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Manchester VA Plans to Relocate Women's Clinic

Peter Biello
The Manchester VA Medical Center.

The Manchester VA is responding to criticism about the medical center's women's clinic. The clinic is currently on the 6th floor, accessible by a flight of stairs or an elevator.

A report on NHPR described how women who have suffered military sexual trauma can find riding in that elevator with men stressful.

In response, the state's congressional delegation requestedthat the women's clinic be moved to the first floor and given a separate entrance from the outside.

Interim Manchester VA Medical Center director Al Montoya says he's drawn up plans to honor the delegation's requests, and hopes the VA regional office will approve them this week.

"As a department, we see that there's an increasing number of female veterans, and we need to make sure that the space is appropriate for that," says Montoya.

The timeline for completing construction on the new space is rough, Montoya says, but if the plan is approved, the new first-floor clinic would open in one or two years.

In the meantime, Manchester VA officials are encouraging female veterans to get in touch with them and provide feedback on the new clinic's design.

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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