Meeting of 1/12/17: ‘Veterans’ Benefits’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
January 12, 2017

Members Attending (14): Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Leyhane, A.J. Amato, Roberto Martinez, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Phil Kellerman, Becky Raymond, Julius Frankel, Charlie Foote.

Guests (2): James Arrington, Jean Marie Niederhoffer.

Program: “Health Care Benefits for Veterans”

Stratton VA Medical Center

Charlie Foote introduced James Arrington, senior program manager at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center.

James explained his role as being responsible for health care benefits at the VA Center. His presentation covered: “Who is a Veteran?” and “The Basic Veteran Statuses.”

A key is establishing eligibility with form 10-10EZ, which is available online, The enrollment system is broken into groups of priorities depending on needs. Other questions addressed included  “What am I eligible for?”,  and preventive care services that can include even eyeglasses and hearing aids.

A common question, obviously, is “What do I have to pay?” James said there are limits to benefits, and a means test is part of a financial assessment. He explained  that the Veterans Administration now can offer payment for services provided outside the VA facility. It also will provide non-VA emergency Care under certain circumstances.

James also addressed a number of questions from then audience, including those on tele-medicine, the high suicide rate among veterans, and reimbursements to outside suppliers.

Note: More details of his presentation are available on our Program Presentation Archive website page.


screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-2-07-48-pmRECYCLING DAY — Terry Brewer reported that we are set for Saturday’s “Resolved To Recycle” fundraising effort, with a good number of volunteers for three shifts to staff the paper- and electronics-recycling event at Wainschaf Construction. And, several members have stepped up to contribute money toward the cost of the shredding machine rental.

SIMULATOR GOLF — Murray Forth said a signup sheet for volunteers to staff the January 21 event at Burden Lake Country Club will be circulated next week. Also, we now can accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards.

ROTARY HOME COOKING — Four seats remain for a “French Bistro” dinner to be hosted by Dean and Doris Calamaras on January 27, the first in this year’s series of member-hosted home dinners. Anyone else wishing to attend is asked to contact Dean directly.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-2-17-25-pmCOMMITTEE FOLLOWUP — At last week’s meeting, members broke up into their committees to discuss their efforts. Tonight they reported.

Jim Leyhane spoke about Ronald McDonald House and Easter baskets by the Boy Scouts; CPR usually is handled by Ron and Monika Annis of Top Form; no strong need was seen for raffles; no interest in participating in fairs; we may wish to support Blue Star Mothers in sending packages overseas to troops.

Murray spoke about fundraising possibilities, and said there is no interest in resuming the Rotary Run; we should consider an information event with vendors and local craftspeople, maybe at the Goff School parking lot and consider charging a fee to the vendors.

Debbie Brown reported lots of good discussion on youth efforts, especially spreading the knowledge of Rotary to students. Student foreign exchange program and scholarship program was discussed; possibility of holding a youth leadership program at CASDA; we should require recipients of our leadership programs to report back to the club as a way for us to find and mentor students. Terry said A.J. has done an excellent job with not much support with Maple Hill. We cannot fund more than $3,000 in annual scholarship funds, so if we wish to include Averill Park High School we may need additional fundraising efforts or decrease the amount of each scholarship.

2 MEETINGS NEXT WEEK: Third Thursday breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. at the Greenbush YMCA. Executive Director  Jim Butterworth will speak on his work with CASDA — the Capital District School Development Association. Then, at 6:15 p.m. at Quigley’s, webmaster Bill Dowd will take us on a tour of our website and social media resources, and is asking everyone to bring a cellphone, laptop or tablet so this can be a hands-on experience.

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