Thursday, April 17, 2014

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VA Secretary Tours Canandaigua VA Medical Center

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Rochester: VA Secretary Tours Canandaigua VA Medical Center
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Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was in Canandaigua for his first tour of the Canandaigua VA Medical Center Thursday.

It is one of three centers of excellence in the country.

Shinseki said the infrastructure at the Canandaigua VA is among the most extensive in the country.

He said it will play a role in his five-year plan to eliminate homelessness among veterans through access to jobs, education and health care.

He also announced the expansion of the call center at the VA to include a hotline specifically for homeless veterans.

"It'll provide homeless and at-risk veterans with timely and coordinated access to VA services and benefits. It will also be out opportunity to disseminate through the veteran population what we do in the homeless program," Shinseki said.

The Suicide Prevention Hotline at the Canandaigua VA started taking phone calls in 2007. Since then, more than 260,000 veterans have called, and more than 8,600 lives have been saved.

The Hotline for Homeless Veterans added 38 new jobs, bringing the total number of people trained to answer either the Suicide Prevention Hotline or Hotline for Homeless Veterans to 154.

Hotlines for Veterans

Hotline for Homeless Veterans: 1-877-4AID-VET
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

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