Building upon his long-standing commitment to the nation’s veterans, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) joined with local veterans and community leaders on Monday, Dec. 21 to announce the planned construction of the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in French Camp. Funding for the CBOC was included in the FY16 omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week. Securing funding for the project is a critical step to move the clinic forward to the construction phase.
“With this funding, our veterans are virtually assured of having a facility in their community that will make it easier for them to access the health benefits they have earned. Construction on this clinic is long-overdue. Over the years, Rep. Jeff Denham and I fought tirelessly and took every measure possible to secure funding for the project in the budget. I’m glad to see that Congress is finally making this important investment in the health and well-being of our veterans who will benefit once the project is completed,” said Rep. McNerney. “We cannot waver on our commitment to the men and women who’ve served our country, and I will continue working with the VA and all of our partners and stakeholders to ensure that this facility provides them with the best health care services possible.”
The FY16 omnibus spending bill provides $1.24 billion for major VA construction projects. These funds are sufficient to start construction on the long-overdue $139 million CBOC in French Camp, one of the projects included in the Administration’s FY16 budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Our veterans cannot and should not have to wait any longer to see the French Camp CBOC completed. I will not rest until I see this facility, which will serve thousands of Valley vets, built,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10).
The French Camp CBOC will serve 87,000 veterans across a wide geographic area that includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Amador Counties, among others.
The French Camp site is a 52-acre, undeveloped parcel of farmland, located adjacent to I-5, the San Joaquin General Hospital and the existing Stockton CBOC.
“In 2005, the San Joaquin County community came together to advocate for this clinic to better serve our veterans. Ensuring that veterans are able to easily access the health care benefits they’ve earned will improve their future, and it is an important way to honor all veterans and to remember those who have gone before us. While there is still much work to be done to make the clinic a reality, I want to thank all of the leaders who have helped push this project forward,” said Tino Adame State Chairman of Veterans affairs and Rehabilitation for the American Legion.
The 150,000 sq. ft. French Camp CBOC will include mental health, primary care, PT/OT, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, audiology and speech pathology, dental, eye, prosthetics, and other specialty services on a telehealth basis such as podiatry, orthopedics, cardiology and rheumatology.
The next steps for the French Camp CBOC is for the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees to allocate the funds listed in the House-and Senate-passed spending bills in their project authorizations. The Army Corps of Engineers will be the project manager for this major construction project.
The VA estimates that the French Camp clinic will break ground in 2017 and take two and a half to three years to complete. If the project stays on schedule, the French Camp CBOC should open late in the year in 2019 or early in 2020.