New Primary Care Clinic Opens Doors to Helena Area Veterans Following Efforts from Tester, who will Host VA Secretary at Facility Tomorrow

Senator helped secure funds in 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill to invest in VA infrastructure and streamline care for vets

Following a push from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Montana VA Health Care System today opened the doors to its newest $12 million primary care clinic at the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center to serve Helena area veterans. In his capacity as the new Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester will host VA Secretary Denis McDonough in Helena tomorrow to tour this new VA facility and to meet with veterans, employees, stakeholders, and local officials.

“This is great news for Helena-area veterans who will receive high-quality services at this state-of-the-art facility,” said Chairman Tester. “I’m thrilled this new space will provide specialized services to better meet the needs of all veterans by putting them at the center of their care. Serving our veterans is a cost of war, and I’m proud to have helped get this money out the door to deliver quality care to those who sacrificed for our freedoms.”

Tester fought to secure these funds as part of the 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill to improve services and care from VA for Montana veterans. This funding supported new construction projects such as this one in Helena as well as other efforts to address aging and inadequate VA facilities across the state.

The new 18,400 square feet clinic will serve approximately 5,000 veterans in the surrounding area and provide primary care and a variety of other services such as dietary, pharmacy, mental health care, and tele-health services such as tele-retinal and tele-audiology. The facility is designed around the Patient Aligned Care Team model, which provides care that is patient-driven, proactive, personalized, and team-based. The new space also has stronger WiFi service allowing VA medical staff to perform critical work as they serve patients. This primary care clinic will have designated parking in front with large drop-off points, which will allow veterans with limited mobility easier access to services.

The Senator has been working tirelessly to ensure VA has the resources it needs to keep our nation’s veterans safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His bipartisan SAVE LIVES Act, which expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to veterans and their families under VA, was recently signed into law, and he has continually announced vaccine distributions across Montana, with hundreds of vaccines expected to be administered to eligible veterans in other cities in the coming weeks. Last month, he also successfully secured billions in the COVID relief package to vaccinate, support and protect veterans in Montana and across the country.