Northport VA Medical Center's future in doubt because of proposed cuts

The news comes after maintenance issues at the medical center. In 2016, its operation rooms were closed because black particles from the air ducts.

News 12 Staff

Mar 23, 2022, 10:04 PM

Updated 759 days ago

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The Northport VA Medical Center may be facing major cuts that could potentially affect the health needs of military veterans on Long Island.
A new plan proposed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission would close the Northport VA's emergency room, sending patients to local hospitals, moving residential rehabilitation treatment to St. Albans VA Medical Center and transitioning outpatient and urgent care services to a new facility in Commack.
The proposal would allow only a few services to be maintained at the Northport VA Medical Center, including inpatient mental health, residential nursing home care and rehabilitation medicine.
The Northport VA Medical Center is currently Long Island's only hospitals dedicated to serving 100,000 veterans in Nassau and Suffolk
Legislators and veterans Wednesday spoke out in opposition of the idea.
Chris Peterkin, a Marine Corps veteran, says he was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, had bladder cancer and was wounded several times in Vietnam.
"I'm completely against it," Peterkin says. "I'm appalled."
Rep. Thomas Suozzi, a candidate for New York governor, says it was a "complete surprise" to him and that he is going to fight it.
The news comes after maintenance issues at the medical center. In 2016, its operation rooms were closed because black particles from the air ducts.
Peterkin says the Northport VA's services have also always been great.
"I don't know anywhere else where I would've gotten the same treatment," Peterkin says. "Don't take it from us."
The secretary of Veterans Affairs said in part: The AIR recommendations seem ill-conceived, had little to no local input and are causing my constituents tremendous anxiety about traveling to different facilities and a lack of consideration for their needs.
News 12 reached out to the commission for a response but has not heard back.


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