The DAV Transportation Network provides transportation for veterans to assist them in meeting their healthcare needs.
Our requirements are minimal:
- Be a Vet!
- We ask for at least two weeks notice, as we rely on donated vans and volunteer drivers to provide this service. Without prior notice, drivers and/or vehicles may not be readily available.
Bob McTighe - Hospital Service Coordinator - Buffalo VAMC
3495 Bailey Ave. Buffalo, NY 14215
Telephone - (716) 862-6544
Fax - (716) 862-6542
The DAV Transportation Network Fact Sheet
The Problem - In the spring of 1987, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stopped reimbursing veterans for the costs of transportation to and from medical facilities. The move was made necessary by Congressional budget cuts, and tens of thousands of war veterans were left stranded and cut off from proper medical care. Most were seeking treatment for service-connected disabilities. Nearly all the rest were poor and had no other health care resources to depend on.
The Need - Many disabled veterans live on small fixed incomes, often many miles from the nearest VA hospital. They must rely on private transportation. Paying their own travel costs is a tremendous hardship when every dollar is required for shelter and food. In some instances, veterans have given up trying to seek the medical care they need and earned. They feel abandoned, left with no choice but to suffer in silence.
The DAV Solution - Immediately upon hearing of the benefits cut, the Disabled American Veterans - the DAV - began organizing a nationwide Transportation Network. There are Hospital Service Coordinators (HSCs) covering transportation programs at more than 180 VA hospitals and Outpatient Clinics. These DAV HSCs assemble corps of volunteer drivers and match them up with disabled veteran's hospital transportation requests, providing over 750,000 rides to veterans annually.
The DAV is providing the VA with a large number of vans for transportation of disabled veterans. When the need was great, the DAV jumped in and provided a total solution. We're providing the drivers, we're providing the vans and we're providing the employees needed to coordinate the program.
The Result - No individual who has served our country and sacrifices a limb, eyesight or good health should be denied proper medical care just because he or she cannot reach a VA facility. No veteran should have to sacrifice food, or money, or be required to cut down on living expenses. Nor should vets have to neglect their health because they cannot afford to pay for transportation.
You Too Can Help - If you would like to be a volunteer driver in our Transportation Network, or if you need the services of our volunteer drivers, please call your nearest VA medical facility and ask for the DAV Hospital Service Coordinator.
1.) It is the policy of the Medical Center to provide a VOLUNTEER transportation service to veterans in need of medical attention at this location, which have no other available means of transportation. Once our service is started, it is to be used for ALL APPOINTMENTS. “No other transportation” is defined as follows: [i.e.] Car, Bus, Taxi, Senior city/county can, relatives, and/or friends.
2.) In order to provide consistent and equitable assistance to all veterans qualified and in need of service - please follow the criteria below.
- The DAV-TN will provide transportation to all (AMBULATORY) veterans in this facility. Clinic appointments must start at 9 AM within Buffalo city limits and 9:30 AM outside of the city. All appointments must be scheduled no later than 12 noon. Transportation is based primarily on the veteran’s medical needs, space available and number of volunteers reporting in to drive.
- PATIENTS MUST BE READY FOR PICK-UP BY 7:30 AM – NO MATTER THE TIME OF THEIR APPOINTMENTS
- Veterans riding in the DAV vans are not eligible to collect travel pay from the Veterans Administration
- The DAV drivers are NOT permitted to make any side trips [i.e.] the bank, laundry, supermarket, or other personal errands for veterans or any other persons in the van.
- Veterans will be transported by the DAV-TN for: Coumadin LABS only. All other veterans must have a scheduled clinic appointment to be transported for their labs work. WE DO NOT GIVE RIDES FOR LAB WORK ONLY / TO PICK-UP MEDICATIONS / OR FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT.
* No transportation will be provided for: Shots [including B-12 shots]/ Group meetings, Incentive Therapy or CWT workers or any ONE WAY trips.
- Only the spouse or caregiver that provides assistance to the veteran will be authorized to travel with the veteran. NOTE: A script must be provided and written by the Veterans Primary Care Provider located within this facility.
ALL VETERANS MUST REPORT TO THE VA TRAVEL LOUNGE DIRECTLY AFTER THEIR LAST APPOINTMENT. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT! ANY BREECH OF DAV-TN POLICY MAY RESULT IN TERMINATION OF OUR SERVICE TO YOU.
- The veteran is responsible to notify the DAV DISPATCH DESK at TWO TO THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE to schedule transportation or if their clinic appointment has been cancelled by calling (716) 862-6544.
- The DAV-TN provides curb to curb service. DAV volunteers are not permitted to assist veterans in/out of the van or handle large bundles of equipment. If the Pharmacy or Prosthetics issues large than normal amounts on the day of travel; he parcels etc. must be mailed to the veteran’s home and not loaded in or by the van driver. A cane, walker or small oxygen tank will be permitted in the van but no wheelchairs. Veterans who are ambulatory enough to get into the van must leave personal wheelchairs at home and use VAMC equipment.
- Return transportation may be delayed depending on staffing and other operating criteria. The dispatcher has the final say! You may have to wait for others in order to fill the van – especially the further away from the facility you live.