COLUMBUS –State lawmakers are taking a stand in support of Southern Ohio veterans and the Chillicothe VA Medical Center.
The Ohio House of Representatives today approved House Concurrent Resolution 46, sponsored by State Representatives Mark Johnson (R-Chillicothe) and Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), urging President Biden not to recommend to Congress that the VA Medical Center be closed.
House members supported the Resolution by a unanimous 89-0 vote.
“The Chillicothe VAMC serves approximately 20,000 veterans each year,” Johnson said. “It’s a critical resource for Southern Ohioans who served this country and put their lives on the line.”
“There is no valid reason for closing this facility. None,” Wilkin said. “What the Washington bureaucrats need to do is come to Chillicothe, thank the men and women of Southern Ohio for their service to America, and make a commitment that this facility will remain open.”
Discussion of closing the medical center began back in March when the Department of Veteran Affairs released a 73-page report, ultimately finding the hospital to be inconveniently located.
Since 1924, however, the hospital has been the closest and most comfortable care for veterans in 17 counties across Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The care provided includes physical and mental health treatment, a vocational school, and daily activities such as the VA memorial Baseball Stadium, a golf course, pool and chapel.
In addition to being the largest, it has also undergone $128 million worth of renovations and updates to ensure state of the art care. Such large investments have resulted in improvements to the mental health ward and primary care building, as well as affordable housing directly on campus available to homeless veterans.
During the committee process, proponent witnesses included the American Federation of Government Employees and Dress Right Dress Inc.
HCR 46 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.