Category: Agencies

Interview with Former VA Secretary Principi: Future Could Bring Joint VA, DoD Health System

Interview with Former VA Secretary Principi: Future Could Bring Joint VA, DoD Health System

By Sandra Basu  WASHINGTON – Ask former VA Secretary Anthony Principi about his experience as VA secretary, and he’ll tell you his leadership lessons started long before. “Leadership was something I learned from the moment I went to the Naval Academy… Read More

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

WASHINGTON – Trauma-related pain – both acute and chronic — has always been a universal problem among war-injured troops.

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – A highly anticipated review of the MHS has found that its care is comparable to average private sector healthcare, but that there is “wide performance variability with some areas better than civilian counterparts and other… Read More

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been named “human immunodeficiency virus;” that… Read More

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

By Annette M. Boyle ALBUQUERQUE – The VA has played a critical role in advancing epilepsy research since 1969, when the first VA unit to study epilepsy — and the first comprehensive epilepsy program in the country — opened in… Read More

VA’s Home-Based Care Program Reduces Hospitalization for Diabetes, Other Conditions

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – When it comes to providing care to older patients with co-existing diabetes and other chronic illnesses, everything old is new again at the VA. A program offering old-fashioned house calls is showing promise in reducing… Read More

Discharge to Deployment: Military Diabetes Management Changes Over 50 Years

Discharge to Deployment: Military Diabetes Management Changes Over 50 Years

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – In 1964, a diagnosis of diabetes led to immediate discharge from the Army. Today, soldiers with well-managed diabetes can continue to have long and successful military careers. “With the increased understanding of diabetes and… Read More

Military Brings Treatment Closer to Troops to Combat Growing Depression Issues

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Recent military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have put the spotlight not only on PTSD and TBI, but also on depression, which often co-exists with both conditions. “The previously rising suicide rate [in the Army]… Read More

Complexity, Lack of Approved Therapies Challenges PTSD, TBI Treatment

Complexity, Lack of Approved Therapies Challenges PTSD, TBI Treatment

WASHINGTON – When the American Psychiatric Association first added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, it was quite controversial.

VA’s COPD Knowledge, Treatment Improving, But Still ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

VA’s COPD Knowledge, Treatment Improving, But Still ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is sometimes referred to as the “quiet” or “silent” killer by clinicians trying to treat it. It presents few symptoms in its earliest stages and so is often not diagnosed… Read More

VA, DoD Remain on Front Lines in Ongoing War Against Cancer

VA, DoD Remain on Front Lines in Ongoing War Against Cancer

FORT LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA – The DoD’s leadership in cancer research started accidentally, but funding from Congress has ensured that both the Army and VA have remained on the front lines in the war on cancer during the past 50 years.

Military Focuses on Pre-Hospital Care to Further Improve Care of Injured Warriors

Military Focuses on Pre-Hospital Care to Further Improve Care of Injured Warriors

WASHINGTON – Despite all of the progress in battlefield medicine during the past 50 years, the greatest challenge remains how to keep critically injured military personnel alive until they can actually get to a hospital.

Mortality Rates Drop Dramatically with Wider Use of Anticoagulants

Mortality Rates Drop Dramatically with Wider Use of Anticoagulants

New Formulations Might Be More Effective By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – In the last 50 years, the use of anticoagulants has transformed mortality rates for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and atrial fibrillation, and new anticoagulants… Read More

VA Proposes Physician Pay Increases, Begins Major Recruiting Campaign

VA Proposes Physician Pay Increases, Begins Major Recruiting Campaign

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The maximum rates of annual pay for incoming VHA physicians and dentists would be increased as much as $35,000, under a VA proposal announced last month. The updated pay tables would allow physicians and dentists… Read More

VA IG: Wait-Time Manipulation Went Far Beyond VAMCs  in Headlines

VA IG: Wait-Time Manipulation Went Far Beyond VAMCs in Headlines

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The problem of wait-time manipulation for patient appointments went far beyond facilities such as the Phoenix VAMC, which became the center of a nationwide controversy,  the VA acting general inspector told lawmakers last month. Acting… Read More

Veterans Appeals Delayed Months; Whistleblower Suggests Leadership Issues

Veterans Appeals Delayed Months; Whistleblower Suggests Leadership Issues

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A VA whistleblower told lawmakers last month that veterans’ cases waited hundreds of days for a final decision at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, even though some of them required nothing but a signature to… Read More

Better Recruit Screening Probably Won’t Solve Military Suicide Crisis

Better Recruit Screening Probably Won’t Solve Military Suicide Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY – The roots of the rising suicide rates in servicemembers and veterans reach back into childhood home environments and pre-military experiences, according to a quartet of recent reports.

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere

SAN ANTONIO – A newly minted Navy pharmacy technician could find herself working alone on a ship with no pharmacist within hundreds of miles. Daunting?

Male Breast Cancer at the VA Much Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly

Male Breast Cancer at the VA Much Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly

Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – Men are diagnosed with less than 0.1% of all breast cancers, but for those unfortunate few, the disease extracts a high toll — and a 65% increase in mortality risk compared to women. The interpretation… Read More

Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade

Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade

Some Long Wait Times Attributable to Treatment Modalities by Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – The news media frenzy of the last six months might suggest otherwise, but concerns about delays in treatment for veterans are nothing new at the VA,… Read More