Information Session on Possible Closing of Chillicothe VA Medical Center


Veterans aired concerns, and public officials spoke or listened, in an information session Thursday night on the possible closing of the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. Frustration and mistrust of politics and bureaucracy - and trust, comfort, and familiarity with a local facility they know - were the main themes of the night.

Stacia Ruby, Public Affairs Officer at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, shared the podium with the Diane Gerber-Caldwell, Facility Planner, at American Legion Post 62 in Chillicothe.

Ruby pointed out that sometime in the next year, the VA commission that recommended reducing services will have to host a public hearing in the Chillicothe area.

She also maintains a Chillicothe VA Facebook page which has links to two podcasts on the proposed closing, and the original report.

About 45 people attended the two-hour session. Among the public officials or their representatives present, were:

  • US Senator Sherrod Brown's liaison
  • US Congressman Rob Portman's liaison
  • Ohio State Representative Mark Johnson
  • Bonnie Ward, Governor's Southeast Regional Liaison
  • Tammy Puff, Governor's Military and Veterans Liaison
  • Deidra Nickerson, Third Ward Chillicothe Council member

Hear the full interview with Ruby, and some of the discussions, below.

Kevin Coleman reports on local government and culture

Stacia Ruby, Public Affairs Officer at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, summarized the information session on the possible closing of the Chillicothe VA Medical Center.
Various public officials or their representatives were present, and some spoke at one point along with veterans, including (roughly in order) Ohio State Representative Mark Johnson, US Senator Sherrod Brown's liaison, Public Affairs Officer at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center Stacia Ruby, and VA union representative Jessica Fee.

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