Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Max McIntosh, the director of the VA's Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics (SORCC) in White City, Oregon, who will retire tomorrow, March 30, after 39 years of service to the VA.
Since 2003, Max has run the SORCC, transitioning it from a domiciliary into a world class rehabilitation center and a system of clinics for veterans in southern Oregon. He came to the clinic two years earlier as Chief Operating Officer.
When he arrived, the SORCC served 7,000 outpatients in the region--no small feat. Today, through the good work of Max and his staff of over 500 employees and another 500 volunteers, the SORCC cares for 450 residential patients and 18,000 outpatients in Southern Oregon. These are men and women who have worn the nation's uniform to defend our freedom and cherished way of life, and they deserve the highest levels of care. Max made sure that they received it.
In his years as director of the SORCC, Max and the facility have adapted to serve our nation's heroes--from those who served in World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan. Vocational rehabilitation and employment services place veterans with community employers and partners. They have programs focused on post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention, and clinics on chronic pain and diabetes. They recently instituted a system of home-based primary care, caring for veterans in their homes.
Perhaps the greatest challenge he faced in his tenure was among the first, when a proposal was floated to close or reduce services at the SORCC. Max stood arm-in-arm with me and the rest of the community as a fierce advocate for the facility. Today it stands as a nationally known veteran rehabilitation center, in no small part because of Max's leadership.
When I spent Veterans Day with Max and the veterans of southern Oregon at the SORCC this past November, I noted that ``A nation is judged by the way it takes care of the people who protect its freedom.'' In his 39 years of service to our country, Max has made us proud. I understand that he's already signed up to do volunteer work at the SORCC.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of a grateful community, state, and nation, I thank Max for his service to this country's heroes, and wish him well as he moves on.
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