SHAHEEN CALLS FOR EXPANDED ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE FOR NH VETERANS

Shaheen joined Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the event

June 18, 2010

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today visited the Manchester VA Medical Center and called for greater access to medical care for New Hampshire veterans.  Shaheen discussed the issue with Tammy Duckworth, the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who also attended the event.

"The staff of the Manchester VA Medical Center does an excellent job of caring for our veterans, but the fact remains that New Hampshire is still the only state without a full-service VA hospital or equivalent," said Shaheen.  "Expanding services for New Hampshire veterans continues to be a top priority of mine and I look forward to working with the VA to provide our veterans with the best access to health care as possible."

Expanding access to medical care for veterans has been a top priority for Shaheen since she took office.  The first legislation she introduced as a U.S. Senator was to establish a full-service VA hospital or equivalent services in New Hampshire, and thanks in part to her efforts, last year New Hampshire veterans became eligible to receive care on a contractual basis through Concord Hospital, but she believes more needs to be done.

Veterans make up ten percent of New Hampshire's population, many of whom have to take long trips to get the care they need because they live in rural areas.  Expanding access to local care is critical to fulfilling the commitment we make to our veterans who put their lives on the line to protect our country, particularly as the country begins to address the needs of our expanding veteran population and treat the mental health disorders that are a common effect of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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