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September 13, 2021

Rep. David Trone and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough Tour Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Visit Local Veterans, and Discuss Solutions to Veteran Suicide


September 13, 2021

Contact: Sloane Gallagher,  

Rep. David Trone and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough Tour Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Visit Local Veterans, and Discuss Solutions to Veteran Suicide

Congressman David Trone and VA Secretary Denis McDonough at the Montgomery County CBOC and the Platoon Veteran Services Center at Goodwill

FREDERICK, MD — Today, U.S. Congressman David Trone (MD-06) and U.S. Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough visited the Platoon Veteran Services Center at Goodwill in Frederick, the VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Gaithersburg, and met with individuals from the Veterans Institute for Procurement to listen and learn from veterans about the best way to honor their service. 

Each of the stops on the tour covered a different aspect of veteran care. The Platoon Veterans Service Center at Goodwill is a leader in providing comprehensive mental health care to Maryland’s veterans. The VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) helps bring quality care closer to where veterans live and work. And, the Veterans Institute for Procurement provides veterans with the tools to start and run their own businesses. 

“As the son of a Veteran, I know our Veterans have sacrificed so much to ensure that we are safe. That’s why making sure they receive the best physical and mental health care is one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Rep. David Trone. “I am grateful that Secretary McDonough visited Maryland to both learn from our community’s successes and see the challenges we face. I’m excited to continue working on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to take what I learned today and turn it into solutions.”

“It was great to meet with Congressman Trone and hear first-hand the concerns of Maryland Veterans,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “It’s clear they are experiencing many of the same things that their fellow Veterans around the country are experiencing. I’d like to thank them for the service and commitment they’ve given our country. I’d also like to say that whatever they are experiencing, VA is here for them and stands ready to uphold its sacred obligation to care for them as they have done for each of us.” 

During the visit, Trone and McDonough also held a roundtable discussion with veterans and health experts in the community where they discussed how to combat declining mental health challenges, suicide, and substance use disorder. As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, Trone knows the importance of listening to veterans in the community and hearing firsthand what actions he can take to improve their quality of life and help honor their service.

In addition to Trone and McDonough, participants of the roundtable included: 

  • Michael Heimall, DC VA Medical Center, Director
  • Timothy Graham, DC VA Medical Center, Deputy Director
  • Dr. Dominique Neptune, DC VA Medical Center Associate Chief of Staff, Mental Health Division
  • Dr. Cheryl Lowman, DC VAMC, Mental Health Director
  • Dr. Jimmy Ibikunle, Mental Health Chief for CBOC 
  • Della Gbekor, RN, DC VAMC, Substance Abuse Program Coordinator
  • Valerie Ajuonuma, RN, DC VAMC, Mental Health Program Manager, Suicide Prevention Coordinator
  • Rob Wu, Gaithersburg City Councilman

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.