Congressman Anthony Brindisi fought to protect the Bainbridge VA clinic in Chenango County at a House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee hearing yesterday and confirmed with Dr. Richard Stone of the Veterans’ Health Administration that the clinic will not close in December 2019, as was previously proposed. Brindisi invited Stone to visit the Bainbridge facility and see firsthand the need it fills for Chenango County Veterans.

“The bureaucracy down in Washington does not know what it is like to try and access care in our rural communities,” said Brindisi. “It would be helpful for them to see the Bainbridge facility firsthand and tell the Albany VA to put the brakes on this move. I don’t want to have VA stay in a location that’s not conducive to serving the needs of the Veterans in that community, but I also think that some of the analysis that’s been done in that region is flawed, and I’d like to point that out to the VA.”

Stone agreed to visit the clinic to better understand how rural Veterans receive care.

Additionally, Brindisi confronted VA representatives over their premature decision to move the Bainbridge clinic before conducting necessary Market Area Assessments.

More than 3,600 Veterans reside in Chenango County and any closure of the Bainbridge facility would result in a disruption in care for many of them.

Brindisi spoke with Stone about the proposal to move the Bainbridge facility in April at a House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee hearing. A pillar of Brindisi’s “Serving Upstate New York Veterans” plan is supporting rural Veterans. Brindisi will continue to look for bipartisan solutions to improve care for all Veterans.