Local VA network chief talks construction, healthcare

Bruce Tucker, new director of the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System, said veterans overall prefer care from Veterans Administration over community options — which has led to developments to foster that preference.

Along with advances in telehealth, in which veterans can receive certain healthcare services from home, VA is leveraging more full-time physicians. By operating through VA networks such as the one that includes Canandaigua — the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System — full-time specialists can treat veterans closer to home by working from neighboring VAs. That is taking place now with full-time specialists working from the Canandaigua and Bath VAs, Tucker said during an interview Tuesday at the Canandaigua campus. The same is being done with other VAs in the system.

Tucker, who grew up in Elmira and lives in the Corning area, joined VA more than 27 years ago. Having held progressive leadership positions at the Bath and Canandaigua VAs, Tucker most recently served as interim medical center director for the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System since September 2018. Prior to that, Tucker was medical VA care line manager/chief of social work at both the Bath and Canandaigua VAs where he planned and managed delivery of medical services.

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