Agencies

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

Legislators: Only Four Senior Executives Removed by Mid-November

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

WASHINGTON – New VA Secretary Robert McDonald continues to methodically tackle the issues that have caused a breakdown in efficient veteran care over the last few years, now pushing the agency to undertake the largest reorganization since its founding.

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

Controversial Scheduling System Will Be Replaced in 2015

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent research suggests the problem will… Read More

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of the effort to increase immunizations,… Read More

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – When researchers at Harvard University determined that standardizing communication during patient handoffs could significantly reduce medical errors and improve patient care, they reached out to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and… Read More

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

Clinicians Find Advances ‘Mind-Boggling’ By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – Therapeutic options for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to expand, enabling more veterans to begin treatment with fewer adverse side effects and far less complicated regimens than even… Read More

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher co-pays because of the drug’s… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S military personnel are battling Ebola virus disease, the dreaded hemorrhagic fever, on two fronts

Agent Orange-Related Non-Melanotic Skin Cancer Still Affects Veterans

HOUSTON – Decades later, exposure to Agent Orange puts Vietnam War veterans at high risk for certain types of skin cancer. That’s according to a report published earlier this year in Find Your Surgeon Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official… Read More

Consensus Report Touts Lasers for Scar Treatment

BOSTON – Patients with disfiguring and debilitating scars suffer poor cosmetic outcomes, restricted motion, pain and itching, despite traditional therapy such as expert wound care. A consensus report published earlier this year in JAMA Dermatology discusses a breakthrough within the… Read More

Skin Cancer Risk High During Deployment

NASHVILLE – Military personnel deployed abroad in climates such as Afghanistan and Iraq have increased risk factors for skin cancer, according to a new study. The increased risk is especially present when servicemembers serve in tropical and sunny climates, according… Read More

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