Tester Visits Havre’s New Merril Lundman VA Clinic Ahead of Opening

Senator introduced legislation dedicating new facility after Montana veteran; helped secure funding in federal spending package

U.S. Senator Jon Tester visited the new Merril Lundman VA Outpatient Clinic in Havre today ahead of its scheduled opening next week. As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Tester played a significant role in securing the facility and naming it after a Montana veteran.

“This clinic is a critical piece of infrastructure that will support veterans across North Central Montana and allow us to live up to the promises we’ve made to our fighting men and women,” said Tester. “By providing patient care based off a model that puts patient-driven, personalized care first, I have no doubt that it will be very successful. I’m proud to have been a part of getting this user-friendly facility off the ground and serving Havre-area veterans in a way they deserve.”

The new VA facility is 3,000 square feet and will serve more than 1,800 eligible veterans in the area with primary care, telehealth, laboratory, mental care services, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations. The facility is the second Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) health care facility in Montana designed around the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model, intended to provide veterans patient-driven, proactive, personalized, and team-based care. The site is centrally located at the Holiday Village Mall at 1753 US Highway 2 NW, Suite 3, in Havre, and will open its doors on January 20, 2021.

In 2009, Tester introduced legislation dedicating the clinic in honor of Merril Lundman, a Montana veteran and Havre-area resident. Tester’s bill was later included in S. 1963 and signed into law on May 5, 2010.

Tester has been working relentlessly in Congress to improve and expand veterans’ access to VA health care and VA facilities through bipartisan legislation including his Build, Utilize, Invest, Lease, and Deliver (BUILD) for Veterans Act. Through his senior position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester helped secure $220 billion in fiscal year 2020 for the agency’s budget which included resources for remodeling and leasing of this facility in Montana and others across the country.