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November 21, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, VA, batavia, red osier, veterans, news.


Patrick Hager, with American Legion Post 637 in Strykersville, helps deliver meals from the Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant to residents and staff at the VA Hospital in Batavia on Thursday. Veterans in Wyoming County raised $2,100 to pay for 175 meals.


November 11, 2020 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Veterans Day, veterans, news, batavia, UMMC.


The men and women who have served the United States in military service were honored by local veterans today, Veterans Day, in services at the County Park, the VA Hospital, the State Veterans Home, and the Upton Monument.  

These photos are from the ceremony at the St. Jerome's War Memorial.






Below: A video submitted by UMMC of Dan Ireland, the hospital's CEO, delivering a Veterans Day message.

Video Sponsor
November 10, 2020 - 3:07pm

The 11th month, November, on the 11th day is dedicated to commemorating the men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

As a country, we strive to honor and protect these individuals after returning to civilian life. While there are many mental health and addiction resources available throughout the nation, one issue usually remains hidden -- problem gambling.

It's a problem any time gambling causes financial, vocational, mental or interpersonal problems in one’s life, and it's an issue that affects roughly two million Americans. However, Veterans have elevated rates of problem gambling — at least twice the rate as the general adult population (Westermeyer et al., 2013).

Additionally, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates that as many as 56,000 active duty members of the Armed Forces meet the criteria for gambling disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 5, a diagnosis of gambling disorder requires at least four of the following during the past year:

  1. Need to gamble with increasing amount of money to achieve the desired excitement.
  2. Restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling.
  3. Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on or stop gambling.
  4. Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next gambling venture, thinking of ways to get money to gamble).
  5. Often gambling when feeling distressed.
  6. After losing money gambling, often returning to get even (referred to as “chasing” one’s losses).
  7. Lying to conceal gambling activity.
  8. Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job or educational/career opportunity because of gambling.
  9. Relying on others to help with money problems caused by gambling.

Compared to the national population, problem gambling may not seem like a priority. However, problem gambling can impact up to 55 percent of the population. It is estimated that each individual struggling with problem gambling can impact up to 10 additional people.

On top of that, problem gambling has the highest suicide rate among all addictions.

“About 50 percent of those with disordered gambling have had suicidal thoughts. Over 17 percent of these individuals have attempted suicide,” (Moghaddam et al., 2015).

Problem gambling is also extremely underreported and low screening rates, especially in the military, remain a barrier. Some initial screening tools that are available include the “Lie Bet” and the “Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen,” which provide basic questions on gambling habits.

What can we do to better assist veterans and active duty members who might have a gambling problem?

•       Increase Screenings for Problem Gambling during routine visits and follow up.

•       Complete screenings after deployment and before reenlisting.

•       Offer education and information about gambling related harms. 

•       Provide a safe space to discuss need for support. 

•       Recommend alternatives to gambling on base and at program sites.

If you or a loved one is struggling with problem gambling, contact the Western Problem Gambling Resource Center at (716) 833-4274 or email us directly

November 4, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Press Release in Tops, veterans, news, Veterans Day.

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont, announced today that the company will once again offer military personnel and their immediate families an 11-percent discount off of their grocery bill this Veterans Day. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Tops Markets will honor an 11-percent discount off of a total order to all veterans and immediate family members in the same household, who shop at any Tops location.

Customers should present proof of service that they, or an immediate family member are a U.S. veteran, active duty, reserve or retired military personnel to automatically receive an 11-percent discount off of their total purchase that day.

“The respect and gratitude we have for the people who serve and have served in the military is immeasurable, and for that we are forever grateful,” said Frank Curci, Tops chief executive officer. “We wanted to support local military personnel by giving back to our associates and customers who have courageously defended our country and made many sacrifices through their military service.”

Tops is a longtime supporter of military associates and customers. Since the inception of the Tops 11-percent military discount, Tops has saved veterans and their families close to $515,000 on their groceries.

The company’s support of military organizations includes, but is not limited to, support of the American Veterans Tribute Traveling Wall, Honor Flight Missions, sending care packages for troops serving domestically and overseas, VA hospital visits, participation in veteran job fairs, parades and expos. And starting last year, the Tops Stars for Our Troops program in which stars from embroidered U.S. flags slated for retirement are presented to yeterans, active duty personnel, and first responders. Stars are still available for anyone wishing to present one to a veteran, active duty personnel or first responder.

