veterans seeking medical care.”
The new clinic will be 18,464 square feet and will replace the current 10,000 square foot facility. Expected to open in early 2013, the facility will provide extended primary care services, including: mental health, nutrition, women’s health, podiatry, dental, tele-health and social work services. Diagnostic capabilities will be enhanced with the addition of an in-house laboratory and general radiology room.
“I am truly excited about this important project for our Laredo area Veterans ” said Ms. Danna Malone, Acting Director, VA Texas Coastal Bend Health Care System (VATVCBHCS).“We will be able to maintain and expand VA health care services with this new facility! I am very proud of that and I am very proud to be a part of this team effort and thank all of our project partners for their important support in this endeavor.”
Dr. William L. Henrich, president of the University of Texas Health Science Center, said the new VA clinic will be the third building on the University of Texas Health Science Center Regional Campus in Laredo.
“It is truly an honor for the Health Science Center to be a part of this project, which will serve the men and women who have selflessly served our country — our military veterans. We are very grateful to the city of Laredo for donating the land for this expanded clinic. We are also profoundly grateful to U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, whose vision and effective leadership in Washington has made this day a reality by securing federal resources to build this facility. Finally, deep thanks also go to State Senator Judith Zaffirini, who is known for her legendary dedication, passion and strong support of higher education. In 1999 she authored SB 1288, with the co-sponsorship of then-Representative Cuellar, which created the Regional Campus in Laredo,” said Henrich.”