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Secretary Denis McDonough Visits Greenville CBOC and Clemson University

Denis McDonough takes a selfie with staff of the Columbia VAHCS’ Greenville Community-Based Outpatient Center.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough engages with staff of the Columbia VAHCS’ Greenville Community-Based Outpatient Center during a visit to South Carolina’s Upstate, Feb. 15.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, Feb. 15, visiting the Greenville Vet Center, the Greenville Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, and Clemson University.

When asked why he chose to visit South Carolina, McDonough responded, “I really wanted to come here because in this region we are growing very fast… In fact, over the last year, we’ve grown 4 percent overall. Importantly this is one of the facilities with the fastest growing proportion of women Veterans. It grew at over 14 percent last year. 

Beginning his itinerary at the Greenville Vet Center, which offers counseling and mental health support for Veterans, service members, and their families, McDonough engaged in candid discussions with Veterans and staff members, gaining valuable insights into their experiences and concerns. The visit highlighted the importance of community-based services in providing tailored support to Veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Continuing his tour, McDonough proceeded to the Greenville Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), where he met with local staff members and engaged with members of the media. In a gesture of appreciation for their dedication, McDonough awarded select staff members with his service coin, acknowledging their exceptional contributions to Veterans' care.

“It was an honor to have the VA secretary acknowledge the great work that is being done in the homeless programs here at the local level. I told him it was definitely a Team effort, and we have one of the best Teams out there,” said Columbia VAHCS’ Health Care for Homeless Veterans Coordinator - Upstate, Sherry Martell, who received recognition for her exemplary work with the HCHV Program.  

Addressing the gathered media representatives, McDonough reaffirmed the administration's commitment to enhancing the accessibility and quality of healthcare services for Veterans. He emphasized the pivotal role played by community-based facilities like the Greenville CBOC in delivering personalized care to veterans closer to their homes.

The Columbia VA Health Care System is also the only VA Health Care System in the nation that had the honor of hosting the Secretary during National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, a week that is dedicated to recognizing and honoring Veteran patients for their selfless sacrifices.

Following his visit to the CBOC, Secretary McDonough made his way to Clemson University, where he participated in a roundtable discussion with members of Clemson's Student Veteran Association. The dialogue centered on the unique challenges faced by student Veterans and explored opportunities to further support their academic and personal endeavors.

McDonough's engagement with the student veteran community at Clemson University underscored the administration's holistic approach to Veterans' support, encompassing healthcare, education, and community integration. The roundtable provided a platform for meaningful exchange and collaboration between government officials from VHA & VBA, and student Veterans.

Reflecting on his visit to Greenville and Clemson, Secretary McDonough reiterated the administration's commitment to ensuring that veterans receive the care, support, and resources they need to thrive. He emphasized the importance of fostering partnerships between government agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations to better serve veterans across the nation.

In response to McDonough's visit, Rebecca Strini, Acting Director of the Columbia VAHCS expressed gratitude for the Secretary's support and pledged to continue serving veterans with compassion and dedication.

“We're grateful for Secretary McDonough's visit and support. We will continue our mission and provide high quality care to our veterans," said Rebecca Strini, Columbia VAHCS acting director. 

As Secretary McDonough concluded his tour of Greenville and Clemson, he left behind a renewed sense of optimism and collaboration in the ongoing effort to honor and support the nation's Veterans. With steadfast leadership and meaningful engagement, the administration aims to build a brighter future for veterans and their families, ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten.

For comprehensive information on the services available to Veterans in and around Columbia, including clinic locations and more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (keyword: VAColumbiaSC) to stay up on the latest at the Columbia VAHCS.