skip navigation
Support KUOW
Listen to KUOW News

Audio not available.

KUOW News on Demand

KUOW News

Debate over Healthcare for Veterans Brews in Walla Walla

Cathy Duchamp
12/28/2006

Does size matter? That's a question in the debate over health care offered to military veterans in the Inland Northwest. The V.A. medical center in Walla Walla is being downsized from a hospital to an outpatient clinic. A group of activist vets say that translates to cuts in services. Correspondent Cathy Duchamp has more.

TRANSCRIPT

AIR FORCE VETERAN DON SCHACK SERVED IN KOREA AND VIETNAM. AFTERWARDS HE MOVED WITH HIS FAMILY TO WALLA WALLA. HE PICKED THE CITY IN PART BECAUSE OF THE V.A. MEDICAL CENTER THERE. NOW HE WORRIES THE CARE THE GOVERNMENT PROMISED WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE.

SCHACK: "We don't see that happening. We don't see it happening in the future. Hey, you're not even going to be able to help me."

SCHACK AND A GROUP OF VETERANS KNOWN AS THE BLUE MOUNTAIN BOYS SAY PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED EVEN BEFORE GROUND IS BROKEN ON THE NEW OUTPATIENT CLINIC IN WALLA WALLA. THERE'S NO MORE INPATIENT CARE. SCHACK SAYS MENTAL HEALTH CARE IS GOING AWAY TOO. NOT TRUE, SAYS DENNIS LEWIS. HE DIRECTS V.A. MEDICAL CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE NORTHWEST. LEWIS SAYS, SERVICES ONCE OFFERED AT WALLA WALLA ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN SMALLER V.A. CLINICS ACROSS THE REGION.

LEWIS: "We've tripled the size of our Yakima clinic. We're doubling the size of our Richland clinic. And our clinic in Lewiston Idaho has been approved for full expansion from a two-day a week clinic to a five-day a week, 40-hour a week clinic."

LEWIS IS ADAMANT THAT SERVICES WILL NOT BE CUT TO HELP BALANCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET. VETERAN DON SCHACK SAY HE'LL CONTINUE TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE V.A. TO MAKE SURE THOSE WHO SERVED ARE TAKEN CARE OF. I'M CATHY DUCHAMP REPORTING.

© Copyright 2006, KUOW

01.19.18

Schedules

spacer