Daniel Akaka clinic poised to expand veterans’ services in Pacific

The Daniel Akaka clinic will add capacity to services offered at Spark M. Matsunaga Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Tripler.
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:52 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The head of the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) says its new West Oahu clinic is about 15% complete and on track to open in 2024.

President Joe Biden officially renamed the ALOHA VA Clinic to the Daniel Kahikina Akaka VA Clinic, after the late former Senator and chair of the Veterans Affairs committee.

The 66,000 square foot Akaka clinic will make it easier for veterans on the leeward side to access services without having to drive to Tripler Army Medical Center.

“I’m so delighted that we not only have the construction going now, it’s really on its way. But also we have the official name,” said VAPIHCS director Dr. Adam Robinson Jr. “It’s going to have primary care, mental health care, it’s going to have audiology lab services, physical therapy, dental, will have prosthetics, women’s health, and also a multitude of specialty care clinics. So it’s going to be a really comprehensive clinic for our veterans in Oahu.”

The clinic will also serve veterans who live in other Pacific Islands, including Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Rota and American Samoa.

June is also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. Many veterans, especially those who’ve served in combat, suffer from mental health issues like PTSD.

“Every month at the VA truly is mental health PTSD month,” Dr. Robinson said. “I was on active duty in the military in the Navy for approximately 35 years. And during that time, PTSD actually came to the forefront, as did traumatic brain injuries came to the forefront of our health care system. We in the VA now have a [PTSD Resident Recovery Program], which is a PTSD geared program, it is ongoing year round, we have both active duty and veterans that are enrolled in our program. And I will only say that we never are, we never stop talking about and trying to make sure that veterans recognize if they have any mental health issues, if they feel any suicidal issues or any suicidal ideation, and also if they’re having any difficulties related to post traumatic stress from their service that we are available to, to be with them to aid them in any way possible.”

If you know a veteran who needs help, call 800-214-1306.

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