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1.Increasing Access: Reaching Out to Rural Veterans. Director of VA’s Office of Rural Health. Nearly 40 percent of enrolled Veterans live in rural areas of our country. This includes men and women Veterans of all ages, races and ethnic groups. Like other individuals living in rural areas, Veterans have difficulty in obtaining access to quality health care.
2.Thriving Beyond the Wounds of War. April 1, 2011 Army Veteran and mother of a disabled Iraq Vet; Founder of HelpOurWounded.org. Yesterday, March 31, was my son’s 8th “alive day”, or the anniversary of the day he nearly died in Iraq. He spent the day skiing the Rocky Mountains at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. But he wasn’t just skiing, he was thriving.
3. DOD to Drop Social Security Numbers from ID Cards. Beginning June 1, Social Security numbers on military identification cards will begin to be replaced by Department of Defense identification numbers to protect cardholders from identity theft.
4. During a shutdown, most servicemembers expect pay issue to be resolved. The possibility of a government shutdown looms large as the Friday deadline for passing a 2011 spending bill nears, and the prospect that troops’ paychecks could be among the casualties is taking hold among some servicemembers across the globe.
5. Large VA clinic in Waterloo being built to meet future needs. Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier — A larger local US Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic is being built here to accommodate future needs, VA officials said. Cardinal Construction of Waterloo is building a …
6. Wellness Fair May 7 in Silver Springs. Reno Gazette Journal Working in partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Rural Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System, the task force has invited many groups this year that will be of special interest to veterans, enlisted, reserves, …
7. Case against contract mail carrier accused of stealing veterans’. al.com (blog)…Scully referred to testimony that the US Department of Veterans Affairs had mailed the painkillers intended for an Army and National Guard veteran from Covington County. Scully said it’s impossible to tell form the video what was in the package that …
8. VA to establish new vets clinic in Tinton Falls. Atlanticville Local military veterans and retirees received some good news last week when the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will continue to operate a community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) in Monmouth County following the …
9. VA To Hold Open House For Women Veterans. Yankton Daily Press By Derek Bartos Nearly 6000 women veterans live in South Dakota, and the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Health Care System wants to make sure they don’t go unnoticed. The organization is inviting area women veterans to an open house from 3 pm-6 pm …
10. Open Source in Good Health and Vice Versa. ComputerworldUK (blog) It’s based on the amusingly-named VistA code, which is in the public domain: The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed and continues to maintain a robust EHR known as VistA – the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology …
Nutrition professionals throughout VHA have been actively promoting the benefits of a healthy diet this month, the time period recognized nationally as National Nutrition Month. At the Hines VA Medical Center, the “Smartest Loser” contest is turning into a competitive transformation for Veterans and employees. Behavior modification, stress management, fitness and daily nutrition are all components of this challenge. Permission has been obtained from Dr Robert Kushner to include elements and quizzes from his Lifestyle Patterns Toolkit during this 6 week interactive program promoting healthy nutrition practices. Dr. Kushner’s Quiz helps people identify their lifestyle habits as well as offers individuals a weight loss program to match their individual needs and personalities. The successful initiative currently includes 400 participants. The grand finale will be the “Healthy Hines 5K”, the first 5K run/walk/wheelchair race in 25 years at the Hines campus.
IN OTHER NEWS
- VA Looks For “Custodial Agent” For Open-Source VistA. Modern Healthcare “The Veterans Affairs Department is taking another step-apparently a big one-toward opening its VistA electronic health-record system to a full, two-way, open-source development model.” The Department has “published on the Federal Business Opportunities website a pre-solicitation for an electronic health-record system open-source custodial agent.”
- Shinseki: Plan For VistA “Important Part” Of VA Strategy To Provide “Best Healthcare Possible.” InformationWeek “According to the pre-solicitation notice” from VA, it is “seeking to establish a custodial agent to help transform the Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture, or VistA.” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki commented on VA’s plans, saying in a recent statement that the “move towards open source…is an important part of our strategy to ensure that VA clinicians have the best tools possible, and that veterans receive the best healthcare possible.”
