Hirono Bill names VA clinic for Sen. Akaka walks past house and heads to Biden’s office

WASHINGTON – On May 17, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) to name the VA Advanced Leeward Outpatient Health Care Access (ALOHA) clinic currently under construction in Oahu after the late former Hawaii Sen Daniel Kahikina Akaka – who first spearheaded the project alongside Hawaii veterans.

Senator Daniel Akaka (1924-2018)

The bill passed the Senate in December 2021, and it is now up to President Biden to sign into law. Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele (D-Hawaii) introduced the House companion bill.

“Throughout his decades of public service, including as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, Senator Akaka has been a determined champion for Hawaii veterans,” Hirono said. “I was honored to help continue the work he began to build a new health care facility for veterans on Leeward Oahu, and I am glad the facility bears his name. I can think of no better way to recognize Senator Akaka’s commitment to Hawaii and our veterans.

“When complete, the Department of Veterans Affairs Daniel Kahikina Akaka Community Outpatient Clinic will provide the high level of care that Downwind Oahu veterans deserve in a convenient facility close to home.”

“Renaming this project after Senator Daniel K. Akaka recognizes his decades of federal advocacy and compassion for our veterans and their families,” Kahele said. “We finally see the project he had originally imagined come to fruition. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Daniel Kahikina Akaka Community Outpatient Clinic will benefit approximately 87,000 veterans and will be an essential source of quality care for future generations.

“Mahalo nui loa, Senator Hirono, for your partnership in leading this legislation to honor and commemorate Senator Akaka’s legacy of service to Hawaii veterans.”

Akaka served as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and worked to expand access to GI Bill benefits, recognize Asian American veterans of World War II, and seek compensation unique for Filipino Scouts among others. Akaka said caring for veterans is “one of our most sacred obligations as a nation,” and this clinic will help provide that care to veterans in Hawaii.

In March 2021, Hirono and Kahele obtained clearance from the General Services Administration (GSA) to approve the award of a 15-year lease at an annual rent of $5.9 million for the ALOHA project. It also authorizes an initial lump sum payment of $18 million to facilitate construction of the facility.

When complete, Project ALOHA will be a 66,000 square foot multi-specialty VA clinic in Leeward Oahu and will provide primary care, mental health, audiology, female veteran care, physical therapy and physical therapy. occupational therapy, dental care, prosthetics and specialized care for veterans. in the zone. The clinic will also reduce wait times, increase provider availability, and help alleviate traffic issues and parking deficits that veterans are currently experiencing on the campus of Tripler Army Medical Center, home of Spark M. Matsunaga. Veterans Affairs Medical Center.