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May 06, 2014

Inhofe, Mullin Push VA on Idabel Outpatient Clinic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2) yesterday sent a letter to Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki requesting a meeting to discuss why the VA reversed its decision to build a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Idabel, Okla. 

"In light of the extremely disturbing allegations that the VA manipulated the backlog of veterans claims in Arizona, Congressman Mullin and I are seeking an explanation as to why the VA reversed its decision to establish a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Idabel,” said Inhofe. "Four years ago the VA determined that a clinic in Idabel would 'greatly improve access to care in this area, serve more Veterans, and improve patient satisfaction.’ Since then the VA has reversed its decision to establish the clinic and our state’s veterans deserve an answer as to why.”

“Oklahoma is home to countless veterans who deserve the best quality care we can provide,” said Mullin. “Past studies have clearly shown that a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) would be beneficial to our local veterans, so I don’t see the value in reversing course now. I thank Congressman Dan Boren for carrying the torch on this issue and making the needs of our veterans a priority. Establishing a CBOC is the least we can do for the veterans of southeast Oklahoma and we will tirelessly work to see that it happens.”

A copy of the official letter can be found below or downloaded by clicking here.

May 5, 2014

The Honorable Eric Shinseki


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Secretary Shinseki: 

May we respectfully request that you have the Department of Veterans Affairs explain to us the decision-making process taken surrounding efforts to bring a potential Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) to Idabel, Oklahoma? 

Our former congressional colleague, Representative Dan Boren, wrote into law language instructing a feasibility study to be done for a CBOC in Idabel.  On March 23, 2010, the Department stated that Idabel met the criteria in the feasibility study for a CBOC and it would “greatly improve access to care in this area, serve more Veterans, and improve patient satisfaction.”  It is our understanding, however, that since that time, the Department has reversed its position to build a CBOC in Idabel.  Understandably, this reversal is causing frustration to our constituents, and we are now seeking an examination and explanation into your decision-making process.  

We also want to express our strong support for the establishment of a CBOC in Idabel for the same reasons stated in your 2010 letter to Congressman Boren; it would increase access to veterans in the area and improve patient satisfaction.  It is our request that you contact our offices to schedule a meeting to share the timeline of events from calendar year 2010 until now relating to establishment of a CBOC in Idabel.   You may contact Joel Starr at 202-224-4721 and Mark Stwarka at 202-225-2701 to schedule the meeting. 

Our Oklahoma community has long been strong supporters of our veterans, and we will continue to advocate for breaking ground at such a facility. 



James M. Inhofe                                                                     Markwayne Mullin

United States Senate                                                             Member of Congress



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