Senators say VA director is needed in ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico’s two senators are urging the head of veterans affairs to hire a permanent director in Albuquerque.

VA Secretary Sloan Gibson visited the local VA Hospital on Thursday,

Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich say hiring a director is needed to gain the trust of veterans and address serious problems with scheduling.

This comes as the VA deals with a national outcry over reports of long delays for treatment and of veterans dying while on waiting lists.

Just two weeks ago, Albuquerque veteran Jim Garcia collapsed and died inside the cafeteria at the Albuquerque VA Hospital.

Garcia was there waiting for an ambulance even though the ER was just yards away. The VA says that is policy. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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