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New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network


Returning Service Members

Program Managers for Returning OEF/OIF/OND Veterans

Albany Program Manager

Leah Macdonald
Phone: (518) 626-6962
Address: VA Health Care Upstate New York
113 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208


 Bath Program Manager

Dawn R. Smith, LCSW
Phone: (607) 664-4542
Address: Bath VA Medical Center
76 Veterans Avenue, Bath, NY 14810


Canandaigua Program Manager

Emily Sennett, LCSW
Phone: (585) 393-7169
Address: Canandaigua VA Medical Center
400 Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua, NY 14424


 Syracuse Program Manager

Lauren Love-Dubeau, LCSW-R
Phone: (315) 425-4426
Address: Syracuse VA Medical Center
800 Irving Avenue Syracuse, NY 13210


 VA Western New York Program Manager

Katherine Smythe, LCSW-R
Phone: (716) 862-3111
Address: VA Medical Center
3495 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215


 VA Health Care Upstate New York Point of Contact

Lauren Love-Dubeau
Phone: (315) 425-4426
Address: Syracuse VA Medical Center
800 Irving Avenue Syracuse, NY 13210


Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

VA is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers. The New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network has a team ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers and to help coordinate their care. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.