Digital Access

Digital Access
Access kcchronicle.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Want to make sure you receive the latest local news? We’ve got you covered! Get the best in local news, sports, community events, with focus on what’s coming up for the weekend. Weekly mail subscription offers

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from Kane County Chronicle, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Sign up for free email alerts. We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Local

Forum addresses Veterans Affairs Department reforms

Hultgren hosts event in Geneva

Harry Sawyer, assistant director for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, on Monday spoke about reform efforts within the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a forum hosted by U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield.
Harry Sawyer, assistant director for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, on Monday spoke about reform efforts within the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a forum hosted by U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield.

GENEVA – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, told veterans Monday that improvements are being made to ensure they get the help they need.

“But we need to do better,” Hultgren told them. “We need to spend more time to listen.”

Hultgren hosted a forum Monday at the Kane County Government Center about ongoing reform efforts within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

President Barack Obama signed a bill last year to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department after there were revelations veterans were put on wait lists for services, and some died without seeing a doctor.

Suzanne Nunziata, of the Chicago Regional Benefit Office, said her office has worked hard to reduce the number of disability claims pending in the office. As of May 6, 6,092 disability claims were pending, down from 21,925 disability claims in March 2012, Nunziata said.

But Harry Sawyer, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, acknowledged more work needs to be done, including in caring for veterans who have mental health problems or those experiencing homelessness. One veteran attending the forum voiced concerns about funding being cut for mental health services and developmental disability services.

Dr. Nils Anderson, acting chief medical executive of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, spoke about the services offered at the facility, and said the center recently opened an outpatient clinic in McHenry.

“We are readying warriors and caring for heroes,” Anderson said.

Hultgren said caring for veterans is a top priority.

“There’s nothing more important we can do than help our veterans,” he said.

Loading more