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Opening Statement of The Honorable Corrine Brown

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Ranking Member for calling this hearing today.

The VA has been under the microscope for its practices over the last few months.  We all know how big the VA is and the many issues that accompany treating veterans for their many and individual health issues that come with serving in the military and deploying overseas.

The VA operates 1,700 sites of care, and conducts approximately 85 million appointments each year, which comes to 236,000 health care appointments each day.  

My regional VISN, the VA Sunshine Healthcare network serves more patients than most health care systems. With eight VA Medical Centers in Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico and over 55 clinics serving over 1.6 million veterans, veterans are getting the best in the world. 

Over 2,312 physicians and 5,310 nurses are serving the 546,874 veterans who made nearly

8 million visits to the facilities in our region. Of the total 25,133 VA employees, one-third are veterans. 

In 2013, 37,221 women received health care services at VA hospitals and clinics in Florida, South Georgia and the Caribbean—more than any other VA healthcare network nationwide. This means that more than 75% of women Veterans enrolled for VA healthcare in VISN 8 were seen by providers in 2013.

I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses today and am interested in how they think they could adapt their policies to the unique circumstances the VA deals with every day.