July 2012

BP Treatment May Be Excessive For VA Patients with Diabetes – Too Much of a Good Thing

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — VA clinicians may be doing too good of a job of controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes, according to research suggesting that as many as 8% of those veterans may have… Read More

VA Ahead of Schedule in Improving Chronic Pain Care

By Annette M. Boyle PHILADELPHIA — While VHA must face the challenge of meeting the needs both of aging veterans and recently deployed servicemembers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, the two groups have at least one problem in common: a… Read More

Disability Evaluation Waits Up Despite Efforts to Speed Process

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While VA and DoD have reported to Congress that they have been working to speed up the time it takes injured and ill troops to get through the disability evaluation system, the waits actually have… Read More

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” — Vince Lombardi, NFL Football Coach (1913-1970) Editor-In-Chief, Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA If you… Read More

Mobile Devices Make EHR Functionality More Portable for VA Clinicians

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — The past few years have seen a revolution in personal technology. Smartphones and tablet computers have made all the functions of the personal computer and the Internet completely portable and far more convenient. With a… Read More

DoD, VA Collaboration Could Create EHR interoperability for All Healthcare

By Annette M. Boyle ST. PAUL, MN — The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments reached an agreement with 3M that has the potential to go far beyond integrating electronic health records between the two departments. The deal could galvanize efforts… Read More

No Treatment for 20% of Patients with Late-Stage Cancer Tumors

About 20% of patients presenting with Stage IV solid tumors never receive anticancer therapy, including more than 12% of those with breast cancer, according to a new study presented at the recent meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology.… Read More

Interventional Pulmonology Seeks Better Outcomes for Lung Patients

By Stephen Spotswood HOUSTON — Patients with lung cancer or other diseases where tumors are beginning to obstruct their central airway have a long, hard road ahead. As the tumor continues to grow, taking in oxygen becomes more and more… Read More

Amputee Advocates: VA Prosthetics Treatment Not as State-of-Art as DoD

By Sandra Basu BETHESDA — Marine Corps Cpl. Garrett Carnes lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year, but that has not stopped him from walking. Thanks to advances in prosthetics, he recently practiced some of his first… Read More

Perceived Discrimination Linked to Black Veterans’ Heart Issues

A new study has found that perceived discrimination was associated with risk of severe coronary obstruction among black male veterans, and the researchers recommend that factor be considered in screening and treating patients at the VA. The research, conducted at… Read More

Air Force Nurse Distinguishes Herself On and Off the Battlefield

By Steve Lewis JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD — While deployed to Afghanistan, Air Force Capt. Gina Fasciani, RN, BSN, wasn’t afraid to don battle gear and leave her bunker to take care of patients. “While under indirect fire, she [left]… Read More

Native American Veterans Falling through Cracks Between VA, IHS Healthcare Services

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The VA and IHS need to better coordinate services for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans, federal officials acknowledged at a recent Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing. “For some AI/ANs, navigating the two healthcare systems… Read More

Don’t Call Me ‘Mister’: Report Says VA Needs Cultural Change in Women’s Care

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — Female veterans experience more physical and mental health issues than male veterans, yet are 30% less likely to enroll in VA services than men. Part of the problem, according to a recently released report,… Read More

VA Partners with Heart Association to Educate Female Veterans about Cardiovascular Health

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The VA is adding another tool in its arsenal to fight heart disease and strokes. The American Heart Association and the VA recently announced a new collaboration that will bring a heart association initiative known… Read More

VA Seeks to Gather More Information on Women Veterans to Improve Care

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — With more women leaving the military and becoming healthcare-eligible veterans, VA is focusing more energy and funding than ever into women’s health research.. Despite spending more money on women’s healthcare research in the last few… Read More

Medical Artifacts, Old and New, Have Place in National Health Museum

By Sandra Basu SILVER SPRING, MD — The conflict in Iraq may have recently ended, but it already has a place in military medical history. A piece of concrete floor of an Air Force tent hospital from Balad is on… Read More

Better Imaging Techniques Show Promise in Improving TBI Diagnosis and Treatment

By Stephen Spotswood BETHESDA, MD — A number of drugs have been shown to have neuroprotective benefits in animal models of TBI. When studies have moved on to human subjects, however, most have had poor results. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD… Read More