From The VA
VA has conducted studies evaluating the potential use of renewable fuels in energy plants supplying 38 VA medical centers around the country. The studies were completed in January for medical centers located in 15 states and Puerto Rico selected because of factors including availability of renewable fuels, energy plant characteristics and local utility rates. Renewable fuels under consideration include methane gas from landfills (biogas) and agricultural waste such as decaying trees and landscape waste, scrap wood and wheat or corn stalks (biomass). Along with renewable fuels, the studies assessed the potential for updating VA’s existing energy plants to incorporate combined heat and power, or cogeneration, technologies. Cogeneration is an energy-efficient system that simultaneously produces electricity and steam, hot water or chilled water. VA already has a renewably fueled cogeneration system at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn. That medical center uses waste methane that is produced from a local municipal landfill. The findings will help VA determine the ideal locations for renewably fueled energy plants, while ensuring cost savings in the long run.
Top Veterans Stories in Today’s News
- Obama to sign veterans bill Washington, DC – President Barack Obama is signing a bill Wednesday that gives more help to veterans and their families. The bill improves health care services for vets and will expand caregiver benefits and training.
- Mullen Apologizes for Veterans Comment Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has apologized to the Disabled American Veterans for a comment he made during an address to the Council on Foundations. During the April 26 address, Adm. Mullen said non-profit groups, and not government, should take care of veterans. Adm. Mullen said in a statement that it was a “poor choice of words.”
- Washington, DC – Vietnam Veterans Memorial adds names of 6 service members Taylor Pontin ran her right index finger over the name of her brother, William L. Taylor, which had just been sand-blasted into the polished black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Back and forth she moved her finger, gently feeling the pristine gray letters etched in the surface of this most tactile of monuments.
- Congress And The VA Deal With Complications Of Veterans’ Health Care Washington, DC – Pressure from Congress telling the Department of Veterans Affairs that it should make it easier for veterans to settle their disability claims is seeing some controversy. “The system is dysfunctional, an open invitation to fraud. And the VA has proposed changes that could make deception even easier.”
- Austin, Texas – For many women, returning home from war means a new challenge: being moms again Teri Jackson, a single mother who grew up in Southwest Austin , deployed to Iraq in March 2004, leaving behind her sons, then 11 and 8 years old. As soon as she got to the barren trailer in Balad that would serve as her living quarters for the next year, she decorated it with photos of her children and cheery memories of home. A few days later, Jackson, 40, a U.S. Army truck driver, went on her first mission, hauling supplies to a distant base. Suddenly, her partner, who was driving at the time, slammed on the brakes, sending Jackson hurtling into the windshield. The move probably saved her life as a mortar round flew past the truck.
- Medical groups get grant to link patient records San Diego, California – A consortium of hospitals and community clinics in the county has won a $15.3 million federal grant to link its electronic medical records systems so basic patient information can be shared among doctors. Studies have shown that digital records help reduce errors, enable physicians to better emphasize preventive care and cut down on certain health costs.
- Marshalltown celebrates grand opening of VA Clinic It took a couple of tries. But members of VFW Post 839 prevailed against blustery winds, raising the American flag high above Marshalltown’s new Community Based Outpatient Clinic Tuesday. “What a nice day to celebrate,” said Marj Hedstrom, associate director of resources for the Veterans Administration/Central Iowa Health Care System, as she kicked off its grand opening celebration.
- R.I. firm benefits from overhaul of patients’ records Washington, DC – Say you are a former member of the armed forces who gets medical care through the Veterans Administration. The federal database gives you one-stop shopping for all your vital records — from treatment history to drugs prescribed — as long as you stay in the VA system. But what if you get hit by a bus in Kennedy Plaza during a visit to Providence? Chances are your health-care background will be a blank slate to the emergency room team at Rhode Island Hospital.
- Over 300 Veterans To Lobby Congress Next Week On Repealing DADT This Year Washington, DC – With just one week until National Veterans Lobby Day on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – sponsored by Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign on May 10th and 11th – more than 300 gay and lesbian veterans and their straight veteran allies from across the country have already registered to come to Washington, DC to tell Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law this year.
- Senator releases follow-up to VA question Hot Springs, Arkansas – It could be looked at as simple good timing, but a press release from Senator Tim Johnson about the future of the VA in Hot Springs and Sturgis gave a dose of optimism when it came out last Tuesday.The release was titled “VA to Keep Centers in Fort Meade, Hot Springs Open,” and included a letter to Johnson from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, in which Shinseki states, “Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 is not considering closing either the Hot Springs or Fort Meade campuses at VABHHCS.