Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – June 22, 2011

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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 releases plan to expand homeless services at West LA campus.  89.3 KPCC  The US Department of Veterans Affairs Tuesday released a Master Plan that increases homeless services at its sprawling West Los Angeles campus. Earlier this month, civil rights and veterans groups sued the VA, alleging the facility failed to provide …

2. A new Lacoochee community center gets boost.  Tbo.com  The St. Jude’s Veterans Resource Center and its founder, retired Army chaplain Morson Livingston, were slated to receive nearly $500000 from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide transitional housing for homeless veterans. …

3. 11 region Civil War vets to receive new grave markers.  nwitimes.com  Kale’s Crown Point grave is slated to receive a new veteran’s headstone from the US Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a local historical preservation project. To contribute in any amount to the placement of Grand Army of the Republic medallions …

4. More Than One BP Reading Needed for Accuracy.  MedPage Today  The study was supported by a grant from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service. Powers is supported by a US Department of Veterans Affairs Career Development Award. One of his co-authors is supported by …

5. VA Addresses Medical Device Security.  GovInfoSecurity.com  The latest component of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ ongoing effort to protect medical devices from malware is the creation of a centralized patch management system, says Randy Ledsome, the VA’s acting director of field security operations. …

6. Strict accounting rules in place for vets home donations.  St. George Daily Spectrum  In December of last year, the Director of Veteran Affairs for Utah, Terry Schow, himself a veteran, was notified that Utah’s two nursing homes had been funded by the Veterans Administration in Washington. Dennis McFall, Deputy Director of the Utah …

7. Mobile Vet Center to visit Logan this weekend.  Cache Valley Daily  The Mobile Vet Center will be at the Logan Workforce Service office on Friday, June 24 from 9 am until 4:30 pm Vet Centers are a division of the US Department of Veterans Affairs and they provide readjustment counseling to combat …

8. HACA wins $2.2 million in grants.  Austin American-Statesman (blog)  HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program is a coordinated effort by HUD, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and local housing authorities to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans. …

9. Veterans Affairs addresses growing demand of women needing care.  Fort Worth Star Telegram  Within the VA system this startling dichotomy reflects the times: The average male veteran who receives care is in his early 60s; the average age of female veterans is close to 40. Some of those women want separate entrances and waiting areas for their …

10. General honored as Guard champion.  Danville News  — A native son of Milton has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, recognized for his exceptional service to veterans and the military. Army Maj. …

Have you Heard?

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ mail-order pharmacy program has been recognized as a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion – one of only 40 entities in the United States to earn the distinction this year. “We are honored to receive this distinction and be included in this elite group of companies that focus on customer service excellence,” said Rita Brueckner, national quality management officer for VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy program. “Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we appreciate this external recognition of our efforts.” VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) mails prescription medications and supplies directly to Veteran patients.  Local VA medical center pharmacies almost always process and dispense the initial prescription order; after that, the vast majority of refills are handled via mail-order. The goal is delivery of medication or supplies to the patient within 10 days of request. VA typically gets the prescription delivered in less than five days. CMOP processed nearly 107 million prescriptions in fiscal year 2010. Every workday, 300,000 Veterans receive medication or supplies from VA.

More Veteran News

 

  • Medtronic veteran to lead social agency LSS.  Minneapolis Star Tribune  “And we now have a contract with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs to provide case management and family based mental health counseling. The department used to do that themselves. With all the deployments, they needed to partner with a …
  • $2.7 mil. upgrade project OK’d for Ardmore Veterans Center.  Daily Ardmoreite  RFD Construction of Sulphur was awarded the project. A grant awarded through the US Department of Veterans Affairs State Home Grant Program will reimburse 65 percent of the project’s costs. Herd did not give a projected completion date for the project.
  • Vets’ caregivers get some help.  Omaha World-Herald  Family caregivers of wounded veterans often devote dozens of hours per week tending to their needs at home. The US Department of Veterans Affairs for many years has provided training and other assistance to caregivers. …
  • Ex-nurse faces sex charge.  Tampabay.com  Arrested on a charge of sexual battery by a criminal investigator from the Inspector General’s Office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Authorities said Harris admitted that he assaulted other people as well, though no other charges have …
  • Veteran trapped, like many, in paperwork backlog.  USA Today  The local doctor also wrote a “to whom it may concern” letter about Klobnak. “In my opinion, he is not currently capable of maintaining full-time employment,” she wrote. Klobnak recently received a letter from the VA saying it would not pay for the …
  • ‘We want to be where our vets can reach us’.  North Platte Telegraph  “Our purpose is to educate veterans about the benefits and services the VA provides.” The US Department of Veteran Affairs is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Veteran Affairs, Veteran service agencies, county veteran service offices and …
  • VA, Shelter house team up to help homeless vets.  Iowa City Press Citizen  The data, released earlier this year, was the most comprehensive look at homelessness among America’s veteran population to date. It comes on the heels of an announcement by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki of his goal to end homelessness …
  • Pastor Who Claimed Veterans Benefits Sentenced. State “A Batesburg-Leesville church pastor will spend five months in prison for lying on a veterans benefits form, the US Attorney for South Carolina said.” On Monday, 63-year-old William C. Padgett was “sentenced…in US District Court in Columbia by Judge Cameron McGowan Currie” Padgett “pleaded guilty earlier this year to fraudulently obtaining disability benefits through” the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.

