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1. Afghan minister: Insider attacks due to infiltration, not culture clashes. The idea that insider attacks are mostly the result of cultural differences is “unfounded,” Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister said Thursday morning.
2. Also on Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler’s mind. On his visit to Afghanistan, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler touched on topics ranging from the disturbing trend of Afghan troops killing their international counterparts to tattoos. Here are some highlights from a reporter’s time with the Army’s top enlisted soldier:
3. VA putting bureaucracy before bravery. Leader and Times As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee I take very seriously our responsibility to provide oversight of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). So this summer, when it came to light that the VA spent more than $50,000 on a video …
4. VA Awards over $47 Million for State and Tribal Veterans Cemeteries. “VA is committed to helping state and tribal Veterans cemeteries meet national … People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases and …
5. Preventive Care, Doctor Access Improving For Women Veterans. Stars And Stripes “For a lot of years, women veterans felt unwelcome in Department of Veteran Affairs hospitals and clinics as if they weren’t real veterans, they complained.” But that is “changing rapidly, thanks to VA’s commitment to improve women health services, to hire more gynecologists and other female health specialists, and to close a ‘gender gap’ in preventive health services and screenings, says Dr. Patricia Hayes, chief consultant for Women Health Services for Veterans Health Administration. Hayes and her staff have studies and data to show recent gains.”
6. Tailor Treatment Of PTSD To Patient, Experts Urge. El Paso Times “Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder – suffered by thousands of US military members returning from combat zones – must be tailored to the individual, experts said Tuesday” at a healthcare conference in El Paso. Approximately “70 people, including nurses, community outreach specialists and other” healthcare workers “attended a session at the Mano y Corazón, Binational Conference of Multicultural Health Care Solutions.”
7. Rural Colon Cancer Patients Fare Worse. HealthDay “Colon cancer patients in rural areas of the United States are more likely to die than those in cities…reports” a study that was “scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the American College of Surgeons’ Annual Clinical Congress in Chicago.” The study, which was conducted by surgeons at the University of Minnesota and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Minneapolis, “also found that rural patients with colon cancer tend to be diagnosed at a later stage and are less likely to receive chemotherapy or thorough surgical treatment.” HealthDay added, “The findings also show that further research is needed to determine the reasons for the differences in rural and urban colon cancer patient care…said” study researchers, including Dr. Christopher Chow, who also said the findings indicate that “surgeons who treat both rural and urban patients need to start targeting rural patients to ensure that they receive care that is as high quality as urban patients.”
8. Update From The National Cemetery Administration. American Veteran On Tuesday, “Deputy Under Secretary for Field Programs Glenn Powers and Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Ronald Walters, members of the National Cemetery Administration, met with the AMVETS Legislation team and members of the VFW to discuss updates and progress being made on NCA projects.” According to the post, the “NCA has selected sites and will be moving forward to create five national, five urban, and eight rural veterans’ cemeteries.” The NCA is also “expanding outreach in the coming year to rural communities who may not have access to a national or state veterans’ cemetery,” moving “forward with numerous green initiatives,” working “on a memorial affairs redesign,” and conducting “an audit to ensure that all headstones correspond with the correct grave.”
9. VA Claims Backlog A Legislative Priority For American Legion. American Legion During the hearing, the Legion’s national commander, James E. Koutz “laid out the top three legislative priorities for The American Legion: licensing and credentialing of transitioning servicemembers, the VA claims backlog and the effect sequestration will have on national security.” Following “Koutz’ testimony, those issues – along with a few others – became of the topics of in-depth discussions between Koutz, Legion staff,” Miller, US Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME), and US Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Begich (D-AK). Among other things, Legion staff said VA needs more claims processing employees, more clinics in rural areas, and better healthcare for women vets. American Legion During Wednesday’s hearing, Koutz “warned Congress…that the huge disability claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ‘is a gathering storm of mistrust between those who fought for their nation and those who promised them benefits if they should become disabled.'” Koutz “called the federal government’s failure to decide the claims of veterans in a timely manner ‘inexcusable.’ ‘Congress can no longer simply be concerned about this problem,’ Koutz said,” adding, “Congress, VA and The American Legion must work together to solve it.” Koutz said that VA cannot just reward claims “processors for fast decisions, regardless of quality.”
10. Legion Commander: Pay Interest On Delayed Vets’ Claims. Military Times “Disabled veterans waiting longer than 125 days for their initial disability claims to be processed should receive interest on top of their retroactive benefits, says the new commander of the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ group.” The suggestion from Koutz came during Wednesday’s hearing. Miller “said he is open to new ideas about how to speed claims, but he did not endorse the idea of paying claims with interest.”
Have You Heard?
Preventive Care and Doctor Access Improving for Female Veterans
VA has been working to improve health care access for female Veterans, and it all starts with culture change. Learn more