2012 Issues


January 2012

Is the VA Mental Health Scheduling System Gamed? Senators Seek Audit

WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the numerous reports of veterans unable to receive timely mental healthcare at VA facilities, legislators have called for the VA Office of the Inspector General to conduct a formal audit of... View Article

January 2012

New Army Surgeon General Is First Woman, Nurse to Hold That Position

WASHINGTON — With the swearing in of Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, RN, as the Army’s 43rd surgeon general, for the first time a woman or a nurse has been officially in command of the... View Article

January 2012

Kidney Injuries Sharply Increase Wounded Death Rates

SAN ANTONIO, TX–Kidney injuries have dramatically increased death rates in military personnel evacuated to burn units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Up to 30% of those wounded troops suffer acute kidney injury (AKI) and, with the... View Article

January 2012

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world, I know because I have done it thousands of times

‘Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.’ – Mark Twain (1835-1910) As an anesthesiologist, on a purely pragmatic level, it is hard not... View Article

January 2012

Suicide Rate Drops but Veterans Still Struggle to Get Mental Health Care

WASHINGTON — Reports about suicide prevention constantly focus on the difficulty veterans have in receiving mental healthcare, even though the suicide rate is dropping. In fact, there is little disagreement that the suicide threat is... View Article

January 2012

IG Audit Finds Inadequate Documentation for VA Bonuses

WASHINGTON — VA’s program of giving out bonuses as retention incentives has been conducted without appropriate guidance or oversight, and many were handed out without regard for employee reviews, according to an audit conducted by... View Article

January 2012

Proposed Law Allows Tribal Courts to Prosecute Non Indians Seeks End to Assault Epidemic

WASHINGTON — Congress is considering legislation to strengthen the ability of tribal law-enforcement agencies to address the epidemic of sexual assaults and domestic violence against women in their communities. According to the Department of Justice,... View Article

January 2012

IOM Says Get Rid of 510k approval FDA Responds Not So Fast

WASHINGTON — Six months after the Institute of Medicine (IoM) issued a report recommending the dissolution of FDA’s 510(k) medical device approval process, the agency has yet to release their official response — a delay... View Article

January 2012

Proposed Changes to Retirement Plans Could Strongly Impact Military Health System

WASHINGTON — Proposed changes to retirement plans are generating much discussion, especially because some professionals, such as those in the Military Health System, often count on pensions to compensate for lower pay levels and other... View Article

January 2012

Mild TBI Remains Little Understood and Hard to Diagnose

BETHESDA, MD — With all of the attention given traumatic brain injury in recent years, it can be easy to forget that this is still a nascent area of medical science. It took six years... View Article

January 2012

Brain Tsunamis Provide Clues to Prevention of Worsening Outcomes in TBI

Washington — If “brain tsunamis” can be prevented, it may be possible to keep some patients who have sustained a serious head injury from suffering devastating further damage to the brain, according to a new... View Article

January 2012

End of Era US Military Dismantles Its Hospitals in Iraq

WASHINGTON – The pullout of American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 marked an end of an era not only for combat operations, but also for U.S. military medicine in the country. In... View Article

January 2012

Low Risk Prostate Cancer Often Is Over Treated

BETHESDA, MD — Many men are receiving curative therapy for prostate cancer who would be better served by more passive, observational treatment, according to a panel of experts convened by the NIH. After examining the... View Article

January 2012

Smoking Cessation Efforts Battling Entrenched Tobacco Culture in Military

“Smoke ’em if you got ’em.” For generations of military personnel, that phrase originating in World War II was the signal to take a break or at least to cool their heels while waiting. So... View Article

January 2012

New Medications Continue to Revolutionize Opioid Addiction Treatment at VA

The problem of prescription opioid addiction is nothing new for U.S. military forces. It stretches back to the mid-1800s, when many wounded Civil War veterans became hooked on narcotics used to control their pain This... View Article

January 2012

Tackling Combat Trauma Head On Helps Resolve Sleep Disorders

BETHESDA, MD —A problem with insomnia, one of the shared symptoms of TBI and PTSD, sometimes can be overshadowed by what seem to be more serious, immediate symptoms. For those suffering from sleep disorders, however,... View Article

January 2012

Progress Notes

THE JOHN D. CHASE AWARD FOR EXECUTIVE EXCELLENCE has been awarded to Michael Finegan, network director for Veterans Integrated Service Network 11. The award was presented at the 117th Annual Meeting of the Association of Military... View Article

January 2012

IHS Grapples with Pervasive Prescription Opioid Misuse in Tribal Areas

WASHINGTON — When a recent CDC report noted that deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade in the United States, the news hit especially close to home for American Indians... View Article

January 2012

Imaging Guidelines Not Followed in Prostate Cancer

Clinicians are not adhering to imaging guidelines for men with incident prostate cancer, a recent study concluded.1 The researchers found that, of 18,491 men at low risk for prostate cancer, 45% received inappropriate imaging, while... View Article

January 2012

VA Expands Benefits for Veterans with Genitourinary Injuries

WASHINGTON — VA has expanded traumatic injury benefits to include servicemembers who suffered injuries in the genitourinary organs during their service. These servicemembers will now be eligible for Servicemember Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection... View Article

January 2012

Heart Study Looks At African-American Parents Children

NIH researchers are enrolling multiple generations of patients in a landmark study designed to identify the early warning signs of heart disease among African-Americans. The new feasibility study will enroll children and grandchildren of African-American... View Article

January 2012

Surgeon Never Imagined Being TRICAREs New Deputy Director

WASHINGTON — When Brig. Gen. W. Bryan Gamble took his first assignment at Bassett Army Community Hospital as a general surgeon in 1987, little did he suspect that nearly 25 years later he would be... View Article

January 2012

Progress Notes

James G. Smirniotopoulos, MD, recently was honored as “Outstanding Educator” by the Radiological Society of North America (USUHS). Smirniotopoulos is a neuroradiology expert and a pioneer in electronic and online radiologic education. He is professor,... View Article

               
           

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