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U.S Congressman Yakym visits Jackie Walorski Veterans Affairs Clinic

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U.S Congressman Rudy Yakym visited the Jackie Walorski clinic on Friday, Jan. 20 as part of his On the Road with Rudy Second District Tour.

Congressman Yakym visited the newly named Jackie Walorski Veterans Affairs Clinic on Friday.

The clinic was named after the late Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, who was killed in a car crash on Aug 2, 2022. Two of her staffers, Zach Potts, 27 and Emma Thomson, 28 died in the collision. The driver of the other vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56 also died in the accident.

The VA’s interim assistant director, Matthew Kelly gave Yakym a tour of all the facilities. During the tour, he got a chance to visit and talk with veterans. He said wanted to continue Walorski’s relationship and legacy to veterans and the clinic.

“Making sure that we stay close with our veterans who are receiving care here, as well as making sure that veterans are aware that they can come here,” he said.

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Friday Sept. 30 renaming the St. Joseph County VA Clinic to the Jackie Walorski VA Clinic.

Walorski had a close relationship with the VA clinic.

She worked with Sen. Joe Donnelly to secure a new 89,000 sq foot VA facility for veterans in the region. The VA opened the $38 million facility in Mishawaka in 2017 to expand services for local veterans. The facility was previously in South Bend.

Walorski was also on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Yakym was selected to take over the rest of Walorski's term as U.S Congressman and was later elected to a full two year term beginning this month.

Yakym said he hopes to honor Walorski's close partnership with veterans.

“Jackie was someone who really fought for our veterans, she made sure that they had the care that they needed.. And so in continuation of Jackie's legacy, working with veterans working with the VA clinic, really saw today a whole complement of services that they offer here to veterans locally,” he said.

Rachel Schnelle is a Reporter/Assignment editor for WVPE. She can be reached at reschnelle@wvpe.org.
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