Bonham town hall focuses on future of VA hospital
BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) -- The uncertain future of Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center -- Bonham's biggest employer -- was the focus of a town hall meeting on Tuesday night.
Members of the public, city and county officials, Rep. Pat Fallon, and state Rep. Reggie Smith were there to voice their concerns to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is considering a plan to relocate the hospital's nursing home and domiciliary to Fort Worth.
Fallon said he doesn't think the proposal makes sense.
"This is a five-star nursing home, the highest ranking and rating you can get," said the Republican who represents District 4. "Why move that when you are doing everything right? Quite frankly: Keep it; emulate it; franchise it to other places."
The VA said it is eyeing the relocation to put the services where there are more veterans, but Fallon questioned the agency's reasoning.
"The metric they are using is from 2017, so that is already outdated," the congressman said. "What we need to be doing is not only today, but what is happening in 2025 and 2035, and if you are looking at it in that perspective, we should be growing here."
Veteran Billy Murphy endorsed the quality of care he's been receiving at the Bonham VA hospital.
"I moved up here about 10 years ago from Melissa," he said. "sold my property down here to move up here in order to go to the VA hospital here in Bonham."
Fallon said he is working with colleagues on Capitol Hill on a campaign to keep the VA facility in Fannin County.