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Focus of Legion meeting in New Haven changes

– The focus of today’s American Legion town-hall meeting in New Haven has changed.

The Legion said last week that the meeting was called to discuss the quality of care that female military veterans receive at the Department of Veterans Medical Center in Fort Wayne. But the veterans organization has since said its original agenda was in error.

Instead, today’s session will examine how the medical center’s suspension of inpatient services has affected veterans’ health care. The public meeting will be at 5 p.m. at American Legion Post 330 at 330 Entrance Drive.

The VA Medical Center announced Monday it has completed the first stage of a three-phase process to restore inpatient care, which was suspended in October in part because of staffing shortages. The first phase resumed chemotherapy infusions to inpatients. The other phases are expected to be in place before April.

Today’s meeting is part of the Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force, which visits VA clinics and reports its findings to Congress. Legion officials will visit the local center Thursday and Friday.

George Jarboe, Allen County veterans service officer, said he went to a Monday briefing at the med center, where he heard from its new director, Denise Deitzen.

“It sounds like she really cares about her job and wants to get the best treatment for the veterans there,” he said. “We haven’t had that for a while from directors.”

bfrancisco@jg.net

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