2011 Issues


November 2011

RelayHealth wins Blue Button Contest

WASHINGTON – And the winner is….. VA announced that RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business is the winner of the “Blue Button for All Americans” contest. In the content, sponsored by VA’s Innovations Initiative (VAi2), RelayHealth won... View Article

November 2011

Anonymous Surveys Can Be Valuable in Military Mental-Health Screening, Study Finds

WASHINGTON — Despite intensive efforts by the military to reduce the stigma of seeking help, troops still might be reluctant to report mental-health problems, suggests a new study of U.S. Army soldiers from one infantry... View Article

November 2011

1918 Flu Virus Circulated Silently Before Becoming Killer

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the flu virus that killed 50 million people worldwide in 1918 “circulated silently” at least four months before the 1918... View Article

November 2011

Researchers Building a Better Weight-Loss Simulator

A model created by NIH researchers challenges some commonly held diet beliefs, including that eating 3,500 fewer calories, or burning them through exercise, always results in a pound of weight loss. The mathematical model takes... View Article

November 2011

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

“Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” —unknown If I were unfortunate enough to sustain a severe trauma, I would prefer to be taken to a U.S. Military Combat Support Hospital (CSH) over nearly all... View Article

November 2011

November Progress Notes

THE WASHINGTON  VA MEDICAL CENTER (DCVAMC) opened its newly constructed Southern Prince Georges County Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) last month near Joint Base Andrews. This CBOC will offer veterans a variety of healthcare services... View Article

November 2011

Army Expected to Name First Women as Surgeon General

WASHINGTON — The Army is expected to name its first female and first U.S. Army Nurse Corps Officer as the Army surgeon general in December. Maj. Gen. (P) Patricia Horoho, RN, was confirmed by the... View Article

November 2011

Indian Health Services Emergency Director Engineers Vigilance with Harmony

WASHINGTON — Most people probably prefer not to think about floods, tornadoes and other natural and unnatural disasters, but Capt. Darrell LaRoche, USPHS, always is thinking about ways to plan for catastrophes. As the director... View Article

November 2011

GAO: Veterans Not Given Enough Information to Appeal Benefits Denials

WASHINGTON — Veterans have difficulty understanding the procedures through which they appeal VA decisions on their benefits, and time-saving measures put in place by VA have done little to improve the review process, according to... View Article

November 2011

VA, Paralympic Partnership Successful but Not Yet Available Everywhere

WASHINGTON — The partnership between VA and U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has gotten veterans nationwide involved in adaptive sports as a further step in rehabilitation and to better re-enter... View Article

November 2011

VA Looks at New Weapons in War Against Antibiotic Overuse, Resistant Infections

The war against overuse of antibiotics and the resulting resistant infections is constantly being fought at the VA. Sometimes battles are won – such as a successful program that decreased rates of healthcare associated MRSA... View Article

November 2011

Do HHS Proposed Changes to Common Rule Go Far Enough, Critics Ask

BETHESDA, MD — This summer, HHS announced a proposal to improve the rules governing the protection of human research subjects — a system usually referred to as the Common Rule, which has been in place... View Article

November 2011

Treating a Million Diabetes Patients, VA Stays at Cutting Edge

With responsibility for treating diabetes in more than a million veterans in its primary-care population, VA is at the leading edge of care for the metabolic disease. For example, an article this spring in the... View Article

November 2011

Best-Practice Programs Reduce Diabetes Rate Among Native Americans, Alaskans

Following encouraging results from a demonstration project that involved 36 Indian Health Service (IHS), tribal and urban Indian health programs, the IHS has added “Youth and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Treatment” to its list... View Article

November 2011

National Drug Shortages Plague VA – Pharmacy Officials Detail Response at Public Hearing

SILVER SPRING, MD — VA is not immune to the effects of drug shortages, and even small problems in the drug pipeline can have serious effects on the department’s ability to get the right pharmaceutical... View Article

November 2011

Powerful New Scanner Improves Diagnosis, Treatment of TBI, PTSD

WASHINGTON — A cutting-edge scanner that combines a whole-body, simultaneous positron emission topography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be invaluable in helping them better understand what changes are occurring in the brains of... View Article

November 2011

Military Battles Flu Every Year to Ensure Troop Readiness

WASHINGTON — Every year, the military has to do battle with an especially cunning and adaptable foe: seasonal influenza. During the 2010-2011 flu season, more than 600 cases of the flu were reported among troops... View Article

November 2011

Concussions in Pro Football Players Provide Clues to Military TBI Treatment

Head Injury Leading Killer Among All-Americans WASHINGTON — Concerns about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma go far beyond military personnel injured in battlefield blasts. More than 50,000 Americans, most of them civilians, die... View Article

November 2011

VA Tests Innovative Solutions to Veteran Unemployment

WASHINGTON — Unemployment among veterans is higher than the civilian sector, as servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have a difficult time finding a place in the work force. This has legislators attempting to understand... View Article

November 2011

Faced With Lawsuit, TRICARE Reviews Policies After 4.9 Million Patient Data Breach

WASHINGTON — TRICARE is reviewing its current data protection security policies and procedures in response to a data breach that involved personal information on an estimated 4.9 million military clinic and hospital patients. A $4.9... View Article

November 2011

First Malaria Vaccine Could Be Available in Four Years

WASHINGTON — The world’s first malaria vaccine may finally be within reach. Scientists and public health officials are optimistic about recent news that a malaria vaccine candidate was able to reduce the risk of malaria... View Article

November 2011

Troops Suffering Increased Devastating Injuries from Blasts

WASHINGTON, DC — Of all of the injuries servicemembers suffer on the battlefield, among the most feared, psychologically as well as physically, are genitourinary. In fact, a recent report offered anecdotal information that some servicemembers... View Article

November 2011

FDA Is More Bark than Bite on Foreign Drug Imports, Seeks More Authority

WASHINGTON — FDA needs the authority to keep foreign manufacturers who do not comply with regulatory requests from importing their products into the United States, agency officials are telling legislators. Currently, the agency can stop... View Article

November 2011

Gulf War Veterans Continue to Demonstrate Blood Brain Flow Abnormalities

WASHINGTON — Gulf War veterans continue to demonstrate blood brain flow abnormalities even 20 years after the war and, in some cases, have gotten worse, according to researchers at the University of Texas. This comes... View Article

November 2011

Recent Court Case Underscores Strict Outside Payment Rules for Federal Physicians

WASHINGTON — Government employees are under strict rules about accepting outside gifts and outside payments. A reminder of that came last month with news that an Army doctor was ordered by a U.S. District Court... View Article

November 2011

Drug Shortages Tripled in Last Five Years; Critical Medications Unavailable

WASHINGTON — The number of drug shortages reported annually has nearly tripled over the last five years, with much-needed drugs such as chemotherapy, anesthetics and electrolytes disproportionately affected. FDA sometimes can mitigate or even prevent... View Article

November 2011

Poor Coordination Between VA, DoD Continues to Hamper Wounded Warrior Program

WASHINGTON — Poor synchronization between DoD and VA may be leading to a worsening of patient-care coordination. If the two departments do not start working together quickly to solve the issue, it could adversely affect... View Article

November 2011

Army Readiness Eroded By Increasing Numbers of Medically Unfit Soldiers

WASHINGTON — As troops are being drawn down, even while the demand on the force continues, a growing percentage of Army troops are medically unfit for duty, Army officials said at the recent Association of... View Article

               
           

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