October 30, 2020 - 2:42pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) announces that it will also adopt the newly added New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) veteran and active military waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Nov. 14.

This hunt will operate similar to the regular season waterfowl hunt in that individual hunting stands will be decided at 5 a.m. on the morning of the hunt through a random drawing.

The draw will be held at the Refuge Shop at 1101 Casey Road, Basom to ensure the safety of staff and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mapping applications may try to take you to Sour Springs Road, so ensure it is directing you to the Iroquois NWR Admin Building at the above address. 

This is a free hunt for veteran and active military personnel.

State regulations apply including required documentation, which can be found on the DEC website. Refuge specific regulations also apply. Please visit the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge website for more information.

Second Session of Waterfowl Hunting Season

Iroquois NWR will also be open for the second session of the waterfowl hunting season beginning on Nov. 28. Permits will be available online for all blinds on a first come, first serve basis.

Permits will be made available two days prior to the hunt day at 6 p.m. and close at 5 a.m. the morning of the hunt. You will receive your permit for your blind immediately via RecAccess. Since you will select your blind at check out, there will be no morning blind draw.

All other rules and regulations apply.  

For further information please see visit the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge website or contact Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge by email at [email protected] or Visitor Services Specialist Eric Schaertl at (585) 948-5445, ext. 7036.

Iroquois NWR is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

October 6, 2020 - 12:59pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in news, veterans, Hometown Heroes Banner Project.

BERGEN – Three Bergen organizations have joined together to honor residents serving in the military.

The Triangle Club, American Legion Auxiliary and Friends of Bergen are putting together a Hometown Heroes Banner Project to recognize Bergen servicemen and servicewomen who are serving their country in the United States Armed Forces. 

Heading up the project is Donna Gerrard, chair of the Bergen Triangle Club. Others assisting are: Sharon Debottis, Legion Auxiliary representative; Anna Marie Barclay, Bergen mayor; and Pat Swapceinski, respresenting residents of Bergen. 

Each banner will be 30 inches by 60 inches, with a double-sided photo. It will be made of vinyl material and will include a photograph of the serviceman/woman, name and branch of service.

Orders are being taken now through Feb. 26. After the banners are made, they will be stored until they are displayed beginning next Memorial Day in May through Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2021.

Banners will be displayed on poles located on Main Street, Rochester Street and Buffalo Street, beginning on Memorial Day weekend through Veterans Day. Banners will be stored by the village afterward and be displayed annually, but not necessarily on the same pole or street location, according to Gerrard.

To meet requirements for application, all servicemen/women must be a current resident of Bergen and/or a graduate of Byron-Bergen High School, and must currently be serving their country in one of the United States Armed Forces, i.e., Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Special Services, Coast Guard, National Guard.

Each banner will cost the family or sponsor a total of $200. This price includes the banner, hardware for hanging and banner storage. Banners ordered during the year will be stored until they can be displayed. Or any family can request return of their banner immediately following Veterans Day. 

Anyone may become a sponsor of this program by making a personal monetary donation, Gerrard said. Individuals and businesses are welcome to become a sponsor of the project by completing and submitting the sponsor form. All donations will be used for expenses beyond the cost of banners and hardware.

The deadline for submitting Hometown Hero Banner forms for next year is Feb. 26. Applications are available on the Village of Bergen website, at the Village of Bergen office or at Sackett-Merrill-White American Legion Post.

October 5, 2020 - 5:41pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing he is now accepting nominations for his Congressional Veteran of the Month program.

To nominate a veteran who is a current resident of the 27th Congressional District to be recognized, constituents can visit https://jacobs.house.gov/veteran-month-nominations to download the nomination form.

Once completed, nomination forms can be submitted to Rep. Jacobs’ office three different ways:

Email the form to:   [email protected]
Fax to (716) 631-7610
Or mail to the Clarence District office at 8203 Main St., Suite 2, Williamsville, NY 14221

“As a State Senator, my Veteran of the Month program was one of the most incredible and truly humbling programs I had the honor of conducting," Jacobs said.

