Archives for October 2014

National Creative Arts Festival in Wisconsin Showcases Veterans’ Artistic Talents








National Creative Arts Festival in Wisconsin Showcases Veterans’ Artistic Talents

October 30, 2014, 01:48:00 PM





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National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Wisconsin Showcases Veterans’ Artistic Talents


Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces that the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee is hosting more than 100 Veterans from across the country for the 2014 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival; the event began Oct. 27 and will end Nov. 2.


The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival event will feature the gold medal-winning entries from 53 categories of art, ranging from oil painting to leatherwork to fiber art in an exhibit at the Grand Rotunda of the Milwaukee Theatre on Sunday, November 2 from noon to 2 p.m.  Tickets are free but must be reserved by contacting 414-389-4099. The performance is also open to media.


The weeklong Festival, presented by VA and the American Legion Auxiliary showcases the artistic achievements of Veterans from across the country that placed first in national art, music, dance, drama and creative writing division competitions. The Veterans are participating in workshops, rehearsals and artistic interaction sessions, culminating in Sunday’s art exhibit and stage show performance, open to the public.


Among many other therapeutic benefits, the Festival encourages artistic expression to help Veterans dealing with PTSD and other psychological issues.  More than 3,500 Veterans participate nationally in regional competitions which culminate in the annual national event.


“The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is another example of how VA is committed to utilizing a full spectrum of health care options,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “From traditional medicine to cutting edge treatments, we will continue to use a holistic approach to treat our nation’s Veterans.”


The Festival relies heavily on the outstanding support provided by numerous American Legion Auxiliary volunteers. For more information, visit www.creativeartsfestival.va.gov.


Media interested in covering the event can call Jordan Schupbach at (202) 664-3733.




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Uber CEO To Be Honored at IAVA’s Heroes Gala in New York November 13th

Uber CEO To Be Honored at IAVA’s Heroes Gala in New York November 13th

CONTACT: Gretchen Andersen (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

NEW YORK (October 29, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, today announced Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick will be honored at IAVA’s Annual Heroes Gala Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary. IAVA will present Kalanick with the 2014 IAVA Civilian Leadership Award on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

“IAVA is thrilled to honor Travis Kalanick for his leadership and work on behalf of the veterans community,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “As one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs, Travis has led Uber to take veteran unemployment head on with their national initiative. No veteran should leave service to their country and find themselves without employment options. Uber is unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of America and innovating just like post-9/11 veterans across the country. UberMILITARY doesn’t just recognize the sacrifices of our veterans; it understands that the unwavering work ethic developed by veterans during their time in service is an invaluable asset to the company and its community. We are proud to present the Civilian Leadership Award this November to Travis and his team at Uber for their incredible dedication to empowering post-9/11 vets.”

Kalanick

Nearly 300,000 servicemembers are expected to transition into the civilian workforce every year for the next five years. Uber’s new program UberMILITARY connects service members, veterans and military spouses to Uber and empowers them as entrepreneurs and small business owners. UberMILITARY will on-board 50,000 members of the military community during the next 18 months. In cities nationwide, members of the military community will be welcomed by Uber. 

Based on a case study conducted in San Diego, Calif., Uber found that veteran drivers do more trips with Uber per week on average that non-veteran partners. Also, veterans maintain higher driver ratings on average than non-veteran partners and receive frequent positive feedback. 

IAVA’s 1Oth Anniversary Celebration

The IAVA Heroes Gala is the premier fundraising event of Veterans Week in New York. Tickets can be purchased here.

IAVA will also honor Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the IAVA Veteran Leadership Award. Willie Geist, co-anchor of NBC’s “TODAY” show and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

IAVA is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the organization founded by CEO and Iraq War veteran Paul Rieckhoff in 2004. Over the past decade, IAVA has evolved to fight for what veterans truly want and need including playing a key role in passing the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In December 2012, in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, IAVA launched the Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP). This case management and referral service program concentrates on, but is not limited to, vets in New York and California with an intake of about 40 new cases a week. More recently, IAVA has promoted awareness and positive action around Military Sexual Trauma, built strong communities of veterans online and on the ground, and proposed solutions to the disability claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

IAVA’s past Heroes Gala honorees, performers and guests include: Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Sal Guinta; former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; best- selling author and Army veteran Wes Moore; “Dancing with the Stars” winner and veteran J.R. Martinez; host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert; Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show;” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly; Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie Gelb; Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark; Super Bowl Champion Coach Bill Cowher; singer Nora Jones; NBC News’ Brian Williams; former Chairman of the NAACP Julian Bond; and O.A.R. lead vocalist Marc Roberge.

