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Shaheen, Hassan Push VA to Address Urgent Infrastructure Failures at Manchester VA Medical Center Following Recent Incidents

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough pushing the VA to address urgent infrastructure failures at the Manchester VA Medical Center and prioritize building a full-service VA hospital in the state.  

“We write to urge you to address the extremely concerning infrastructure failures at the Manchester Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and other VA facilities in New Hampshire,” the Senators wrote. “The VA facility in Manchester continues to suffer from infrastructure-related problems that have significantly reduced its capacity to treat veterans. Last week, for example, water and heating concerns required patients in the Community Living Center to be relocated to other facilities and in-person appointments had to be cancelled. While we commend the staff at the facility for continuing to provide the best possible care to veterans, we urge you to prioritize improvements to this facility and a full-service VA hospital in New Hampshire. We also request that you brief us on your progress as soon as possible.” 

The Senators also mentioned other infrastructure failures in recent years, including two separate incidents in 2017 and 2022 where a burst water pipe forced the Medical Center to close its operating room for months. 

“These are just some of the examples that highlight the ongoing problems and the critical need for modernized infrastructure at the current Manchester VA Medical Center, as well as the need for a full-service hospital in New Hampshire,” the Senators wrote. 

Read the Senators’ full letter to the VA here. 

Senator Shaheen has spearheaded efforts in the Senate to support  veterans and military families. Shaheen worked to include provisions and helped pass the historic PACT Act, which expanded health care for veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. In the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was signed into law, Shaheen successfully included a provision based on her bipartisan legislation with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) that improves the transferability of military spouses’ occupational licenses and helps alleviate the red tape spouses endure if they’re small business owners moving from state to state with their families. In government funding legislation for FY2022 that was signed into law, Shaheen successfully secured $3 million to implement the legislation. Additionally, the funding legislation included $22 million for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon (BYR) program, which funds the New Hampshire National Guard’s Care Coordination Program. BYR programs provide outreach services to troops returning from deployment, including health care, marriage and financial counseling, substance misuse treatment and mental health services. Shaheen built on these efforts in the FY2023 government funding proposal released by Senate Democrats earlier this year. Last September, Shaheen worked with a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Access for Veterans to Records Act to help more veterans access their service records.