"I am eager to launch this program from my Congressional Office and honor the truly incredible veterans of NY27 for their selfless service to our country and their communities."

September 24, 2020 - 10:11am
posted by Press Release in veterans, news, Chris Jacobs, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is pleased the House passed three bills designed to improve mental health services for veterans and support homeless veterans: The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019; the DELIVER Act; and The Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment Act of 2020.

"Western New York is home to thousands of veterans, and I am truly humbled by and grateful for their selfless service to our nation. While COVID-19 has become front and center in our minds and news – many of our veterans are still struggling to access critical services," Jacobs said.

"I was proud the House passed three pieces of critical legislation yesterday to expand access to mental health resources and expand access to resources for homeless veterans. Our veterans served our nation selflessly, and I remain committed to doing everything I can to advance policies that support them."

The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019 would create new grants at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address veteran suicide and mental health. It would also establish scholarships for educating and training mental health professionals, improve information related to care for women veterans, and improve VA telehealth services.

The DELIVER Act would authorize and expand several programs to support homeless veterans and veterans in need of retraining assistance, particularly aimed at supporting veterans significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment Act of 2020 would create several new programs related to emergent suicide care, education programs for family members and caregivers of veterans with mental health disorders, and annual training for VA police regarding mental health.

The bill would also create an Interagency Task Force on Outdoor Recreation for Veterans and require several reports for Congress, including an analysis to meet the needs of homeless women veterans.

September 21, 2020 - 2:35pm
posted by Press Release in news, veterans, assemblyman steve hawley.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (at podium, center) joins veterans and his Assembly Republican Colleagues who have also served in the military to urge for a focus on passing legislation to help veterans.

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined his Assembly Republican Colleagues in Syracuse to call for action on a number of legislative items focused on veterans to help support the lives of these men and women and their families.

A veteran himself, the Assemblyman proudly serves on the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, but points to the lack of veteran representation on the committee as a hindrance to passing meaningful legislation.

“I am proud of my record on veterans’ issues and am so honored to work on behalf of our military men and women and their families," Hawley said. "Despite intransigence from the majority in the Assembly, we still achieved important measures, like the expansion of scholarships for Gold Star families, approval of a study on veteran homelessness and more.

"We have much more to work on, but I look forward to a day when there are more veterans serving alongside me in the Assembly. The leadership and character instilled in our service men and women would be a welcome addition to our chambers.”

In the past two years, Hawley helped achieve a number of items for veterans:

  • Expanded scholarships for Gold Star families (A.2991, Higher Education, 4.9.2019; Executive Order 4.19.2019);
  • Approval of tax exemptions to help injured or disabled veterans to refit their homes to increase mobility (A.7289);
  • Authorization of a study on homeless veterans to better provide support (A.5660); and
  • Required the state to closely examine veteran health issues, including PTSD and traumatic brain injuries (A.1804).

Hawley continues to fight for:

  • A veterans clearinghouse to better connect veterans to needed services (A.4395);
  • The “Veteran Owned Business Enterprise Act” to help veteran entrepreneurs (A.4490);
  • Honoring military experience as civil work experience by increasing civil (A.5535) and education credits (A.7999); and
  • Veterans’ health by tracking a list of toxins military personnel are exposed to (A.6421) and requiring coroners to report suicides of veterans and active military personnel (A.38934).

Hawley served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves, earning the rank of first lieutenant. Thirty percent of the Assembly Republican conference is comprised of veterans, and the Assemblyman wishes to increase this number.

Comments from Hawley are available here.

September 18, 2020 - 7:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in American Legion Botts-Fiorito Post #576, Le Roy, news, veterans.


The Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 this evening honored those who were captured and never returned or lost in war as part of POW/MIA Recognition Day with an empty chair ceremony at their post in Le Roy.




September 16, 2020 - 3:42pm

From Jerry Diskin:

Commander David Rumsey announces that at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18th, there will be a brief ceremony for POW/MIA Recognition Day at the memorial park outside the Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576, located at 53 W. Main St. Village of Le Roy.

What is National POW/MIA Recognition Day?

The United States’ National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. Many Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.

