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The American Legion is sending a team of its experts to Baltimore in response to a recent Department of Veterans Affairs internal investigation that showed long wait times for veterans seeking treatment at the local VA medical center.
The VA investigation showed that of the more than 55,000 medical appointment scheduled at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, 6,500 were scheduled more than 30 days ago and nearly 2,000 of them were scheduled 61 to 90 days ago.
Members of The American Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force will hold a town hall meeting and operate a crisis center for local veterans and family members affected by delays in getting access to their health care at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.
The town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 28 at American Legion Post 109 on 1610 Sulphur Spring Rd. in Arbutus, Md. The meeting is open to the general public and local veterans are encouraged to attend, especially those affected by wait-time delays.
The American Legion will also set up a Veterans Crisis Command Center at Community Living Rehab Center, 3900 Loch Raven, Baltimore, from July 29-Aug. 1. Members of the Legion’s national staff, along with local Legionnaires, staff from VA facilities and volunteers from other organizations will be on hand to assist veterans and their families. Services provided will include assistance in filing for VA appointment scheduling, grief counseling, benefits claims, and help with enrollment in VA health care.
Operating hours for the crisis center at Post 109 are noon to 8 p.m. on July 29, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 30th, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the 31st, and 8 a.m. to noon on Aug. 1.
The American Legion, with help from the VA and other organizations, has been operating week-long crisis centers for veterans and family members since early June in Phoenix, Fayetteville, N.C., El Paso, Texas, St. Louis and Fort Collins, Colo. The Legion plans to operate such centers throughout the summer in several cities affected by delayed VA health care.