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Rep. Josh Gottheimer. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Gottheimer asks VA New Jersey’s request for help with long-term care center staffing

By Nikita Biryukov, April 22 2020 5:58 pm

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) on Wednesday requested the federal Department of Veterans Affairs provide additional assistance to the state’s long-term care facilities and not just its veterans homes.

“I urge the VA, in the strongest possible terms, to provide any and all available resources in support of this request. New Jersey desperately needs federal assistance to help disinfect facilities, administer testing, assist with patient care for remaining residents, and perform specific services at these disaster-stricken homes,” Gottheimer wrote in a letter this week to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.

Gottheimer’s letter follows the launch of an independent House bid by a top official in the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, though Wednesday’s letter is the latest in series the congressman has sent seeking assistance for healthcare providers in the state.

The congressman has sent previous letters pressing the VA to provide staffing and other assistance to New Jersey’s veterans homes.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Mark A. Piterski on Tuesday announced he would challenge Gottheimer.

He launched his bid because he believed Gottheimer was not responsive enough to the veterans’ needs.

“I am committed to doing everything I can to leverage federal resources to help protect vulnerable residents and staff members at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities,” Gottheimer said. “We must do everything we can to save lives, protect public health and safety, and assist our State’s most vulnerable residents.”

This story was updated in 8:28 p.m.

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