House Passes Ruiz-Authored Legislation to Rename Palm Desert VA Clinic in Honor of Local Veteran Seymour Kaplan
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation authored by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., CA-36, to rename the outpatient clinic of the Department of Veterans in Palm Desert in memory of local veteran and advocate, Seymour “Sy” Kaplan.
Kaplan was a decorated World War II veteran who served as the commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 78 in the Coachella Valley. Kaplan, who also served as a member of Dr. Ruiz’s Veterans Advisory Board, is credited with bringing a VA clinic to Palm Desert through his advocacy and leadership in the community. He passed away in 2019.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Ruiz took to the House floor to honor Kaplan’s legacy and celebrate H.R. 7925’s passage out of the House.
“A decorated World War II veteran with a relentless passion for service, Sy’s leadership helped countless local veterans find healing, community, and a sense of purpose,” said Dr. Ruiz. “I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to ensure his name is forever etched into our Desert’s history at a place where our veterans receive quality care.”
Dr. Ruiz’s legislation is supported by veterans’ organizations in the Coachella Valley and throughout the State of California.
“Sy was the force behind Chapter 78 of the Disabled American Veterans for more than 20 years. He helped countless numbers of veterans with counseling and benefits. His greatest accomplishment was persuading the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Hospital in Loma Linda to open a satellite clinic in Palm Desert, California,” said Robert L. Solomon, Sr. Vice Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 78. “His continuation of working with the clinic led to expanded services. That led to moving to a larger facility with even more services and now to a third move with even greater services. We see no better way of honoring this man than naming the new clinic after him.”
“Mr. Kaplan, a force to be reckoned with, was the catalyst in the establishment of the clinic. His tireless commitment to all veterans was inspiring,” said Nancy Casey, Jr. Vice Commander of the Department of California Disabled American Veterans. “A highly decorated war hero, Mr. Kaplan spent a lifetime giving to the veteran community, not only in the desert community but the State of California.”
“Seymour ‘Sy’ Kaplan was the founder of the Sun City Palm Desert Veterans & Friends Club. He was an untiring worker who always thought about other people before himself,” said Michael J. Mitrosky, Jr., President of the Sun City Veterans & Friends Club. “He procured funding for the establishment of the Palm Desert VA Clinic and also volunteered his time working there…[He] dedicated his life to helping veterans.”
- Seymour Kaplan Veterans Center: Illustration