  • Government Hiring Of Vets Is On The Rise, Report Finds. Government Executive “Despite a decrease in overall hiring, the federal government brought on more veterans in fiscal 2010 than in fiscal 2009, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.” This is the “first report on veterans’ employment data since President Obama issued an executive order in November 2009 to make hiring veterans a priority.” Defense “and Veterans Affairs departments saw the most new veterans hired.”

  • Vet Nursing Home Looks For Funds. St. George (UT) Spectrum “After a long-fought battle to bring a nursing home for veterans to Washington County, local supporters are trying to make the home as nice as it can be for its decorated future inhabitants. Officials hope to break ground on the Ivins facility by the fall, but in the meantime members of the Veterans’ Coalition of Southern Utah are trying to raise $432,000 to pay for upgrades to furnishings, to make sure veterans who stay in the home live well in their later years.” The coalition members are trying to do so quickly, because the US Department of Veterans Affairs will “match at a 65-to-35 ratio any funds raised before it sets its budget July 15, meaning each dollar donated locally before then will bring in nearly three dollars from the federal government.”

  • Tissue Engineers Regenerate Afghanistan Veteran’s Leg Muscle From Pig Bladder Cells. Popular Science “A US Marine whose leg muscles were mostly destroyed in a mortar attack in Afghanistan is reportedly able to walk again after treatment that helped his body re-grow the lost tissue.” Cpl. Isaias Hernandez. Hernandez “worked with researchers at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, who were able to seed his remaining muscles with a cocktail of proteins and growth factors derived from pig bladders, the Australian reports.” Popular Science adds, “The therapy is part of an ongoing study at Pitt, and needs to be tested further – but if it can work on a wider scale, it could prove promising for other warfighters like Hernandez.”

  • Utah Study Finds Genetic Link To Rare Heart Failure In Pregnant Women. Salt Lake Tribune “Science is still a long way from understanding the origins of pregnancy-related heart failure, said Benjamin Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.” Horne says a “mutation identified by a team of researchers that he led at Intermountain, the University of Utah and VA Hospital ‘gives us a road map that tells us where to look in the human genome for more information.’ A study detailing their findings was just published in the online edition of Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.”

  • Chronic Itching Interferes With Life As Much As Chronic Pain. ABC News For “people who suffer from itching that lasts weeks, months or even years, the discomfort can be debilitating. According to a new study, in fact, it can be just as debilitating as chronic pain.” The study, published in the current issue of the journal Archives of Dermatology, is co-authored by Dr. Suephy Chen, a physician at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Atlanta, who hopes his research “can lead to the development of more effective treatments for chronic itching.”

  • Change Comes To Veterans Affairs Hospitals. McClatchy “The growing number of female veterans…has led the Veterans Affairs Department to re-engineer some of its services to a population that was largely unfamiliar to the VA system in the past. The Fort Worth outpatient clinic, for example, opened a women’s clinic, led by a female internist, in its new building last fall and has integrated cervical exams, mammography and sexual trauma therapy into its clinical options.” The Star-Telegram noted that VA Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth “and her boss,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki “make a point of asking about women’s programs as they visit VA facilities.” At least two publications publish the McClatchy story.

  • VA Seeking Real-Time Location Systems For Hospital Equipment, Patients. Bloomberg’s On The Money “Veterans Affairs hospitals have some high-ticket contracts up for grabs. They’re looking to install real-time location systems to track their expensive equipment, patients, and even corpses.” According to Bloomberg, VA, which is “working on a similar project for its 131 cemeteries,” seems to be a “pioneer here,” in that “others will follow after this.”

  • Haley VA Medical Center Opens Polytrauma Unit. St. Petersburg (FL) Times “Hoping to provide more comfortable rehabilitation for severely wounded American soldiers, the James A. Haley VA Medical Center on Monday revealed a renovated polytrauma unit offering a more nurturing and healing environment.” The Times adds, “The unit represents major advances in the treatment of war wounded, considering the term ‘polytrauma’ was not used when the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began…said” Dr. Steven Scott, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation center. The Times quotes Dr. Edward Cutolo, chief of staff, who said the unit “will be the finest rehabilitation center in the world.”

