The Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District strongly opposes any plans to close the Northampton VA Medical Center. Amid reports that the center is on a list of aging facilities targeted for possible closure in the coming years, the district is calling on the public to contact federal elected officials and urge them to fight to keep the center open.
“We are firmly against this proposal, and believe it would cause an undue burden on the veterans in this district,” said Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services Director Timothy Niejadlik. “The VA has invested millions of dollars in the Northampton campus in the last two years. The construction is ongoing today, so why close it?”
More than 2,000 Franklin County veterans receive health care at the Northampton facility. Many outside providers are not accepting new patients, or do not accept VA Health Care.
“To close the Northampton VA Medical Center is preposterous and just plain wrong. The worst part is that the thousands of veterans and their families from Western Massachusetts counties would have to travel to either Springfield or out of state to Newington, Connecticut to receive their services, treatment and rehabilitation. This greatly affects our Franklin County veterans. Veterans Services Agent Tim Niejadlik and I stand together in strong opposition to this closure,” said Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner.
“Veterans in our district will see travel times increase from an average of 25 minutes to over 45 minutes for services moved to Springfield without taking into account city traffic delays,” said Niejadlik. “I’m also concerned about what this means for the future of the VA Clinics in Greenfield and Brattleboro.”
The Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District is calling on residents to contact their representatives in Washington and urge them to fight for quality, local health care for Upper Pioneer Valley veterans:
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Senator Elizabeth Warren: 413-788-2690
Congressman Richard Neal: 413-785-0325
Congressman Jim McGovern: 413-341-8700