Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – January 11, 2012

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

 

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1.    State rep wants DADT return for Oklahoma Guard.  Gay troops have been allowed to serve openly in the military for fewer than four months so far, but one Oklahoma state lawmaker said that has already been long enough.
2.    CNO: Don’t expect more troops, ships in PacificThe Navy already has a strong presence around a region pinpointed as crucial in a sweeping defense strategy released last week by the Pentagon, with 50 ships underway there on any given day, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said Tuesday.
3.    Hawaii’s Tripler hospital seeking trauma center designationTripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii is preparing to become the state’s next low-level trauma center, with plans to soon open its emergency room doors to non-military patients.
4.    Baptist working with post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Winston-Salem Journal  Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are collaborating with the US Department of Veterans Affairs on a one-year study to use imaging technology to better understand post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury. …
5.    Mobile veterans center coming to Lakewood.  Asbury Park Press  A mobile office to assist New Jersey veterans and their families will be based in Lakewood, as the US Department of Veterans Affairs expands its fleet of the modified recreational vehicles to serve a …
6.    Mortality Risk: Not All Antipsychotics Are Equal.  Medscape  For the current study, data was evaluated from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (fiscal years 1999-2008) on 33604 outpatients older than 64 years who had dementia. All participants began monotherapy treatment with risperidone (as the reference …
7.    Feds: $100M Available For Health Care IT Spending.  Orlando Business Journal “The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs have $100 million to spend to convert medical records from paper to electronic, the Washington Post reported” recently. According to the Business Journal, the “funding is in the omnibus spending bill passed Dec. 17, and will include spending through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Defense Department,” and VA. The Business Journal adds, “The Orlando VA Medical Center, a $665 million, 1.2 million-square-foot project, will open in fall 2012.”
8.    The Unspoken Diagnosis: Old Age.  New York Times  Paula Span, the “author of ‘When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions,'” wrote, “Dr. Alexander K. Smith is a brave man.” In a “recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine,” Smith, who practices at the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Francisco, and two co-authors suggested that healthcare professionals offer to “discuss ‘overall prognosis,’ doctorspeak for probable life expectancy and the likelihood of death,” with “very old patients” who “don’t have terminal illnesses.” Smith said the “point of the article is to get a national conversation started about this.” He added, “This is about empowering patients to make informed choices and encouraging individual decision-making.”
9.    Ex-Marine Finds Sweet Spot With New Santa Rosa Shop.  Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat  Iraq veteran Cindy Love, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, “gives credit to staffers of the Veterans Administration clinic in Santa Rosa for helping stabilize her life to the point that she could focus and act on a plan to start a business of her own.” Last month, Love “opened Turtle Star, a candy and party-supply shop on Sonoma Highway in Rincon Valley.” Smith “lives leanly on VA disability compensation.”
10.  VA Preparing To Welcome Veterans Home From Middle East.  Las Vegas Review-Journal  Veteran Chuck N. Baker, a radio host, said he spoke to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who noted that President Obama and Congress are offering tax breaks to employers who hire veterans. Baker added that Shinseki also said VA is doing a lot of automating in order to better provide medical and educational benefits to vets.

 

