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1. NATO denies accelerating Afghanistan troop withdrawal. NATO’s chief denied that the alliance was speeding up the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan as he sought to clear up “confusion” over the pullout planned for the end of 2014
2. First wave of US Marines bound for Australia. Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith is scheduled Wednesday to formally welcome the first contingent of U.S. Marines at a ceremony outside of Darwin.
3. Walmart offers career suggestions for veterans. Online career path tool shows where the corporate retail giant sees military skills translating into its operations.
4. Feds give vets home high marks. Desert Dispatch The Veterans Home of Barstow was among half the state’s veterans homes to receive a zero-deficiency rating from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, officials said Monday. The zero-deficiency rating is given to veterans homes that meet …
5. Grants available for sports programs that serve disabled vets. Salt Lake Tribune Community-based organizations that create or expand Paralympic sports and physical activities programs for disabled veterans are eligible for $1.6 million in grants from US Paralympics. Underwritten by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, …
6. Homeless Veteran to Receive Military Funeral. Patch.com The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program is a cooperative effort among Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Georgia National Cemetery, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, …
7. Boise man sentenced for cashing mother’s benefit checks. KIVI-TV Paul Richard McLeod, 57 of Boise, was sentenced in United States District Court in Boise for receiving stolen government money. According to the plea agreement, from 2008 through July 2010, the VA paid monthly dependant compensation …
8. Telemedicine Dilemma: Savings Or Healing Hands More Important? InformationWeek
Last year, American Well teamed with the US Department of Veteran Affairs to provide online behavioral health services to patients in Minnesota and remote oncology consultations to patients in Nebraska. The company has numerous other partnerships with …
9. Student veteran’s studies ease transition for others. Tallahassee Democrat In 2010, there were 7047 veterans enrolled in Florida’s State University System overall, part of a large college-age population of veterans in the state — 127000 veterans between the ages of 18-34, according to the state’s Department of Veteran …
10. Vet friendly. Marietta Times Federal agencies are also working to hire more veterans and work with private companies to hold job fairs. To Greg Mitchell, director of career services at Washington State, there are many good reasons to hire a veteran. “They’re trained from day one …
Have You Heard?
North Carolina Welcomes Vietnam Veterans Home
On March 31, the North Carolina USO organized a welcome home celebration for Vietnam Veterans at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event drew over 60,000 Vets and their families. Learn more
More Veteran News
- Southerland hosts town hall in Panama City. The News Herald The Department of Defense has said the suicide rate of recent veterans has skyrocketed. Tainsh said there is a lack of effort by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in helping returning veterans from the recent Middle East wars.
- Man Sentenced, Collected Dead Mother’s Benefits. AP 57-year-old Paul Richard McLeod, a resident of Boise, Montana, “has been sentenced to one month in prison and five months of home confinement for collecting his mother’s Department of Veterans Affairs dependent compensation payments for two years after she died.” The US Attorney’s Office “says…McLeod was sentenced” in Boise on Monday. The AP notes that McLeod has also been ordered “to pay nearly $36,000 in restitution and complete 60 hours of community service.”
- Utah Veterans Home Wins $150,000 In Home Depot Contest. Salt Lake (UT) Tribune “The Utah State Veterans Home won $150,000 – second place – in a Home Depot Foundation contest that ended over the weekend. The money will allow the home to increase privacy for the 81 veterans and veterans’ spouses who live there, said Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.” The Tribune adds, “Supporters of the home, which is on the campus of the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System on the east bench, cast enough votes via Facebook since March 1 to put the home in second place” to the “Veterans Guest House in Reno, Nev.,” which “won the first-place prize of $250,000 in the foundation’s Aprons in Action contest.”
