Goshen VA clinic closing

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 9:16 PM EST
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GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - Elkhart County veterans will soon have to drive farther for medical treatment. This week, the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System (VANIHCS) announced the Goshen VA clinic officially shuts down on March 31st.

VA spokeswoman Alex Sharpe said the clinic in Goshen is contract-operated and that the contract expires at the end of March. The 2,500 veterans will be reassigned to the St. Joseph County VA for medical treatment. Sharpe says the Mishawaka facility comparatively offers more services.

Having to drive – or even being driven - to St. Joseph County is unsettling for Air Force veteran Charlie Speith, who suffers agonizing back pain.

“It doesn’t matter. Sitting down a distance like that messes my back up. Gosh, just going on to the store here in Goshen or something like it, and done that, hurts my back. And that’s only 10 minutes away,” explained Speith.

Sharpe said the influx of veterans will not cause delays in treatment at the St. Joseph County VA, where extra staff are being hired to take on patients.

Still, Speith wants his hometown Goshen clinic to stay.

“We earned that place. Veterans lost their lives to keep that place open for veterans who served and are ill, sick, or whatever their case may be,” Speith said.

VA officials told 16 News Now they are actively pursuing a new government-operated clinic. The project timeline and location are unknown at this time.

Veteran Transportation Services are available to eligible veterans. Disable American Veteran (DAV) are available in South Bend/Warsaw/Goshen/Elkhart (574-522-1480), and Goshen (574-534-6108). Public transportation is also available through Interurban Trolley from Goshen Elkhart and Transpo Mishawaka.

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