Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today's News

From the VA:

1.      Baker: VA Can Benefit From “Open Source Community Based Around VistA.” FierceGovernmentIT (10/26, Walker) reports, “Public debate over the electronic road ahead for the Veterans Affairs Department is often informed by a series of high-profile information technology project failures at the department,” whose “Chief Information Officer Roger Baker has told Congress and other officials…VA is changing its ways for the better.” FierceGovernmentIT publishes a transcript of an interview it conducted with Baker “at the Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va. on Oct. 24.” Among other things, Baker told FierceGovernmentIT that “our thought is that by being part of an open source community based around VistA,” VA “can encourage private sector folks to either directly contribute the open source-you know, make improvements,” or “integrate their products with the open source, so we can very easily buy a working product, instead of having to go down the government route.”

2.      Louisiana Governor Awards Medals To Vets. The KATC-TV Lafayette, LA (10/25) website noted that on Monday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal “awarded 324 veterans from St. Mary Parish with the Louisiana Veterans’ Honor Medal,” during a ceremony held at the Patterson Civic Center in Morgan City. Jindal was joined at the ceremony by “Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary Lane Carson.”

3.      Report Says VA Would Benefit From Open-Source Software Development Program. Modern Healthcare (10/25, Conn, 72K) reported, “The Veterans Affairs Department-and quite possibly the world-would benefit from establishing an open-source software development program to carry forward with the 33 years of software development that created the VA’s VistA electronic health-record system, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have concluded” in an “86-page report, ‘The VistA Ecosystem: Current Status and Future Directions.'”

4.      VA Awards Medical Records Consolidation Contract. The AP (10/26) notes that on Monday, data management company Caci International Inc. “said…it has won a $91 million contract to with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help consolidate the medical records of Armed Forces members.” According the AP, work on the five-year contract “involves developing a database for use by all health providers in the veterans and defense systems and in civilian medical offices that military personnel might use.” Government Health IT (10/26, Mosquera) and Modern Healthcare (10/26, Conn) publish similar stories.

 5.      VA Awards Grant To Homeless Shelter For New Facility. The KECI-TV Missoula, MT (10/25, Iannetta) website said the Poverello Center, a “homeless shelter in Missoula,” is the “recipient of a half a million dollar grant” from the Department of Veterans Affairs “for a new veterans facility.” Poverello’s “director of operations, Eran Fowler Pehan, tells NBC Montana” that news of the grant is “incredibly exciting.”

 6.      Defense Department Funding Chip To Constantly Monitor TBI Patients. The current issue of the Army Times (11/1, 104K) reports, “Rather than constantly monitoring patients’ vital signs, the military hopes to provide a constant flow of information for troops with severe” traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) “through a ‘lab on a chip.’ To that end, the Defense Department just awarded a $ million grant to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the University of Cincinnati to continue research on a drive they’ve developed.” Raj Narayan, “chairman of neurosurgery at North Shore University in New York, which will be helping to create the device,” said, “When soldiers are injured in battle, there is a great need for this kind of monitoring, and it would be critically important during transport.”

 7.      Injured US Soldiers Being Treated At NATO Hospital In Afghanistan. In its current issue, the Army Times (11/1, Kennedy, 104K) says that when “patients arrive – 250 to 400 a week, including about 275 trauma patients a month – everything else disappears in the cacophony of noise, action and emotion” that is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “Role 3 multinational hospital” located at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. According to the Times, injured US soldiers are treated at the hospital.

 8.      Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic Operating In Afghanistan. According to the current issue of the Army Times (11/1, Kennedy, 104K), the US military “has stood up a new traumatic brain injury clinic” at the Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan. The clinic is a “response to a requirement that all service members be assessed for concussions after potential injuries.”

 9.      In Sign Making Reference To Caprio Comment, Vet Urges Obama To Do More For Vets. In its “Projo 7 To 7 News Blog,” the Providence (RI) Journal (10/26, Naylor) notes that on Monday, as “President Obama’s motorcade passed on its way to a fundraiser at the East Side home of Buff and Johnnie Chace,” 67-year-old veteran Peter Stelljes “held a sign that said, ‘He meant $hov IT $ R $ way, Mr POTUS.'” Stellies “referred in his sign to General Treasurer Frank Caprio’s angry dismissal of the president’s neutrality in the governor’s race.” The Journal points out that while Stelljes “said he didn’t think Obama was doing enough for veterans,” he also “said Caprio’s telling Obama to ‘shove it’ embarrassed him.”

 10.    National Association For Uniformed Services Calls For New COLA Calculation Formula. The current issue of the Army Times (11/1, 104K) reports, “The Oct. 15 announcement there will be no” cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) “this year in military retired pay – the second consecutive year with no increase – has prompted” the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS) to “renew its call for a new formula for calculating retirement expenses that puts more weight on things such as health care, which is a bigger expense for seniors than for younger people. With retirees facing double-digit increase increases in health care costs, the revised formula would provide a fairer and more accurate Social Security COLA each year, NAUS said in a statement.”


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