Petition seeks return of veterans health services

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

Several years ago a medical bus that came to the Livingston County and surrounding area stopped coming after the Veterans Administrations stated that are veterans could get care from local providers under the Community Care program.

However, local veterans say they have issues with transportation and access to care, which many time is hours away.

Local Veteran Larry Gatson said the weekly bus visits which allowed veterans VA care in their area by an experienced nurse practitioner ended after the VA stated it was too costly. Veterans were then told to use Community Care options, since some outlying areas are 90 miles, or more, from the nearest VA Clinic or hospital.

Gatson and other area veterans have began gathering signatures on a petition, which Gatson will take to VA officials in Kansas City during November, in hopes they will allow the nurse to come to the area.

"We have a petition started in Livingston and Grundy counites for veterans to sign," Gatson said. "Just asking to get a nurse practitioner back in area once a week at Chillliocthe in the new Veterans Building, for no rent, it will save VA money and veterans wont have to go so far."

Gatson has spoken to the nurse and she says she has time and is willing to come weekly. Gatson estimated she could see 12-15 patients weekly.

So far about 100 Livingston County veterans have signed the petition. Gatson is asking anyone who has not signed it, and would like to, to reach out to him. He is willing to go to anyone who is unable to get out of their homes.

To speak with Gatson about the petition, more information or to have a copy ot the petition mailed to you, Gatson can be reached at  660-247-2331 or PO Box 1043,  Chilllicothe.