Permanent solution for community-based outpatient clinic at hand



The Department of Veterans Affairs announced to local Historic City News reporters this week that they will begin discussions with St. Johns County to negotiate and award a sole-source contract for a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in St. Augustine.

Many veterans and veteran’s organizations have been frustrated with the lack of cooperation shown by VA officials in recent years. Historic City News first reported after learning that the clinic was refusing to vacate the former Health and Human Services building even after their lease with the county had expired and the property had been sold to Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

“Reaching this point is an incredible accomplishment for local government and our community,” former Assistant County Administrator Jerry Cameron told Editor Michael Gold. Cameron, who is now a candidate for St Johns County Commission District 3, led a four-year long effort to secure this outcome for our veterans.

Congressman Ron DeSantis (FL-06) who responded to requests for assistance from Cameron and the local veteran community, wrote that he is encouraged by the announcement that the VA and St. Johns County will begin discussions regarding a permanent facility for the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic.



“It is my hope that both parties work in a timely manner to negotiate an agreement that ensures that our veterans served by the clinic continue to receive the medical care that they have earned through their service,” DeSantis said. “My staff and I will continue to remain closely engaged on this important issue.”

So many times when a federal agency takes the position to discount the concerns of a local community and pursue its own bureaucratic goals, local governments are reluctant to oppose them. That wasn’t the case here.

“It would be hard to put a value on the work that Congressman DeSantis’ office did in securing this outcome,” Cameron commented. “It is certain we would not have reached this point without his effort.”

Cameron pointed out that Saint Johns County has a long history of being supportive of our veteran community and that they refused to accept the Department of Veterans Affairs’ indifference to our community.

“I am proud to have been a part of the community effort to secure this outcome for out Vets,” Cameron said.