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US Veterans Affairs to lease Medical Arts Center for clinic expansion

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

A new Veterans Affairs Clinic will soon open at the Medical Arts Center, promising to be a game-changer for military veterans on Guam and Asia-Pacific.

Last week, CW Holdings successfully negotiated a long-anticipated property lease contract with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, becoming the second major tenant in the state-of-the-art $20 million facility, which is adjacent to Guam Regional Medical City.

The VA expansion will provide Guam's over 9,000 military veterans with increased access to quality health care and create lucrative medical job opportunities in the community.

The new VA property will be located in the three-story 60,000-square foot Medical Arts Center that will offer hospice services, advanced senior care, a skilled nursing facility, doctor’s offices and a primary care medical clinic. Besides serving Guam and Micronesian veterans, the new VA clinic is touted to also serve the U.S. veterans living overseas in the Philippines and Asia who served in the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

For many years, U.S. military veterans scattered throughout the Pacific have complained of second-rate medical treatment they receive from the U.S. Veterans Administration in comparison with their U.S. mainland counterparts.

In a 2018 report, the Government Accountability Office noted, "The remote nature of the Pacific Islands creates some unique challenges for [the Veterans Administration], which may affect its ability to provide [vets] with timely access to primary, mental health, and specialty care."

The new VA clinic will be in immediate proximity to world-class medical laboratory, imaging (x-ray/MRI/CT), physical therapy, and surgical services at the neighboring Guam Regional Medical Center. The VA expansion will be challenged by the same lack of qualified applicants for nurse and physician positions as being faced by the current VA medical clinics on island.

Observers said the VA expansion is likely to negate Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's plan to add a VA clinic to her proposed "medical complex in the middle of nowhere."

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