Carbondale (AP) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a town hall meeting in southern Illinois to familiarize the people it serves with its health care programs. The Wednesday evening event will be held on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale at the Student Recreation Center Alumni Lounge from 5-7pm. Spokesman Kevin Harris says the town hall is being held in light of the VA Mission Act of 2018, designed to improve veteran access to health care. The act allows more veterans to shift their health care from the government-run system to private doctors and hospitals. The initiative is scheduled begin this summer. Advocates of the change say as many as half of the approximately seven million veterans seen at VA health facilities could receive their care elsewhere. The VA hopes to gain feedback from veterans and their families about the initiative.