Tester Celebrates Grand Opening of David J. Thatcher VA Clinic in Missoula
Following Senator’s sustained efforts, community celebrated new, state-of-the-art VA clinic to serve more than 5,000 veterans
U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today joined local, state, and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials and area veterans for the grand opening of the new veterans’ Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Missoula. This new facility was made possible following years of sustained efforts from Tester to improve Montana veterans’ access to quality and timely VA health care.
“For far too long, veterans in Western Montana had to make do with an undersized clinic that made it hard for VA’s dedicated staff to deliver quality care-but after today, I’m proud to finally say ‘no more,'” said Chairman Tester. “This new location will ensure doctors, nurses, and other hard-working medical staff have the additional space to do their jobs and provide state-of-the-art, VA health care to thousands of veterans in the area. Working alongside this community on this victory has been a highlight of my career in public service-we set a goal, we kept at it year after year, and together, we delivered.”
The new, 56,727 square foot clinic is more than twice the size of the older facility, and will serve more than 5,000 Montana veterans in the surrounding area. It will offer a range of services including primary care, mental health care, radiology, and providers with experience providing care to women veterans. The facility is named after World War II Montana veteran David J. Thatcher.
In January 2014, Tester first called on then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to expand Missoula’s 18,000 square foot VA facility, and later brought then-VA Secretary Bob McDonald to Montana to tour the existing clinic in 2015. As the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester secured the lease for this new facility as part of his bipartisan VA Choice and Quality Employment Act, which was signed into law August 2017. As a result of these efforts, VA announced in September 2019 that Missoula would be receiving a new CBOC to better serve veterans. The Senator helped break ground on the new facility in July 2020.