Policy

Republican-Led VA Committee Sets Oversight Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC—At the top of the agenda for the 112th Congress’s House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC ) is stricter oversight of VA, something that the new Republican leader of the committee believes has been allowed to lapse. “It will be… Read More

Military Leaders Emphasize Need to Build Resilience in Troops and Families

WASHINGTON, DC—Building resilience in servicemembers must start when they enter basic training and must include their families, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm Michael Mullen. Mullen spoke at the annual Warrior Resilience Conference held by the… Read More

VA Perfecting Disease Management System for COPD

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—The difficulty with treating COPD—as with any chronic disease—is that much of the care must be placed in the hands of the patient. The patient needs to be properly educated about their illness, not just about the pathophysiology, but… Read More

Military Tackles COPD Care

WASHINGTON, DC—In 2005, CDC estimates COPD caused an estimated 126,005 deaths in people 25 years and older in the US. This was an 8% increase from 116,494 in the year 2000. Just as COPD is a concern in the civilian… Read More

Future of Genome Research: More Therapies, Scarcer Funding

BETHESDA, MD—This past October saw the 20th anniversary of the start of the Human Genome Project; and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the publishing of the draft human genome sequence. To commemorate what it describes as the start… Read More

DoD Officials Develop New Psychological Policy Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC—DoD officials are developing new psychological health initiatives that they hope will fill gaps in delivering and coordinating psychological care. One initiative in development will bolster disaster mental health assistance on installations after an emergency event by requiring that… Read More

Surgeon General Urges Call to Action on Breastfeeding

WASHINGTON, DC—Despite ample evidence that breastfeeding a child for the first six months of his or her life provides benefits that far outweigh those gained by formula feeding, the majority of American mothers abandon breastfeeding too soon, or do not… Read More

Outreach and Communication Key to Fighting Vet Homelessness

WASHINGTON, DC—When VA Secretary Eric Shinseki took his post nearly two years ago, he learned that veterans lead the nation in homelessness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. “It was like a punch in the gut,” Shinseki told attendees at a… Read More

NIH Funds Help DCVAMC, Partners Tackle Health Disparities

WASHINGTON, DC—“Historically, it takes many years and lots of research money to go from the initial concept—an idea created in a lab—to the few of those trials that are successful and actually change clinical practice,” said Marc Blackman, MD. Blackman,… Read More

Pharmacogenomic Advances Result in Label Changes Decades after Approval

BETHESDA, MD—Even drugs that have been on the market for years, sometimes decades, are not immune from reexamination and relabeling brought about by new scientific discoveries. In the field of pharmacogenomics especially, new opportunities are presenting themselves to use new… Read More

Military Challenged to Provide Far-Forward Mental Health Care

BETHESDA, MD—For a handful of military mental health providers on the front lines, treating combat stress and trauma is an everyday occurrence. The military has begun to realize that the advice and care they furnish can often prevent acute battlefield… Read More

Surgeon General Report Details the Biology of Smoking Damage

WASHINGTON, DC—While the overall negative health effects of smoking have been common knowledge for many years, a newly-released Surgeon General’s report goes into unprecedented detail on how tobacco causes disease at a biological and behavioral level. The report gives fuel… Read More

Taking Smoking Cessation to All Care Settings, VA Lowers Smoking Rate

WASHINGTON, DC—No one has ever said that quitting smoking was easy. For servicemembers and veterans, who may already be under considerable stress, giving up something they perceive as relieving their stress can be especially tough. VA recognizes this and, over… Read More

Combining Smoking Cessation with PTSD Therapy Boosts Quit Rates

WASHINGTON, DC—Smoking cessation treatment that is made part of mental healthcare for veterans with PTSD improves quit rates, according to a VA study published in the December 8 Journal of the American Medical Association. “The smoking cessation techniques used in… Read More

NIH Director Supports Dissolution of NIDA, NIAAA and Creation of Single Addiction Institute

BETHESDA, MD—NIH is examining the possibility of creating a single institute for substance use, abuse, and addiction research. The new institute would combine the relevant research portfolios dealing with those issues currently under the purview of NIDA, NIAAA, and other… Read More