Category: July 2014

White House Review Calls for Restructuring of VHA

By Sandra Basu  WASHINGTON – The VHA needs to be “restructured and reformed” according to a scathing White House review released late last month. “The VHA leadership structure is marked by a lack of responsiveness and an inability to effectively… Read More

Abnormal Lung Function in Recent Veterans Raises Respiratory Disease Risks

Abnormal Lung Function in Recent Veterans Raises Respiratory Disease Risks

SAN DIEGO ─ Veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan and the Gulf War with pulmonary function abnormalities have a significantly greater risk of developing chronic respiratory disease years later, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.

Mostly Preventable Surgical-Site Infections Double VA Treatment Costs

Mostly Preventable Surgical-Site Infections Double VA Treatment Costs

By Brenda L. Mooney IOWA CITY, IA – In addition to increasing mortality and morbidity, surgical-site infections (SSIs) nearly double the cost of treatment of patients at the VA yet usually are preventable with good infection-control practices, according to a… Read More

Multiple Antibodies Linked to Schizophrenia Development

SILVER SPRING, MD — With past research identifying an association between development of schizophrenia and antibodies to food or neurotropic infectious agents, a new study looked at the role of multiple agents in development of the serious mental illness. Researchers… Read More

Validity of Brief Screening Tool to Identify Violent Veterans

CHAPEL HILL, NC – With growing concerns about shooting sprees by troubled veterans, the Violence Screening and Assessment of Needs instrument (VIO-SCAN) was developed to try to identify veterans who should have comprehensive risk assessments for violent tendencies. A group… Read More

Rise in Military Personnel Treated for Mental Disorders

SILVER SPRING, MD – The percentage of military servicemembers in treatment for mental disorders was 2.5 times higher in 2012 than in 2000, according to a new study from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC). The study, published recently… Read More

Army Infantry Troops Most Likely to Suffer Amputation

SAN ANTONIO ‑ Infantry troops in the U.S. Army were the most likely to suffer an amputation, according to a recent retrospective study looking at injury rates and likelihood of returning to duty. Researchers from Brooke Army Medical Center in… Read More

Understanding Brain Compensation Aids Amputee Rehabilitation

COLUMBIA, MO — University of Missouri researchers have determined how amputees compensate when losing a dominant hand, which could lead to better rehabilitation techniques for those suffering from amputation or stroke. The study was funded by the DoD.1 “Half of… Read More

FDA OK’s Marketing for Novel Prosthetic Arm

MANCHESTER, NH —The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently allowed marketing of the first prosthetic arm that can perform multiple, simultaneous powered movements controlled by electrical signals from electromyogram (EMG) electrodes. In the DEKA Arm System, EMG electrodes detect electrical… Read More

Marketing for Generic Celebrex Approved by FDA

WASHINGTON – The first generic versions of Celebrex (celecoxib) capsules, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, short-term pain and other conditions, were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries received approval to market celecoxib capsules in… Read More

Military Health System Introduces Telehealth Pilot Projects to Improve Access to Care

By  Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Technology advances — particularly the use of telemedicine — continue to change how Americans receive their healthcare, where they receive their healthcare and the organizational models for managing their… Read More

Review of Military Healthcare Ordered After Reports of  VA Treatment Failures

Review of Military Healthcare Ordered After Reports of VA Treatment Failures

WASHINGTON – A 90-day review of military health system facilities will look at a range of standards, comparing MHS performance with at least three civilian healthcare systems where standards are relevant and comparable.

Corporate Executive Tapped to Head VA, Help Restore Veterans’ Trust

Corporate Executive Tapped to Head VA, Help Restore Veterans’ Trust

WASHINGTON – Robert A. “Bob” McDonald, a West Point graduate who served as chief executive of Procter & Gamble, was nominated last month as secretary of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs and was expected to be approved by the Senate.

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

By Annette M. Boyle
TAMPA ‑ What price safety?

Robotics Help Veterans Relearn Walking Skills After Stroke Damage

Robotics Help Veterans Relearn Walking Skills After Stroke Damage

BALTIMORE – If practice makes perfect, then stroke patients at the VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore should have a great boost in relearning the ideal walking gait, with some help from the Anklebot.

 Helping Intimate Partner Violence Victims Earns Award for Young VA Researcher

Helping Intimate Partner Violence Victims Earns Award for Young VA Researcher

BOSTON — While some healthcare providers take years to discover their true calling, Katherine M. Iverson, PhD, was drawn to the study of intimate partner violence (IPV) as a graduate student. “During my clinical work in grad school, I worked… Read More

VA Treats Schizophrenia More Consistently Than Other Healthcare Systems

VA Treats Schizophrenia More Consistently Than Other Healthcare Systems

By Annette M. Boyle TEMPLE, TX – While taking antipsychotic medication often benefits patients, evidence increasingly challenges the assumption that more is better, even as the rate of prescriptions for multiple antipsychotics continues to rise in the VA and other… Read More

Nearly 65% of VA Execs Got Bonuses Despite Long Waits for Veteran Care

Nearly 65% of VA Execs Got Bonuses Despite Long Waits for Veteran Care

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – How could nearly 65% of VA senior executives have received performance awards in fiscal year 2013, while the healthcare system was engaging in widespread misconduct related to waiting lists for treatment?                       That is what… Read More

Clinicians Can Play Critical Role in Getting VA Care Back on Track

Clinicians Can Play Critical Role in Getting VA Care Back on Track

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON - As a general internist at the Boston VA, Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, believes that the voices of VA physicians are of critical importance in shaping veterans’ care in the future. “Now that we are getting a much… Read More

Stroke Kills Young American Indian/Alaska Natives at Twice Rate of Whites

Stroke Kills Young American Indian/Alaska Natives at Twice Rate of Whites

By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – While three-quarters of stroke patients are older than 65, a “brain attack” can affect people of any age. For young American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN), that information is especially significant because they have… Read More