UPDATE AS OF 9/23/20!
On September 23, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1925 by unanimous consent! Thank you to our members, supporters, and allies who stood with us and marched with us, who provided letters and statements of support, who took the time to make calls and send emails to their representatives, who went in person to Congressional offices with us, who provided financial support, and otherwise took part in the effort to get the full support of New York State's Congressional delegation, state and local legislative offices, and support from VSOs and veteran-serving organizations for this bill!
If you're a New York resident, please contact Sen. Gillibrand and Sen. Schumer to urge them to move S.898 forward. Please also contact Sen. Jerry Moran, Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, to urge him to bring this bill to a vote.Read more
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
The NYC Veterans Alliance has announced that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) are introducing legislation to name the Manhattan VA as the 'Margaret Corbin VA Medical Center' in honor of the first woman veteran who fought and was wounded in combat in the U.S. Armed Forces.
On November 16th, 2018, members of the NYC Veterans Alliance "ruck" marched more than 12 miles from the historic Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan to Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights to commemorate Margaret Corbin's bravery in the Battle of Fort Washington, which took place on November 16th, 1776. At the conclusion of their march, the NYC Veterans Alliance held a press conference announcing that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney are introducing legislation to name the Manhattan VA in honor of Margaret Corbin.Read more
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
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.
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
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
Today the president's nominee for the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, appears before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and we raise concerns about his nomination based on information about Mr. Wilkie that has come to light in the media over the past 24 hours. We hope to hear today from Mr. Wilkie that he sincerely supports ALL veterans--regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics that are fundamental to veterans' personal identities. Veterans need to know that the VA, from the top down, is ready to provide quality, bias-free care and benefits for all those who have served our nation.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
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