Veterans care mobile unit to be stationed in NHP three times a week

Veterans care mobile unit to be stationed in NHP three times a week

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, local elected officials and veterans cut the ribbon on a new mobile care unit for veterans Monday.

“Our veterans advisory committee,” Bosworth said, “they’ve been the backbone behind this. When we talked about what we needed to see in the Town of North Hempstead they said this was an absolute need.”

The van will be stationed at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park three days a week. Mondays will be dedicated to physical therapy, Wednesdays to podiatry and Thursdays will focus on primary care.

Bosworth and other speakers took turns stressing the importance of spreading awareness of the new mobile unit to those in need.

“If you know a veteran or have a family member that is a veteran please let them know about this wonderful opportunity,” Bosworth said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure people know about this.”

Bosworth explained that the new mobile unit ties into the town’s Project Independence, a program of the Department of Services for the Aging.

“If you are a member of Project Independence in the town, you get very reduced taxi service rates for medical appointments and this qualifies,” Bosworth said. “We have in place a way for our veterans to get here that doesn’t entail family members to take them and gives them a sense of independence that allows them to get the help they deserve.”

“Between Montauk and New York City there is only one VA hospital that services over 100,000 veterans,” U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City). “Mobile units like this, it is incredibly important that they get used.”

Rice said that ultimately there is a desire to establish community based outpatient clinics, or CBOCs, so veterans do not have to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest Veterans Affairs hospital.

“If we don’t use this, we’re going to lose it,” Rice said.

“It’s really sad that something like this has taken so long,” Anthony Catalano, of Mineola, said. “But it’s a step in the right direction.”

Catalano, who tuned 98 on Tuesday, served in Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army, 70th Infantry Division in World War II.

“A lot of us World War II guys are getting up there in our 80s and 90s,” Catalano said. “It’s really something that we don’t have to be reliant on our families or others to bring us here now.”

“If there’s one way to get a permanent clinic to be located in the Town of North Hempstead it’s for people to use this van,” U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said. “When the VA reports back to Washington D.C., they can show there is a tremendous need for this in the community.”

“I’ve been speaking with the VA since January about permanent clinics and with Northwell Health, and they’ve agreed that they will provide free space in the town of North Hempstead if we can get the VA to place a CBOC in this community,” Suozzi said.

Hours for the VA medical center’s mobile unit are currently unlisted. Appointments and unit hours are available at (631) 261-4400, ext. 4590.

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