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. Seniors shouldn’t pay to collect benefits.  Asheville Citizen-Times  “The thing to remind your readers is they do not have to pay to apply for these benefits,” said Elaine Buehler, public affairs specialist at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Everyone understands sales people, including those in finance and …

2. Local Volunteers of America chapter to open veterans’ housing project in Detroit.  Crain’s Detroit Business  It hopes to complete renovations on the building by October to house a year-round program that will provide 24 months of transitional housing and case management for up to 60 homeless veterans at a time. The US Department of Veterans Affairs, …

3. American Flag & Monument Declared Impermissible Act in Santa Barbara.  Santa Barbara View…We obviously should purge Cottage Hospital and the US Department of Veterans Affairs from our community. They are the problem of course. Average Joe: Santa Maria has fewer homeless people because no one went out to count them. …

4. VA Employees, Construction Company Owner Charged in California with Bribery.  7thSpace Interactive   Jeff Nedrow and Amber Rosen are the Assistant United States Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider. The prosecution is the result of a five-year investigation by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the …

5. Troubleshooters; Veterans Benefits.  KZTV Action 10 News  According to the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, ‘beneficiaries are not entitled to benefits for the month in which death occurs.’ And later, ‘if you are the spouse of the deceased you may be entitled to benefits.’ The VA contacted Banach’s family …

6. GAO calls out VA on IT security, efficiency.  ModernHealthcare.com   The US Veterans Affairs Department has faltered in its efforts to effectively manage its information technology systems, spending billions of dollars on projects that often failed to reach their intended goals, according to a report …

7. Three Palo Alto VA employees indicted for bribery.  Palo Alto Online  Three employees of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and a contractor have been indicted by a US grand jury in San Jose on bribery charges, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. US Attorney Melinda Haag said Jack …

8. Iraq drags its feet as U.S. races to decide on extending troop presence.   The United States’ pleas for Iraq’s government to decide “within weeks” whether American troops should stay beyond a year-end deadline to leave will not be met, Iraqi politicians say, complicating plans for the U.S. military withdrawal.

9. Officials salute opening of Veterans Cemetery in Dublin. http://tinyurl.com/3lyth5e A fitting tribute to the men and women who have served” was one of the flattering descriptions given of the newest veterans cemetery in Virginia. Military service men and women, local and state officials, and families gathered Friday morning to dedicate and celebrate the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery.  “The cemetery meets a long-standing need in …

10. IAS: Home Prices Down More Than 25 Percent From High Mark of Four Years Ago.  National Mortgage Professional Magazine  IAS data includes non-conforming, bank-owned, and conventional sales transactions segmented by property type in addition to those insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

HAVE YOU HEARD?

VA Begins Media Updates On Female Vets

On May 12, VA kicked off the first of regular media updates on services for women Veterans, with a focus on maternity and newborn care. The media updates are an effort to highlight VA’s increase in gender–specific services. Read more about VA’s services for women Veterans

 

