Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3), a member of the Committee on Veterans Affairs and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, renewed his call for improved access to health care facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Southern New Jersey. In a letter to General Eric Shinseki, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Runyan called on the VA to alleviate the long distances South Jersey veterans must travel to reach the nearest VA facility.
"My district is home to the largest number of veterans in the state of New Jersey. Making sure they have convenient access to VA facilities remains one of my top priorities in Congress." Runyan said.
"It is unacceptable that a veteran in Tuckerton, New Jersey must travel an hour and a half through dense traffic to get to the closest VA medical center in Philadelphia. While the community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) at Fort Dix provides an important service for veterans, gaining entrance to a clinic can be difficult because of the additional security. It is also too small to be able to offer many of the needed treatments for all of South Jersey's veterans." Runyan added.
Congressman Runyan is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1298, the Veterans Efficiencies Through Savings Act of 2011, also known as the VETS Act, which would direct the VA to examine CBOC and VA medical center locations like those in South Jersey. Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) is the chief sponsor of the legislation and has led the effort in Congress on this issue. As a member of the Veterans Affairs committee, Congressman Runyan is pleased to collaborate with Congressman LoBiondo on this critical issue for South Jersey veterans. This analysis would give the VA a better idea of how New Jersey's veterans might be served better and more efficiently.