U.S. Democratic Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen today issued a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to authorize a new Veterans Administration hospital in Reno.
The VA hospital spokesperson recently said a new facility is “a 10-year project.” The letter to Biden indicates a new hospital would take eight years to complete.
“Our veterans sacrificed so much for our nation, and the least we can do to honor their service is make sure they can access all of the benefits they earned,” Rosen said in a statement to This Is Reno. “One of the most important issues for veterans in Northern Nevada is having quality, reliable health care services. That’s why I’m urging President Biden to make sure his upcoming federal budget includes language requesting the construction of a brand new veterans hospital in Reno…”
Both senators are urging Biden to include a request for a new facility into the 2024 fiscal year budget.
The VA in 2012 submitted a request to renovate the existing center east of Wells Avenue. A new facility altogether, however, was determined to be cheaper. The hospital has a high risk of sustaining damage during an earthquake.
A new building would also address vehicle and pedestrian traffic near the existing VA. Nearby residents have complained about the parking and traffic in the neighborhood, which also has three public schools and a park near the VA.
“A 21st-century facility is critical to best serving Nevada’s veterans with lifesaving medical services that are continually in high demand,” their letter indicates. “The proposal to replace the existing medical center has a shorter estimated timeline for full project delivery than renovation does.”
The VA serves people in Northern Nevada and Northern California and has done so for more than 80 years. The senators said the hospital had more than a half million outpatient appointments in 2021, providing services to nearly 31,000 veterans.