NewsMissoula County


U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs makes trip to Missoula

Posted at 6:16 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 13:19:07-04

MISSOULA — Montana’s veteran population faces unique challenges when searching for healthcare due to the vastness of the state.

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilke was in Missoula on Monday to hear some of the unique challenges our veterans face and some options on how the VA can help.

"When residents of this state -- citizens of this state -- serve their country and decide to end that service most of them come home and because of that the next few years you will see more people you will see more resources coming to this beautiful place," Wilke said.

As far as more resources the new David J. Thatcher VA Clinic should offer local veterans plenty of options.

"We serve almost 7,000 veterans here in Missoula and our current space is inadequate to meet the needs. We are also excited to add services such as audiology in the new clinic and we will also have space to co-locate our partners from the veterans benefit administration," said clinic director Dr. Judy Hayman.

It's not just more resources but also a larger variety, like online health care options.

"To bridge the geography issues we have here in Montana we are a big state and technology is a great way for us to help our veterans particularly in the area of mental health," US Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said.

Construction on the clinic is still going to schedule according to officials and it's expected to open in winter 2021.

Officials said its another example of how they are trying to make healthcare more available to veterans in our area.