A Disaster–VA Discontinues Gulf War Research
Who are the bad guys here? A first for veterans with a major medical university stepping forward for veteran to support veterans has had endless attacks. Were they deserved?
Where is Senator Hutchinson and Congressman Edwards in this? When will they Stand up and fight? Meetings in Dallas? Names involved in this battle includes Jack Thompson, Paul Hutton, Oleary, Kuppersmith on VA side and Senator Akaka(on VA side). Where are the Senate and House Hearings on this? WE need Joint Hearings on the Hill! This Action Must be stopped or reconsidered. Is it time for Veterans to Raise A Rukus or to be heard?
Was it just a month ago that Dallas papers were reporting and meetings were held? Were agreements made? Who broke the agreement, which side? WE here at Veterans Today, and I write this as the writer and not as a member or officer of organizations(if I can be allowed that independence for this situation).
There has been years long efforts here and very strong and capable people are involved. It is a shame that the veterans appear on the loosing end of this in the end if only in the lost of time involved for new researchers to be brought in to fund the work that needs to be done. And time is critical after 19 years have past since gulf war veterans came on sick.
If agreements were made and one side is not complying, is there any middle of the road negotiation? Is there any other steps that could have been considered?
My point is solely to address the issue of the veterans, the gains that were made by the project, and the repercussions on the veterans and the delay in time to get more answers. Those are central issues that should be also weighted in any decision.
Seems to me a hearing should be held so all the facts are laid out to the veterans, to elected officials on the main committees of jurisdiction and for other elected officials in DC that represent gulf war veterans in every district across the US to also know what has happenned, to veterans family members, and for citizens. This represents a significant amount of time, money, resources, and potential answers for gulf war veterans. Seems to me when there are weapon systems and problems related to that there are hearings that occur. Why is this not treated the same? Were there any other options?
Cancels Contract with UTSW Medical Center
WASHINGTON – Citing persistent noncompliance and numerous performance deficiencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will not exercise the third year of a five-year, $75 million contract with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSWMC) to perform research into Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (GWVI).
"Research into the illnesses suffered by Gulf War Veterans remains a priority for VA," said Dr. Gerald M. Cross, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health. "As part of our commitment to this vital effort, we must
make certain that our resources are used to support effective and productive research."
VA listed several reasons for not exercising the contract option, including UTSWMC’s persistent and continuing noncompliance with contract terms and conditions and detailed documentation by the contracting officer of performance deficiencies. VA also noted that its Office of Inspector General documented severe performance deficiencies in a July 15 report and recommended that no further task orders be issued under the contract.
VA will meet with UTSWMC contract staff on today to provide guidance for completing work in progress and submitting adequate documentation to allow payment. UTSWMC will be allowed to fulfill task orders already in progress if it corrects all performance deficiencies.
The decision not to continue the contract means VA’s research program will be able to redirect funds to support additional research into GWVI.
In 2010, that research will include a genomic study to identify susceptibility factors and markers of GWVI; studies of similarities and differences with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia; studies of
new diagnostic tests; identification of sub-populations of ill Gulf War Veterans; and studies of potential new treatments.
The redirected funding for these new VA research initiatives will be in addition to the substantial support VA already provides for GWVI research–$7 million in 2008 and $4.8 million so far in 2009.