ST. CLOUD -- Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough is touring the state's VA medical campuses, learning more about the work and services provided to veterans.

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Thursday morning he made a stop at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center and praised the St. Cloud team for their work and services for veterans.

McDonough says one the main reasons for his visit is to highlight President Biden's plan to help modernize VA hospital's and clinics across the country.

The President has submitted to Congress the American Jobs Plan which has $18-billion to allow us to upgrade and modernized VA medical facilities. We have not made any decision on where to invest that money if Congress enacts it, but it's facilities like right here in St. Cloud where our vets have a right to expect moderized facilities.

McDonough says the average age of U.S. private sector hospitals is roughly 11 years, however the St. Cloud VA Medical Center was built in 1923.

Over the years, the St. Cloud VA has strategically invested modernizing the campus with a new residential dining facility, optometry center and most recently a $5-million renovation project for a new women's health clinic, which is in the final stage of construction.

McDonough says roughly 15 percent of veterans are women and that number is growing as more women join the military.

I can not underscore how appreciative I am to the St. Cloud team for that facility for our women veterans, which happens to be the fastest growing cohort of veterans in the United States.

The new St. Cloud VA women's clinic, which is located in the former cafeteria in the center of campus, will be for women veterans only and include four exam rooms, all with private bathrooms, and two providers to help offer primary care services for women veterans.

The St. Cloud VA serves roughly 1,500 women veterans every year.

McDonough says the one thing other VA health care systems across the county can learn from the St. Cloud is their dedicated focus on the veteran and safety of their patients.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)


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