Harder Continues Work to Secure Additional Transportation Options for Veterans to Palo Alto VA Hospital

May 20, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) is continuing his mission to ensure that Central Valley veterans who need access to specialty care at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System have additional transportation options. Currently, veterans only have one opportunity per day to travel to the facility on VA-supported transportation. To expand options, Rep. Harder has already met with officials from the VA in Washington and Modesto and secured a commitment that additional vehicles will be provided. In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie dated May 20, 2019, Rep. Harder has asked for a status update of the project’s implementation.

Although the Modesto VA clinic provides many services, veterans must travel to Palo Alto for specialty care and treatment. The expanded VA options will provide two new vehicles, tripling transportation options for local veterans.

The text of the letter is below and an original version is available here.

Secretary Wilkie,

Thank you for your leadership overseeing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the work your office is doing to help support some of the local veterans needs for my constituents.

I recently had the opportunity to have Director Fitzgerald of the V.A. Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) join me in my district to tour the Modesto VA Clinic and witness first-hand the quality services our local clinic provides and the struggle many veterans have in getting to the hospital in Palo Alto. I cannot overstate how much I appreciate his commitment to working with me to rectify this issue. I want to offer my assistance in implementing his plan to offer more transportation options to veterans in the Central Valley and I respectfully request updates on the status of the plan’s implementation.

Our local veterans face challenges of both health and access. That is why I am pleased with the VAPAHCS commitment to work with me and my staff to ensure we address these issues and expand VA transportation with two new vehicles travelling from my district to Palo Alto. These additional vehicles will help the veterans in my community access care more efficiently and lower the stress on veterans who deserve access to the specialty services offered by the Palo Alto facility. I hope to hear from you regarding the implementation of this plan.

Thank you again, Secretary Wilkie, for your attention to this matter. I hope that we can continue to collaborate to ensure our veterans get the high-quality health care services they have earned.