IAVA’s Annual Heroes Gala Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary’s top sponsors, as of Oct. 29, 2014, include HBO, JPMorgan Chase & Co., MillerCoors, Southwest Airlines, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Turner Broadcasting, USAA, Victory Motorcycles, Western Asset Management, and WME/IMG. To sponsor the Heroes Gala click here

Note to media: To arrange an interview with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or other IAVA leadership or attend the Heroes Gala as a member of the press, please email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699.  

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.

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Burn pit exposure? Sign up now in VA Registry.

Soldier throwing waste in burn pit.

Smoke from these pits and other airborne hazards during deployment contained substances that may have health effects.

Marine Veteran Rebecca Crawford was so concerned with returning from her tour in Iraq with “two arms and two legs” intact that she didn’t give much thought to the fumes she was breathing while performing her routine job duties.

Tasked with providing base support, Rebecca’s duties alternated between sitting in a foxhole for 12 hours a day—securing the perimeter—to churning unknown mixtures of refuse, chemicals and human waste in open burn pits.

The use of burn pits was a common waste disposal practice at military sites outside the United States such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smoke from these pits contained substances that may have short- and long-term health effects, especially for those who were exposed for long periods or those more prone to illness such as individuals with pre-existing asthma or other lung or heart conditions.

 The registry is a tool to help … identify health conditions possibly related to burn pits. 

Some Veterans have reported respiratory symptoms and other health conditions that they believe are related to burn pits. There are studies that provide information about the health effects related to exposure, but not enough to determine the long-term impacts. In response, VA is conducting research on the issue and has created the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry for Veterans and Servicemembers.

The registry is a tool to help participants become more aware of their health and to identify health conditions possibly related to exposure to burn pits and other airborne hazards (e.g., sand, dust and particulates. Participation is voluntary and the enrollment questionnaire can be used to identify health concerns, guide discussions with a health care provider and document deployment-related exposures.

Sees Value in Enrolling

Still young and with more than 10 years since exposure, Rebecca is healthy and undecided about participating in the registry. She, however, sees value in receiving updated news and information about the long-term health effects of burn pits.

“I think one of the benefits of enrolling in the registry would be if some new concerns came up about inhaling the fumes or the smoke, I would be notified quickly since they have my name and contact information,” said Rebecca. “The registry would make it possible for VA to contact me and say that we know you were exposed to burn pits and this is what you should be thinking about now.”

All Veterans and active-duty Servicemembers are encouraged to check their eligibility and participate in the registry. VA will use deployment data provided by the Department of Defense (DOD) to determine eligibility.

To access the questionnaire, participants will need a DOD Self-Service level-2 logon (DS-Logon). The DS-Logon is a secure, self-service ID that allows Veterans and Servicemembers to access several websites, including VA’s eBenefits and the burn pit registry, using a single username and password. Ensure your web browser has “scripting” enabled.

Veterans who are eligible for the registry are also eligible to obtain an optional no-cost, in-person medical evaluation. Participants already enrolled in VA health care should contact their primary care provider to schedule an evaluation. Veterans not already enrolled should contact an Environmental Health Coordinator at the nearest VA facility or call 1-877-222-8387.

Active-duty Servicemembers, including activated Reserve and Guard personnel, should contact their local military hospital or clinic to schedule an appointment for a voluntary medical evaluation. Please state that you are calling for an appointment specifically to address “health concerns related to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry exposures.”

Quick Links:

Sign up for the registry.

View frequently asked questions about the registry and how to sign up.

Get a DS-Logon account.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2014/October/Burn-pit-exposure-Signup-now-in-VA-Registry.asp

VA Guarantees its 21 Millionth Home Loan








VA Guarantees its 21 Millionth Home Loan

October 29, 2014, 12:30:00 PM





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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                


October 29, 2014                                                       


  


VA Guarantees its 21 Millionth Home Loan


Milestone comes during year-long commemoration of 70 years of the GI Bill


 


WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced this month that it has guaranteed 21 million home loans since the Home Loan Guaranty program was established in 1944 as part of the original Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the “GI Bill.” This achievement comes during the year-long commemoration of 70 years of the “GI Bill,” which established a wide range of benefits for Veterans returning from World War II, including low-cost home loans, education and vocational training.


