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Batavia VA Medical Center

November 17, 2022 - 9:24am

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Press release:

Wednesday night’s “Veteran Connection” at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road served a valuable purpose for former military members, their families and the community, in general.

Pamela Ware, president of the Anna Ingalsbe Lovell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, said she learned a lot about local services for veterans as she chatted with representatives of the organizations that participated.

“I will be able to report back to the chapter members some important information about the numerous veterans’ programs,” said Ware, who serves as the DAR’s volunteer services representative for eight Western New York counties.

Ware said that after speaking with Abigail Savage and Eric Krupczyk, psychologist and peer support specialist, respectively, with the Batavia VA Medical Center’s PTSD unit, she plans to direct the DAR’s next fundraising effort to support that agency.

The Batavia PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) program is one of only three such VA programs in the United States.

Other agencies taking part in the event were WNYHeroes, Inc., Best Self Behavioral Health, Department of Veterans Affairs crisis line, Buffalo VA Regional Office, VA Healthcare and WNY Healthcare System.

Paul Schwartzmeyer, community outreach event coordinator for WNY Heroes, Inc., said his organization provides services to veterans and families in 14 counties. Programs include food distribution, mortgage/rent assistance, service dogs, holiday gifts and backpacks for children of veterans.

He said the Buffalo-based agency works with Bill Joyce, Veterans Services director in Batavia, to assist veterans in Genesee County.

Photo at top: Pamela Ware, left, meets with Abigail Savage and Eric Krupczyk, representatives of the Batavia VA Medical Center’s PTSD unit, at Wednesday night’s “Veteran Connection” event at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road.

 

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Photo: Navy veteran Neil Gagne, left, receives information about WNYHeroes, Inc., from Chris Kankiewicz of Batavia, center, and Paul Schwartzmeyer, a former Batavian now residing in Buffalo. Submitted photos.

March 15, 2022 - 11:36am

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A new VA Medical Center building in Batavia is among the many recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in a report released on Monday to a federal legislature-backed Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission.

The Batavia hospital (photo above) is part of the department’s VISN O2, which lists seven regions – Eastern, Central, Western, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Metro New York and New Jersey. Batavia and the Buffalo VA Medical Center comprise the Western region.

The report calls for tearing down the medical centers in both Batavia and Buffalo and building new ones to meet veterans’ health care needs in a changing market.

When considering the Batavia VAMC, it recommends modernizing and realigning the Richmond Avenue facility by modernizing the outpatient space.

From the report:

“The Batavia VAMC was built in 1932, with FCA (Facility Condition Assessment) deficiencies totaling approximately $31.8M and annual operations and maintenance costs totaling an estimated $4.1M. In FY 2019, there were 54,134 enrollees within 60 minutes of the Batavia VAMC.

“The primary care and specialty care clinic at the Batavia VAMC is space-constrained and not designed to support patient-aligned care teams (PACTs); the current infrastructure and layout do not meet modern health care standards. As outpatient service demand is projected to increase across the market, the existing facility is inadequate to meet demand and insufficient to support functional space requirements.

“The Batavia VAMC has 12.0 acres available for additional development. Relocating and expanding outpatient services to a purpose-built, rightsized facility on the Batavia VAMC campus will meet the growing needs of the Veteran population.”

An overview of the Batavia VAMC operation shows that it has 80 Community Living Center beds and 32 Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program beds.

The report indicates that the Western market had 40,444 enrollees in fiscal year 2019, but is projected to see a 15.8 percent decrease in enrolled veterans by fiscal year 2029. The largest enrollee populations are in the counties of Erie, Niagara, and Cattaraugus.

Furthermore, demand for inpatient medical and surgical services is expected to decrease by 13,9 percent and the demand for inpatient mental health services is projected to decrease by 11.0% between FY 2019 and FY 2029.

As a result, recommendations to reduce the RRTP capacity in Batavia from 32 to 28 beds “will better address current and projected demand.”

A story in The Buffalo News on Monday provided details about the recommendations for the Buffalo VAMC, with VA Secretary Denis McDonough stating that a new facility is warranted “because the current hospital is dated and because the population of veterans in the area is projected to remain high.”

The story noted that the VA proposes building a $1 billion hospital in Buffalo to replace the current facility on Bailey Avenue that opened in 1949 because it “is too big, too old and poorly located.”

Per the VA report, "Relocating the Buffalo VAMC near or in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will enhance innovation, collaborative care, research and educational opportunities with local community institutions, including with VA’s academic affiliate, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo."

The Buffalo News story also indicated that the Batavia hospital would become "a hub for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder."

December 4, 2020 - 4:02pm

Photos and information from the VA Western New York Healthcare System.

In a special virtual award ceremony at the Batavia VA Medical Center this afternoon, a 106-year-old former Army Air Corps captain was reissued a special membership award in the Caterpillar Club.

At 2 p.m. Spruce Lodge Community Living Center resident Sydney L. Cole received a special pin signifying that he successfully bailed out of a damaged airplane and survived by using a parachute to land.

“On January 2nd, 1945 @ 1100 a.m., 2nd Lieutenant Sydney Cole was forced to jump out of his disabled Piper Cub airplane over the skies of Belgium and into German-held territory. He deployed his Irvin backpack-style parachute at an altitude of 1,000 feet and survived the emergency jump.

