Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News

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Veterans!  Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources

We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need

1. VA National Research Week. Each year, VA’s Office of Research and Development celebrates the accomplishments of its researchers and collaborating partners, and recognizes Veteran participants who make the research possible. Read more on Research Week 2011 on VA’s blog VAntage Point.

2. VA to Take Applications for New Family Caregiver Program. On May 3, VA published the interim final rule for implementing the Family Caregiver Program to provide support for families of seriously wounded Post–9/11 Veterans. VA will open applications to Caregivers on May 9.   Learn more

3. SMC veterans seek help for PTSD.  The Corsair  The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides treatment for PTSD through local care centers. They also have nearly 200 specialized PTSD treatment programs. “They’ve done more now than they ever have in the history of the US government. …

4. VA Agrees to More Caregiver Support for Severely Disabled Vets.  Boise Weekly  The US Department of Veterans Affairs did an about-face today, saying it will make sure more caregivers of severely disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can receive much-needed support. Under an earlier plan, the VA said about 10 percent of the …

5. Good Connection: Telepsychiatry Removes Barriers to Care.  Medscape  … with PTSD and traumatic brain injury,” added Dr. Alverson. The studies are sponsored by the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The study authors and Dr. Alverson have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

6. VA To Expand Caregivers Program.  KWTX    The US Veterans Affairs Department has reversed course and now says it will make sure more of the those caring for severely disabled Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans will receive the help they need to care for their wounded …

7. DMVA: PA Veterans Should Never Pay for Help to Apply for Benefits.  PR Newswire   — Veterans, active military personnel and their dependants should never pay for help to apply for veteran’s benefits, according to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. …





8. Military Personnel With Mental Woes Before Deployment at Higher PTSD Risk.  U.S. News & World Report  … this paper that’s showing that’s really not true,” said Young, who is also core leader for neuroimaging and genetics at the Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans in Temple. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has more on PTSD.

9. Residential Wholesale Mortgage Announces the Acquisition of Government Loan Center.  National Mortgage Professional Magazine  The Government Loan Center, a division of RWMI, brings a combined 200 years of expertise in the origination, underwriting, and closing of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans. …

10. Dedication ceremony for Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery to be held May 6.  Progress Index  Paul Galanti, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and former Vietnam POW, as well as Frank K. Salvas, Sr., Director, State Cemetery Grants Service, National Cemetery Administration, US Department of Veterans Affairs, …

HAVE YOU HEARD?

An unprecedented VA program that promises to redefine the science of genomics goes national tomorrow, when the official launch of the Million Veteran Program (MVP) is announced during the May 5 Research Forum at VA Central Office. The MVP is a groundbreaking VA project to build what is expected to be one of the largest databases of genetic, military exposure, and health information. By identifying gene-health connections, the program could greatly advance disease screening, diagnosis, and prognosis and point the way toward more effective, personalized therapies. VA Under Secretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D., described MVP as “an important partnership between VA and Veterans to learn more about how genes affect health, and thus transform health care for Veterans and for all Americans.” Additional information about MVP is available online, at www.research.va.gov/MVP. And to learn more about Research Forum events and Research Week activities taking place at VA facilities across the country, please visit www.research.va.gov/researchweek.

IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Pres. Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Belleville Army Veteran Killed In Korean War. AP President Obama “bestowed the nation’s highest military honor on two Army privates killed during the Korean War.” The President “awarded the Medal of Honor to Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano of Hawaii and Henry Svehla of New Jersey during a somber ceremony…at the White House.
  • Advocates Split On Tricare Fee Increases. Army Times “The Defense Department’s call for modest Tricare fee increases in 2012 has divided military and veterans groups.” There is, however, “unanimous opposition to linking fee hikes to rising medical costs in 2013 and beyond.”
  • Federal Player Of The Week: Delivering Services That Help Combat Vets Rebuild Their Lives. Washington Post Alfonso Batres, whose “life has been dedicated to one important mission-addressing the needs of our nation’s veterans and their families.” For almost 30 years, Batres has “worked with the community-based Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Readjustment Counseling Vet Centers, starting in the field offices and heading the national program since 1994. Under his leadership, the Vet Centers have expanded to meet the growing needs of hundreds of thousands of combat veterans and their families, and improved the quality and quantity of services.” Batres, said VA Undersecretary of Health Robert Petzel, has led the Vet Center program “to record levels of service provision over many years”
  • Batres, Three Others From VA Up For Public Service Honors. Government Executive “The Partnership for Public Service on Monday announced 34 finalists from across the government for its annual awards honoring outstanding public service. The federal workers, honored for their contributions to the public’s health, safety and security, are contenders for eight Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year.” The “finalists hail from agencies across government, including four nominees from the Veterans Affairs Department,” one of whom is Batres.
  • Exploring Group Checkups For Diabetes, Parkinson’s. AP Shared checkups are a “small but slowly growing trend that promises to get more attention with the tight supply of primary care physicians, who find it hard to squeeze in time to teach their patients how to deal with complex chronic illnesses like diabetes. An American Academy of Family Physicians survey found more doctors trying the group approach – about 10 percent of its active members in 2009, up from fewer than 6 percent in 2005.” Separately, studies at Veterans Affairs hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia “concluded shared appointments can improve care for some people.”
  • Study: Duerson Had Brain Damage At Time Of Suicide. AP “Dave Duerson, a former NFL player who committed suicide in February, had ‘moderately advanced’ brain damage related to blows to the head, according to the researcher who made the diagnosis.” The finding, announced by Dr. Ann McKee on Monday, is “part of an effort conducted” by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University’s School of Medicine
  • Soldiers With Mental Illness More Often Get PTSD. Reuters On Monday, US Navy researchers have found that soldiers with preexisting mental health problems were more than twice as likely as soldiers without such problems to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning from a battlefield deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. The researchers’ study is published in the current issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
  • Miami-Dade Starts Specialized Drug Court For Military Veterans. Miami Herald Veterans battling addictions who face “low-level drug charges” can now receive “specialized drug treatment and financial assistance returning to college” under “a fledgling Miami-Dade court program.” The Veterans Court, which is “an extension of drug court,” is “part of a growing nationwide movement of courts designated specifically for veterans, allowing them to avoid jail or prison by entering intense court-monitored drug rehabilitation.”
  • App Aims To Help Troops With PTSD. Army Times Victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “now have a form of assistance they can carry in their pockets.” The mobile phone application, which was “developed jointly by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments,” is “known as ‘PTSD Coach.'” It “offers veterans contact information for local mental health professionals, self-assessment tests and tips on managing the stress of day-to-day life.”
  • Groups Wary Of Plan To Let Vets Decide Where To File Claims. Army Times “A House subcommittee chairman’s idea to let veterans send benefits claims to the Veterans Affairs Department regional office of their choice has veterans groups facing a dilemma. They hate the idea, believing it would do nothing in the long run to reduce VA’s backlog of claims or improve accuracy, according to representatives of several veterans groups.”
  • Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists Tops In Fed Jobs That Pay $180K-Plus. USA Today According to an analysis it conducted of data from the Office of Personnel Management, “Department of Veterans Affairs doctors, Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers and National Institutes of Health physicians represent the most numerous groups among at least 17,828 federal employees whose annualized salaries totaled $180,000 or more in September 2010.” The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) “topped the list of high-paying jobs,” with “12,708 doctors” having “annualized salaries of $180,000 or more.”
  • Deficit-Cutting Idea: Keep Some Vets From VA Care. Army Times “Ending enrollment in the veterans health care option for veterans with moderate income who do not have service-connected disabilities would cut the Veterans Affairs Department’s expenses by $30 billion over five years and $64 billion over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report to Congress on options for reducing” Federal deficit. These “veterans, designated Priority Groups 7 and 8 for care, do not pay annual enrollment fees but do make co-payments.”
  • VA Looks To Battle Contract Fraud. Army Times The recent conviction of John Raymond Anthony White on “fraud charges for posing as a disabled veteran to qualify for government contracts is a perfect example of why veterans groups want the government to do more screening of businesses that benefit from contract set-asides.” The Veterans Affairs Department is “in the process of verifying information about companies that use veterans and disabled veterans set-asides to receive government contracts, which will make it harder — though not impossible – for applicants to commit fraud. Congress also is looking at increasing penalties for those caught falsely claiming to run veteran-owned businesses.”
  • Public Service Recognition Week: A Roundup Of How Agencies Are Celebrating. Washington Post Tom Fox of the Partnership for Public Service wrote, “There is no better time than this week, the congressionally designated Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), to spread a message of praise, reenergize the workforce and perhaps even issue a challenge to forge ahead to make government work better on behalf of the American people.” At Veterans Affairs, events were planned, including that “Secretary Eric Shinseki, Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould and other senior officials around the country” were to shake hands Monday with employees arriving at work, which is a “simple but very nice gesture,” said Fox. And Thursday at VA, noted Fox, it is “Thank an Employee Day.”
  • New Veterans Affairs Clinic Opens In Wytheville. WSLS-TV “More than 6,000 veterans will get healthcare” at a new Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic that “opened Monday in Wytheville.” The clinic is “part of a new initiative from the VA Secretary to make healthcare more accessible to veterans.”

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