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1. Student vets group shuts down sham chapters at for-profit colleges. Student Veterans of America has shut down chapters at 40 for-profit colleges after discovering that many of the groups were memberless fronts used to promote the schools as “veteran friendly.”
2. Marine’s lawyers seek order to cancel discharge hearing over Obama statements. Lawyers for a Marine sergeant facing possible discharge after making “political statements” about President Barack Obama are seeking a federal court order blocking a discharge hearing set for Thursday at Camp Pendleton.
3. Appeals court hearing challenge to Defense of Marriage Act. A closely watched constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act went before a U.S. appeals court for the first time Wednesday, setting the stage for a possible Supreme Court decision next year on whether legally married same-sex couples are entitled to equal benefits under federal law.
4. Fewer dollars means cuts to Pacific quality-of-life programs. Military bases in Japan and South Korea are cutting spending on quality-of-life programs for troops and their families even as the U.S. boosts its commitment to peace and stability in the region.
5. Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare Applauds VA Proposal. MarketWatch The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare today expressed strong support for a proposed rule by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to remove barriers to home healthcare by exempting in-home video telehealth care from having a required copayment …
6. Senator on disability seeks cuts to Wash. benefits. Seattle Post Intelligencer Joseph Zarelli gets $601 a month from the federal government, indicating that he is considered 40 percent disabled by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, according to records obtained by The Associated Press under public records law.
7. Veterans Views: Efficiency and lean thinking hallmarks of VA. Park Rapids Enterprise
It was obvious that our elected leaders support veterans and veterans programs but based on our nations current fiscal situation they are looking for ways to cut the VA budget without impacting veteran services. We heard from VA Deputy Secretary …
8. Apartments designed for disabled vets. WAVY-TV Federal, state and local officials broke ground today on a $6.6 million project to assist disabled veterans in Virginia Beach. Cedar Grove Apartments are designed to become permanent housing for disabled veterans of the US …
9. Anthony J. Capriglione. NorthJersey.com He was a veteran of the US Navy, fought in World War II and served on the USS Knapp in the South Pacific. After completion of his time in the service, he was very active in Veterans Affairs at the local, state and national level.
10. VA sees shortfall of mental health specialists. USA TODAY As thousands of additional veterans seek mental health care every month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is short of psychiatrists, with 20% vacancy rates in much of the country served by VA hospitals, according to …
Have You Heard?
Research Roundtable Caps VA Celebration of Women’s History Month
Improving the health and health care of women Veterans is a high priority within the Department of Veterans Affairs, said a panel of leading researchers on March 27. Learn more
More Veteran News
- VA cuts funding to embattled North Charleston shelter. Charleston Post Courier Expansion at the former Good Neighbor Center is on hold after the US Department of Veterans Affairs halted payments. The construction of the extention of the Good Neighbor Center remains …
- Criminal Justice Day to feature talk by Iraq War veteran. The Daily News Online COMING HOME: Michael Messina, chief of police at Buffalo and Batavia VAs, Suicide Prevention Coordinator Joan Chipps and Jason Jaskula, master sergeant with the Army Reserves and a detective with US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, get ready for Criminal …
- Michelle Obama Unveils Push To Get 15,000 Military Spouses Jobs On Or Near Base. AP Mrs. Obama “visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to distribute Easter treats from the White House pastry shop to military families staying there.” She “brought tickets for the families to attend the White House Egg Roll on Monday.” The Obama family’s dog Bo accompanied the First Lady “as she greeted…families and children who were decorating Easter cards with stickers, cotton balls and crayons.” CNN Michelle Obama on Wednesday brought pastries and Bo to the Fisher House, which is a “refuge for veterans and their families as they receive medical care at Walter Reed.” Nineteen “of those families took part in making arts and crafts, with the first lady on hand to spend some time chatting and signing autographs.” CNN adds, “It’s been a year since the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden kicked-off their ‘Joining Forces’ initiative, and next week the two will hit the road on a two-day tour…to celebrate its one year anniversary.”
