DOLE SECURES REVIEW OF PROPOSED CHANGES AT SALISBURY VA MEDICAL CENTER
VA Secretary Responds to Dole's Concerns
In response to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake will conduct a thorough review of proposed changes at the Salisbury VA Medical Center to determine their impact on North Carolina veterans.
"Since coming to the Senate, I have helped secure a substantial increase in veterans' healthcare funding," said Dole, "and I applaud Secretary Peake for taking a timeout to examine how to provide the best possible care for North Carolina veterans."
"I have been troubled by some of the proposed changes at the Salisbury VA Medical Center, as have the veterans and staff affected by them, and it is encouraging to know that those concerns will be given due consideration by Secretary Peake and his staff."
In his letter to Dole announcing the decision, Secretary Peake wrote, "In response to your letters of October 1 and October 8 regarding proposed changes to the Salisbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), I have asked my staff to review and consider the issues you have raised, and to provide me with the results of that review not later than November 15. I would be happy to share the results upon conclusion of my review."
"Our plan must and will consider and respect the perspectives of all stakeholders, especially our veteran patients and VA employees," Peake's letter continues. "In addition, I will ensure that the plan provides personal assistance to veterans who may be affected by any proposed changes. We will also work with the employee union and with individual employees who could potentially be impacted by any changes to offer opportunities to continue working at the Salisbury VAMC or at other VA facilities."
In her October 8 letter to Secretary Peake, Dole pushed for answers on several critical concerns raised by affected veterans and staff, and wrote, "If there is any amount of hesitancy in answering these questions, I implore the VA to reevaluate its options."