May 2013

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” ― Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Like most Americans, I was shocked and horrified at the Boston Marathon bombings that ripped through the event on Monday, April 15,… Read More

Battlefield Lessons Save Lives, Limbs after Boston Marathon Explosions

Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO, TX – Ten years ago, many of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing with major lower body injuries would likely have spent the rest of their lives in a wheelchair. A new — and… Read More

VA Will Introduce Productivity Models for Five MD Specialties This Year

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Under pressure to develop an accurate method of assessing physician output and determining appropriate staffing levels at medical facilities, the VA has agreed to establish productivity models for five additional specialties by the end of… Read More

VA’s Overuse of GERD Treatment Under Scrutiny

By Brenda L. Mooney CHICAGO – How VA patients are treated, — or potentially overtreated, — for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is coming under greater scrutiny. Veterans often are prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPI) at much higher doses than recommended,… Read More

Lawmakers Seek to Extend Date for Camp Lejeune Healthcare Claims

By Sandra Basu Jerry Ensminger and his daughter Janey, who died of cancer in the 1980s. A law to help victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is named for her. WASHINGTON – Legislation signed into law in August was… Read More

First-in-Class Diabetes Drug Offers New Treatment Options for VA Patients

By Annette M. Boyle SAN DIEGO – The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent approval of canagliflozin might soon offer new treatment options for the more than one million VA patients with diabetes. “This is definitely not a ‘me too’… Read More

Diclegis Is Only Drug Approved for Nausea, Vomiting in Pregnant Women

BLAINVILLE, QUEBEC – Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting. It currently is the only approved treatment for those symptoms during pregnancy, the… Read More

First Lymph Node Mapping Drug Approved in More than 30 Years

DUBLIN, OH – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Lymphoseek (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept) Injection, the first new drug used for lymph node mapping to be approved in more than 30 years. Lymphoseek is a radioactive diagnostic imaging… Read More

FDA Approves Tecfidera for Treatment of Relapsing MS

WESTON, MA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) capsules to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). “No drug provides a cure for multiple sclerosis, so it is important to have a… Read More

VA Urged to Resolve Whistleblower Complaints About Jackson, MS, VAMC

By Sandra Basu JACKSON, MS – Despite assurances that problems have been addressed at the G.V. (“Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center here, veterans expressed their anger to VA leaders during a town hall meeting held at the facility last month.… Read More

Telephone Intervention Effect Varied by Race, Health Literacy

DURHAM, NC – Race and health literacy were factors in the effectiveness of a telephone-based osteoarthritis (OA) self-management support intervention, according to a new study.1 Researchers from the Durham, NC, VA Medical Center, Duke University in Durham and the University… Read More

Return to Active Duty Unusual After Knee Procedure

CHICAGO – Treating large cartilage knee defects with an allograft osteoarticular transplant (OATS) does not allow most military personnel to return to full active duty status, according to research presented recently at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty… Read More

Vitamin D No Help for Knee Osteoarthritis

BOSTON – Vitamin D supplementation did not result in a significant difference in knee pain or cartilage volume loss in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis compared to a placebo group, according to a study from Tufts Medical Center in Boston.1… Read More

Debate Over Breast Cancer Screening for Older Women Continues at VA

By Annette Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – A handful of new studies on the harms and benefits of mammography screening for older women give VHA physicians more information but no easy answers. The rapidly rising number of female veterans makes the… Read More

Military Responds to High Rates of STIs in Active-Duty Female Servicemembers

PROVIDENCE, RI – Active-duty women have far higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than their male colleagues or civilian counterparts, and the military services are trying to help young servicemembers avoid the types of behavior that can create medical… Read More

VA Proposes Team-Based Model for Prostate Cancer Care

  By Michael Kelley, MD National Program Director for Oncology, Specialty Care Services, Patient Care Services, VHA, Chief, Hematology-Oncology, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, NC, Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Dr. Michael Kelley, MD Introduction… Read More

Navy Recognizes Nurse/Officer for His ‘Loyal Devotion to Duty’

By Steve Lewis AUBURN, AL – Early in his military career, David R. Crumbley MSN, CWCN, assistant clinical professor at the Auburn University School of Nursing, became inspired to help people through medicine. “I enjoyed making their lives better and… Read More

IBD Prevalence Increases in VA; UC More Common

HOUSTON — The prevalence of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) increased twofold to threefold among VA users between 1998 and 2009, although the incidence of the disease, known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease, has either decreased or remained… Read More

Acid Reflux Therapy Works As Well In Obese Patients

KANSAS CITY, MO – Obesity is no barrier to effectiveness for proton pump inhibitors (PPI) in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to a VA database study The study out of the Kansas City, MO, VAMC found that heartburn… Read More

VA Specialists Often Exceed Guidelines in Colonoscopy Screening Follow-Up

DURHAM, NC – Gastroenterologists often urge repeat colonoscopy for colonic polyp surveillance more frequently than recommended by the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society guidelines, according to a recent VA study warning that “overuse of… Read More