September 2017

Immigrant Nurse Calls Caring for Veterans ‘Pinnacle’ of Her Career

Immigrant Nurse Calls Caring for Veterans ‘Pinnacle’ of Her Career

Patients suffering from a wide range of disease and injury converge on the Fresno VA Medical Center.

Law Seeks to Resolve Veterans Claims Backlog by Creating Multiple ‘Lanes’

President Donald Trump signed a bill last month aimed at reforming a backlogged claims appeal process by creating three “lanes” for veterans’ appeals.

How Effective Are Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Heart Failure?

It is not clear whether implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy improves survival

INVESTED Trial Tests High-Dose Flu Vaccine for Veterans With Cardiovascular Disease

INVESTED Trial Tests High-Dose Flu Vaccine for Veterans With Cardiovascular Disease

Influenza hits veterans hard, and older veterans with cardiovascular disease face a substantially increased risk of complications and death from the common ailment.

Severe Side Effects Rare in Elderly Veterans Receiving High Dose Influenza Vaccine

Severe Side Effects Rare in Elderly Veterans Receiving High Dose Influenza Vaccine

Patients over the age of 65 face an increased risk of severe complications and death if they contract influenza.

Study Suggests Physician Awareness of Natalizumab Side Effects

After a 43-year-old female with multiple sclerosis developed urethral melanoma, with the only potential risk factor being treatment with natalizumab

Home Exercise Helped Maintain Gait in Veterans With MS

BALTIMORE—Although physical rehabilitation is one of the few nonpharmaceutical therapies for maintaining or improving walking ability for patients with multiple sclerosis, many patients aren’t able to benefit because of travel distance to rehabilitation clinics, neurological disability and limited insurance coverage.… Read More

Lipoic Acid Promising in VA-Funded MS Study

PORTLAND, OR—While not many treatment options exist for patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a new study is suggesting that an over-the-counter remedy might improve quality of life. Research published in the journal Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation noted that the antioxidant… Read More

Altus AFB Pharmacy Speeds Care With Cold and Flu Packs

Altus AFB Pharmacy Speeds Care With Cold and Flu Packs

The program not only saves time, it also is saving money.

Factors Affecting Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

DURHAM, NC—What is the association between lowest prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and time to nadir with biochemical recurrence (BCR) risk after radical prostatectomy (RP)? A study published recently in the journal Urology used the SEARCH database to try to answer that… Read More

Visceral Metastases Predict Overall PC Survival in Veterans

DURHAM, NC—Visceral metastases (VMs) are generally believed to predict worse prognoses compared with bone and lymph metastases in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Still, a new study published in the journal European Urology Focus pointed out that not… Read More

Veterans With PTSD Fare Worse With Concurrent Prostate Cancer

EAST NORTHPORT, NY—Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be difficult enough. But what happens when the patient also is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? A presentation at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology explored that question.1 A… Read More

VA’s Centenarians Have Fewer Chronic Illnesses Than Veterans Years Younger

VA’s Centenarians Have Fewer Chronic Illnesses Than Veterans Years Younger

Older does not necessarily mean sicker, especially with the fast-growing centenarian population, a new veterans study reveals.

VA Activates Emergency Plan Ahead of Hurricane Irma

VA Activates Emergency Plan Ahead of Hurricane Irma

With Hurricane Irma heading toward Florida, the VA acted quickly to move vulnerable patients out of harm’s way and provide support for the state’s veterans. More than 1.5 million veterans call the “Sunshine State” home and 715,000 receive care through the VA.

VA Provides Silver Lining Among Dark Clouds of Hurricane Harvey

VA Provides Silver Lining Among Dark Clouds of Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey bore down on the Texas coast, the VA geared up to support veterans and staff through the storm and its aftermath. As a result, critical staff stayed in place, emergency services continued and call lines remained open, even as the region experienced unprecedented flooding.

Funding Extends Veterans Choice Program for Another Six Months

Funding Extends Veterans Choice Program for Another Six Months

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—Calling it another “tangible improvement” for veterans, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, lauded the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017, which was signed into law last month. The law authorizes $2.1 billion in Choice funding,… Read More

Optimal TBI Treatment Differs for VA Patients Vs. Nonmilitary Injuries

Optimal TBI Treatment Differs for VA Patients Vs. Nonmilitary Injuries

General Brain Injury Research Not Always Useful for Veterans By Annette M. Boyle TAMPA, FL—Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been called the signature wound of recent U.S. conflicts. These injuries have driven the DoD and VA to closely examine the… Read More

From the Editor in Chief

From the Editor in Chief

“The current approach to the opioid epidemic is just as ineffective as managing a cholera outbreak by treating victims without ever bothering to find the source of contaminated water and provide access to safe alternatives.” —Chester Buckenmaier & Eric Schoomaker1… Read More

Transgenders in Military Debate Preceded Surprise Trump Announcement

Transgenders in Military Debate Preceded Surprise Trump Announcement

President Donald Trump recently announced that he was reinstating a ban on transgenders in the military.

Suicide Attempts in Army Units Appear to Be 'Contagious'

Suicide Attempts in Army Units Appear to Be ‘Contagious’

Study Finds Links Between Higher Individual, Unit Rates BETHESDA, MD—Are soldiers in specific Army units more likely to attempt suicide? A new study looks at that issue and explores what characteristics of the units might influence the decision to take… Read More