Archives for December 2012

Statement by Secretary Shinseki on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye




















Statement by Secretary Shinseki on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye


December 18, 2012



“Senator Daniel K. Inouye stood among the ‘greatest’ of our ‘Greatest Generation.’  Recipient of the Medal of Honor, our Nation’s highest award for valor; distinguished service as a long-serving member of the U.S. Senate; and role model to generations of Americans of Asian-Pacific Islander heritage, especially those growing up in his beloved Hawai’i, Senator Inouye made public service a noble and honorable calling.  Dan Inouye’s courage on the battlefield and in Congress, his passion for making a difference in the lives of average Americans, and his intense modesty spoke volumes about a remarkable American, who embodied the bedrock values and quiet virtues of our Nation.  On behalf of America’s 22 million Veterans, I salute the memory of a brave man, a great patriot, a devoted public servant, an unwavering benefactor to Servicemembers and Veterans of every generation, and my friend and mentor.  I extend my deepest personal condolences to the entire Inouye family.”


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Reviewed/Updated Date: December 18, 2012


Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2413

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412

Progress on Goal of Ending Veteran Homelessness by 2015

Secretary of Veteras Affairs Shinseki helps a homeless Veteran out of a van

 

$300 Million to Expand Homeless Prevention Program

The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that homelessness among Veterans has been reduced by approximately 7 percent between January 2011 and January 2012.

The decline keeps VA on track to meet the White House goal of ending Veteran homelessness in 2015.

The report, prepared by HUD, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.

VA has made ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 a top priority, undertaking an unprecedented campaign to dramatically increase awareness of VA services available for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless.

While the number of homeless people in the U.S. dropped by less than one percent, according to the report, Veteran homelessness has shown a more robust decline.

$300 Million for Organizations Helping Homeless Vets

VA also announced the availability of $300 million in grants for community organizations, estimated to serve approximately 70,000 Veterans and their family members facing homelessness. The deadline for applying to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, a homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing program, is February 1, 2013.

“We…will not be satisfied until no Veteran has to sleep on the street.”

“Homeless prevention grants provide community partners with the opportunity to help prevent and end homelessness on the local level,” said Secretary Shinseki. “This is a crucial tool in getting at-risk Veterans and their families on the road to stable, secure lives.”

SSVF grants promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants can have an immediate impact, helping lift Veterans out of homelessness or providing aid in emergency situations that put Veterans and their families at risk of homelessness.

How to Apply for Grants

Through September 2012, SSVF has aided approximately 21,500 Veterans and over 35,000 individuals. Since SSVF is able to help the Veteran’s family, 8,826 children were also assisted, helping Veterans keep their families housed and together.

Grantees provide a range of supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing, including case management, legal assistance, financial counseling, transportation, child care, rent, utilities and other services aimed at preventing homelessness.

Community organizations can get more information about Supportive Services for Veteran Families. There is also a video with guidance for applying. Community organizations seeking more information on the SSVF program may also contact VA at 1-877-737-0111 or at SSVF@va.gov.

Secretary: No Veteran on the Street

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said, “This report continues a trend that clearly indicates we are on the right track in the fight to end homelessness among Veterans. While this is encouraging news, we have more work to do and will not be satisfied until no Veteran has to sleep on the street.

“The success we have achieved is directly attributable to the hard work by all of our staff, and the federal, state, and community partners who are committed to ending Veteran homelessness.”

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20121217a.asp

Veterans Stand with Senator Schumer to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill

Veterans Stand with Senator Schumer to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill

CONTACT: Zack Baddorf (212) 982-9699

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012
Follow us on twitter.com/IAVA

Veterans Stand with Senator Schumer to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill

 IAVA Calls for Immediate Passage of Bill Critical for Manhattan VA Hospital Repairs

NEW YORK (Dec. 16, 2012) —Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) stood with Senator Charles Schumer today at the closed Manhattan VA hospital to call on Congress to provide immediate relief for area residents — and specifically veterans — impacted by Hurricane Sandy by passing the Sandy Relief Bill. The Manhattan Campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System is indefinitely closed after being badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  Veterans from Staten Island and from across the damaged region rely on the critical services provided by the Manhattan VA, which will require the Sandy Relief Bill to rebuild and reopen.

“Tens of thousands of veterans in the area need this hospital up and running right away,” said IAVA founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “This funding is essential to getting veterans in New York City the quality and timely care they deserve. The passage of this bill must be a top priority for Congress before the end of the year. VA employees are working tirelessly to get this facility back online, it’s time for Congress to do its part.”

Phoebe Gavin, a 26-year-old U.S. Army combat veteran, who spent 15 months deployed in Iraq, joined Senator Schumer of New York at the VA hospital in Manhattan to express her support for emergency funding to repair the medical center.

“It’s critical that veterans like me have easy access to medical care near our homes,” said Gavin, who received medical care at the now-closed Manhattan VA prior to Hurricane Sandy. “This hospital provides services that my fellow veterans count on every day — from counseling to prescription refills — and we need Congress to step up and do the right thing here. We are already dealing with long wait times for disability benefits and late monthly checks, which you see reflected in high unemployment and suicide numbers. We need better care and we need it now.”

Veterans and their families affected by Hurricane Sandy can find resources, information and updates by clicking here. IAVA also has caseworkers available thanks to a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation to provide one-on-one support to all New York City veterans struggling with setbacks. Click here to learn more or be connected with an IAVA caseworker.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.


VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412

Losing the Holiday Blues

The holiday season can be a time of joy, happiness and family get-togethers.

But for some Veterans, it is a time of loneliness and anxiety about their future.

Why do I have the Holiday Blues?

Many things can cause the “holiday blues.”

It could be stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, money problems, or being unable to be with one’s family and friends. For many, the holidays bring back old memories of friends and loved ones who are no longer present.

The demands of shopping and family reunions can also lead to feelings of tension.

Some Vets develop stress symptoms such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and problems sleeping. There is also the post-holiday let down after January 1. This is common after such intense activity for so many weeks. It may also result from disappointments during the holidays added to the excess fatigue and stress.

VA’s Primary Care and Mental Health professionals are ready to help you deal with your depression.

Here’s One Way to See if You Are Depressed

You may be wondering if you have symptoms of depression. One way of determining that is to take a brief confidential and anonymous screening. Only you will see the results of the brief screening. None of the results are stored or sent anywhere. You can choose to print a copy of the results for your own records or to give to your VA physician or a mental health professional.

Is the Weather to Blame?

Some Veterans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which results from being exposed to fewer hours of sunlight as the days grow shorter during the winter months. This is most common in the northern states where daylight may last almost half as long in winter as it does in summer. The change in daylight hours affects some of the chemicals in the brain, leading to depression, often accompanied by excessive sleepiness and overeating.

This article on the “winter blues” will help you understand SAD.

The Albuquerque VA Medical Center has a great feature on how to deal with holiday stress.

VA has numerous resources to help Vets get through the Holiday Blues, and VA’s Primary Care and Mental Health professionals are ready to help you deal with your depression.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20121213a.asp

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award









VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award


December 11, 2012



 Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation


WASHINGTON – Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.


“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D.  “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009.  As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.


The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.


“It’s an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers,” said Pape. “I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”


Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards. 


The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance.  The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.


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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2412


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