 


“This vital program offers Veterans, Servicemembers and their families the keys to homeownership and is truly a testament to our Nation’s commitment to enhancing the lives of those who served our country,” said Allison A. Hickey, VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits. “Twenty-one million home loans guaranteed, with the last one million guaranteed in just two years, is just one example of how VA employees are privileged to continue to serve and give back to our Veterans through the GI Bill.”


 


VA’s Home Loan Program provides housing-related benefits and services to make home ownership possible and affordable for eligible Veterans, Servicemembers and surviving spouses, who want to buy, build, repair or adapt a home. Nearly 90 percent of all VA loans are made with no down payment. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, the Home Loan Program guaranteed roughly 35,000 loans per month, resulting in a total of 438,398 VA home loans guaranteed for the year. The total value of all outstanding VA loans exceeds $380 billion. During FY 2014, the program also approved 1,253 grants to seriously disabled Veterans for the purchase, modification, or construction of a home specially adapted to meet their individual housing needs.


 


Through loan servicing efforts, the Home Loan Program also assisted nearly 80,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure in FY 2014.  These actions saved taxpayers nearly $2.8 billion in avoided claim payments.  Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that mortgages guaranteed by VA have had the lowest foreclosure inventory rate for the last 25 quarters when compared to all other types of home loans in the nation, including prime loans. 


 


Veterans may obtain a certificate of eligibility for a VA-guaranteed home loan through the joint Department of Defense—VA web portal eBenefits, at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov, or by contacting their lender.


 


For more information about the VA Home Loan Program, visit the program’s home page at www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans.


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Veterans Arts Festival is Fun and Therapeutic

Man and his art.

National Veterans Creative Arts Festival October 27-November 2, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Creative expression is an important component of healthy living. VA’s annual Creative Arts Festival demonstrates that healing goes well beyond a patients’ physical needs. Creative arts therapy plays a key role at VA in rehabilitation and recovery.

The Creative Arts Festival is the culmination of a year-long fine arts talent competition involving thousands of participants nationwide and is open to all Veterans receiving care at VA medical facilities.

The festival gives thousands of Veterans the opportunity to express themselves creatively and enables them to have life changing experiences connected to their health and recovery.

According to Elizabeth Mackey, Director of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, “VA is very proud to bring well-deserved recognition to our outstanding Veteran performers, writers and artists. This event accomplishes so much, offering extensive creative arts therapy and rehabilitation for Veterans nationwide, while delighting audiences in both the visual and performing arts.

“VA is committed to providing therapeutic solutions that go beyond traditional physical medicine. The Creative Arts Festival provides an artistic avenue for the physical, mental and emotional healing of our nation’s heroes.

“We look forward to a program that inspires our guests who witness the remarkable talents of these Veterans who remain motivated regardless of their health challenges.”

The competition includes 53 categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 120 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing.

VA medical facilities incorporate creative arts into their recreation therapy programs to further the rehabilitation process for both inpatients and outpatients. This annual competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through that therapy and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of our nation’s Veterans after disease, disability or life crisis.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of artistic talent and skill that our nation’s Veterans possess and how artistic expression promotes healing and enhances quality of life.

As Director Mackey noted, “The camaraderie among the Veteran artists, the beautiful art on display and the world class performances all combine to produce a week that inspires all of us and reminds us of the healing power of artistry.”

Just two of the thousands who participate

John “Jay” Harden, Jr. from O’Fallon, Mo., served in the Air Force as a B-52 Navigator during the Vietnam War. During his eight years of service one of the constants that kept him going was the letters from his wife, Carolyn. Today, he uses writing to help him cope with traumatic stress.

His original piece, “My Mother of All Letters,” won first place in the Inspirational Personal Experience category of the creative writing division in the 2013 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition.

 When I got home, I lost my way. 

Brenda Bushera made a military career ministering to others with her music, including a 10-month Iraq deployment where she played a combination of punk, alternative and a bit of pop giving young soldiers the music they wanted to hear to take their minds off the war.

“Playing in a war zone was a tough job, filled with danger, hours of travel and friends who didn’t make it home.”

But when she took the war home with her, it was music that helped Bushera heal herself. “When I got home, I lost my way,” She said.

Bushera came to the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System in Temple, Texas, for treatment for mental health issues and alcoholism. “I don’t mind telling people. It is what it is. I needed to do this for me.”

