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Committee Holds Hearing On Troubled L.I. VA Hospital

JD Allen
Phillip Moschitta (left), director of the Northport VA Medical Center, and other witnesses are sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee hearing at the Northport VA Medical Center on Tuesday.

The U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island on Tuesday. The center has been under scrutiny for alleged negligence and misconduct that has affected patient care.

Committee member Steve Israel, who represents the Northport district where the facility is located, says he has had his ups and downs with the medical center and its administration.

“There have been times when I and my constituents have been satisfied, there have been times when I and my constituents have been dissatisfied. But I do not doubt for a moment that the vast majority of doctors and nurses and personnel at this facility strive to give the best care that they can,” Israel said.

Northport VA Director Phillip Moschitta had denied any wrongdoing by the facility.

“You are going to have veterans out in the community who are going to say, ‘I am not going to come to Northport if they are turning away people from care.’ And that would never happen under my watch, or believe me, anyone else's watch here. So all I can say is that we want to clear the air here,” said Moschitta.

Most of the testimony highlighted problems with the medical center’s heating and cooling systems, paperwork mistakes and a recent veteran suicide on property.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.