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Veterans rep contacting lawmakers in wake of VA recommending closure of Northampton facility

The Edward P. Boland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leeds, part of the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Photographed on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
KEVIN GUTTING
/
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
The Edward P. Boland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leeds, part of the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Photographed on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

A veterans services representative says he's letting elected officials know he disagrees with a recommendation to close a VA medical center in Northampton, Massachusetts.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs called for changes in how veterans across the country receive care.

Among them, the VA recommended its Northampton facility be closed. Services provided there would be shifted to Springfield and Newington, Connecticut, and to outside providers.

Tim Niejadlik is the director of the Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans Services district, which covers 25 communities in Franklin County and one in Hampshire County.

He said the additional travel time would cause an undue burden for elderly veterans he works with.

"Here in the next week, our organization will be having a meeting, and we'll probably form a letter and attach all our signatures to that to go to people like [Sens.] Markey and Warren and [Reps.] Neal and McGovern," he said.

Niejadlik said he's hoping concerned citizens will also contact those members of Congress.

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