Lisa McCormick applauds veterans health service expansion in New Jersey

Artist rendering of new Atlantic County Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Northfield, NJ.

A progressive Democrat who has challenged the dominant political establishment is applauding the expansion of health services for New Jersey veterans, but she said that a universal health system would save Americans $650 billion a year and make it more convenient for those who served in the military to access care.

“The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is set to enhance healthcare services for veterans in Atlantic County, New Jersey, with plans to relocate an existing Community-Based Outpatient Clinic from Northfield to Linwood, just two miles away,” said McCormick. “This move is a welcome part of the VA’s efforts to expand its reach and provide improved access to healthcare for veterans across the state.”

The new Linwood clinic will be more than double the size of the current facility, spanning over 22,000 square feet, according to McCormick, who said the expansion will enable the clinic to offer a wider range of critical services to veterans in South Jersey, meeting the growing demand for quality healthcare in the region.

During the design, construction, and opening of the new clinic, uninterrupted healthcare services will continue to be provided at the Northfield location. The Linwood clinic will feature increased parking capacity and improved transit access, making it more convenient and accessible for veterans in need of medical care.

“Now that we have approval to proceed with 1201 Linwood Acquisitions, LLC, we can begin design of the new site,” said Kim Butler, associate director of the Wilmington VA Medical Center, who expressed enthusiasm about the project. “As design of this new, state-of-the-art clinic progresses, we look forward to involving our staff and stakeholders to ensure we best meet the current and future needs of our veterans.”

Many South Jersey veterans use the Delaware hospital because it is closer than two other facilities in New Jersey.

Jeffery Beiler, interim director of the Wilmington VA hospital, highlighted the importance of expanding services in southern New Jersey.

“In the last five years, we’ve seen more than a 12% increase in the number of veterans we serve in southern New Jersey,” said Beiler. “Our goal is to provide more services to our veterans in their communities. This expanded clinic will not only allow us to increase the services already offered at our current location but also makes space for the addition of new services such as x-ray, CT scan, and physical therapy.”

To enroll in VA healthcare, veterans can visit the VA’s official website at or contact their nearest VA medical center or clinic enrollment office.

In an effort to further improve access to medical care, veterans can now participate in the VA Uber Health Connect program, said McCormick.

This initiative provides supplemental transportation services to eligible veterans, ensuring they can easily access medical care.

“Based on survey feedback from 2,300 veterans between March 2022 and January 2023, 83% of participants stated that without the program, they would not have been able to access their medical care,” said McCormick.

Indra Sandal, Ph.D., the National Lead of VA Uber Health Connect, emphasized the program’s significance, stating, “The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative bridges the transportation gap by ensuring veterans have reliable transportation for their health care needs. By offering ridesharing as an additional means of transportation, VA is helping veterans receive access to the best and soonest possible care while still achieving cost savings.”

The VA Uber Health Connect Initiative was initially launched as a pilot program in 2022 at ten VA Medical Centers. From January 2022 to March 2023, the program completed over 30,000 Uber rides across 408,529 miles for veterans, resulting in estimated cost savings of $35 million.

This program expansion will now be implemented in nine new Veteran Integrated Service Networks and 60 VA Medical Centers.

Transportation barriers pose challenges for many individuals seeking medical care, and the VA Uber Health Connect program aims to address this issue.

According to the American Hospital Association, 3.6 million people in the United States do not obtain medical care due to transportation challenges. This program not only increases access to care but also improves clinical engagement and helps reduce missed appointments.

Fred Fenner, a representative of the local veteran community, expressed his support for the program, stating, “This is a life-altering program that offers our most vulnerable veterans care—the moment they need it. It also advances our ability to offer more accessible, equitable healthcare to our local veteran community.”

Veterans and transportation teams interested in learning more about the VA Uber Health Connect program are encouraged to contact their local facility. For the VANJHCS, individuals can reach out to Fred Fenner at

In addition to these developments, the VA currently operates two hospitals and several clinics across New Jersey to ensure veterans have access to quality medical care and support.

The East Orange VA Medical Center, located at 385 Tremont Avenue, East Orange, NJ, offers a range of services, including mental health care. Veterans can connect with the medical center’s dedicated staff by calling 973-676-1000.

The Lyons VA Medical Center, situated at 151 Knollcroft Road, Lyons, NJ, is another hospital available to veterans. For various medical services, veterans can contact the main phone line at 908-647-0180. Mental health care services are also available at this facility by calling extension 1421.

Moreover, the VA has established several clinics across the state to provide convenient healthcare options for veterans. These clinics include the Hackensack VA Clinic, the Hamilton VA Clinic, the James J. Howard Veterans’ Outpatient Clinic in Brick, the Jersey City VA Clinic, the Morristown VA Clinic, the Paterson VA Clinic, the Piscataway VA Clinic, the Sussex VA Clinic, and the Tinton Falls VA Clinic.

These healthcare facilities, along with the expansion plans, aim to ensure that veterans in New Jersey have access to comprehensive and timely medical care and support.

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