Congressman Kim Highlights Veteran Stories, Urges Immediate Action on Ocean County Health Facility

June 18, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Kim Highlights Veteran Stories,
Urges Immediate Action on Ocean County Health Facility

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) released the second in a series of stories of veterans impacted by the failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver a new veteran’s health facility to Ocean County.

Today’s release comes one month after Congressman Kim, along with Senators Booker and Menendez, sent a letter to VA officials demanding answers on why the effort to secure a new veterans’ health care facility in Ocean County failed, and asking the VA to provide immediate solutions for New Jersey’s veterans. The letter remains unanswered.

The second story is that of Mary Ruiz, an Army veteran who currently resides in Manahawkin. Mary, like many others, has had issues with the current parking situation and lack of doctors at the James J. Howard VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). “I once was ill with flu-like symptoms and called CBOC in morning and was told to come to the clinic. I waited over two hours only to be told that there were no providers available and to go home and come back later in the week,” Ruiz said of past instances of inadequate care.

 

In May of 2019 Ruiz visited the VA health care facility to get a pregnancy test. “The experience was awful,” said Ruiz. “There was no privacy given when I was told I was pregnant, and there was no provider available to speak to.” Ruiz went on to describe that, “The next time I heard anything from VA was a month later with a list of places to get an ultrasound.  There was no individual care, no guidance after becoming pregnant, no vitamins, no blood work to check on health of mother and baby.”

“I am sharing my story in the hope that other Women Veterans do not have to experience the same things that I did,” said Ruiz. “I am lucky; I have private insurance, so I have choices.  Women who have to rely on the Brick CBOC for their health care should not have to experience 2nd rate care, it’s just not fair and something should be done about it.”

“Mary is right; no veteran should have to endure the second-rate care offered in Ocean County because of the lack of providers,” said Congressman Kim. “The VA needs to come to the table and show they’re truly committed to providing immediate solutions to these problems plaguing our veteran community.”

More information about Congressman Kim’s efforts to press the VA on this issue can be found on his website by clicking here.

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Small Business.  In addition to advocating for a new veterans health facility in Ocean County, Congressman Kim has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect veterans from VA errors and help veterans identify employment opportunities during their transition to civilian life. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.

More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.

 

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