The event will begin at 6 o'clock sharp! with a brief ceremony, presenting the “POW/MIA” Missing Man table ceremony, followed by a salute from the Color Guard and Firing Squad.

All are welcome to attend. "For God and Country..." 

August 17, 2020 - 12:12pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that video telehealth appointments to veterans’ homes increased over 1,000 percent, as veterans increasingly chose virtual care through VA Video Connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Western New York, VA Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS) has conducted over 9,000 telehealth appointments between Oct. 1 and Aug. 17.

VA Video Connect allows veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Video Connect supported veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home.

Usage of video to home services has been increasing since mid-March with peak usage reaching more than 29,000 appointments per day. 

The increase at VAWNYHS represents a 1,400-percent increase from the same time period in 2019. Other telehealth milestones from VAWNYHS include:

  • All primary care providers can complete Video to Home visits;
  • All mental health providers can complete Video to Home visits;
  • VAWNYHS offers Video to Home in 21 different specialty care clinics.

VA is also taking strides to bridge the digital divide for veterans who lack the technology or broadband internet connectivity required to participate in VA telehealth services.

At the national level, VA is working with strategic partners, through the VA Secretary’s Center of Strategic Partnerships, to increase access to the technology that veterans need to connect with their VA health care team virtually.

“As we near the three-year anniversary of the launch of VA Video Connect, even during these challenging times, VA has and continues to maintain access to high-quality health care for veterans,” said Executive Director Michael Swartz.

“As the service becomes more popular, VA remains committed to providing a seamless user experience to ensure veterans have access to care, where and when they need it.”

Read more about VA Video Connect. For information about VA’s telehealth services visit connectedcare.va.gov.

August 10, 2020 - 4:09pm


More than 1,500 flags received by the local veterans' groups were piled several feet high at the Northwoods Sportsman's Club on Sunday afternoon and given a dignified retirement as prescribed by the U.S. Flag Code.

Title IV, Section 8(k) states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

The event was organized by the Botts Fiorito American Legion Post #576 in Le Roy and Commander Dave Rumsey thanked Bill Joyce, Genesee County Veterans Service Officer, and the Legion posts in Bergen and Caledonia and the VFW post in Caledonia, each of which provided their communities with a flag deposit box. 

Photos by Philip Casper.







July 17, 2020 - 1:14pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement announces a July 29 public teleconference of the Minority Farmers Advisory Committee (MFAC).

Participants will discuss USDA outreach, technical assistance, and capacity building for and with minority farmers; the implementation of the Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmer and Rancher Grant Program (2501 Program); and methods of maximizing the participation of minority farmers and ranchers in USDA programs; and to plan mechanisms for best providing advice to the Secretary on the issues outlined above.

The meeting also introduces 15 newly appointed members of the committee.

The public conference call will be held on Wednesday, July 29 at 12:15-1:15 p.m. EDT. 

To listen to the discussion, use the call-in number: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694 and the participant code: 2513486#.

The Minority Farmers Advisory Committee is made up of 15 members, including representatives for: socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, nonprofit organizations, civil rights organizations or professions, and institutions of higher education.

Congress authorized the Committee in 2008, and since its inception, it has served to advise the Secretary and USDA on the implementation of the section 2501 Program of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990; methods of maximizing the participation of socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers in USDA programs; and civil rights activities within USDA.

The Committee is managed by USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE). Learn more about this advisory committee at the OPPE website.

About the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement develops and maintains partnerships focused on solutions to challenges facing rural and underserved communities in the United States, and connects those communities to the education, tools, and resources available to them through U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and initiatives.

June 23, 2020 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, patriot trip, veterans, news, covid-19.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley [kneeling on right] poses for a photo with Assemblyman Michael DenDekker [kneeling on left] and veterans in front of the Vietnam War Memorial during 2018’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C. 

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced today that his annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., will unfortunately be postponed this year in the wake of the COVID-19 virus’ presence in America.

The intent behind this postponement is to protect our veterans who were interested in traveling to Washington, D.C. With all that is known about COVID-19, it was decided that 52 men and women on a bus traveling across various state lines where health regulations could vary radically, and would not be in the best interest of veterans.

Hawley, who has served on the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2006, was just as disappointed about the decision, but understands this temporary pause is in the best interest of the continued well-being of the veterans of our community. 

