VA Healthcare Town Hall with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez
On April 17, 2019, NYC Veterans Alliance co-sponsored a Town Hall with National Nurses United, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Vietnam Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Help Is On the Way, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 23, and Veterans for Peace Chapter 34. The discussion was centered on the quality of care received by veterans in the Bronx, and ways the VA should responsibly implement the MISSION Act, scheduled to go into effect on June 6, 2019.Read more
Latest on Brooklyn & Manhattan VA Hospitals
This week, we're able to bring our community updates on the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS), which includes the Manhattan and Brooklyn VA Medical Centers. We are grateful to Congressman Dan Donovan for his leadership in bringing the concerns of Brooklyn and Staten Island veterans directly to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and VANYHHS Director Martina Parauda. With his office's permission, we are including the notes from his recent meetings here. Also included below are notes on this week's Town Hall with Director Parauda at the Manhattan VA.Read more
VA Must Welcome ALL Veterans
At a time when the VA itself is reporting that 70% of veterans who have died by suicide have not been in recent VA care, and that women veterans in particular are nearly twice as likely as other veterans to die by suicide--it is essential that the VA do all that it can to mitigate the crisis of veteran suicide by ensuring that ALL veterans are welcomed in to receive quality care.
While the VA has made great strides in making programs and care more accessible, the VA has nevertheless firmly resisted the most basic way of welcoming in all veterans--to simply acknowledge them in the VA motto.
Veteran Suicide Remains a Crisis in NY and US
In late September, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released national and state-level findings from its most recent analysis of Veteran suicide data, from 2005 to 2016. Key points include:
-- An average of 20 current or former service members die each day—a rate of 30.1 per 100,000. This is more than twice the rate of our civilian counterparts.
-- Of these 20 veteran suicides per day, six have received recent VA health care and 14 have not.
-- Rates of suicide were highest among younger Veterans (ages 18-34) and lowest among older Veterans (ages 55 and older). However, because the older Veteran population is the largest, this group accounted for 58.1 percent of Veteran suicide deaths in 2016.
-- The rate of suicide among 18-34-year-old Veterans continues to increase -- The use of firearms as a method of suicide is high and increasing. The percentage of suicide deaths that involved firearms was 67.0 percent in 2015 and 69.4 percent in 2016.Read more
Pushing Against Closures at Brooklyn VA Town Hall
Following outcry by veterans who rely on the Brooklyn VA Hospital for care, Martina Parauda, Director of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS), took questions for more than two hours in a standing-room-only Town Hall at the Brooklyn VA on Wednesday, July 18.
Last month, a coalition of veterans organizations, led by President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 72, Danny Friedman, sent a letter to Director Parauda and Joan McInerney, Director of the Veteran Integrated Services Network (VISN) overseeing NY and NJ, asking them to hold a town hall to answer questions from veterans about facilities closures and reductions in services at the Brooklyn VA Hospital in recent years. The letter is HERE.
VISN Director McInerney declined to attend, but Director Parauda agreed to host the July 18 Town Hall, to which political officials and members of the media were invited.Read more
Rep. Donovan Joins NYC Veterans Alliance, VVA Ch 72, and IAVA in Opposing Clinic Closure at Brooklyn VA
On June 1, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) joined NYC Veterans Alliance, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 72, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in opposition to further closures and reductions at the Brooklyn VA Hospital. As with last year's plan to close outpatient surgeries at the Brooklyn VA, the plan to close the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) clinic this month comes as yet another reduction of services for veterans who rely on this crucial facility. View the full video here:Read more
Update on Closure of VA Healthcare Center at 25 Chapel Street in Brooklyn
Today the Executive Director of the VA’s NY Harbor Healthcare System, Martina Parauda, spoke at the Veterans Forum held at the VA’s Healthcare Center at 25 Chapel Street, Brooklyn. Several months ago, NYHHS announced that they would be potentially closing the Healthcare Facility at 25 Chapel Street; today Ms. Parauda announced that they had received approval from the VA higher-ups in Washington, DC, to proceed with a plan to close this facility as of June 30, 2016.Read more
Community Mental Health Summit at the Manhattan VAMC
On Monday, September 21, the Manhattan VA Medical Center held its annual Community Mental Health Summit, where VA administrators sought to improve understanding and communication between the VA and service providers and veterans within the community. The event was held in Atrium A (the main conference center), and was well-attended by a large audience made up mostly of service providers from non-VA programs and nonprofits in the area. The program as a whole was informative and interactive, but left us with many questions about how much community input would go toward actual changes at the Manhattan VAMC, or whether there will be follow-up with community members about what was discussed.Read more
Report: Coordinating with VA Healthcare
Many NYC veterans are satisfied with the quality of healthcare they receive from VA medical facilities, while others report difficulties with VA healthcare, as noted on page 9 of this report. The results of this survey are consistent with the national veterans population, of which less than half of eligible veterans are enrolled in the VA healthcare system and approximately one quarter of eligible veterans actively seek health care from the VA. This initiative ranked fifth in receiving the strongest support of the sixteen listed in the survey. A total of 88.95% of respondents indicated that they view this as either essential or very important.Read more
Stop the Closure of 12 West at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center on July 1
Please do the following as soon as possible:
- Sign our petition of the Obama administration.
- Contact Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand.
- Contact your Representative in Congress.
We need to let our representatives in Washington, D.C., know that IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to reduce access to inpatient hospitalization for New York City's veterans for the simple reason that veterans' healthcare is too expensive. Please make your voice heard and demand that the Veterans Health Administration NOT close 12 West at the Brooklyn VAMC on July 1. The VHA must seek other outcomes and solutions that do not limit access to healthcare for veterans who choose the Brooklyn VAMC as their local and preferred healthcare facility.Read more