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  •   War Yields Lessons In Preventing, Treating Eye Injuries.  American Forces Press Service  As “part of its charter, the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence is focusing on ways to prevent injuries and improve the care and rehabilitation for wounded warriors. In addition to exploring these areas, the center is promoting research that could one day restore vision to those who have lost it…reported” US Army Col. (Dr.) Donald Gagliano. The AFPS adds, “Eye prosthetics are likely to be a decade or more away, but Gagliano said he’s optimistic that initiatives under way will bear fruit.”
  •   Vision Center of Excellence Promotes Eye-injury Research, Care.  American Forces Press Service  “Next month will mark a major milestone in advancing care for wounded warriors suffering debilitating eye injuries with a ribbon-cutting at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center” in Bethesda, Maryland. The “Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence will officially open its new headquarters at the Walter Reed facility, providing an expanded physical presence for a growing collaboration between the two agencies. The goal, explained Army Dr. (Col.) Donald Gagliano, its executive director, is to promote research and initiatives to prevent eye injuries and better diagnose and treat those suffering from them.”
  •  Dogs Help Veterans In Battle With PTSD.  Asbury Park (NJ) Press  “Since receiving Dazzle,” a dog trained to help post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers “regain some normalcy in their lives,” veteran Ray Galmiche and his wife have been “doing what they can to raise awareness about PTSD and a study at the Department of Veterans Affairs center in Tampa that brought him and Dazzle together. The two-year study will look at how Dazzle has helped Ray deal with his disability. In exchange for the dog and $75 a month for food, Ray must send in updates every couple of months about how he is doing.”
  •  Alternative Therapies For PTSD.  KWCH-TV  US Veterans Affairs Department is “trying alternative therapies like yoga and acupuncture to help patients rely less on pain medication and sleeping pills” when dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. KWCH noted that “89% of VA hospitals tried some sort of alternative medicine last year.”
  • Doctors Fear Copyright Crackdown On Medical Procedures.  San Francisco Examiner  A “three-minute memory exercise is one of thousands of basic tests that may soon cost more to administer, after a company that holds the copyright for one such test started enforcing its claim.” The Examiner added, “Some experts,” including Dr. John Newman of the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Francisco, “worry that the medical industry is on the cusp of a copyright nightmare, saying that such copyright enforcement could cripple hospitals’ operations and the future of medical advancement.” Newman and Robin Feldman, a law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, are “promoting an open-access form of copyright, called Copyleft,” which “would allow free access for users such as doctors who agree to keep the information free, but requires payment from users who hope to profit from the material, such as textbook companies.”
  •  Committees Working To Fight Proposed VA Changes.  Hot Springs (SD) Star  “Despite just getting underway, the effort to ‘Save the VA’ in Hot Springs is already making progress, thanks to the combined volunteer efforts of many local residents. Following an organizational meeting held on Dec. 21 at the Hot Springs American Legion, veterans, community members, VA employees and other interested parties – all concerned about the VA’s proposal to significantly reduce services at the Hot Springs VA – have united together and formed several committees to address the community’s concerns.” The Star adds, “To stay informed about…committee efforts, go to www.theveteranstown.com.”
  •  Officials Pay Tribute To Veterans During Ceremony At New Clinic In Northfield.  Press Of Atlantic City  “Federal, county and local officials helped cut the ribbon Monday during a grand-opening ceremony for the new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic” in Northfield, New Jersey. The “10,000-square-foot facility, which replaces one in Ventnor,” is “designed to reduce the need to travel to the Wilmington VA Medical Center in Delaware.” One of those attending Monday’s ceremony was US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who noted that he and US Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) are “working to allow Shore Medical Center in Somers Point to provide dialysis services for veterans.” Another attending Monday’s ceremony was VA spokesman Charles Quesenberry, who said, “If you have friends and relatives who are veterans who haven’t gone to the VA, tell them we’re here. We want to see them.”
  • Veterans Benefits Go Mobile.  WKSU-FM  “In a few weeks’ time, Stark County veterans will have their benefits delivered to their homes.” The US Veterans Affairs Department is “adding 20 more ‘mobile vet centers’ to its national fleet, and one will be in Stark County.” WKSU added, “VA representative Craig Larson says the outreach program is focused on counties with large populations of veterans that are a distance away from larger VA hospitals.”
  •   Bicycling And Other Exercise May Help People With Parkinson’s Curb Their Symptoms.  Washington Post   “While it cannot cure” Parkinson’s disease, “heavy-duty exercise shows promise for countering, even delaying, the inability to move that the disease causes.” Jay L. Alberts, a Parkinson’s researcher at the Cleveland Clinic who has received “$1.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs,” has “finished a 60-person study and has just launched another for 100 patients. Although no final answers are in, Alberts’ work,” which focuses on the effects of strenuous cycling on Parkinson’s patients, has “sparked interest in the Parkinson’s world.”
  •   Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride To Make A Stop In Miami.  Miami Herald  “Some 30 wounded veterans and their families will visit Miami’s veterans hospital complex on Thursday as part of a nationwide event aimed at raising public awareness for those who have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Soldier Ride is “part of a cycling event sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project; a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville that provides customized missing limbs to veterans.” The “ride runs through Saturday and ends in Key West.”
  • Neb. Senator Introduces Bills For Veterans.  AP  Amanda McGill, a Nebraska state senator, “has introduced bills to help smooth the licensing process for veterans and their spouses if they already have the skill set for a job.” McGill “submitted legislation Monday that would streamline the process for veterans who need a license to perform a job in Nebraska. Another bill in her legislative package would ease the process for a military spouse to get a teaching license if they have a license and experience from another state.”
  • No-Cost Training For Unemployed Vets.  Seattle Post-Intelligencer  “Our friends at VetJobs.com clued me into this next story – The Department of Labor has announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corp that will provide veterans with vouchers for no-cost training and certifications, which can lead to important industry-recognized credentials.” Schindler calls the partnership a “good thing, especially in light of the economy.”
  •    Native American Veterans, Tribal Officials Aim To Improve Help For Transition To Civilian Life.  AP

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