Hoeven Marks the Completion of Nearly $25 Million in Expansions at Fargo VA

Senator Worked to Secure Funding for VA, Continues Efforts to Enhance Access to Local Health Care Providers

FARGO, N.D. – At a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour today, Senator John Hoeven marked the completion of nearly $25 million in expansions to the Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Hoeven works to secure robust funding to improve health care services available to veterans. Last year, Hoeven helped pass a VA appropriations bill with increased funding, and the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding legislation continues to provide support for veteran health care, with a $4 billion increase over FY17.

The new areas of the medical center include:

  • The Community Living Center, a nursing care facility that provides a more home-like experience for veterans and their families.
  • A primary care clinic that supports a new model of care to provide patient-driven, team-based care to improve veteran satisfaction and health outcomes. 
  • An improved intensive care unit with airborne infection isolation rooms.
  • An expanded imaging department with new CT scanners and diagnostic equipment.
  • A healing garden for recreation and therapy. 

“We have an obligation to our servicemembers, and the expanded and updated facilities at the Fargo VA are a worthwhile investment in their well-being,” Hoeven said. “We appreciate the work of our local VA staff to deliver the high-quality care our veterans deserve. In fact, the Care Coordination initiative at the Fargo VA has proven so effective, that it was adopted last month as the model for community care in the Montana VA Health Care System. We continue to support their impressive efforts and are working to make health care more convenient and accessible for veterans by improving the Veterans Choice Program and enabling them to get services through non-VA long-term care providers closer to home.”

In addition, Hoeven continues his efforts to expand veteran access to care in their local communities. This includes:

Strengthening Veterans Choice 

Hoeven is working to improve veterans’ access to services under the Veterans Choice Program and build on the success of the Veterans Care Coordination initiative at the Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. This effort has decreased the wait time from an initial call to scheduling an appointment under Veterans Choice from 24 days a year ago to five or six days currently. Secretary Shulkin has accepted the senator’s invitation to visit North Dakota and see firsthand local efforts to improve care for veterans, including the care coordination initiative. Hoeven is promoting the initiative as a model to help address delays in scheduling appointments through the Veterans Choice Program across the nation. The Care Coordination initiative has since been expanded to the VA facility in Helena, Mont.

Hoeven also cosponsored and helped pass an extension of the Veterans Choice Program earlier this year and subsequently helped secure $2.1 billion in additional funding for the program.

Improving Access to Long Term Care

Hoeven has secured a commitment from VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin to work with him on his Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act, which the senator recently reintroduced. The legislation would enable veterans to receive long-term care in their home communities near their loved ones by removing burdensome red tape for nursing homes and other long-term care providers.