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By Dr. Marilyn L. Ditty, San Clemente

After serving over 10 years on the San Clemente Hospital Board, it is so sad to see that hospital closed. I suggested we turn it into a veterans’ hospital and keep the emergency room open for local residents. The need is great.

I called the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., and was led to believe that they have money to convert the hospital but the local community has to request the conversion. I have shared this idea with all the leadership in San Clemente, and unfortunately no one has followed up. I called Congressman Darrell Issa and Congressman Ken Calvert and no one wanted to carry the ball.

Unfortunately, our organization must take the local veterans to Long Beach, a two-hour ride each way and a very hard ride at that. Please, lift your voices to the people in leadership and see if we can’t get their attention.

I know that the hospital has a relatively new emergency room, and it can be reopened. Mission Hospital is totally impacted with over 33 percent increase in demand for their emergency room services.

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