NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The plan to close four VA clinics across the state is now off the table. Earlier this year, the Department of Veteran Affairs discussed closing VA clinics across the country, including clinics in Gallup, Raton, Espanola, and Las Vegas, New Mexico. Thanks to a bipartisan effort in Washington, those clinics will stay open.

“I have been advocating since I first saw that report recommending closures, I have been advocating that we stop it. I was really happy to hear that this was going to happen. Those veterans have expressed to me how much those clinics mean to their life,” said Representative, Teresa Leger Fernandez.’

The VA’s recommendation to close those community-based outpatient clinics was mostly based on a drop in enrollment. Recently in March, the cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s veteran’s affairs said more than 34,000 enrolled veterans in the state live in rural areas where the closures were set to take place.

Senator Martin Heinrich joined other senators from around the country to end the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission process and keep the clinics open. “That commission will not be seeded, will not be moving forward. Consequently, those four CBOC’s are looking very well into the future which I think it’s a huge big deal for veterans in rural New Mexico,” said Heinrich.

Leger Fernandez says she voted and re-passed the strong act which will help provide more resources for mental health and suicide prevention care to veterans.