Northport veterans voice disdain over hospital

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There was no shortage of feedback for Vincent Immiti from the group of about 30 veterans who attended the town hall event. There was no shortage of feedback for Vincent Immiti from the group of about 30 veterans who attended the town hall event.
NORTHPORT -

The interim Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Director held his first public meeting Monday night, just five weeks into the job.

There was no shortage of feedback for Vincent Immiti from the group of about 30 veterans who attended the town hall event.

The biggest complaint was the hospital's aging infrastructure.

"Basically, the place is falling apart," says Hutch Dubosque.

As News 12 has reported, the Northport VA has battled black mold and has had issues with broken equipment - at one point shutting down the hospital's five operating rooms and prompting Congress to open an investigation.

Army veteran and VA employee Kevin O'Neal says the hospital's buildings are so damaged that he has safety concerns.

"For us to neglect this is to neglect every veteran that served our country," he says. "It's a disgrace."

Immiti says a five-year plan requesting funding to repair and provide new equipment to the hospital will be sent to VA headquarters on Tuesday.

VA officials say that last year, the Northport facility received $5.8 million in funding, but Immiti admitted that fixing all of the hospital's problems would cost an estimated $279 million.

"We got our issues with infrastructure but we're working through it," he says.

A permanent director for the Northport VA Medical Center has been selected and is expected to take over duties late next month.

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