(Allentown, PA) – Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15)—who serves as Chairman of the House Military Construction & Veterans Affairs (MILCON-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee—hosted a roundtable discussion today focused on improving veterans’ healthcare within Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District. Participants included VA Secretary The Honorable Dr. David Shulkin, who joined other leaders from within the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as several of the community healthcare institutions that serve patients in the district and a number of local veteran advocates and representatives.

“As Americans, we owe our lives to the selflessness and resilience of the men and women who have served in our armed forces. Through my role as Chairman of the MILCON-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, and as a Member of Congress entrusted with representing the tens of thousands of veterans and military families who reside in our local communities, I am grateful to be in a position to advocate for those who have sacrificed on behalf of our nation.  These men and women deserve to have access to the highest quality of medical care possible. Productive conversations, like the one today, provide an important starting point for broader debate about the future of the VA and the healthcare services they provide to America’s veterans.  The issues confronting the VA, Congress, and our veterans requires an approach that incorporates a broad set of feedback from all those involved. Today’s conversation is one I look forward to continuing.”

Held at Cedar Crest College, the summit discussion addressed specific issues regarding the Veterans Choice Program and other community care programs, with a specific focus on how the program has been working since first established in 2014. Recommendations for improvement were sought to aid the program in its next iteration.  The conversation also touched on how Chairman Dent could assist in further improving veterans care through his role on the MILCON-VA Appropriations Subcommittee. Finally, the group looked ahead at some of the issues facing the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill. 

“A lot of progress has been made in our efforts to improve treatment and access issues within the VA,” Dent added. “However, there are still a number of areas that need additional attention.  Secretary Shulkin, and the rest of the dedicated VA employees and healthcare providers here in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District and across the country, are committed to finding solutions that address these areas. I will work to ensure the VA is able to meet our commitment to provide quality care and treatment to America’s veterans.”

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CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490