- Alert Fatigue: Searching For A Cure. Information Week “Clinicians and IT system designers” at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center “in Indianapolis are testing new models of electronic medication alerts as they look to combat alert fatigue, a condition that causes prescribers to tune out critical warnings.” The fatigue was noted in a study — conducted by Roudebush Veterans and the Regenstrief Institute — that is “said to be the first in-depth examination of how clinicians react to medication alerts generated by electronic health records (EHR) systems.” Alissa Russ, a VA research scientist is “leading a team at Roudebush to test out experimental designs for alerts based on findings in the study.” iHealthBeat “Unless we improve medication alerts so they contain information that users need to make decisions, the problem of alert fatigue will grow as [EHR] systems expand beyond single hospitals and share more data.”
- Weight Loss And Fitness May Enhance Mobility In Diabetes. Medscape “An intensive lifestyle intervention to lower weight and improve fitness appeared to improve mobility among overweight patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the findings of a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial.” Finings from the study were “published…in the March 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.” The study was supported by several organizations, including Veterans Affairs.
- Haphazard IT Implementation Increases Potential For Patient Risk. FierceHealthIT “There’s a greater potential for patient harm when hospitals do not plan technology implementation, according to research published in the March issue of the American Journal of Managed Care. Researchers analyzing 118 interviews at seven Veterans Affairs hospitals from June 2006 through September 2007 said that universal support from staff and executives is necessary during such rollouts, as is flexibility to work around potential setbacks.” The authors write, “Providers need a substantial amount of time to learn new methods of keeping patient records and administering medications. In general, this is a temporary requirement, and less time is spent on record keeping activities once the HIT system is established.”
- Shinseki: VA On Track To Break Claims Backlog. American Forces Press Service “Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki says VA is on track toward meeting one of the top priorities he set on arrival at the department three years ago: breaking the back of the disability claims backlog. VA spent the last two years creating an automated tool to make claims determinations faster and more accurate, he said,” noting that a rollout of the new system will begin in September at 16 VA regional offices. Shinseki, who was interviewed by the AFPS, added, “Our intent is to have no claim over 125 days. And every claims decision that we put out the door [will be] at a 98-percent quality mark.” The AFPS points out that in order to reduce the claims backlog VA is also taking other steps, such as providing vets with a “checklist of what’s needed to file a claim.”
- VA To Unplug Employees Who Skip Cybersecurity Training. AOL Government The “Department of Veterans Affairs will lock employees out of its networks if they fail to take the required yearly cybersecurity and privacy training on time – 365 days after their last refresher course. VA CIO Roger Baker announced the policy last week to button down security and privacy on the VA’s internal and external internet sites that have been hit by security breaches and privacy violations — both internal and external — on a regular basis.” Eric Shinseki, VA’s secretary, has also commented on the importance of cybersecurity, stating, “The trust veterans have in us as a department and as individuals depends on our ability to constantly and consistently protect their information from exposure and ever-increasing cyber risks.”
- Australia To Lure More US Construction Workers. AP “Australia is hoping to lure more American plumbers, electricians and construction workers to be employed on Outback projects in the burgeoning mining and gas industries by changing how their skills are assessed.” The Australian “government said Monday that the system will be overhauled this month so that their skills can be assessed in the United States, giving applicants certainty that they can work in their trade when they arrive.” The AP added, “US war veterans could be particularly suited for work in remote Australian mine sites…said” Jeffrey Bleich, the US ambassador to Australia.
- Veterans Find Help With Transitioning Into Civilian Life. Prescott (AZ) Daily Courier When Vietnam veteran Larry Webb “went to the Veterans Administration to ask for help, he said he didn’t want to see a counselor, but the woman doing his intake wouldn’t let him leave until he’d spoken with one.” The Daily Courier adds, “Creating people throughout the community who like that woman understand that what helped veterans survive the war can create problems as they transition to civilian life is critical in connecting veterans with the help they need and community resources that are available, said” veteran Cynthia Rasmussen, “keynote speaker at the ‘Homecoming: From Warrior to Citizen’ conference sponsored by MATForce on Monday at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center.” Webb, meanwhile, said that since he got counseling at VA, he has “taken two people who were suffering” as he was and that they both told him the “same thing — the VA saved their life.”