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The Department of Veterans Affairs issued plans calling for the closure of the Hampton VA medical center. 

Its services will shift to proposed facilities in or near Newport News and Norfolk.

The relocation in Hampton Roads is part of a $2 trillion national plan to close 17 medical centers and transfer services to more than 30 hospitals that will be built or refurbished. In some cases, care will move to private practices.

"I look forward to engaging with veterans and communities around Virginia to make sure that these recommendations would live up to their stated aim of effectively meeting the future health care demands of our growing veteran population here in the Commonwealth," U.S. Sen. Mark Warner wrote in a statement.

The Hampton facility provides medical and surgical services, as well as inpatient mental health care, residential rehabilitation treatment, a nursing home and care for spinal cord injuries.

The proposed Newport News center will provide a nursing home, rehabilitation and other services. 

The Norfolk-area facility will have a nursing home as well, along with rehabilitation services. 

Two changes in particular might alter the travel needs of area veterans: All inpatient mental health services will be handled by the future Norfolk-area facility. 

Patients who need care for spinal cord injuries will have to use the VA center in Richmond.

In its report, the VA said the Hampton center is old with “major architecture and engineering challenges,” and experiences frequent flooding. The VA also said a large portion of veterans on the southside find it difficult to reach Hampton.  

The VA report is a recommendation to a federal commission on infrastructure. The commission will conduct hearings and send its own recommendations to the president next year.

This story was updated March 15, 2022 at 12:35 p.m.