VA Medical Center Dedicated at Mather
Spectrum staff writer
Cedric Nichols, a 63-year-old tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger by trade,
found himself rhapsodizing about his first-ever admission to a Veterans Affairs
Nichols, of San Leandro, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958 to 1960,
and in the Marine reserves from 1960 to 1966. He recently checked into the
new inpatient tower at the Sacramento VA Medical Center at Mather Field for
extensive tests to address a blood clot in his right leg.
“They’re trying to find out exactly what’s causing the problem.
I went in on Father’s Day for a blood clot and thought it was all over
with. So they’re doing tests to find out exactly what the problem is,” Nichols
“It’s beautiful. I like the hospital,” he noted while enjoying
a bowl of soup. “The food is good. … I think [the Medical Center]
is great. But they should have more.”
An assessment that would be music to the ears of Anthony J. Principi, secretary
of veterans affairs for the Bush administration.
Speaking by telephone en route to the Oct. 30 dedication of the inpatient tower
from San Francisco, Principi pointed to the Sacramento VA Medical Center as
an example of the administration’s commitment to the post-military medical
needs of America’s war veterans.
“This is not my father’s VA, that’s to be sure,” Principi
said. “If you travel across the country, you’ll see that we’re
doing the same thing throughout America. We’ve opened up some 700 outpatient
clinics in recent years. It’s modern, it’s technologically advanced,
and it’s the place to go for health care.”
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