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Albany is well-known for world-class medical treatment including the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. This progressive facility is named after New York Congressman Samuel S. Stratton who served 30 years in the state legislature and was a staunch supporter of proper health care for the United States military veterans.
About the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
The Albany Veterans Affairs Medical Center first opened in 1951. It was the first center in what’s now the VA Health Care Upstate New York system. This medical facility has now grown to serve all veterans within a 100-mile radius of Albany which includes veterans in 22 upstate New York, Vermont, and western Massachusetts counties
This first-rate VA medical facility had the honor of being renamed to the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in 1990. Congressman Samuel Stratton was a frequent visitor to the facility and worked tirelessly to improve veteran health care by raising funds and enacting benefit legislation. Today, the Albany Stratton Center offers primary and secondary health services including a cancer care department for treating mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
Many prominent physicians, residents and interns serve at the Albany Stratton VA Center. It’s associated with the Albany Medical College with affiliated residency programs being fully integrated with the center’s daily operations. Although primarily administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteers and community donations significantly help support this leading facility.
The Albany Stratton VA Medical Center’s goal is providing the highest quality medical services through technical excellence and quality improvements on a continuing basis. Internationally recognized physicians and support staff provide research into disease treatment as well as surgical and extended care. Additionally, the Albany Stratton VA Center offers a women veteran’s health care program addressing specific needs for America’s women veterans.
Eleven outpatient clinics work with the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. They provide community-based services in Catskill, Clifton Park, Elizabethtown, Fonda, Glens Falls, Kingston, Malone, Plattsburgh, Schenectady, Troy and also one in neighboring Bennington, Vermont. These outpatient clinics play an integral role in unifying expanded primary and preventative health care services.
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Location & Overview
The Albany Stratton VA Medical Center provides tertiary care to patients who are referred from other facilities’ primary and secondary assessments. The facility has 156 authorized beds for hospitalized patients. That’s in addition to having a wide range of day care accommodations and long-term hospice care. The center’s location, address and contact information are:
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
113 Holland Avenue,
Albany, New York 12208
The Albany Stratton Center specializes in advanced medical services for cardiac catheterization and rehabilitation, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, stereotactic radiosurgery, palliative/hospice care and adult day health care. The center is also recognized for advanced treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder, geriatric assessment and nursing home care. One of the Albany Stratton’s leading programs is its cancer care program.
The Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Cancer Care Program
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center’s cancer care program holds continuous accreditation with the Commission on Cancer, ongoing since 1959. This prestigious oversight body is a consortium of professionally designated organizations dedicated towards service excellence. Cancer patients have their life quality and survival improved through setting standards, preventing, researching, educating and monitoring most cancer forms and stages.
An ultimate goal for the Albany Stratton cancer program is curing patients of malignancy. If not possible, the program is designed to maintain life quality by managing cancer symptoms and spread.
These are the core components of Albany Stratton VA Medical Center’s cancer program.
- Clinical Services: The Stratton VAMC cancer program has a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. They’re based on referrals or from site assessments. Services include chemotherapy, imaging, pathology reviews, radiation oncology and surgical intervention. Additional services are support groups, hospice, and palliative care.
- Cancer Committee: This is a multi-disciplinary team of physicians representing departments in diagnostic radiology, hematology/oncology, pathology, radiation oncology and surgery. The team meets regularly with administrative and support staff to discuss individual patient cases and seek the best available treatment.
- Tumor Board: The Albany Stratton tumor board meets monthly to present pathological cases and unique situations. A board approach ensures a wide range of experience assesses unique situations. This not only serves to improve treatment. It improves education within the facility and abroad.
- Screening and Prevention: Proactive and preventive cancer screenings are vital to catch tumors in the early stage. This gives the Albany Stratton cancer intervention team the best chance of managing cancer spread and reducing aggression. Part of this program includes a sophisticated database and peer review program.
- Performance Management/Quality Improvement: Being veteran’s health care provider of choice is Albany Stratton VAMC’s vision. By continually monitoring performance and managing quality improvements, the center’s knowledge of cancer treatment techniques ensures veterans receive excellent care.
Cancer Treatment at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center’s oncology service uses advanced technologies and skilled medical professionals that take a holistic approach to cancer treatment. It’s an entire patient well-being program including body, mind and spirit. Early diagnosis and detection is key to limiting cancer health risks.
Depending on the patient case and needs, the Albany Stratton VA MC cancer team uses any or all of these treatments:
- Chemotherapy using powerful drugs to shrink and kill tumors
- Immunotherapy to help the immune system naturally heal the body
- Radiotherapy, or high-energy radiation, to stop cancerous cells
- Surgical intervention to remove tumors and cells growth
The Albany Stratton VA Medical Center’s cancer care program regularly treats many cancer forms. Lung cancer and mesothelioma cases are part of the program. They’re interconnected with other leading VA medical centers and independent mesothelioma facilities.
Becoming an Albany Stratton VA Health Care Center Patient
Enrolling in the cancer care program or other Albany Stratton Health Care Center treatments is open to all qualified United States military veterans. Enrollment involves army, air force, marine, navy and coast guard veterans residing in the Albany catchment area. Occasionally, patients are referred from outside locations. This is case-dependent if their local VA health care facility is unequipped to treat their particular situation.
Veteran eligibility is open to all veterans who were honorably discharged from their military branch. Dishonorable discharges are ineligible for any VA benefit or treatment. This is the same criteria at every VA facility, not just the Albany Stratton VAMC.
Most Albany Stratton patients begin enrollment after primary diagnosis by their personal physician or through a local outpatient clinic. Applications can result from local referrals or made online. Printed and paper version of the VA enrollment form can also be delivered in person or mailed to the Albany Stratton center.
Veteran applicants must include this information:
- Copy of both sides of the applicant’s current insurance card including Medicare and Medicaid
- Copy of the DD214 “Armed Forces Report of Transfer or Discharge”
Some minimal duty requirements are also involved for eligibility. These vary depending on the individual’s service. For clarification, it’s best to check the VA website or contact the Albany Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center directly.