CHENANGO COUNTY – Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) spoke before the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee last week to advocate against moving the Bainbridge Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) to another location.
Speaking before the Veterans' Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Brindisi said over 3,600 veterans reside in Chenango County and the Albany VA Medical Center's proposal to move the Bainbridge CBOC to Oneonta would have "...tremendous impact on veterans and their families in having access to VA health care."
"The Bainbridge clinic does not have a shortage of veterans using its services," Brindisi told the committee, after highlighting a lack of public transportation available in rural Chenango County. "In fact they are operating above capacity, so if the VA does go through with moving the CBOC out of Bainbridge as it's proposing, how will you make sure that veterans relying on the Bainbridge CBOC are able to access reasonable care in health after moving the clinic?"
Dr. Richard A. Stone, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration, said he was familiar with the issue and noted that the Bainbridge CBOC draws veterans from three counties. He sympathized with Brindisi's point that the area has a lack of public transportation.
"One of the difficulties we have in the current location is the lack of public transportation and many of our veterans need help getting there," said Stone. "And so we've considered moving about 20 miles away to an area that does have public transportation."