North Hempstead to get mobile VA clinic from Northport

North Hempstead to get mobile VA clinic from Northport
Supervisor Bosworth, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, the Town Board and North Hempstead veterans at a press conference this summer calling for federal funding for a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in North Hempstead. (Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

The Northport Veteran Affairs Medical Center will station a mobile health care clinic in the Town of North Hempstead in October, officials said last week, although schedules haven’t been finalized.

The move comes as town officials, federal representatives and the town’s Veterans Advisory Committee have pushed for the establishment of a permanent community-based outpatient clinic in North Hempstead.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said that because of long commuting times, the “mobile unit will have a tremendously positive impact” for local veterans.

“We are so grateful to our veterans for their service and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they have medical care as close to home as possible,” Bosworth said. “The arrival of the mobile unit, as well as the continued push for a more permanent CBOC, are steps in the right direction.”

According to a town news release, the mobile unit will be stationed at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park three days a week starting in October. It will be staffed with a doctor and nursing staff.

Levi Spellman, a spokesman for the Northport VA Medical Center, said the location is finalized but officials are “still working out specifics as far as days of the week” and exact services.

“The mobile unit is still being worked out because we have multiple needs across the island,” Spellman said, noting that the agency also plans to offer services in Glen Cove.

Spellman said that the mobile clinics are part of a larger effort to improve access to health care for veterans, with the VA also investing in Telehealth services so veterans can have their symptoms monitored and get care from home.

“This is all part of the VA’s push to ensure access to quality care for our veterans and we’re working at a number of different ways,” Spellman said.

There are currently five community-based outpatient clinics on Long Island, according to the VA website. Two of them – Valley Stream and East Meadow – are in Nassau County, with the other three based in Suffolk County.

Rich DeMartino, a Veterans Advisory Committee member from New Hyde Park, said the closest clinic for basic check-ins is in East Meadow but that anyone needing more has to travel to Northport – which isn’t easy for older veterans.

Consequently, he said, the mobile clinic is “definitely a step in the right direction.”

“It’s nice to know there will be something close by,” DeMartino said.

The schedule, once it is finalized, will be on the town website and available by calling 311.

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