Congress has approved the construction of an outpatient clinic for Leeward Oahu veterans.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a resolution that would award a lease to build the Advanced Leeward Outpatient Health Care Access, or ALOHA, project, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hawaii) announced in a joint statement.
“Veterans living on Oahu—particularly in Leeward Oahu—have been patiently waiting for a VA facility that will provide accessible, quality health care in their community,” Hirono said. “The ALOHA Project was worked on by Senator Daniel K. Akaka and it has been a key priority of mine as well. This resolution was the final congressionally-mandated step before the VA can award the lease and construction can begin. This facility is long overdue. Our veterans need to get the care they earned, and I urge swift action from the Biden Administration to get this project underway.”
Hirono has long championed the ALOHA Project. In 2014, she included authorization for the facility in the VA Choice Act and secured lease award authorization in the Senate in January 2018.
The resolution passed unanimously in the House committee, and authorizes the General Services Administration to award a 15-year lease, with an annual rent of $5.9 million, for the project, as well as a lump sum payment of $18 million to facilitate construction.
The ALOHA Project will be on the “Ewa Plain area of Oahu and provide primary care, mental health care, x-ray, laboratory, diagnostic, pharmacy, and specialty care for veterans in the area.”
“This final step to approve the ALOHA Project will help the more than 87,000 veterans on the island of Oahu,” Kahele said. “This project, first envisioned many years ago by Senator Akaka, is a top priority for the delegation and I am pleased to join Senator Hirono and my colleagues to announce that work can now begin to construct the facility.”
The announcement said the clinic “will also reduce wait times, increase provider availability, and help alleviate traffic challenges and parking deficits veterans currently experience on the Tripler Army Medical Center campus, where the Spark M. Matsunaga Veterans Affairs Medical Center is located.”