Secretary McDonough visits Dole VA - Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center
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Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center


Secretary McDonough visits Dole VA

Secretary McDonough and Senator Moran visit with a Veteran in Dole VA's Community Living Center.

During their visit to the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, VA Secretary Denis McDonough and Senator Jerry Moran took time to visit with Veterans living in the Dole VA Community Living Center.

By Jeff Herndon (Public Affairs Officer) and Eric Ott (Staff Writer)
Monday, April 19, 2021

The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center was honored with a visit from the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Denis McDonough, on Friday, April 9.

Secretary McDonough visited VA facilities across Montana and Kansas to research the impact of national-level decisions on local VA operations and services. He said he wanted to learn directly from frontline staff how the VA can continue to improve the lives of all Veterans.

“The visit to Kansas has been extraordinarily informative,” McDonough said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see how our Vets in Kansas get their care, especially those in rural communities.”

Dole VA Medical Center Director Candace Ifabiyi and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team led the Secretary on a tour of the facility. The group was joined by Kansas Senator Jerry Moran and Dr. Tom Klobucar, Executive Director of Rural Health for the VA.

Secretary McDonough had high praise for the Dole VA and its staff.

“I want to say how impressed I am, and how honored I am, to be working with the VA personnel we’ve met with over these last several days,” he said. “Miss Ifabiyi is doing an unbelievable job here.”

He went on to highlight the Dole VA’s social work staff for their work to promote mental well-being and prevent Veteran suicide, the nursing staff’s “aggressive care” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the benefits team for their continued support of Veterans.

He also gave a glowing assessment of the “great care” provided by the Community Living Center, resulting in zero COVID-19 infections in their Veterans.

Secretary McDonough recognized several Dole VA staff for going above and beyond in the performance of their duties during the pandemic. Congratulations to Nikki Lind, Vincent Hodgdon, Misty Lester, Jacklyn Bantam, Dr. Christopher Fox, Kimberly Gillette, Alexandria Hames, Gary Kramer, Jonathan Chastine and DeManuel Fedd.

At the public press conference held at the end of the visit, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran — who helped pass legislation in 2002 to christen the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in honor of Kansas Senator Bob Dole — encouraged all Veterans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Senator Moran helped pass the SAVE LIVES Act to make coronavirus vaccination free for every Veteran, Veteran spouse, and Veteran caregiver.


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