By Courtney Hessler, The Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s congressional delegation sent a letter this week asking President Joe Biden to reject recommendations that would gut three of the state’s Veterans Affairs medical centers.
The Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) report was released earlier this year as part of the 2018 VA Mission Act passed by Congress to review options to “modernize facilities and realign priorities” within the VA health care system nationally.
The recommendations call for three West Virginia Veterans Affairs medical centers — the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, the Beckley VA Medical Center and the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg — to discontinue inpatient medical, surgical and emergency medical services, along with more minor recommendations for smaller facilities. The facilities would instead outsource those procedures to publicly accessible hospitals.
If followed, the moves would result in the loss of about 258 hospital beds in the state…