PVA Responds to VA Recommendation to Close/Consolidate Some SCI/D Centers

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has responded to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recommendations that some spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D) care centers be closed or consolidated.

In a March 14 announcement, PVA National President Charles Brown said, “Paralyzed Veterans of America has grave concerns about the recommendations released today by the VA that some of its SCI/D system of care centers be closed or consolidated.

“As I testified before the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on March 8, the VA is the best healthcare provider for veterans with catastrophic disabilities. There is simply no comparable private system of care providing a coordinated life-long continuum of care for people with SCI/D.”

Brown explained in his response, “We are greatly troubled by what appears to be an effort to diminish the SCI/D system of care as the VA attempts to realign its healthcare system. We cannot sacrifice the health, safety, and well-being of catastrophically disabled veterans on the altar of progress. We need to understand the data providing the justification for these recommendations, as there are many unmet specialized needs for veterans with SCI/D, particularly inpatient long-term care. PVA will continue to be a fierce advocate for the needs of catastrophically disabled veterans, their families, and caregivers.”

PVA noted that the MISSION Act of 2018 requires the VA “to conduct a nationwide study and issue recommendations for future investments in VA healthcare facilities to the AIR [Asset and Infrastructure Review] Commission… The goal of the study is to learn about veterans’ experiences with VA healthcare and how veterans want care to be delivered in the future.”

Brown added that PVA Executive Director Carl Blake was nominated by the White House to serve on the AIR Commission.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

In Support of Upper-Extremity Positioning