Picente: Oneida County Participates in Pilot Program to Help Veterans

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. announced a recently formed partnership between Oneida County and the Veterans Health Care Administration to provide consumer directed care to Oneida County Veterans. The partnership comes as a result of New York being named one of 10 states selected to participate in a grant by the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA). The VHA has expressed interest in purchasing services directly from the aging network for veterans of all ages at risk of nursing home placement and is committed to providing at least $3 million towards this initiative.

Through this special grant opportunity Oneida County Office for the Aging/Continuing Care worked to identify veterans at risk of nursing home placement, provide them with home and community based services, and offer consumer directed models of care. Some of the services, which are customized to each veteran, offered in this program include personal care, respite, adult day health care, social adult day care, and may include case management, transportation, home delivered meals, housekeeping services, and assistive devices. Currently there are approximately 12 veterans enrolled in Oneida County’s Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services.
 
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr., said, “I am proud that Oneida County is able to provide this initiative to our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for us,” he went on to say, “By offering consumer directed care, we are truly able to customize services to each individual, making this a cutting edge program. We will continue to work with the Veterans Health Care Administration to identify if there is a greater need in Oneida County. It is our hope that the VHA continues to reinvest in this worthwhile program.”
 
Michael J. Romano, Director of Oneida County Office for the Aging stated that “Oneida County was selected to lead New York State in this pilot due to its ability to demonstrate its skill and experience in providing consumer directed care to both elderly and disabled individuals for several years.” Romano added, “Oneida County’s recent successful implementation of an Administration on Aging (AoA) Community Living Program grant in which the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) was one of 14 states to be funded, created the necessary framework to be eligible to provide services to the VA.”
 
Oneida County is one of three counties currently involved in this program, along with Onondaga County and Broome County.