Goshen VA Clinic closes Thursday
GOSHEN Ind. (WNDU) - A staple among Elkhart County veterans will close for good on Thursday.
Earlier this year, the VA announced that the facility’s contract expires at the end of March, forcing 2,500 veterans to be re-assigned to the St. Joseph County VA Clinic.
An Air Force veteran with chronic health issues, Charlie Speith, Jr., of Elkhart, fears the 40-minute drive to Mishawaka will worsen the pain he experiences daily.
“If I go out for more than a half hour, I have to recover at least a day,” said Speith.
On Wednesday, Alex Sharpe, spokesperson for VA Northern Indiana Health Care System released a statement:
“Veterans are always at the center of our health care services at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System. We are actively pursuing a new clinic, however, the future location is unknown at this time. The new Patient Aligned Care Teams at the St. Joseph County (SJC) VA Health Care Center are staffed with health care professionals who continue to plan for whole-person care and life-long wellness.
Veterans preferring to receive care at a facility other than the SJC VA Health Care Center may contact the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System at 1(800) 360-8387, extension 71011.
We are honored to partner in taking care of our Veteran’s health.”
Despite his concerns about a longer commute, Speith said he’s grateful for the several years of service he received at the Goshen VA.
“It’s like a second home from home,” he said. “They help to cut the stress, you can actually talk to them, like, you and I are talking like right now. You know, and then go on first name basis, a lot of times, which makes you feel at home - more at ease.”
On Thursday, March 31st, a closing ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. outside the Goshen VA clinic.
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