Multispecialty VA clinic to be built in suburbs west of Honolulu
By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 8, 2021
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced plans Wednesday to build an 88,675 square-foot multi-specialty clinic in the suburbs west of Honolulu.
The new VA clinic will provide primary care, mental health, audiology, female veterans care, physical therapy and dental, among other services.
The Advanced Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access, or ALOHA, project will be built in Kalaeloa, which is near the site of the former Naval Air Station Barbers Point. It is expected to open in fall 2024, the VA said in a news release.
The clinic is expected to reduce wait times and alleviate traffic jams and parking spaces shortages veterans face on the Tripler Army Medical Center campus near downtown Honolulu, where the Spark M. Matsunaga Veterans Affairs Medical Center is located.
The western suburbs are the fastest growing residential area on the island, with vast swathes of former sugarcane fields converted to housing in recent years.
"Leeward Oahu veterans have been waiting for years for a new facility that would improve their access to health care closer to home," Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said in the VA's news release.
More than 87,000 veterans live on Oahu, the VA said.
The Hawaii congressional delegation said in its release Wednesday that the clinic will be named for former U.S. Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka, who died in 2018.
Akaka had first spearheaded the effort to bring a clinic to the quickly growing western part of Oahu.
"Throughout his decades of public service, including as chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Akaka was a determined champion for Hawaii’s veterans," Hirono said.