Advocates Decry Closing of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Program in Amherst

Aug. 10, 2018
The Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic located in this building near Whole Foods Market on Sheridan Drive in the Northtown Plaza is closing. Patients can choose a new provider, but advocates say the center provides a sense of camaraderie that can't be replaced. (Google StreetView)
The Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic located in this building near Whole Foods Market on Sheridan Drive in the Northtown Plaza is closing. Patients can choose a new provider, but advocates say the center provides a sense of camaraderie that can’t be replaced.

Family members and volunteers say the closing this fall of an outpatient health care center located in the Northtown Plaza is a painful blow to the veterans it serves.

Local Department of Veterans Affairs administrators decided to shut down the program, located in the Northtown Business Center on Sheridan Drive, because they say the property owner intends to tear down the building as part of its overhaul of Northtown Plaza. WS Development said it has other intentions for the space but it has not decided whether to demolish the building.

The VA has told veterans and their families that they must find a private treatment program to replace the services offered at the outpatient center. The VA will cover the cost of any new treatment, but advocates say the community-based programs won’t offer the same benefits or sense of camaraderie the veterans enjoyed at the Northtown Plaza center.

“It’s like a fraternity. It can’t be duplicated on the outside,” said Judi Czora, a Snyder resident who has volunteered with the VA program for 10 years.
Read more…

Comments are closed.