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VA Remains Open for Care for Southern California Vets
Date:10/23/2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to offer medical care and other important services to veterans even as wildfires burn across parts of Southern California.

"We are grateful no VA facilities have been damaged or directly threatened," said Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield. "Our first priority is the safety of our patients and staff."

The San Diego VA Medical Center and clinics remain open for all urgent care, hemodialysis and chemotherapy. However, routine care, including clinic appointments, has been cancelled. Veterans who need prescription refills are being advised to call in their request, rather than travel to the medical center.

"I am impressed with the outstanding work our VA staff has been doing to provide excellent service to veterans during this disaster," Mansfield added. "Many VA employees have been evacuated from their own homes, but continue to come to work to serve our veterans."

Current information on this situation is available at the San Diego VAMC website at: http://www.san-diego.med.va.gov/wild_fire_info.htm.

Veterans who receive monthly compensation for disabilities, education, pension or other benefits will continue to receive regularly scheduled payments. VA national cemeteries are operating normally.

VA employees are asked to use the VA Emergency Employee Assistance Call Center to provide their status and receive current information regarding evacuation pay and overtime. The call center number is 1-866-233-0152.

In the wake of this natural disaster, Acting Secretary Mansfield urges all veterans, VA employees and their respective families to take suitable precautions. They should follow the instructions of the local authorities and prepare for additional emergency measures that may be necessary.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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