Las Vegas VA clinic will now remain open

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Veteran Affairs clinic is no longer in danger of being shut down, New Mexico’s U.S. Senators announced June 27.

The Department of Veterans Affairs in March recommended the closure of 174 VA clinics across all 50 states, including four in New Mexico, including Las Vegas.

If the recommendation had been followed, veterans who use the Las Vegas facility would have been forced to seek treatment at in Albuquerque, nearly two hours away from Las Vegas.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, led by efforts made by New Mexico Sens. Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich, announced its opposition to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission process moving forward in the Senate, which was a requirement for going through with the closures.

Heinrich, along with Luján, visited Las Vegas in April to host listening sessions with local veterans, where they heard stories of how the closures would impact local veterans, and how impractical it would have been to expect them to visit the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque every time they needed medical care.

The elected officials then took those stories back to their colleagues in the Senate, which helped lead to the June 27 decision.