VA Western New York Healthcare System
Holidays Bring Special Cheer
The holiday season in Western New York kicked off in late October for Veterans and staff at VA Western New York Healthcare System (VA WNYHS). VA Police sponsored their 2nd Annual Veterans Halloween Party at the Batavia VA Medical Center’s Non-Commissioned Officer’s (NCO) Club. The club hosts a steady stream of recreation therapy activities, parties, and events for Veterans who reside in the Community Living Centers. Veterans enjoyed interaction with VA Police staff members and their children who came dressed as ghosts and goblins, seeking candy and smiles.
On November 16, several staff members from VA WNYHS’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program coordinated delivery of 150 turkeys to Veterans in need in several counties within Western New York. These unpardoned turkeys were well received by many VA WNYHS Veterans who expressed their sincere thanks for the great additions to their Thanksgiving holiday meals. VA WNYHS’s HCHV Program has achieved several milestone successes over the last few years. Last fall, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda towns declared an “end to homelessness” by achieving VA specific community wide resource standards of care and “Functional Zero” designation. Since the summer of 2017, two large “stand down” outreach events coordinated by the HCHV Program have taken place in Buffalo and Jamestown, New York, to address and care for Veterans who seek additional VA health care, benefits, and community partner resources.
The 17th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner was held at VA WNYHS’s Buffalo food court, Sunday November 19. Over 200 Veterans in need were served a traditional Thanksgiving meal prepared by VA Nutrition and Food Service and Veteran Canteen Service. VA staff and their family members enthusiastically served turkey, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. Donated hats, gloves, and socks were also distributed to Veterans who attended to prepare everyone for the winter season in Western New York.
VA Western New York Healthcare System consists of two health care facilities in Buffalo and Batavia, as well as community based outpatient clinics in Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lackawanna, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Olean and Springville.