IN OTHER NEWS

  • Healthcare event for vets sparsely attended.  Shore News Today  There is also a non service connected pension benefit, through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, that provides a pension for veterans who have large medical expenses, such as skilled nursing care, that offsets any income they receive. …
  • VA Taking Applications For Caregiver Program. St. Augustine (FL) Record “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published the interim final rule for implementing the Family Caregiver Program of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010.” The “new rule will provide additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver.”
  • Bill Would Make Job Training Mandatory For US Troops. McClatchy “For the first time, US troops would be required to enroll in a federal job-training program before they’re allowed to leave the military under a bill introduced” in the US Senate on Wednesday. Called the “Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, it’s aimed at reducing an unemployment rate of 27 percent for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Navy Researcher Links Toxins In War-Zone Dust To Ailments. USA Today “US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait have inhaled microscopic dust particles laden with toxic metals, bacteria and fungi – a toxic stew that may explain everything from the undiagnosed Gulf War Syndrome symptoms lingering from the 1991 war against Iraq to high rates of respiratory, neurological and heart ailments encountered in the current wars, scientists say. ‘From my research and that of others, I really think this may be the smoking gun,’ says Navy Capt. Mark Lyles, chair of medical sciences and biotechnology at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.” USA
  • With Complex Prescription Routines, Fewer Filled. Reuters A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that patients who have been prescribed heart medications are less likely to fill such prescriptions if they have to make more trips to a pharmacy or if they have multiple doctors prescribing them drugs. Meanwhile, another study in the same issue of Archives of Internal Medicine found that when the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center began using a computerized tool displaying patients’ medications, those patients experienced less drug-related complications due to prescribing errors made by doctors at the hospital.
  • Study: Football Must Act To Minimize Concussions. Southtown Star (IL) “Football, especially youth leagues, may need to enact rule changes to minimize the potential of concussions, Dr. Ann McKee, a leader in the study of effects of brain injuries, said Wednesday,” while speaking at “Advocate Christ Medical Center’s one-day symposium on brain injuries.” McKee, “based at the Bedford, Mass., Veterans Administration Hospital, detailed a series of case studies of brain injury in athletes, including a boxer and a large number of football players.
  • VA Ordered To Overhaul Its Mental Healthcare System. ABC’s Good Morning America  A Federal “appeals court has ordered” VA “to overhaul its mental health care system. The court ruled…VA has been grossly incompetent in treating” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Court: VA’s mental health care reform is overdue. Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review “The parents of two veterans who killed themselves while under the care of Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2008 welcomed an appeals court order for mental health care reform nationally.” The “deaths of Senescall and Richard Kinsey-Young, a 35-year-old Navy veteran who killed himself in Rathdrum, Idaho, after a 16-month struggle with pain and depression, were part of a rash of veteran suicides both nationally and in the Inland Northwest.
  • Carney: VA, Justice Taking “Very Hard Look” At Court Decision. The National Journal Daily “White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration was taking the ruling seriously. ‘The Veterans Administration and the Justice Department are taking a very hard look at that ruling and will work closely to address any of the issues raised by the court,’ Carney told reporters.” He also “defended Obama’s record on veterans’ health issues,” saying “dramatic steps” — like a big increase in VA’s budget — have been taken to improve veterans’ healthcare.
  • Shinseki, VA Hospital Chief Defend Agency’s Mental Healthcare Standards. KGTV-TV  VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “said the budget for mental health services in 2012 is 20 percent higher than it was last year. That will bring 3,500 more professionals on staff.” KGTV also spoke with one veteran who is “hopeful” that
  • The VA Medical Center Addresses Mental Health CriticismKPBS-FM Kathleen Kim, acting chief of staff at the VA hospital in La Jolla, “said she is unable to address the issues raised” in the lawsuit that led to Tuesday’s ruling. But “she said the Medical Center is meeting required goals set by the VA. ‘Several years ago, the VA implemented the rule that if someone came in with a mental health complaint, that he or she is triaged within 24 hours, and sees a mental health provider within 14 days,’ said Kim,” adding, “We have been very successful at meeting that measure.”
  • VA Operated By VA Now Offering Mental Healthcare To Legion Post In California. Half Moon Bay (CA) Review “For about three years, a medical van has visited the American Legion Coastside Post 474 in Princeton to serve the veterans who, rather than traveling to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, prefer the convenience of the van’s monthly visits to the coast. April was the first month” a mental healthcare “van also came to the Legion.” Workers with VA “say this is the beginning of an effort to provide the veterans with more comprehensive mental health care.”
