Veterans Celebrate Opening Of Regional Clinic

One after another, dignitary after dignitary, they used the word “celebration” in describing their elation to a packed lobby area filled with veterans from Warren and Sussex counties as a much needed – and much more – convenient health clinic for veterans was officially opened on Monday March 6 in Northwest New Jersey. The 3,800-square-foot Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) inside the Norman Silbert Medical Arts Building in Newton, which had been in the works for years, opened on Jan. 9. It has since offered primary health care services with on-site primary care providers to veterans in Sussex and Warren counties on a regular basis. The clinic is located at 222 High Street, Suite 103, in Newton, and is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The significance of the opening of the CBOC is major for area veterans. Instead of having to go to East Orange to the Veterans Hospital there, veterans can now drive a short distance for basic healthcare needs. The Newton clinic will make life a lot easier for area veterans, including many who attend veteran-friendly colleges Warren County and Sussex County Community Colleges.

Veteran organizations from both Warren and Sussex County were instrumental in helping to bring the VA medical clinic to Newton.  So were some “heavy hitters” from Washington, D.C., in particular Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. They were joined at the event by Congressmen Leonard Lance and Josh Gottheimer, as well as other key supporters from the VA system. Warren County Freeholder Rick Gardner was on hand and Assemblyman John DiMaio was represented as well. State Sen. Mike Doherty was also recognized for his support of the project.

“This is a celebration. The local veterans’ groups here, the VFW, the American Legion, you all inspire me every day,” said Booker. “The insights that veterans themselves gave my staff helped us to push a lot of good things down in Washington.”

Frelinghuysen, who was recognized by Booker for his “hard work to get us to this day,” is considered the individual who really pushed the VA to get the facility done.

Among the Warren County veterans who spearheaded the effort were Dennis Smith and John Chechelo, both of whom were at the event. They are thrilled with the new facility, however, they want to make sure that the clinic is accessible for all veterans in the county and are hoping to meet soon with county officials to discuss transportation options.

Veterans interested in receiving services or for more information, call 973-756-1504.

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