WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla Veterans Affairs Medical Center announced Wednesday that it has hired 6.8 new mental health professionals as part of a national initiative.
The VA arrived at that number by using a formula that adds up the full-time and part-time positions it has created, spokeswoman Linda Wondra said.
Nationally, the hiring was part of President Obama's 2012 executive order to improve mental health access for veterans, service members and their families by hiring 1,600 new professionals.
In a statement, Walla Walla VA acting director Deborah McCormick said the hospital is using tele-mental health services to reach people at its outpatient clinics.
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Wondra said hiring for mental health positions takes priority over all other jobs at the VA. For information on applying, go to vacareers.va.gov.