Local Vets To Make Case For VA Hospital In Ogdensburg

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It won't be a face-to-face meeting with the governor like they had hoped, but some local veterans say they will carry the same message to state officials when they meet in Albany next week - open a veterans hospital in St. Lawrence County.
 
Operation Veterans Chairman Joe Cosentino says he is hoping to convince state veterans officials to conduct a feasibility study on what it would cost to convert the former Pritchard Pavilion on the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center grounds into a veterans hospital and what type of need exists.
 
Since the grass roots campaign was first launched 8 months ago, momentum has been slowly building.

With close to 50,000 veterans in the tri-county area - including more than 9,000 in St. Lawrence County alone - supporters say such a hospital is a necessity.

Despite outpatient veterans clinics in Massena, Watertown and Malone, vets often face lengthy appointment delays when they have to travel to VA hospitals in Syracuse or Albany for treatment of serious medical issues.
 
There would also be an economic impact to consider by locating a VA hospital in Ogdensburg, which not only would provide medical services but could create hundreds of jobs.
 
The local veterans will only have an hour to make their case when they meet with state veterans officials on Tuesday.

They say it's time that will be spent wisely.

Friday, August 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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