WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement today upon news that the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center – part of the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System – will reopen the Emergency Department starting Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has determined that the Topeka Emergency Department now meets all policy, procedures and staffing levels.
"This is the good news Eastern Kansas veterans have been waiting for – they will once again be able to count on emergency services at Colmery-O’Neil," Sen. Moran said. "It has been a long road since the emergency room was temporarily shuttered in January 2014, and Topeka veterans were suddenly without the emergency care they could need at any moment. I am pleased our efforts alongside Director Klopfer, Congresswoman Jenkins and VA Heartland Network Director Patterson resulted in this positive outcome. Safe and quality care for our nation’s veterans is one of my top priorities and I trust that the reopening of the Colmery-O’Neil emergency room will help make certain veterans in Kansas can get the timely, quality care they earned through their selfless service to our nation."
According to a press release from Colmery-O’Neil, all veterans reporting to the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) will be triaged and given the appropriate care.
Sen. Moran first raised concerns about the shuttering of the emergency department with then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in August 2013. He also expressed frustration with the Veterans Health Administration in January 2014 once the emergency room at Colmery-O’Neil was temporary closed. In order to resolve the ongoing issues, in April 2015, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Sen. Moran asked the VA Heartland Network Director about the support the Network is receiving from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Washington, D.C. In early June, they received a response from the VA Heartland Director dated April 27, 2015, which stated that “we anticipate the temporary ‘pause’ on the Emergency Department to be removed by the end of May.” The June 30, 2015, reopening follows the completion of a plan by Colmery-O’Neil to make certain the emergency department is fully capable of meeting the needs of the veterans.
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