Gottheimer Calls on NJ Veterans Affairs to Follow Through on Commitments to Improve Veterans’ Access to Care

Mar 06, 2020

Gottheimer builds on work for North Jersey's vets — Gottheimer fights for timely access to care, PTSD and mental health services, female vet health care

This week, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) continued his fight for greater access to health care and services for North Jersey veterans and called on Director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, Vincent Immiti, to provide updates and to follow through on previous commitments to improve veterans’ access to care.

In his letter to Immiti today, Gottheimer called for:

  • An update on the number of veterans who have chosen to receive care at New Bridge Medical Center (NBMC), and how many have been approved by the VA, following Gottheimer’s January announcement that North Jersey veterans are eligible for care at NBMC, as an approved provider in the VA’s Community Care Network (CCN);
  • Confirmation that the VA has approved veterans to receive care at the ImageCare Center, co-located with the Sussex VA Clinic in Newton, NJ, following a November 2019 update that the ImageCare Center has been enrolled in the CCN;
  • The VA New Jersey Health Care System to follow through on its commitment to expand the availability of mental health care at the Sussex VA Clinic, either by hiring additional specialists or contracting with a larger mental health practice;
  • An update on the potential Secaucus location for a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) dedicated to women veterans in Northern New Jersey.

“We must always have the backs of those who have had ours: the brave men and women who have served our nation and defended our freedoms,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “What they need is greater access to care, better care, faster care — the care that they deserve. I’m looking forward to the VA moving forward on their commitments to provide greater access to care for veterans across Northern New Jersey.”

This week’s letter is a continuation of Gottheimer’s efforts on behalf of veterans in Sussex, Warren, and Bergen Counties, including his help in establishing the mental health care services at the Sussex VA Clinic in April 2018 and his help in allowing health care referrals to New Bridge Medical Center begin in January 2020. This push to increase service is in direct response to growing demand.

In January 2020, Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Bergen County Executive James Tedesco announced that eligible North Jersey veterans would now be able to receive referrals for care at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, following the hospital’s approval as a VA Community Care Network provider and support from Gottheimer and local veterans. This would provide North Jersey veterans with shorter drive times and greater access to care for veterans in the Fifth District.

This past fall, Gottheimer met with New Jersey VA Director Vincent Immiti to express his support for VA patient referrals to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, as well as expanding access to care throughout North Jersey, including at the Sussex VA clinic, a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Newton, NJ.

In Sussex and Warren Counties, veterans receive mental health care and other services from the Sussex VA Clinic, a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), in Newton, NJ. Currently, the VA is only able to offer in-person mental health care about twice a month. With an average of 20 veterans dying by suicide per day in this country, demand for mental health care has increased and veterans using the Sussex VA Clinic now require greater access to care. Director Immiti has previously committed to increasing services to weekly mental health availability in Newton, but that has yet to occur.

Read Gottheimer’s letter HERE.


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