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VA Secretary visits Fargo Vet Center

Sec Denis McDonough
VA Secretary Denis McDonough visits Fargo Vet Center

Sec. Denis McDonough met with hospital staff and veterans.

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough visited Fargo’s VA Hospital Thursday.

McDonough met with hospital staff and patients, where he discussed several different issues. He says he spoke with veterans about the Biden Administration’s Unity Agenda, which seeks to both support veterans experiencing financial hardship, and increase access to veterans suffering the health effects of being exposed to burn pits. He says millions of veterans will benefit from that access to care.

McDonough says he is particularly appreciative of the work at the Fargo VA to increase access to mental health care. He says the VA is aggressively recruiting and investing in retention of health care professionals – and mentioned the partnerships between the VA and NDSU to graduate nurses, and UND to graduate doctors.

"I want to make sure that vets and family members who are struggling know that the vets crisis line, 1-800-273-8255, and then press 1 - we are here for our veterans in crisis. If you're in crisis today, and need to see someone today, we can make that happen. And we routinely make that happen."

McDonough says in July, veterans nationally will have the option to dial 988 if they are in crisis. He says it is anticipated that the ease of that number will increase the use of the Veterans Crisis Line.