Town of North Hempstead officials, members of the North Hempstead Veterans Advisory Committee, U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi and U.S. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice cut the ribbon on the Northport VA Medical Center’s Mobile Unit, which is now stationed at Clinton G. Martin Park three days a week. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, who could not be present for the ceremony, was also a tremendous advocate in getting the van placed in North Hempstead.
The presence of the mobile van comes after Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, the Veterans Advisory Committee and federal representatives Schumer, Rice and Suozzi strongly advocated for the unit to be in place, while a more permanent clinic could be established within North Hempstead’s borders.
Schumer was the first to suggest the van be placed in North Hempstead until the town is able to get a permanent clinic. Rice met with the Veterans Advisory Committee and listened to requests for a committee for a community-based outpatient clinic.
Town officials and members of the Veterans Advisory Committee gathered thousands of signatures on petitions and wrote hundreds of letters calling for a mobile health care unit to be placed with frequency in North Hempstead and are also asking that a permanent Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for veterans be established somewhere in the town.
“Having the mobile unit here with frequency will have a tremendous positive impact for our local veterans,” said Bosworth. “We are so grateful to the Northport VA’s Medical Center and federal representatives for being great teammates in making this a reality.”
“The case to establish this mobile vet center in North Hempstead was compelling given the critical mass of veterans here who served to preserve this country’s freedom,” said Schumer. “They deserve efficient access to top-quality health care much closer to home, while we continue to make the case for a permanent Community Based Outpatient Clinic. I am encouraging local vets to pay a visit to this mobile unit for their everyday medical needs and rest a little easier in knowing that the short trip to get these kinds of services is no longer an inconvenient trek. We thank the VA for recognizing this need and heeding the call.”
The Northport VA Medical Center’s Mobile Unit offers a variety of opportunities for veterans to access quality healthcare in their communities. Some of the services offered by the mobile unit include primary health care, podiatry care and more. The van is staffed with a doctor and nursing staff.
“No veteran should ever go without the care they need simply because of where they live,” said Rice. “But right now, veterans in North Hempstead are over an hour away from the closest VA facility. For elderly veterans, veterans with families and jobs or veterans without access to a car, this trip can be nearly impossible to make on a regular basis. This mobile unit will be a critical resource for the veterans in this community and it brings us one step closer to getting them the high-quality health care they need and deserve.”
“We are so grateful to our veterans for their service and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they have medical care as close to home as possible,” said the Bosworth. “The arrival of the mobile unit, as well as the continued push for a more permanent CBOC, are steps in the right direction. I thanks our federal representatives for their interest, advocacy and dedication to our veterans on this important issue.”
For more information, call the town’s 311 call center.
—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead