Washington, D.C. – Continuing his efforts on behalf of Governor Lou Leon Guerrero to increase access to veterans services and health care, Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio met with senior leaders of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including Deputy Assistant Secretary Raphael Chavez; Senior Advisor for Pacific Strategy Vivian Hutson; Henry Huntley, Executive Director, Office of State, Local and International Engagement; James Albino, Director, Center for Minority Veterans; Lourdes Tiglao Director, Center for Women’s Veterans; and Suzanne Brick, Special Assistant, Mission Operations, Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Lt. Governor Tenorio discussed plans to construct the Medical Complex, including a Veterans Clinic, and improvements needed to expand access to health services. Lt. Governor Tenorio also discussed the need to expand the VA workforce assigned to Guam to process and approve benefits and services.
“Many veterans are underserved in Guam and throughout our region. Our time zone differences and physical distance from Hawaii and the U.S. mainland are extraordinary challenges and burdens our veterans must contend with. I’ve asked the team to consider assigning additional personnel and access to services on Guam so that veterans from Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Freely Associated States can be better served. I’m optimistic we can advance this effort as our national government assigns additional resources and focus to the Indo-Pacific,” said Lt. Governor Tenorio.
The meeting with VA officials in Washington follows his meeting with Dr. Adam Robinson, Director of the VA Pacific Island Healthcare System in Hawaii.
“In the next few weeks and months, our administration will have several opportunities to advance the agenda of expanding healthcare and services to our veterans with our federal partners. I am expecting progress on future partnerships to establish and expand health care facilities and services on the island with local providers,” he added.
Local efforts by the government to invest resources in veterans’ services are part of the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration’s initiative to improve veterans’ services. These include establishing a Veterans Center in Hagåtña, digitizing veterans’ records, improving the Veterans Cemetary in Piti, and recruiting and training volunteers to be certified Veterans Service Officers.
“All of these improvements are designed to build a more responsive and reliable support system for our veterans and service members. A key component of this effort will be the construction of the Veterans Clinic at the Medical Complex and the opportunity to provide long-term patient care to our veterans,” said Governor Leon Guerrero.
Lt. Governor Tenorio also attended a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to permanently raise and display the flags of Guam and the other territories.