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Representatives from the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System — Reno VA — take a moment for a photo as they complete an informative session for the Plumas County Veterans collaborative April 19 in Quincy. From left: Health Systems Specialist Bruce Oberg, Deputy Chief of Staff Dr. Amy Sanguinetti and Supervisor Beneficiary Travel/ICB Jerry Moore. They gave an update on the many services available at the Reno VA facility and the status of their efforts to bring more outpatient service to Plumas veterans. Photo by Gregg Scott

Veterans Collaborative welcomes VA representatives.

The Plumas County Veterans Collaborative and community supporters continue in their quest to bring more and better benefits to Plumas veterans and to inform the county’s veterans of their availability.

To that end the TPCVC monthly meeting held April 19 at the Quincy Veterans Hall included a distinguished assemblage of veterans healthcare experts from the VA Hospital in Reno and congressional staff members from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office who work specifically to help facilitate veterans’ benefit claims.

Deputy Chief of Staff Dr. Amy Sanguinetti, supervisor of Beneficiary Travel/ICB; Jerry Moore; and Health Systems Specialist Bruce Oberg from the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System (Reno VA) outlined the services available to veterans at the hospital and in Plumas County.

They described the increase in outpatient visits, which totaled 421,858 in 2017.

With only 112 doctors/residents at the facility that would mean that each doctor would need to see about 10 patients a day if they all worked 365 days a year.

It is estimated that Plumas has just over 1,900 veterans. One of the goals of the Collaborative and the VA is to bring additional outpatient services to this county.

One veteran in attendance stated, “The hardest part of getting more services here [in Plumas County] is overcoming the ‘bean counters’ who always say the cost doesn’t justify the service for only 1,900 people.”

Dr. Sanguinetti responded that is a condition they are trying to overcome as they work with local hospitals looking for ways to provide the services needed here.

There was a long list of services that are available at the Reno VA facility, including an emergency department, outpatient clinic, many specialty care and surgical categories, mental health, geriatrics and diagnostics, just to name a few.

Also present at the meeting was Field Representative Shane Star from Congressman LaMalfa’s office.

Star was accompanied by Casework Manager Leslie Schuessler and Senior Caseworker Jenna Batti who talked about their role in the congressman’s office to help veterans resolve problems they may encounter in filing for benefits.

They noted that the most common areas that veterans run into problems are:

– VA Disability Claims, especially pension and surviving spouse claims.

– Healthcare reimbursements, incorrect billings and ambulatory claims.

– Records requests, meeting time constraints or filing for extensions.

The bottom line for this assemblage was the transfer of information and ideas regarding ways to better serve Plumas County veterans.

This is only one of many meetings and events that the Collaborative is planning.

The TPCVC is a volunteer group of veterans and supporters of those who served. Several veterans’ organizations are represented at the meeting and several members are veterans that work in various positions in and out of Plumas County serving the public.

Plumas County Veterans Stand Down

One of the events the Collaborative is working on is the Plumas County Veterans Stand Down to be held Saturday, Sept. 22.

The stand down will be held at the Plumas/Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will offer multiple exhibitors to assist veterans with healthcare, legal, veteran benefits and other services.

The event will also include onsite VA eligibility enrollment with a copy of Form DD-214.

The will be coffee and donuts available in the morning and veterans and their families are invited to stay for a barbeque lunch.

More information is available on the Collaborative website at tpcvc.com.

Those with questions about veteran benefits should call Plumas County Veterans Service Officer Jimmy LaPlante at 283-6275 or toll free at (800) 801-6330.

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