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County Officials Host VA Visit To Discuss Veterans’ Services

February 21st, 2020

Potter County hosted a visit by two executives of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs on Friday as part of an ongoing partnership for the delivery of VA health care to hundreds of the county’s military veterans. Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman were joined by Veterans Affairs Director Michael Pepper and Maintenance Director Joe Kurtz in welcoming Bruce Tucker, executive director, and Marie Kervan, associate chief nurse for medicine, from the VA Finger Lakes Health Care System. Their focus was on the Potter County Veterans Clinic, operated by the Bath (N.Y.) VA Medical Center at a county-owned building in Coudersport.

Director Tucker discussed challenges that the VA and other providers have experienced in recruiting certain health care professionals to rural areas. The VA has adjusted by introducing “telehealth” to supplement veterans’ services at many of its medical clinics, including the Potter County facility. Many medical diagnoses can be made through the fiber optic technology. The group toured the local clinic and discussed building modifications that Director Kurtz and the county maintenance crew will be making later this year to meet the VA’s needs. About 300 veterans are regularly seen at the clinic. Director Pepper pointed out that he and the county’s Veterans Service Committee are working on an outreach campaign to apprise veterans of the benefits and services to which they may be entitled. (Shown from left at the local clinic are Michael Pepper, Marie Kervan, Bruce Tucker, Paul Heimel, Barry Hayman and Nancy Grupp.)

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