Sen. Hirono Presses to Complete ALOHA Project on Time
Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, pressed Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie to approve the pending lease for the Advanced Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access (ALOHA) Project during a Committee hearing on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The ALOHA Project would almost double the VA Pacific Islands Healthcare System’s capacity, increase access for veterans in Leeward O‘ahu and for veterans traveling from the Neighbor Islands, and reduce veteran traffic at the co-located Tripler Army Medical Center.
From Sen. Hirono’s Remarks:
“I want to get to the lack of progress that I’ve heard on various VA healthcare projects in our country. For example, the Advanced Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access—the ALOHA Project—was scheduled for a lease award in calendar year 2018, but has been delayed a number of times. The lease has still not been awarded.
“The project was scheduled to be completed originally in fiscal year 2020 and I know that these kinds of outpatient clinics are really helpful because they’re usually closer to where the veterans live. In Hawai‘i, the Tripler Hospital is very crowded and you can hardly get any parking and it’s a pain in the ‘ōkole as we say in Hawai‘i.
“Can you commit to seeing that the Aloha Project is completed on time and with no further additional delays?”