“It was my music therapist who encouraged me to audition for the Creative Arts Competition. I knew if I was going to do this, I needed to be healthy. I’ve used music to help others. I have to have music in my life. I never knew that I would need it for myself.”

“Music brought me back. I’m just elated to be here. This is a breath of relief that I’ve still got it, and I can still do this professionally. It gives me hope that I can get back and start my career again.”

Learn more about Jay and Brenda and hundreds of other brave Veterans.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/HEALTH/NewsFeatures/2014/October/Veterans-Arts-Festival-is-Fun-and-Therapeutic.asp

“Lone Survivor’s” Peter Berg To Join IAVA’s Board of Directors

“Lone Survivor’s” Peter Berg To Join IAVA’s Board of Directors

CONTACT: Gretchen Andersen (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

 

New York, NY (October 22, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, today announced director, producer, actor and writer Peter Berg – who recently wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated, blockbuster hit, “Lone Survivor” – will join the organizations’ Board of Directors this fall. 

Director Pete BergBerg, a loyal veteran advocate and son of a Marine, received IAVA’s 2014 Leadership in Entertainment Award this past May at the Heroes Celebration in Los Angeles, CA. 

“IAVA is honored to have Pete Berg join our board and lead the effort to support and empower the New Greatest Generation of veterans,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “In 2014 and beyond, we look forward to working with Pete in fighting for critical veterans issues. “Lone Survivor’s” success elevated a national conversation on the sacrifices of our veterans and servicemembers over the past 13 years.  As the son of a Marine, Pete is a staunch supporter of post-9/11 veterans and the military community. In the past few months he has met with IAVA members and veterans in both New York and Los Angeles. We are excited to bring him on board as we begin to celebrate our 10th anniversary and prep for Veterans Day 2014.”

In addition to “Lone Survivor,” Berg is also known for his fierce portrait of high school football in the 2004 film adaptation of Buzz Bissinger’s bestseller, “Friday Night Lights.” The film’s success, both in theaters and on DVD, spawned the acclaimed TV series of the same name, which aired for five seasons and garnered multiple Emmy nominations and wins. In addition to serving as the series’ executive producer, Berg also directed several episodes of the show, including the 2006 pilot, for which he earned an Emmy nomination as Best Director. As one of the series’ writers, he also shared a Writers Guild nomination for Best New Series.

As an actor, Berg’s recent film work includes roles in “Lions for Lambs,” “Smokin’ Aces,” and “Collateral.”

In addition to directing the 2012 film “Battleship,” the New York native (and son of a Naval historian) also develops projects under his Film 44 banner. Berg has also directed “Hancock” and “The Kingdom,” among other feature films. Most recently, Berg was an executive producer and directed several episodes of the HBO series “The Leftovers,” starring Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership. 

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.

 

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Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed








Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed

October 24, 2014, 12:02:00 PM





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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                


October 24, 2014                                                       


  Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed


Permanent Director Sought


 


 Montgomery, AL – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formally removed the Director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHCS) from federal service. This decision followed an investigation by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR) in which allegations of neglect of duty were substantiated.


This removal action underscores VA’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and get Veterans the care they need.  OAR, which reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, assists VA facilities in accelerating leadership accountability actions and ensuring that such actions are applied consistently across the Department.


The Veterans Health Administration will begin recruiting a Director for CAVHCS. To ensure continuity of care for Veterans and leadership for VA employees during the recruitment period, Dr. Robin Jackson, Deputy Network Director, VISN 7, has been designated acting CAVHCS director.


 


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Secretary McDonald Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets








Secretary McDonald Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets

October 24, 2014, 11:27:00 AM





Printable Version




 


From the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets


http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-va-secretary-20141023-story.html#


By Robert A. McDonald


October 24, 2014


 


During preparation for my confirmation as secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), I was repeatedly asked, “Why doesn’t VA just hand out vouchers allowing veterans to get care wherever they want?” For a department recovering from serious issues involving health care access and scheduling of appointments, that was a legitimate question.


After nine weeks at VA, travel to 31 VA facilities in 15 cities, discussions with hundreds of veterans and VA clinicians, meetings with 75 Members of Congress, two hearings before the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs committees and dozens of meetings with Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders, I can answer that question.


Veterans need VA, and many more Americans benefit from VA.


Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that’s essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.


VA’s accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized.


Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that’s essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.


VA’s accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized.


