06.25.18

OVER 350 HOMEBOUND VETERANS IN ROCHESTER-FINGER LAKES THAT GET CANANDAIGUA VA HOME-BASED PRIMARY CARE DEALT BLOW BY NEW U.S. POSTAL POLICY; SCHUMER URGES USPS TO REVERSE NEW POLICY THAT IS BANNING CANANDAIGUA VA FROM PARKING & STAGING VITAL HOME VISITATION VEHICLES AT 10 LOCAL POST OFFICES; SENATOR SAYS THE NEW POLICY WILL MAKE IT HARDER TO PERFORM HOME VISITATIONS FOR AREA VETS

For The Last Year, The Canandaigua VA And USPS Have Had A Parking Agreement In Place That Allowed The VA To Park Government Owned Home Visitation Vehicles At 10 Post Offices in Greece, Irondequoit, Churchville, Macedon, Lima, Clarendon, Holley, Victor, Farmington, Shortsville; Last Week USPS Revoked the Parking Agreement

Schumer Urges USPS To Immediately Reverse The Determination And Allow Agreement To Stand, Senator Says USPS new Ban Means VA Medical Workers Can See Fewer Homebound Veterans Per Day

Schumer To Feds: Don’t Mail It In – Reverse This Destructive Policy 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, today urged the U.S Postal Service (“USPS”) to immediately change course and reverse a determination that is now stopping the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) Canandaigua, New York Medical Center from parking and staging the VA’s government-owned home visitation vehicles at ten post offices located strategically across the Canandaigua VA’s over 100-mile wide five-county service area. Schumer said last week the USPS chose to revoke the parking agreement citing security and liability concerns, even though the USPS and Canandaigua VA had a parking agreement in place for the past year. Schumer called the decision short-sighted that will result in Canandaigua VA medical personnel seeing fewer homebound veterans per day and urged Postmaster General Brennan to review and reverse the recent determination immediately so that the long-standing agreement can continue.

“The recent determination by the USPS to stop allowing the Canandaigua VA to park and stage their government-owned home visitation vehicles at ten post offices is short-sighted and harmful – and they should reverse it ASAP. This decision means Canandaigua VA medical personnel’s longer commute times will result in them seeing fewer homebound veterans per day.   More than 350 homebound veterans across Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, and Ontario rely on this Home Based Primary Care to provide them and their families with the care they need and deserve. This unwise new policy makes it harder for VA home visitation workers to perform vital home visits for those who need care,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why today I’m calling on Postmaster General Brennan to reverse course and allow the effective agreement to stay in place. This new determination makes its harder for local veterans who sacrificed so much to defend our nation, to get the care and support they need, and I vow to work in lockstep with stakeholders to ensure that the determination is reversed and that the long-standing agreement is upheld now and in the future.”

Schumer explained that for the past year, the USPS and Canandaigua VA have had an agreement in place that allowed the VA to park and stage their government-owned home visitation vehicles at ten Post Offices within the Canandaigua VA’s five-county service areas in closer proximity to the parts of the region where the VA Homecare visitation workers live and work. According to Schumer, the USPS decided to revoke the parking agreement with the Canandaigua VA, citing security and liability concerns over non-postal General Services Administration (GSA) vehicles being parked in the postal parking lots.  Now with the VA vehicles banned from the Post Offices and staged instead at the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus, the VA Homecare workers must commute to the Canandaigua VA first each day before beginning their home visitations.  Schumer called the revoking of the parking agreement shortsighted and urged Postmaster General Brennan to reverse course and allow the long-standing policy to stay in place.

Schumer said, that over 350 veterans and their families receive Home Based Primary Care within the five-county service areas, including Orleans, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne and Ontario Counties. Schumer explained that providing this first-rate care requires VA medical personnel to drive to the homes of homebound veterans across this region which spans over 100 miles and takes an over two-hour drive to traverse.

According to Schumer, the Canandaigua VA has parked and staged their government-owned home visitation vehicles at the following ten post offices:

  • Monroe County - Greece, NY Post Office, Irondequoit Post Office, Churchville Post Office
  • Wayne County – Macedona Post Office
  • Livingston County – Lima Post Office
  • Orleans County – Clarendon Post Office, Holley Post Office
  • Ontario County – Victor Post Office, Farmington Post Office, Shortsville Post Office

Schumer said the agreement between the Canandaigua VA and USPS has made home visitations for veterans and their families more time efficient and more fuel efficient. Additionally, according to Schumer, it has allowed the VA health care staff to see more patients each and every day by avoiding having to pick up the vehicles every day from the Canandaigua VA. Schumer said that in order to best use the federally-owned vehicles in the five-county region, it would be exceedingly short-sighted for the USPS to disallow the staging of VA home-based care vehicles at the ten post offices across the region.

Schumer concluded that the VA’s home-based care visits not only benefit homebound veterans by improving their quality of life by reducing the need for hospital admissions but also support family caregivers in their desire to keep their loved ones at home. Schumer strongly urged Postmaster General to review and reverse their recent determination, so as to provide the best possible care to veterans across the five-county region.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan appears below:

Dear Postmaster Brennan:

I am concerned about a recent determination made by the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) to no longer allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s Canandaigua, New York Medical Center to park the VA’s government-owned home visitation vehicles at ten Post Offices within the Canandaigua VA’s five-county service areas.  As you may know, the Canandaigua VA and USPS has had a parking agreement in place for the past year. I understand the USPS is now revoking this parking agreement with the Canandaigua VA citing security and liability concerns over non-postal GSA vehicles being parked in postal parking lots. However, I believe this action is shortsighted and ask that you reverse this determination and instead allow this policy to continue. 

More than 350 veterans and their families receive Home Based Primary Care within this five-county region that includes Orleans County, Monroe County, Livingston County, Wayne County, and Ontario County.  Providing this care requires VA medical personnel to drive to the homes of homebound veterans across this region which spans over 100 miles and takes an over two-hour drive to traverse.  Over the past year, the Canandaigua VA has parked and staged their government-owned home visitation vehicles at the following ten post offices:

Monroe County: Greece, NY Post Office, Irondequoit Post Office, Churchville Post Office

Wayne County:  Macedon PO

Livingston County:  Lima PO

Orleans County:  Clarendon PO, Holley PO

Ontario County: Victor PO, Farmington PO, Shortsville PO.

The agreement between the Canandaigua VA and USPS has made these home visitations more time and fuel efficient. Further, it has allowed the VA health care staff to see more patients each day by avoiding having to pick up the vehicles each day at the Canandaigua VA.   In order to best utilize federally-owned facilities in this five county region it is short sighted for the USPS to now disallow the staging of VA homebased care vehicles.

The VA’s home based care visits not only benefit homebound veterans by improving their quality of life by reducing the need for hospital admissions but support family caregivers in their desire to keep their loved one at home. I appreciate your consideration of my request to review and reverse this recent determination. 

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

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