  • Group In Colorado Using Peer Support To Help Vets With PTSD. Boulder Daily Camera “Veterans Helping Veterans Now, based in Boulder, was formed in 2007 by a group of veterans representing multiple generations of warfighters who were looking for ways to reach out to other veterans who would not ask for help on their own. The group’s mission is to support veterans who are dealing with the effects of PTSD — an anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event — or other issues associated with leaving the military and transitioning to civilian life.” Veterans Helping Veterans Now is “staffed by veterans of all ages and backgrounds who provide support groups, referral services, help for homeless veterans and an understanding shoulder for other veterans to lean on.”
  • Truman Veterans Hospital Nurse Wins Award. Columbia (MO) Missourian Faith Andrulot was “one of six national recipients of the Excellence in Nursing Award for her work at Truman Veterans Hospital.” She traveled to Washington, DC, “and received the award from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.” Andrulot, the third Truman nurse to receive the award, “said visiting the Capitol was an ‘unbelievable’ experience and said the staff treated the men and women like ‘kings and queens.'”
  • VA Nurses Called “Compassionate Backbone Of The Veterans’ Health Care System.” Alexandria (LA) Town Talk A nurse executive at the Alexandria Veterans Affairs Medical Center named Amy Lesniewski noted that during the week of May 6th to May 11th, her facility is honoring the “dedicated men and women we in the Department of Veterans Affairs consider to be the compassionate backbone of the veterans’ health care system — our nurses. The theme of National Nurses Week 2011 is ‘Nurses: Trusted to Care,’ and no one puts more passion into the health care profession than VA nurses.”
  • The 3-Minute Interview: Jean Langbein.Washington (DC) Examiner Jean Langbein, the “program manager for the Welcome Home Celebration for returning combat veterans” that the Veterans Affairs hospital in Washington, DC, will host this Saturday. At the event, according to Langbein, more “than 40 community partners will be available” to veterans in order to provide them with “resource information on employment, education, Veteran service organizations, military service organizations and VA programs.”
  • Returning To The Battlefield, With A Brain Injury. NPR Wednesday’s “All Things Considered” program. According to NPR, many US soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are “returning to duty, and doctors are struggling to determine whether and when they’re well enough to fight. One way to find out is to observe patients under the stress of combat in simulated battlefield situations.” Such observation is “what physicians at Fort Campbell in Kentucky are doing with recovering TBI patients.”
  • Wall Streeters, Lady Gaga Play Robin Hood. Wall Street Journal At the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Monday, the Robin Hood Foundation used performances by numerous well-known singers, including Lady Gaga, to raise over $47.4 million from Wall Streeters for the support of veteran and poverty programs in New York City. One of those speaking at the event was Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said there are now more homeless veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than from the Vietnam War.
  • St. Louis Medical Center Loses Valet Parking For Veterans. KTVI-TV The Veterans Affairs hospital in St. Louis has “lost a valuable service.” Because the “company that provided” the service is “no longer in business,” the hospital “no longer has valet parking for veterans.” Officials with VA “made it clear they are looking for another company to provide full valet parking services” and that those with “special needs should contact VA police for assistance.”
  • Patients Now Able To Email Doctors At DeBakey VA Medical Center. KTRK-TV Patients at the DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center are now able to communicate with their doctors via email, whether their purpose is refill a prescription or ask questions. Since the secure messaging program “began in January, about 750 patients at the Debakey VA Medical Center use it.”  “The VA plans to expand its secure messaging program to clinics in six area towns this summer.”
  • VA, Labor Officials Meet In Florida To Discuss Assisting Homeless Vets. WFLA-TV  “There are nearly 18,000 homeless people in Hillsborough County,” at least five percent of whom are veterans. In an “effort to change those numbers, national leaders from Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor met at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa” on Wednesday. “And according to the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, Tampa is one of only five communities chosen to receive two million Federal dollars to prevent veterans from becoming homeless.”
  • Army Veteran Wounded By IED Credits Nurses For Saving His Life. Temple (TX) Daily Telegram
  • Why Vets Are Likely Entrepreneurs. Wall Street Journal “Factors Affecting Entrepreneurship among Veterans” was recently published by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. While the report found a strong correlation between military service and self-employment, it also indicated that personality traits, rather than military training, education, or culture, predispose veterans to entrepreneurship.

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