or VA Clinic Moving ForwardDemocratic Representative Mike Michaud annouced funding for a new veterans clinic in Bangor today. According to a press release, "the new 28,982-net-usable-square-foot facility will
provide a secure and efficient layout, and effectively accommodate the space
needs and workload on the Maine Veterans Home
campus in Bangor. The [Community Based Outpatient Clinic] will provide
specialty services, including audiology, radiology, eye clinics, dental,
physical therapy, and mental health, as well as telehealth services for veterans
throughout northern Maine." It will replace the existing CBOC, which is "drastically undersized," says Michaud's office. It will open in 2011, if all goes smoothly.
This isn't the only positive veteran-related news to come out of Michaud's office (really, the federal government's office) of late. In July, Michaud's office announced that the 2010 House Defense Appropriations bill included $20 million specifically for family assistance centers and reintegration services for reserve soldiers. Maine, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Minnesota were six states given priority for this funding, due to their proportion of National Guard soldiers. Reintegration of reserve soldiers -- who have comprised a large portion of servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan -- has been an overlooked aspect of veterans' services during the post-9/11 conflicts. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by President Obama. Michaud's office expects action on the bill this fall.