SPARTA, N.J. – An Assembly panel today advanced a resolution Assemblyman Parker Space sponsors supporting the expansion of access to healthcare to veterans residing in Sussex County. The bill, AR-213, which supports the establishment of a federal Department of Veterans Affairs community-based clinic in Sussex County, was approved by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Nearly 50,000 veterans reside in Sussex County and its neighboring counties, but because Sussex and Warren counties do not have a VA outpatient clinic, our veterans have to travel unreasonable distances to receive the healthcare they have earned,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Many men and women who served and sacrificed suffer from PTSD or have debilitating injuries and do not have the means to travel.
“Access to high-quality healthcare shouldn’t be a burden. There’s no question there is a need for a clinic in Northwest Jersey,” he continued. “I am privileged and honored to support this effort.”
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS) provides veterans with access to medical care, with an emphasis on primary care, surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy. Its two main campuses are in East Orange (the corporate office), and Lyons. Satellite outpatient clinics are located in Brick Township, Elizabeth, Hackensack, Hamilton, Jersey City, Morristown, Paterson, Piscataway and Tinton Falls.
“I would like to thank Assemblyman Space for introducing this important resolution. Veterans in Sussex County need access to basic primary care medical services and the Assemblyman understands that,” said Michael J. DeVilliers, who, along with local veterans, asked Space and Senator Steve Oroho to introduce resolutions calling for a VA clinic in Sussex County. “Providing medical services to veterans is primarily the federal government’s responsibility, but it’s a tremendous support to know that our state elected representatives are behind our veterans in Sussex County.”
DeVilliers serves as Veteran Services Coordinator at Sussex County Community College.
The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administers nearly 1,400 outpatient clinics and other services for nearly nine million veterans nationwide.
The Senate passed Oroho’s resolution, SR-114, in July. Former Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose is also a resolution sponsor.