Campaign continues to keep VA hospital in Bonham
BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) — The City of Bonham and Fannin County are taking additional steps to keep the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center from leaving town.
Bonham Mayor H.L. Compton and Fannin County Judge Randy Moore have written a letter to state representatives and to Denis McDonough, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, asking that the VA maintain its hospital facilities in Bonham.
It was in March that the VA's Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission proposed that outpatient services, community living, and residential rehabilitation treatment programs be relocated to the Dallas area from an "outdated" Bonham facility that "struggles to recruit and retain clinical staff." The report notes that most referrals "come from the Dallas metropolitan area."
Fannin County hosted a town hall in April with Rep. Pat Fallon (R-District 4), state Rep. Reggie Smith (R-District 62), and other influential individuals to raise awareness of the possible move.
Judge Moore hopes his letter to the VA will encourage Fannin County taxpayers to write their own personal letters to their elected officials.
"We have to keep this before the citizens, because we feel that the VA is important; we feel that veterans are important," Moore said. "We don't want to leave anybody out of the loop; we want to keep this on everybody's mind, because we do not want anything shut down in our county."
The county judge said he has not yet received a response to his letter to the VA chief.
Bonham's VA Hospital, which dates back to 1948, is the county's largest employer.