Maloney Urges VA Secretary Nicholson to Announce Manhattan and Brooklyn VA Hospitals Will Remain Open

Aug 10, 2006
Press Release
NEW YORK, NY - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) urged Veterans Administration (VA) Secretary James Nicholson to use his visit on Friday to the Veterans Administration Hospital on 23rd Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan (the “Manhattan VA Hospital”) to announce that the Bush Administration will be keeping open both the Manhattan and Brooklyn VA Hospitals (letter to Nicholson).

In her letter, Congresswoman Maloney said: “The Veterans Administration cannot eliminate affiliations with world class medical institutions without degrading the quality of care for veterans.  It would be impossible to move these hospitals to new locations without impacting access to care. . . I hope you will use your visit to the Manhattan VA Hospital tomorrow to make clear that the United States will not forget the New York veterans who helped to fight for freedom around the globe. These veterans should continue to have access to the quality health care they need and deserve.”

Congresswoman Maloney pointed out: “The Manhattan VA Hospital has Centers of Excellence in cardiac surgery, cardiovascular surgery, HIV/AIDS, dialysis, rehabilitation medicine and neurosurgery.  The VA has cited the hospital as the premier hospital for cardiac surgery outcomes in the country.   The Manhattan VA Hospital is also the only facility in the entire Northeast corridor that makes prosthetics.”

The VA is in the process of an evaluation of the feasibility of closing one or both of the VA Hospitals as part of its Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) initiative.  PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which has been asked to conduct the evaluation, made nine recommendations last fall, three of which would keep both hospitals open.  The Local Advisory Panel (LAP) of the CARES Commission recommended those three choices for further study, and rejected the options which would have closed either of the hospitals.  The Secretary, however, has sole discretion to decide whether to choose the options recommended by the LAP, to choose some of the options rejected by the LAP, or to suggest other options of his own.