"I will work with my colleagues in Congress to achieve this goal"

New Jersey - With many southern New Jersey veterans traveling more than an hour to receive full-service health care through the Veterans Administration, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez today called on VA officials to take new steps to provide quality care more locally. Menendez urged the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, to use local pilot programs such as the one proposed by Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point.

In a November letter to Secretary Shinseki, Senator Menendez wrote, "Currently, the veterans of the Atlantic and Cape May County areas are forced to travel a minimum of 90 minutes to the nearest full service VA Medical Center. The long distance creates delays and unnecessary barriers to care for veterans who live in this region. Veterans with medical conditions face particularly difficult circumstance traveling long distances."

Senator Menendez said, "The VA's one-size-fits-all policy isn't working. It is a very long drive to go from Atlantic or Cape May County and back for health care, especially when we can provide quality care locally. These men and women have sacrificed for us, and I'll continue to fight to make sure South Jersey's vets have easy access to the medical care they deserve. If the VA won't find a way to provide accessible care to deserving South Jersey vets, I will work with my colleagues in Congress to achieve this goal."