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Booker Adds Support to Outpatient Clinic for Sussex Veterans

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., added his support Tuesday to establishing a Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic somewhere in Sussex County to serve veterans living in the northwestern corner of the state.

The idea of a clinic is also supported by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11th Dist., who attended a roundtable meeting in October at which the idea of a clinic was pushed. The Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders also passed a resolution supporting such a clinic.

In a letter Tuesday, Booker mentions Frelinghuysen’s support and noted that the senator has strongly supported programs for veterans, including the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, signed into law last year.

Veterans in Sussex, Warren and western Morris County said they have to travel more than 40 miles to receive care at a clinic and noted that Sussex and Warren are the only two counties in New Jersey that don’t have a veterans’ outpatient clinic.

It is my strong belief that a VA (clinic) in Sussex County will help to fill a gap in service for veterans living in this region, Booker wrote in the letter addressed to Kenneth Mizrach, director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System.

Booker said that the system is currently participating in a nationwide VA Integrated Planning Initiative, a study expected to take about 14 months and will assess future demand, including gaps in service.

I would like to see this assessment take into consideration the distances veterans in these counties travel to receive medical care, Booker wrote.

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