The Cape May County freeholders are bringing enhanced and more accessible medical services to veterans in Cape May County.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in the final stage of opening its new location for the Cape May VA Outpatient Clinic. It is anticipated to open in December 2020 and is located in the County Commons complex in Rio Grande, according to a county news release.
The new clinic will be more centrally located in Cape May County to provide services closer to veterans’ homes.
Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton and Freeholder Jeff Pierson worked with then-Congressman Frank LoBiondo to push the VA for the expanded access. It has been a vision that Thornton and LoBiondo have been working on for over three decades.
During his time in office, LoBiondo worked extensively to expand veterans’ access to healthcare in Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties, the release states.
“This new VA clinic is going to be a real asset to the veterans in our county,” Thornton said. “I want to thank our former Congressman Frank LoBiondo for working so hard for Cape May County and for the VA to listen to the needs of our veterans.”
The new clinic will be double the size of the current one, which is located at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. Services that will be available include a host of expanded offerings, including telehealth capabilities, hearing aid maintenance and repair, prescription drug benefits, physical therapy and optometry services.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the VA to get this facility open in 2020, despite COVID-19,” Pierson said. “This will be a great facility to provide expanded services for our men and women who served.”
The clinic was supposed to open in June but got pushed back due to the pandemic. Cape May County County Counsel Jeff Lindsay made the recommendation to the Freeholder Board when the county purchased what is now known as County Commons that it would be an ideal fit for the clinic. The idea was presented to the VA and they agreed to move forward.
“On behalf of Township Committee and the many veterans that reside in Middle Township, I want to thank the VA and the Freeholder Board for bringing this state-of-the-art clinic to Rio Grande,” Middle Township Mayor Tim Donohue said. “This vital facility will bring the quality healthcare our Cape May County veterans deserve much closer to home. It’s great to see this vision become a reality.”