September 19, 2014

Gillibrand Announces Final Passage of Bill to Keep Buffalo VA’s Child Care Program Open

More Than 100 Local Families Take Advantage of Program Each Month While Receiving VA Services

Washington, DC – With a local Buffalo VA child care pilot program set to expire at the end of the year, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced final passage of legislation to maintain the program through 2015. More than 100 local veterans per month have taken advantage of this service, which has cared for nearly 1,300 children this year while their parents receive mental health services from the VA. Senator Gillibrand has long advocated for this program.

“This is an important program for Buffalo veterans and their families,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Many of our men and women who served in the military need counseling and health services and help when they return home. This program helps our veterans receive the services they earned and deserve by providing child care during their appointments. This VA program has been incredibly successful in Buffalo and should remain available here, and expanded throughout the country.”

“As a married combat Veteran with four kids, I have personally benefited from the Kids Korner PILOT at the VA WNY Healthcare System’s Buffalo Medical Center,” said Roger Woodworth, CEO of the Western New York Veterans One-Stop Center. “Kids Korner has directly supported my care, resulting in a positive care experience not only for me, but for my family. Additionally, I have seen the positive impact The Kids Korner PILOT has had on many Western New York Veterans and their families accessing and receiving quality health care at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. The Kids Korner gives our Veteran families one less thing to worry about while receiving the healthcare they have earned. Kids Korner not only enhances and encourages our Veterans use of the VA Buffalo Medical Center, in a number of cases, it allows for it.  The loss of this program not only degrades the accessibility of healthcare for our Veterans, but sends a message that fails to reinforce the important role that Veterans’ families play in supporting our Veterans not just during their period of service to our Country, but throughout the continued care that our Veterans receive post-service.”

At the end of the year, the child care pilot program at the Buffalo VA would have been forced to discontinue their program without this legislation. Senator Gillibrand is also supporting the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act of 2013, to extend the pilot program. The bill passed the House of Representatives on September 16, and passed the U.S. Senate late last night, and now heads to the President for his signature.