“The Patriot Trip is the highlight of every year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduchak, a World War II veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington, D.C. Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans.

"I haven’t missed a trip for 12 years, and I wouldn’t miss it this year were it not for the risks. I am willing to postpone this year’s trip to ensure all of my friends I’ve made through the trip will be healthy to travel next year. And as for next year, I hope to see as many veterans as possible turn out for the tentative trip date of September 16-19, 2021.”

June 10, 2020 - 4:42pm

Press release:

A bill sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (S.7012) passed the Senate on Tuesday, June 9. The bill designates State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke, County of Genesee, as the "Specialist Four Clarence 'C. Jay' Hall Memorial Highway.”

“I am pleased that this bill, to honor Specialist Four Clarence ‘C. Jay,’ Hall, passed the Senate,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “Specialist Hall served our country most honorably, giving the ultimate sacrifice. His sacrifice to our county should be memorialized and I am happy that we have taken a big step toward doing so.”

Specialist Four Clarence "C. Jay" Hall served as a rifleman in the Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. He was mortally wounded on Oct. 7, 1969 during an intense attack by enemy forces.

Specialist Hall earned the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Silver Star, which is the nation's third highest award for valor.

The Veteran’s Outreach Club and the Government classes of the Pembroke Jr. /Sr. High School were the impetus behind this legislation.

The bill has yet to be brought to the floor of the Assembly.

May 21, 2020 - 2:45pm

Genesee County Veterans Service Agency
Memorial Day Schedule of Ceremonies for Monday, May 25, 2020


All ceremonies will include full military honors: Wreath Laying, Rifle Salute & Taps.

7 a.m. – Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Genesee County Park & Forest, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 193.

8 a.m. – Williams Park (Batavia) World War I Memorial. This memorial honors the 35 Batavians who gave their lives in World War 1.

8:30 a.m. -- Batavia VA Medical Center, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the WNY VA Medical Center.

8:45 a.m. (approx.) -- NYS Veterans Home, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the NYS Veterans Home.

9:30 a.m. – Veterans Plot on Harvester Avenue. This memorial honors all war dead of all wars in Elmwood and St. Joseph cemeteries.

10 a.m. -- Upton Monument. This monument honors the dead of the Civil War, and all wars since.

10:30 a.m. – UMMC Jerome Center. This is the site of the Genesee County War Memorial, honoring all war dead from Genesee County. The names of county veterans who have died since the previous Memorial Day will be read and a flag placed to honor each of them.

Memorial services will be carried out by: Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332; Hansen Brothers Marine Corps League Detachment #951; Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602; Disabled American Veterans Chapter #166; and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #193.


The Batavian -- https://www.thebatavian.com

WBTA -- www.WBTAi.com (recorded)

Video News Service -- videonewsservice.net (recorded) / facebook.com/VideoNewsService (recorded)

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.



May 1, 2020 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, veterans, batavia, news.

This morning a veteran who was treated at the VA Hospital in Batavia for COVID-19 was discharged today, recovered from the disease.

Video submitted by VA Western NY Healthcare System.

April 1, 2020 - 3:25pm

Press release:

VA Western New York Healthcare System is committed to providing high-quality care while keeping veterans safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and out of concern for our veterans, we are honoring current social isolation and distancing guidelines,” said Michael J. Swartz, executive director, VA Western New York Healthcare System.

“Through VA’s virtual care tools, we are able to leverage available technology to make sure that our patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time.”

To help us address our Veterans’ most-urgent needs first, VA Western New York Healthcare System asks that Veterans use our online tools for routine or non-urgent questions.

Here are some examples:

Telephone or Video Appointments – Veterans can receive care at home — either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets.

To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. Veterans may also call, but VA is requesting that veterans only call with urgent needs at this time.

To learn more about VA Video Connect, click here.

Prescription Refills – Veterans can request prescription refills and order and ship medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.

Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19.

This application helps Veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care. Enroll at mobile.va.gov/annie.

Secure Messaging – With My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, Veterans can send online secure messages to your VA health care team to ask them nonurgent health questions. Register at www.myhealth.va.gov.

For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit connectedcare.va.gov or buffalo.va.gov.

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