Houlahan Hosts VA Secretary McDonough in Coatesville

Representative Houlahan with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonoughRepresentative Houlahan with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough (Submitted Images)

COATESVILLE, PA — This week, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) hosted the Secretary of Veterans Affairs at the Coatesville VA Medical Center (VAMC) following a March report that proposed the closure of and reconfiguration of services at the Coatesville VAMC. The visit lasted over 5 hours and consisted of a facility tour, roundtable with the leadership of local health care providers, meeting with local union representatives, and discussion with veteran small business owners in the community.

“It was an honor to visit the Coatesville VA Medical Center where they continue to provide world-class care, particularly in the areas of mental health and women’s health,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough.  “I was hosted by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, who is a staunch advocate for Pennsylvania’s Veterans. We were able to talk with Veterans, staff and community health leaders about the current healthcare environment impacting Veterans.  We assured them that Coatesville VA Medical Center continues to provide the health care that Veterans have come to expect and recruit, hire and retain the top-notch health care professionals to provide it.”

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“The Coatesville VAMC has faithfully served our community for 93 years. It was my privilege to spend the entire afternoon with the dedicated staff of the Coatesville VAMC while hosting VA Secretary Denis McDonough in our community,” said Houlahan. “I’m pleased the Secretary accepted my invitation to learn more about our veterans and the facilities they use here at home in Pennsylvania, and I appreciate his willingness to engage in thoughtful conversations with area health care providers, veteran small business owners, union representatives, and the veterans who use our VA’s services.  Our veteran population continues to diversify, and I value Secretary McDonough’s commitment to caring for the changing needs of those who have served our great country.”

Coatesville VAMC
L to R: Jim Paradis, President, Paoli Hospital; Barbara Wadsworth, COO, MainLine Health; Rep. Dwight Evans, PA-03; Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, PA-06; Michael Duncan, President, Chester County Hospital; Secretary Denis McDonough, Veterans Affairs; Kevin Mahoney, CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health Systems; Jeffrey Beiler, CVAMC Medical Director; Coatesville VAMC employee

Since the report also proposed the closure of a second facility located in Representative Dwight Evans’ (D-PA) district, he joined for several events following his morning hosting the VA Secretary in Philadelphia.

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“Helping our veterans is a top priority for me, so I was pleased to meet with Secretary McDonough both in Philadelphia and Coatesville as part of my advocacy for veterans’ services and VA employees,” said Evans. “I know Representative Houlahan, a veteran herself, will continue to be an important partner in making sure Southeastern Pennsylvania veterans receive the care they have earned.”

Randy Gelman
Representative Houlahan talks with an area veteran, Randy Gelman, about the importance of veteran health care services.

“I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to the Congresswoman today at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, and I appreciate her taking time out of her schedule to speak with me and a couple of other veterans,” said Randy Gelman, a veteran who receives health care at the Coatesville VAMC. “I hope she continues to fight to keep this VA open—it provides a great deal of service to myself and other veterans.”

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Houlahan added: “Everyone I have talked to in our community about the issue of veteran health care, especially in the months following the released report regarding the Coatesville VAMC, is deeply committed to ensuring our area veterans have quality, accessible care. We must work together to ensure that happens, and I will continue to keep my door open to hear from concerned veterans, their families, and VA workers about the future of health care in our community.”

The Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission is the entity charged with meeting, by February of 2023, to provide recommendations to the Biden Administrations on next steps, including the future of the Coatesville VAMC. The AIR Commission consists of five commissioners nominated by President Biden, and one commissioner nominated by each member of House and Senate leadership. To date, only Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have not provided their nominations.

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