"I shared with the Secretary the importance of veterans' services being available at the Livermore VA and urged him to consider options that will keep the facility in veterans' hands," said McNerney, who is a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "There are thousands of veterans in the Tri-Valley and surrounding areas who utilize the services provided at the Livermore VA. Its closure would be a tremendous loss for the community."
During their conversation, McNerney urged Secretary Shinseki to revisit decisions made by past Veterans Affairs secretaries to close the Livermore VA. He also invited Shinseki to personally visit the facility.
McNerney has long advocated for the possibility of using the Livermore VA as a site for expanded post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression treatment, given the increased need for this type of treatment and the facility's serene setting.
The Livermore facility on Arroyo Road was opened in 1929 as a tuberculosis hospital, and expanded after World War II. Approximately $20 million in renovations and seismic retrofits were completed in the last decade at the nursing home. Its bucolic location is home to turkeys and other wildlife.
McNerney also spoke to the Secretary regarding the status of the proposed construction of a medical facility for veterans in San Joaquin County. The Department of Veterans Affairs reached a decision in May of last year that the facility would be located in San Joaquin County. A determination about the exact location is under way.
"I urged the Secretary to expedite the selection of a site in San Joaquin County for the new medical facility for veterans," said McNerney. "For years, San Joaquin County veterans have commuted hours, many by bus, to reach medical services. The sooner we provide those services right here in San Joaquin County, the sooner we will be able to better meet our commitment to care for our area's veterans."