LEEDS, Mass. (WWLP) – U.S. Representative Jim McGovern voiced his concerns to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough about the possible closing of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leeds.

During a recent call McGovern said that he had been contacted by many veterans and their families who were troubled by the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission’s report (AIR) that calls for closing the facility and moving services to other locations, including Connecticut. Some veterans say transportation and travel difficulties due to health issues may lead them to stop seeking treatment for veteran specific needs that are currently provided at Leeds.

McGovern also told the Secretary that the review had outdated and incomplete information. The report did not consider the $200-million in completed, ongoing, and planned renovations at the campus over the last few years.

McDonough told McGovern that the AIR Commission will be provided the updated information on the facility before the final decision is made. He also said he had heard from veterans about the report and he is not in favor of privatizing the VA.

The AIR Commission provides recommendations that are just that, recommendations. Before any plans are set in place there are multiple processes for moving forward, including Commission, Presidential, and Congressional approval, and input from VA medical providers, veterans, and support organizations. It could be years before any changes are made. Currently, there is no plan to close the campus at Leeds, reduce services, or layoff any employees.