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Health & Medicine

Eugene VA Healthcare Center Officially Open

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Desmond O'Boyle
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Veterans have a brand new facility to get healthcare in Eugene. After nearly ten years of delays, mismanagement, and funding issues, dignitaries and veterans formally unveiled the new building Saturday (yesterday).

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Credit Desmond O'Boyle
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The entrance to the new VA Healthcare Center in Eugene

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Peter DeFazio were joined by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and about 150 veterans at the new building located on Chad drive. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been experiencing a backlog of patients for years. DeFazio was thanked numerous times during the ceremony for his work to get the 80 million dollars needed to fund the construction.

DeFazio: "This facility is going to cut wait times for people in the Lane, Linn, [and] Benton county areas because it will have more staff, more specialties, and it cuts travel times. So, this is a really good step forward. We need to do this in more places, and we need to do it more quickly."

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Credit Desmond O'Boyle
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Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Peter DeFazio talking to a vet.

Congress approved the project's funding in 2009, but construction was delayed for several years due to contracting and zoning issues. The new VA Healthcare Center will employ about 240 people, and will eventually be able to handle 93 thousand patients per year.

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