rap #233 11/30/10
FREEHOLDERS CONTINUE PUSH FOR SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY VA HOSPITAL
OCEAN COUNTY’S Freeholders are continuing their efforts to bring a Veterans Administration hospital to Southern New Jersey.
The Freeholders praised the New Jersey General Assembly for passing a bill that would create a special task force to study the need for a VA hospital in
the southern half of the state.
"There is a growing need for medical services to veterans living in Ocean County," said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean
County Veterans Service Bureau.
While the VA does operate the James J. Howard Clinic in Brick, veterans needing access to a full hospital must travel to Philadelphia, East Orange and
Newark to access Veterans Administration hospitals.
Little said the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders has been leading the charge for a new facility for the past several years.
"More than 68,000 veterans live in Ocean County and that number should play a significant part in a decision on whether a VA hospital is located in
southern New Jersey," he said.
He noted that many of these veterans served during World War II and as they age their need for medical care increases.
Little added a VA hospital serving the region would also help the caregivers and family members who provide the transportation to and from the hospitals
located more than an hour outside of the area.
"Our veterans deserve nothing but the best for all the sacrifices they have made," Little said. "Easier and more convenient access to medical care for
our local brave men and women must be a priority for the VA," Little said.
The bill creating the special task force now heads to the Senate.
Little said he would like to see at least one Ocean County representative appointed to the task force, once the legislation is signed into law.