- Panel Told Of Effort To Make PTSD Diagnoses Consistent. Seattle Times A Wednesday field hearing of the US Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, “both Army and VA officials testified on the considerable efforts made in recent years to reach a common approach to diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder among the tens of thousands of military personnel returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” But “medical records of…soldiers reviewed by The Seattle Times – indicates disagreement remains about how to diagnose PTSD, with Army medical staff often skeptical of VA diagnoses as well as those made by other Army clinicians.” Tacoma (WA) News Tribune , “A senior Pentagon official told US Sen. Patty Murray at a hearing in Tacoma on Wednesday that cost isn’t a consideration for the care of US service members” with PTSD. During the hearing, military “and veteran care officials acknowledged the system to evaluate so-called “invisible wounds” can be confusing and inconsistent. They stressed, however, that the Department of Defense and US Department of Veterans Affairs are working together to fix problems and improve diagnoses and treatment. That work includes reducing backlogs, educating service members on the process and improving training given to providers.” AP US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “is questioning military and Veterans’ Affairs officials over concerns that cost has been a factor in reversing diagnoses of soldiers found to suffer” from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Murray’s “questioning came Wednesday at a Tacoma field hearing of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which she chairs.” While the AP did not mention what VA officials had to say in response to the questioning, it did say “military officials pointed out that it is not US policy to deny soldiers and veterans necessary medical care or benefits for financial reasons.” But some soldiers who have PTSD challenged that claim at Wednesday’s hearing.
- US Mission: End Homelessness For Veterans By 2015. McClatchy Thousands of veterans are the “beneficiaries of a federal effort to end all homelessness among veterans by 2015.” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki recently told Congress that there will be fewer homeless vets if a VA request to spend more money on homeless assistance programs in 2013 is approved. But US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who heads the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, “says far too many female veterans are falling through the cracks and getting inferior service when they do find their way to government shelters.” McClatchy adds, “A report by the VA’s inspector general last month found serious safety and security shortcomings facing women in shelters.”
- More Women Vets Are Homeless, But Housing Scarce. AP “Once primarily male veteran problems, homelessness and economic struggles are escalating among female veterans, whose numbers have grown during the past decade of US wars while resources for them haven’t kept up.” That last point was made in a recent Veterans Affairs inspector general report on organizations that receive VA grants to shelter homeless vets. The AP does add, however, “The department is increasingly focused on preventing veterans from becoming homeless and helping families stay together when possible, said Pete Dougherty, executive director of the VA’s homeless veterans initiative office.” In a story which has mostly good things to say about what VA is doing for homeless vets
- VA Sees Shortfall Of Mental Health Specialists. USA Today “As thousands of additional veterans seek mental health care every month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is short of psychiatrists, with 20% vacancy rates in much of the country served by VA hospitals, according to department data.” The department “has expanded its behavioral care staff by 50% since 2005 to nearly 21,000. Even so, it is difficult to attract psychiatrists to rural areas or places where the cost of living is high, says Mary Schohn, VA director of mental health operations.” USA Today quotes US Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, who said, “If VA is unable to provide” care for vets seeking mental health services, “they need to recommend a provider in the community who can see” such vets right away.
- Veterans Views: Efficiency And Lean Thinking Hallmarks Of VA. Park Rapids (MN) Enterprise Gregory Remus says he was in the Minnesota delegation of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) that went to the “annual Midwinter Legislative Conference in Washington in February.” It was “obvious,” he says, “that our elected leaders support veterans and veterans programs but…they are looking for ways to cut the VA budget without impacting veteran services.” Remus notes that according to VA Deputy Secretary John Gingrich, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and his agency are working on improving claims processing and a shared medical treatment database with the US military. Remus says his organization is concerned that VA is not budgeting enough money for construction projects and that rural healthcare initiatives are protected “in this environment of increasing needs for women’s health care, homeless veterans, prosthetic research, and veteran’s mental health.”
- VA, Pentagon Eye 3M’s Health Data Dictionary For Joint EHR Project. iHealthBeat “The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs might be planning to use 3M’s Health Data Dictionary to standardize terminology for their joint integrated electronic health record project, or iEHR project
- VA Cancels Microsoft Software License Agreement. Washington Business Journal, “The Department of Veterans Affairs has discontinued a key enterprise software license agreement for Microsoft Corp. products, a move that could save the VA nearly 30 percent in annual licensing fees, Nextgov ” According to the Business Journal, the “agreement typically required customers to pay an annual fee of 29 percent for desktop software and server software to lock in discounts on upgrades. Approximately 300,000 employees use Microsoft operating system and desktop application software.”