VA is affiliated with over 1,800 educational institutions providing powerful teaching and research opportunities. And our research initiatives, outcomes and honors are tremendous. Few understand that VA medical professionals:


•Pioneered and developed modern electronic medical records;


•Developed the implantable cardiac pacemaker;


•Conducted the first successful liver transplants;


•Created the nicotine patch to help smokers quit;


•Crafted artificial limbs that move naturally when stimulated by electrical brain impulses;


•Demonstrated that patients with total paralysis could control robotic arms using only their thoughts — a revolutionary system called “Braingate”;


•Identified genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Werner’s syndrome, among others;


•Applied bar-code software for administering medications to patients — the initiative of a VA nurse;


•Proved that one aspirin a day reduced by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart attacks in patients with unstable angina;


•Received three Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology; seven prestigious Lasker Awards, presented to people who make major contributions to medical science or public service on behalf of medicine; and two of the eight 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medals.


No single institution trains more doctors or nurses than VA. More than 70 percent of all U.S. doctors have received training at VA. Each year, VA trains, educates and provides practical experience for 62,000 medical students and residents, 23,000 nurses and 33,000 trainees in other health fields — people who go on to provide health care not just to veterans but to most Americans.


The 278,000 employees of the Veterans Health Administration work in a system spanning all 50 states and beyond, providing — from Maine to Manila — a high volume of quality, clinical care. Our 150 flagship VA Medical Centers are connected to 819 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, 300 Vet Centers providing readjustment counseling, 135 Community Living Centers, 104 Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Centers, and to mobile medical clinics, mobile Vet Centers and telehealth programs providing care to the most remote veterans.


That network of facilities allows VA to deliver care to veterans from the greatest generation of World War II to the latest generation from Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2013, VA provided over 90 million episodes of care; that’s an average of over 240,000 each day. And since 2004, the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey has consistently shown that veterans receiving inpatient and outpatient care from VA hospitals and clinics give a higher customer satisfaction score, on average, than patients at private sector hospitals.


Finally, VA is uniquely positioned to contribute to the care of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), prosthetics, PTSD and other mental health conditions, and the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hepatitis. The work we do in these areas, as well as many others, produces results and life changing improvements in care for veterans — and for all Americans and people around the world who suffer from these conditions.


Fixing access to VA care is important; we have a plan to do that and are dedicated to implementing it. That process will take time — but it must be done, and we will be successful. Those who fully understand the value of the department in research, training, and clinical care understand that veterans and all Americans need and deserve their VA to continue providing exceptional care to those we serve.


 Robert A. McDonald is secretary of Veterans Affairs. His email is Bob.mcdonald@va.gov.


Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun


 


 




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VA Demonstrates New Telehealth Scheduling System to Veteran Service Organizations








VA Demonstrates New Telehealth Scheduling System to Veteran Service Organizations

October 23, 2014, 01:17:00 PM





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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


October 23, 2014                                  


 


VA Demonstrates New Telehealth Scheduling System to Veteran Service Organizations


New software system intended to improve Veterans Access to Care


WASHINGTONRepresentatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) met today with Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) at the Washington VA Medical Center for a hands-on demonstration and discussion about VA’s telehealth programs and services.


The hands-on demonstration included a presentation of VA’s new Clinical Video Telehealth scheduling software which launched last month and is intended to improve how VA employees schedule telehealth appointments.


 “As we launch new programs and services, it is important to include our VSO partners,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “Today’s demonstration is an important part of our collaborative process. We welcome our VSO’s feedback.  Like us, their goal is to ensure Veterans have the access to the quality care and services they have earned.”


Telehealth rapidly is becoming a popular option, particularly for Veterans who do not have a VA health care facility close to home. In fiscal year 2014, VA’s national telehealth programs served over 690,000 Veterans and accounted for more than 2 million virtual visits.


For more information about VA’s telehealth program, visit www.telehealth.va.gov/.   


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Take Part – Top Issues for Veterans in the Upcoming Election

Take Part – Top Issues for Veterans in the Upcoming Election

During campaign season political hopefuls offer big promises to help out veterans, but they often fall short when it comes to following through.

Wile most politicians are quick to say that they support our troops, the veteran community still battles with unemployment, a high suicide rate, and insufficient health care from the VA. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has released a list of concerns, but vets are still waiting on elected officials to take action. 

The TPL hosts suggest a few questions voters can ask elected officials to make sure they’re doing enough to support those who have served our country. 

Watch the full episode and the latest clips from TakePart Live, hosted by Meghan McCain, Jacob Soboroff, and Baratunde Thurston.


[link]


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