- Capabilities Of VistA, AHLTA To Be Merged.FierceGovernmentIT “The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments will develop a joint electronic health record system, merging the capabilities of VA’s VistA and DoD’s AHLTA platforms. A common system would serve 7.8 million VA patients and more than 9 million DoD patients.” Recently, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “told a…panel of the Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee on military construction, Veterans Affairs and related agencies that he and Defense Secretary Robert Gates had come to the agreement March 17” on the joint system.
- VA To Hold Open House For Women Veterans . Yankton (SD) Press & Dakotan “Nearly 6,000 women veterans live in South Dakota, and the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Health Care System wants to make sure they don’t go unnoticed. The organization is inviting area women veterans to an open house from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Yankton Community Library to learn about health care services and changes for women veterans.”
- Use Of “Last Resort” Antibiotics Rising In VA Facilities. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Researchers examining antibiotic use at Veterans Health Administration hospitals and care facilities have found strong evidence of a sharp rise in the prescribing of carbapenems, powerful antibiotics” that are “often considered the treatment of last resort for severe infections with multi-drug resistant pathogens.”
- Powered Prosthetics. Army Times “A new artificial limb” named the Powerfoot BiOM is “designed to put the bounce back in some amputee’s steps.” Doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, recently tested the device, which “mimics the natural movements of ankles and feet, and may replace stiffer ‘passive’ prosthetics.”
- Mullen Hears Complaints About VA’s Ability To Care For Badly Injured Vets. KTRV-TV During a town hall meeting in Boise, Idaho, the “over-arching theme was concern over healthcare for wounded warriors.” Adm. Mike Mullen, the meeting’s host, “heard from veterans who feel left behind” by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Also complaining to Mullen was Lori Lowe, the mother of a wounded Iraq vet, who was shown saying the Boise VA was not ready to “deal with…extreme, traumatic injuries.”
- Starring Role In Short Film Brings Healing To Wounded Pittsfield Veteran. Bangor (ME) Daily News After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, veteran Matthew Pennington suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Pennington found relief from his condition by acting in “A Marine’s Guide to Fishing,” a “powerful, captivating 15-minute” film about a “soldier returning home to a small Maine town.” The film “will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at Bangor Mall Cinemas.”
- Small Group Gathers To Protest Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. WAGT-TV “Monday night a handful of people calling for changes” at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center “held a small protest. They wanted to use the Annual Masters Reception as a platform to voice their concerns about patient care.”
- VA Budget Request Signals Commitment To Vets. American Forces Press Service “President Barack Obama’s $132 billion 2012 budget request for the Veterans Affairs Department demonstrates that despite a tight fiscal environment, the United States stands by its commitment to men and women who have served in uniform, Deputy VA Secretary W. Scott Gould told American Forces Press Service. ‘It says that VA and veterans are the president’s top priority,’
- Dole: Government Leaders Can Learn About Efficiency From VA. Politico World War II veteran Bob Dole, a former Senate majority leader, wrote, “In today’s difficult economic climate, the Obama administration and congressional leaders are searching for ways to make the government more affordable and efficient.” Such decision “makers would do well to study the health care delivery system of the Department of Veterans Affairs. To meet the challenges of the nation’s largest integrated health system, VA has developed strategic public-private partnerships” that allow it to “stretch the dollar” efficiently.
- Aspen And Snowmass — Wheelchairs And Snowcats. Huffington Post Connie Lawn, who writes about wounded warrior events, and her husband Charles Sneiderman, who takes photos for Lawn’s stories, says she and Sneiderman were in Colorado for the “25th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which is a marvelous, well-run, and inspiring” event.
- Mobile Center Brings Services To Ariz. Veterans. AP
- Starting At 50, Tina Prince Finds Talent In Running. Lakeland (FL) Ledger Tina Prince, jogs to stay healthy. Prince is a “nurse at the veterans hospital in Tampa.”