"He was then automatically eligible to join the Caterpillar Club – a club whose members can only join, quite literally, by accident. All one needs to do is successfully bail out of a damaged airplane and survive by using a parachute. It has been described as the club that no one wants to join, but its distinguished members include aviation pioneers Charles Lindbergh, astronaut John Glenn and former president, George H.W. Bush."

Upon verification of the requirements, members receive a “caterpillar pin” -- symbolizing the source of the silk used to make the first parachute canopies.

"Captain Sydney Cole, we are pleased to be able to reissue the prestigious caterpillar pin to you, as well as the ORIGINAL application for membership that you signed in December of 1945. God Bless America and thank you for the sacrifices you made on behalf of all Americans.”

Cole applies for membership.

Hometown news: Cole recounts the Battle of the Bulge, liberation by the Russians.

Happy birthday wishes to an American patriot!

A special treat for a special club member.

Family and caregivers let their hero know he's appreciated.

Cole with membership certificate in the Caterpillar Club ready to proudly display.

Thumbs up!

October 7, 2020 - 3:59pm

Submitted photos and information from VA Western NY Healthcare System.

Sgt. Major Bill Joyce, Army (retired), and director of the Genesee County Veteran Service Agency, noticed earlier in the year that our “saluting monuments” representing all the branches of the military services needed refurbishment at the Batavia VA Medical Center.

The monuments are located in front of Building 1.

He then asked employees of Graham Manufacturing in Batavia to restore the monuments. They did so by late July, and in great fashion.

On Tuesday, four employees were recognized by Royce Calhoun, associate director for VA Western New York Healthcare System (center of second photo below).

Calhoun thanked and provided certificates of appreciation to employees of Graham Manufacturing, Batavia, who painstakingly restored and repainted our saluting military branch monuments to their original splendor, says Calhoun.

They are Bob Yungfleisch, Tom Herold, Ed Harding and Pat Coughlin.

"They look terrific! THANK YOU Graham employees and SGM Bill Joyce ... for making this project happen!”

May 15, 2020 - 10:22pm

Press release:

The National Warplane Museum (NWM) in Geneseo is honoring WNY healthcare workers and first responders with two flyovers in Genesee County on Saturday, May 16.

At the Batavia VA Medical Center, the flyover will occur at 11:20 a.m. (give or take 10 minutes).

At United Memorial Medical Center, the flyover will occur at 11:24 a.m. (give or take 10 minutes).

"Operation Thanks From Above" will feature NWM's very own Douglas C-47, affectionately named "Whiskey 7," and it will take to the skies accompanied by one other aircraft, a P-51 Mustang named "Mad Max."

The flight will salute the local first responders, medical and essential workers who have served and conitue to serve the WNY region during the coronavirus pandemic.

We hope you can attend and view a flyover. VA medical and UMMC staff members working on Saturday have been notified. 

  • Batavia viewing – in front of Building 1, near Outpatient Entrance, 222 Richmond Ave., Batavia.
  • UMMC viewing is at 330 Summit St., Batavia.

Parking is plentiful and free.

#ROCTheSky

#ThanksFromAbove

September 16, 2019 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia VA Medical Center, Car Show, veterans, batavia, news.

Photos and information from the VA Western New York Healthcare System:

The Batavia VA Medical Center hosted a "Cruising for Veterans" car show and healthcare enrollment event on Saturday (Sept. 14).

About 25 cars were displayed. Veterans from the three Community Living Centers on the campus were taken down from their lodge residences to view the cars.

Below, the 1963 silver Corvette is a rare car. Only about 6,000 of this type were made.  

November 22, 2018 - 11:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia VA Medical Center, volunteers, batavia, veterans, news.

Press release:

Join folks from the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Nov. 27 to learn about volunteer opportunities at the Batavia VA Medical Center, located at 222 Richmond Ave. Information, a tour and light refreshments will be provided.

Enjoy a conversation during recreation activities, escort a patient within the facility, provide clerical support, drive veterans to medical appointments, and more.

Put your skills into purposeful action. Call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 with any questions or to RSVP. We will meet at the doors near the parking lot to the west.

June 12, 2017 - 2:46pm

Press release:

As part of National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month, VA Western NY Healthcare System will host its second annual awareness event beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, at the Batavia VA Medical Center's Building #4 Auditorium.

The complex is located at 222 Richmond Ave. in the City of Batavia.

"Take a Knee" on PTSD is open all and is intended to increase awareness of the health issues surrounding PTSD and potential treatment options. The program ends at 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Attending and sharing their experiences will be:

  • Psychology intern and Marine Corps veteran Jessica Goodall, author of "Shade it Black: Death and After in Iraq," (written with John Hearn);
  • Nicholas Stefanovic, Rochester Treatment Center and Marine Corps veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF);
  • Earl Granville, former Pennsylvania Army National Guardsman and veteran of Operation Joint Forge -- Bosnia, OIF and OEF.

For more information, call Amberley Roberts, LMSW, or the PTSD Program, 1-585-297-1200.

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