Late Breaking News

Senate Approves New VHA Undersecretary

WASHINGTON—David Shulkin, MD, is set to lead the Veterans Health Administration after the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination for the job this week. Shulkin most recently served as president of Morristown Medical Center, a tertiary care hospital in Northern New… Read More

Another State, More Labs Received Live Anthrax from DoD

By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON – Additional laboratories and one new state, Pennsylvania, have been added to the DoD’s list of sites receiving low concentrations of live anthrax samples. Late last month, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work ordered a… Read More

VA Establishes New Advisory Committee to Improve Care

PHOENIX, AZ—The VA has announced the creation of a new committee that will help in “reorienting the department to better meet the needs of veterans.” The announcement of the new committee was made by President Barack Obama during his recent visit to… Read More

Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill Becomes Law

Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill Becomes Law

    WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama has signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, authorizing the VA to conduct a student loan repayment pilot program aimed at recruiting and retaining psychiatrists, among initiatives to stem the tide… Read More

Suicide Prevention Bill Set to Become Law

WASHINGTON—Military and Veterans’ organizations applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill this week that will authorize VA to conduct a student loan repayment pilot program aimed at recruiting and retaining psychiatrists, among other things. The bill, the Clay Hunt… Read More

Fort Hood Investigation Finds Shooter Showed No Clear Warning Signs

WASHINGTON—An investigation into the April 2014 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has concluded that the assailant’s “military career and extensive medical history” offered “no ready explanations or clear indicators” of future violence. That assessment was included in a report on… Read More

VA Vows Improved Security in Wake of El Paso Shooting

VA Vows Improved Security in Wake of El Paso Shooting

WASHINGTON-VA Secretary Bob McDonald visited the El Paso Veterans Affairs clinic at Fort Bliss, TX, and vowed to improve security there after a shooting left two dead, including VA psychologist Timothy Fjordbak, 63. The shooter, who apparently killed himself, was identified  by the Federal Bureau of Investigation… Read More

DoD: Sexual Assault Reporting Up While Estimated Number of Sexual Assaults Decline

WASHINGTON-Citing progress in addressing sexual assaults, DoD estimates that about 19,000 troops experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014 down from the estimated 26,000 in 2012. The estimates were based on an anonymous survey released this week by DoD. “We believe… Read More

VA Removes VA Phoenix Director

WASHINGTON—The VA announced that it has formally removed Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, from federal service. Helman had been on paid administrative leave in the wake of a patient wait times scandal that initially centered… Read More

McDonald Announces VA Reorganization

WASHINGTON—VA Secretary Robert McDonald announced this week that VA is embarking on the largest reorganization of the agency since its establishment. McDonald explained to veterans and employees that among the changes include the establishment of a new VA-wide customer service… Read More

VA Secretary Defends Actions to Hold Individuals Accountable

WASHINGTON—VA is moving as “aggressively and expeditiously as possible by the law” in holding individuals accountable in the wake of the patient wait list scandal, but must wait for the investigations to be completed before it can act, the VA… Read More

Pentagon Announces Ebola Medical Support Team

WASHINGTON—DoD announced that it is organizing a 30-member expeditionary medical support team that can provide assistance on short notice to civilian medical personnel in the event of additional Ebola cases in the U.S. According to DoD, the military team will… Read More

VA Announces Increase in Pay Ranges For New Doctors and Dentists

WASHINGTON–The VA announced plans to increase the maximum rates of annual pay for incoming VHA physicians and dentists as part of its effort to recruit clinicians. “We are committed to hiring more medical professionals across the country to better serve… Read More

U.S. Military Response Expands As Part of U.S. Efforts to Combat Ebola

WASHINGTON—U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Liberia as part of U.S. efforts to support the response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. “Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected.  That number… Read More

IG Report Examines Impact of Care Delays at Phoenix VA

WASHINGTON—A VA IG report has found that access barriers adversely affected the quality of care at the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, but could not “conclusively assert” that patients died as a result of waiting for care. The IG conducted a… Read More

VHA Announces Adoption of New Method to Define “Rural”

WASHINGTON—VHA is changing the method it uses to define urban, rural and highly rural land areas so that it can better identify and serve rural veterans, the agency has announced. “VHA strives to provide high-quality, accessible health care to all… Read More

New VA Reform Bill Now Law

WASHINGTON— A $16.3 billion  piece of legislation to reform VA is now officially law, after being passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Barack Obama. The approval of the final bill by both chambers of Congress this week… Read More

McDonald Overwhelmingly Approved as New VA Chief

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate today unanimously confirmed Robert McDonald, the former Procter and Gamble president and CEO, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The previous secretary, Eric Shinseki, resigned in May after a series of revelations about mismanagement at the VA that… Read More

President Taps Corporate Exec for New VA Chief

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced June 30 that his nominee for secretary of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs is Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate who served as chief executive of Procter & Gamble.   The president said his administration… Read More

VA Orders Restructure of VHA’s Office of Medical Inspector

WASHINGTON—In response to recent recommendations by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), VA Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson announced that the Department’s Office of Medical Inspector (OMI) will be restructured. “ “Given recent revelations by the Office of Special Counsel, it… Read More