Category: Agencies

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

Caregivers for New Veterans Provide Critical Service with Little Support

Caregivers for New Veterans Provide Critical Service with Little Support

By Brenda L. Mooney SANTA MONICA, CA – More than 5.5 million spouses, other relatives and friends care for injured and disabled veterans in the United States, and about 20% of those are aiding current and former servicemembers who served… Read More

DoD Seeks to Revise Alcohol Policies To Help Address Sexual Assaults

DoD Seeks to Revise Alcohol Policies To Help Address Sexual Assaults

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON - In a stepped-up effort to address sexual assaults after a 50% increase in reports over one year, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the military departments to review and revise their alcohol policies to protect potential victims.… Read More

Advisory Group: Exposures, Not Stress Caused Gulf War Illness

Advisory Group: Exposures, Not Stress Caused Gulf War Illness

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Exposures to pesticides and pyridostigmine bromide are causally associated with Gulf War illness, according to a new report which also said evidence continues to demonstrate that Gulf War illness is not the result of psychological… Read More

TRICARE Limits on Use of Community Pharmacies Creates Firestorm

TRICARE Limits on Use of Community Pharmacies Creates Firestorm

By Annette M. Boyle ALEXANDRIA, VA – A pilot program that requires use of mail order or military pharmacies for certain maintenance medications taken for chronic conditions has sparked a firestorm of controversy, upsetting community pharmacists and some legislators. TRICARE… Read More

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

WASHINGTON – The use of opioids has slightly decreased in the military, an Army official told lawmakers last month.

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

By Brenda L. Mooney SALISBURY, NC – Veterans exposed to explosions during deployment but not reporting common symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have similar damage to the brain’s white matter, according to a new study. In a small… Read More

VA Programs Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail

VA Programs Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail

COLUMBIA, MO – For some veterans with unmet mental health needs, readjusting to civilian life can rapidly put them on the wrong side of the criminal justice system.

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

WASHINGTON – Warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations might experience lingering physical and psychological consequences of exposure to blasts.

Major Depressive Disorder Has Affected Nearly Half of Female OIF/OEF Veterans

Major Depressive Disorder Has Affected Nearly Half of Female OIF/OEF Veterans

DURHAM, NC – In the general population and among veterans, women suffer from depression at a substantially higher rate than men, and the mood disorder often occurs concurrently with other mental health conditions.

Repeat Colonoscopy Recommendations Usually Meet Guidelines

ANN ARBOR, MI – Physician endoscopists’ recommendations for timing of surveillance colonoscopy in average-risk patients with one to two small polyps are consistent with guideline recommendations in about 90% of cases, according to a new study. The study, which was… Read More

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD – For many servicemembers, pain is an accepted consequence of military service.

Dermatology Mobile Technology Burgeons; VA Has New App on Drawing Board

Dermatology Mobile Technology Burgeons; VA Has New App on Drawing Board

More than 200 mobile applications dealing with dermatology are now available, dealing with issues ranging from rosacea to skin cancer, according to VA researchers. How safe and useful are they, and how soon will the technology be incorporated into VA… Read More

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

While the vast majority of soldiers maintain healthy weights, bad habits developed during deployment and on military bases follow them after retiring from the Army. In fact, more than 70% of veterans end up overweight. To combat that trend, the… Read More

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

Military personnel serving during the first Gulf War have one of the highest incidence rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) ever reported, leading to speculation that environmental exposures in the war zone triggered the disease. Research trying to determine causes, however,… Read More

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

An estimated 5-10% of all cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) diagnosed each year occurs in veterans treated by the VA. The cancer, classified as presumptively caused by Agent Orange exposure, is notoriously difficult to diagnose and often tricky to treat. That… Read More

VA Expands Telehealth Bringing Care To Growing Number of Seizure Patients

VA Expands Telehealth Bringing Care To Growing Number of Seizure Patients

U.S. veterans deployed since 2001 suffer high rates of epilepsy and other neurological disorders, and the VA now has more than 100,000 patients being treated for seizure, epilepsy or related diagnoses. The challenge is not only differentiating the types of… Read More

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

Although widely used to monitor glucose control and — more recently — to diagnose diabetes, HbA1c screening lacks accuracy in a range of patients with hemoglobinopathies, kidney issues or HIV. A new study, supported by the VA, lays out the… Read More

VHA Emphasizes Self-Management in New COPD Care Tool

VHA Emphasizes Self-Management in New COPD Care Tool

A new VHA self-management module is designed to help COPD patients help themselves. Slated for introduction later this year, the tool will allow patients to work more closely with their physicians to maximize lung function and improve the quality of… Read More

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Unlike 10 years ago, the military services now accept recruits who had childhood asthma but have not been symptomatic since age 13. The relaxation of accession standards partly was necessitated by the increasing incidence of asthma in the general population.… Read More