February 2015

Most Outside Mental Health Providers Unqualified to Care for Veterans

Most Outside Mental Health Providers Unqualified to Care for Veterans

New Law Gives Broader Access to Care Beyond VA By Brenda L. Mooney  WASHINGTON – Passed with broad bipartisan congressional source support, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA) was promoted as a quick and elegant solution… Read More

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

WASHINGTON – Calling the situation “unacceptable,” VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson apologized last month for delays in the construction of a new VAMC in the Denver area and told lawmakers that finishing the facility without further delay is a priority.

Veterans Continue to Wait for Years for Resolution of Claims Appeals

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – While the spotlight in recent years has been on reducing the disability claims backlog, lawmakers also recently raised another alarm about a appeals process which, they said, leaves some veterans waiting years to get their appeals resolved.… Read More

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The DoD has successfully reversed a trend toward increased use of opioids by engaging pharmacists in oversight and management of polypharmacy patients in Warrior Transition Units.

Opioid Prescribing Showed Great Variance Across VHA

IOWA CITY, IA – Opioid prescribing dramatically increased at the VHA during an eight year period ending in 2012 but demonstrated wide variation in prevalence and incident rates across geographical region, sex and age groups. Prevalence and incidence rates reflect… Read More

How Medical Marijuana Laws Affect Opioid Mortality

PHILADELPHIA – Could wider use of medical marijuana reduce mortality from opioid analgesic overdose? That question is raised by a study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.1 Noting that opioid analgesic overdose mortality continues to rise in the United States, driven… Read More

Direct Visual Observation Therapy Relieves Phantom-Limb Pain

BETHESDA, MD – With as many as one-third of unilateral=limb amputees suffering regularly from phantom limb pain, military medicine has been in search of an inexpensive and effective treatment. A study published recently in the Annals of Clinical and Translational… Read More

Navy Medicine: There to Care for Those in Need

Navy Medicine: There to Care for Those in Need

By Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Army Medicine: Strengthening the Health of our Nation by Improving the Health of our Army

Army Medicine: Strengthening the Health of our Nation by Improving the Health of our Army

By Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command, 43rd Surgeon General of the Army For the first time in our nation’s history, we are decreased the size of our Army before we ended our longest war. Nonetheless, Army… Read More

Air Force Medicine: A Vision for the Future

Air Force Medicine: A Vision for the Future

By Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis, MD, Surgeon General, United States Air Force

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure?
Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

WASHINGTON — As Congress kicked off its 114th session last month, key committees that shape defense and veterans legislation welcomed new leaders.

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

Effort Seeks to Reduce Hypoglycemia in Older Veterans
WASHINGTON – At the beginning of the 21st century, tight glucose control for patients with type 2 diabetes was all the rage.

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

DURHAM, NC – While the commitment to physical fitness demanded of active duty forces can keep many ailments at bay, the rigors of service also bring an increased risk of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, especially for young women entering (and exiting) the military.

Test Strip Overuse Common with Dual Benefits

PITTSBURGH – Veterans who double dip benefits, receiving glucose test strips through both the VA and Medicare, use more strips and are more likely to potentially overuse the measurement devices, according to a new study. “These results illustrate the profound… Read More

Insomnia Doubles Risk of Chronic Diseases in Servicemembers

BETHESDA, MD – Chronic insomnia doubles the risk of developing hypertension and type 2 diabetes in servicemembers compared to military personnel who have not been diagnosed with that sleep problem. That’s according to a report in Medical Surveillance Monthly Report… Read More

Mindfulness Training Helps Vets with Diabetes

PITTSBURGH – Veterans who participated in mindfulness training lowered their diabetes-related distress and glucose levels while improving their self-management of the disease, according to a new study. The training included focused breathing and awareness training, according to the research presented… Read More

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  – Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) I have never been one much impressed by celebrity.  During my years haunting the halls of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) as a military clinician,… Read More

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

Lupus Diagnoses Have Risen Significantly
BETHESDA, MD – As the fictional team of physicians attempted to identify mysterious conditions season after season, TV’s Dr. Gregory House often assured them, “It’s not lupus — It’s never lupus.” But in recent years, many DoD physicians have found that it is lupus — it’s increasingly lupus.

VA Radiologist Leads Way in Completing Leadership Course

VA Radiologist Leads Way in Completing Leadership Course

MILWAUKEE – Being first is always an impressive accomplishment, but how many healthcare professionals can lay claim to being ahead of 30,000 others in their specialty