January 2014

VA Construction Delays Continue; Officials Say Processes Have Improved

VA Construction Delays Continue; Officials Say Processes Have Improved

WASHINGTON — Despite continuing criticism over cost overruns and lengthy delays in building four new VA medical centers, a VA official told lawmakers that “the way the Office of Construction and Facility Management is doing business today has changed significantly” since those projects were first undertaken.

Advanced Funding Sought to Shield Veteran Services from Budget Disruptions

WASHINGTON — To avoid disruption of veteran services in situations such as October’s government shutdown, advocacy groups and leaders of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees are pushing for legislation that would fund all VA programs a year in advance.

Boston Bombing Worsens PTSD Symptoms

BOSTON — As disturbing as April’s Boston Marathon bombing was for all Americans, Boston-area military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were especially affected, experiencing flashbacks, unwanted memories and other psychological issues.

Spinal Injury Rate Much Higher in Recent Wars

EL PASO, TX — More than 10% of wounded troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered spinal injuries, and a new study said that is a much higher rate than in previous wars.

PTSD Linked to Increased Myocardial Ischemia

SAN FRANCISCO — A new study adds to the growing evidence that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also have increased risks for developing myocardial ischemia.

Effective Treatments Touted for Insomnia That Affects Half of All Returning Troops

Effective Treatments Touted for Insomnia That Affects Half of All Returning Troops

PITTSBURGH, PA — Insomnia and other sleep disorders, which affect one out of every two servicemembers or veterans who have been involved in recent military operations, complicate co-morbid conditions and can be difficult to manage.

Mandatory Vaccine Program Lowers Provider Sick Days

SAN FRANCISCO — A mandatory vaccine program could attenuate at least some of the effect of acute respiratory infection (ARI) exposures among providers, according to a report from the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial (ResPECT).

Education Affects Troops’ Desire for Avian Flu Vaccine

SILVER SPRING, MD — How willing would deployed U.S. military personnel be to receive a hypothetical avian influenza vaccine?

Veterans Have Higher Rates of Flu Vaccination

NORTH HILLS, CA — Compared with the general population, veterans are more likely to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza and H1N1, according to a new study.

Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy

Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy

DENVER — Personalized attention from a pharmacist increases medication adherence in patients to nearly 90% in the year following hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), according to a recent study.

Building on Our Past to Create a Better Future

The size and composition of our military is expected to change as war efforts wind down and budget constraints take effect. However, our commitment to improving and maintaining the health and well-being of our troops, retirees and their families will remain unwavering. After 12 years of combat, we have achieved remarkable military medical advancements that we hope to take beyond the battlefield in the coming years.

Newly Available Drugs Promote Weight Loss, Reduce Progression to Diabetes

Newly Available Drugs Promote Weight Loss, Reduce Progression to Diabetes

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Two recently available drugs for long-term treatment of obesity helped patients lose 5% or more of their body weight over the course of a year, according to their VA criteria for use statements. The medications, a phentermine and topiramate extended-release combination (P/T) and lorcaserin, are the first new weight loss drugs to be launched in 13 years.

Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

WASHINGTON — Even as nearly 1 in 3 young adults, ages 17 to 24, fail to qualify for military service solely because of their weight, the DoD has increased enforcement of body fat measures for active-duty personnel and eliminated waivers for overweight recruits.

Possible VA Change in Advanced Nursing Roles Sparks Heated Debate

Possible VA Change in Advanced Nursing Roles Sparks Heated Debate

WASHINGTON — The VA is considering a proposal that would require VA’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to be designated as independent practitioners, regardless of individual state regulations, but not without intense controversy.

Nurse Practitioners’ Role at Issue in Complaints about Jackson VAMC

Nurse Practitioners’ Role at Issue in Complaints about Jackson VAMC

WASHINGTON — The role of nurse practitioners has become an issue in allegations of serious patient-care problems identified at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, MS.

For Veterans, Acute Kidney Injuries Are More Lethal than Heart Attacks

For Veterans, Acute Kidney Injuries Are More Lethal than Heart Attacks

WASHINGTON — Veterans discharged with a diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) have twice the mortality rate of those diagnosed with myocardial infarction (AMI), yet a lack of awareness and treatment options limit physicians’ ability to manage the condition.

Blind Psychiatrist at Madison VA ‘Sees’ Patients’ Needs Clearly

MADISON, WI — Tim Cordes, MD, a psychiatrist at the William S. Middleton VA Hospital in Madison, WI, may be legally blind, but his insight into his patients’ needs is considered extraordinary.

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error

“Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error.” — Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) Benjamin Disraeli was a British conservative politician who knew a thing or two about politics, serving twice as prime minister of the United… Read More