House, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Leaders Join Forces to Bolster VA’s Medical Supply Chain, Make Responsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars
Members call on VA Secretary to provide in-depth analysis on the effectiveness of Regional Readiness Centers
Washington, December 9, 2021 | Samantha Gonzalez
Today, House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee leaders Ranking Member Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.), are pushing to increase the resiliency of Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) medical supply chain and make responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
“We write to urge you to initiate an updated needs analysis and revised plan to properly align the number, size, and cost of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Regional Readiness Centers with the actual level of demand for their services,” the Members wrote in a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “We appreciate the VHA team’s explanation to our staffs of the rationale for reducing the originally projected space to a smaller, more manageable space closer to VHA’s anticipated needs. We hope an updated analysis of VHA’s projected needs will help reduce the overall square footage being used for Regional Readiness Centers. This initiative must increase the resiliency of VA’s medical supply chain while making responsible use of taxpayer dollars.”
Regional Readiness Centers were established during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to aid in the management and resupply of personal protective equipment to better support VA in its ongoing mission to protect veterans and staff during the national health emergency. Currently, the VA is operating two Regional Readiness Centers spanning four facilities: a West Coast Regional Readiness Center consisting of an approximately 100,000-square-foot warehouse in San Joaquin, California, and a Northeastern Regional Readiness Center consisting of an 863,000-square-foot warehouse in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and a 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
The Members continued, “We remain concerned that, if demand from VA medical centers for additional personal protective equipment does not increase, the Department risks wasting millions of dollars on unneeded warehouse space. We also would like to ensure that the program is storing the right mix of supply types that may be needed for future national emergencies and shortages.”
Read the Members’ full letter HERE.