Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to hold telephone town hall focused on veterans affairs in Hawaii

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

UPDATE: To listen to the one hour and 20 minute telephone town hall, click here.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will host a live veterans-focused telephone town hall Tuesday afternoon.

It will be with Jennifer Gutowski, director of the VA Pacific Island Health Care System (VAPIHCS), Karen Gooden, director of the Honolulu Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Ron Han, director of the State of Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services (OVS).

The call will provide an opportunity for Hawaii’s veterans, their families, and our community to get updates on veterans legislation being considered by Congress, receive an overview of resources for Hawaiʻi veterans, and ask state and federal leaders about veterans’ healthcare, benefits, services, and more.

How to register for this event:

  • To dial in to the call at the time of the event, call 888-476-4187 at 4:00pm HST on Tuesday July 25
  • To receive a call reminding you to join this event:
    • Text “TULSI” to 828282, OR
    • Go tocom/reptulsigabbard and enter your name, phone number and email. Once you submit your information, you will receive a confirmation email. Please note: you must click “Verify” in the confirmation email in order to complete your registration

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said: “Hawai‘i veterans continue to face unique challenges accessing the care they’ve earned from the VA, including the geographic challenges posed by our island state, backlogs on benefit claims and appeals, medical provider shortages, and much more. Our veterans’ telephone townhall was an opportunity for VA and state leaders to hear directly from our veteran community on these issues, answer questions and provide updates on what is being done at the state and federal levels to address these concerns, and identify the work that lies ahead in ensuring our veterans receive the very best care and service.  The participation and input of thousands of veterans and community members across Hawaiʻi is critical in helping us move forward together.”

Key concerns raised by veterans on the call include:

  • Federal funding for the VA Choice program, and backlogs on veterans being reimbursed for non-VA medical care accessed through the VA Choice program
  • Access to healthcare services for neighbor island and rural veterans
  • Addressing appeal backlogs at the VA and improving overall responsiveness
  • Access to quality mental health care
  • Extending access to Hawaiʻi veteran treatment courts to veterans incarcerated in Hawaiʻi and sent to the mainland due to prison overcrowding
  • Expanding services and facilities for homeless veterans

Each year, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s office helps hundreds of Hawaiʻi veterans get assistance from the VA and other federal agencies. Constituent advocates are located in every county, and hold regular “casework office hours” to help constituents, including veterans, with federal agency casework.


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