VA Western New York Healthcare System
A New Service Offered to Veterans at Buffalo VA Medical Center
Kids Korner Waiting Room Opens
Veterans who have medical appointments at VA Western New York Healthcare System and need assistance with childcare, can use the Kids Korner Waiting Room, at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, 3495 Bailey Avenue beginning Monday, October 3. This free service is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by calling 716-862-8802 to make an appointment for children six weeks to 12 years of age.
In July 2011, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced that Buffalo was one of three VA medical centers in the nation to be a part of the childcare pilot. This pilot program will benefit both men and women Veterans and was established by Congress as part for the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 signed by the President in May 2010. In a survey, VA found that nearly a third of Veterans were interested in childcare services and more than 10 percent had to cancel or reschedule VA appointments due to lack of childcare.
Health Association of Niagara County Inc. (HANCI) offers the supervised care for children at the Kids Korner Waiting Room at the Buffalo site. They currently also operate the childcare facility on the grounds of the Buffalo VA for employees.
“We’ve been looking forward to this opportunity to provide a supervised childcare waiting room for Veterans while they are here for appointments,” stated Kathy Smythe, Program Manager, Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation New Dawn. “The staff of HANCI has a structured plan of activities while the children wait.” A ribbon cutting celebration is being planned for Thursday, October 27. Other VA childcare pilot sites that will be open at a later date are Northport, NY and Puget Sound, WA.