  • Allegations Prompt Inspection At VA Hospital. Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette “Complaints lodged against the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fort Wayne have resulted in recommendations from the VA Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections.” On Monday, the office “released its report, which found: Inadequate management, documentation and review of one patient’s cardiopulmonary arrest.” The report also found that another patient was inadequately monitored while in intensive care and that a third patient transferred in from a community hospital should not have been accepted. The “report recommended that peer-review assessments be done concerning those patients, that the hospital confer with ‘regional counsel’ about the patient with cardiopulmonary arrest and that it makes sure appropriate staff are available at all times to provide out-of-operating-room airway management.”

  • VA Officials And Veterans Discuss Hospital Future. KEZI-TV Eugene, OR – On Monday, officials with the US Department of Veterans Affairs “stopped by Roseburg…to find out how veterans feel about the hospital.” One such official was John Gingrich, VA’s Chief of Staff, who “says many veterans are still upset about a study that said the hospital shouldn’t be restored to a full-service level-two medical center.” Gingrich “says the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to make a decision about restoring the hospital’s service level within a few weeks.”

  • Excellence In Nursing. Cecil Whig “When the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System handed out its Excellence in Nursing awards last month, Cecil County was represented.” But Linda Hudson, a Perry Point VA nurse who won, “said her honor should be shared by the entire staff. ‘It’s not just an award for me,'” said Hudson, who “received the award in May at the VA central office” in Washington, DC.

  • Health Care Gets Closer To Portland Veterans. Portland (ME) Press Herald “Portland’s newest medical practice opened quietly last week, and already it has about 1,200 patients.” The “shiny new office at 144 Fore St. is the ninth outpatient clinic opened by VA Maine Healthcare System in Maine, and the first one in Greater Portland. Until now, veterans who had to see their doctors routinely went to the nearest clinic, in Saco, or to the Togus Veterans Hospital near Augusta.”

  • VA Health Program In Sparta. Salisbury (NC) Post “The rural health program from the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury will provide VA services in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 304 S. Main St., Sparta, on Wednesday, June 22, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.” The program team will “provide former and current military members education and assistance on registration and health care concerns.”

  • Legion Gets Update On Caregiver Program. American Legion “Jacob Gadd, deputy director for Healthcare for The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, received an update on June 14 from Debbie Amdur, who is heading up the Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Program.” The Legion added, “On May 9, VA began accepting applications for caregiver benefits.” For “additional information or questions about VA’s Caregiver Program, please contact the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division.”

  • VA Operating Caregiver Support Line, Website. EmpowHer VA “offers a plethora of caregiver support resources including a caregiver support line. Contact 855-260-3274 if you just need to talk or if you have a specific question regarding veteran caregiving.” The VA website — http://www.caregiver.va.gov/ — “also offers a caregiver toolbox which offers tips, checklists, diagnosis care sheets, etc.”

  • DAR Dedicates Women Veterans Memorial. Mt. Vernon (IL) Register-News “The Illinois Daughters of the American Revolution honored the female American soldier on Saturday. The DAR dedicated a statue of two women veterans – Molly Pitcher of Revolutionary War fame and Maj. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran – at the C.E. Brehm Memorial Library on Saturday.” During the ceremony, Duckworth “said she and other female veterans stand on the shoulders of the first female veterans, who did not receive benefits or the treatment they deserved.”
  • Missoula Opens Legal Program For Veterans. AP “Recognizing that substance abuse and mental illness are often the unseen byproducts of warfare, Missoulians last week launched the Veterans Treatment Track program – which shepherds veterans through whatever legal problems they run into after they come home.” Veterans “who run into problems with the law through their behavior or through drug or alcohol abuse can now go through the program, which helps them find counseling and treatment instead of merely seeking punishment. It is the only such program in Montana, and is modeled after a veterans court established in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008.”

  • Lack Of Specialty Court In Clark County Upsets Veterans. Las Vegas Review-Journal A law enacted two years ago by the Nevada Legislature gave state court systems the authority to set up veterans courts. Steve Sanson, president of the advocacy group Veterans in Politics, is frustrated that Nevada’s Clark County has not yet done so.

  • Purdue Military Family Institute Awards $1M To Colleges To Help Indiana Student Military, Vets. AP “Indiana colleges and universities are receiving a total of more than $1 million in grants to provide services for the state’s student service members, veterans and their families.” Last week, “Purdue University’s Military Family Research Institute awarded the grants.” The funds were awarded “through Operation Diploma, the Purdue institute’s higher education initiative.”

  • The VA’s Current Homeless Program. Westside Today.

  • Army Veteran Walks Across America For Military Families. KTSM-TV “Matt Parrish is walking from Tampa to Los Angeles and back to Tampa to raise money for various charities focusing on military families.” His “Trek For Hope benefits the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) and Soldier’s Angels. SOWF helps provide college tuition for children of fallen soldiers as well as provides financial help for travel expenses to ensure family members can be present at an injured soldier’s bedside during recovery.” Soldier’s Angels, meanwhile, sends care packages to service members.


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