"I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.’ – John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA.
As scenes of devastation from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 continue to play on the world’s media outlets, the precarious reality of man’s existence on this planet, in the face of natural forces, is all too obvious. Added to the physical damage caused by the natural disaster is the insidious threat of radiation poisoning from the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As one of the most-developed and technologically-advanced cultures in the world, the frailty of Japan’s modern infrastructure should serve has a wake-up call throughout the developed nations that natural disaster is an unavoidable fact of the human condition. As federal medicine providers, I feel it is vital for our community to pay close attention to these disasters, man-made and natural, to prepare ourselves for the time when the calamity occurs within our own borders. More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE JUNE ISSUE
Million Veterans’ Data Sought to Compile Database for Study on Genomics and ExposuresWASHINGTON- VA officially kicked off a massive genomic research project last month, one the agency believes will be a “game changer” for health care at VA. The Million Veteran Program (MVP) is an effort to consolidate genetic, military exposure, health and lifestyle information together in one single database. The database will be used by VA researchers and academic affiliates to conduct health and wellness studies and to help determine what genetic variations are associated with particular health issues. More
Physician Fired for Political Activity Under Law Little Understood by VA Staff PHOENIX - A VA physician in Phoenix was recently terminated for violating the Hatch Act, a 70-year-old statute governing how and when a federal employee can engage in political activity. While such terminations are relatively rare, many federal employees, including health-care providers, may lack general understanding of the law and the potential consequences for violating it, according to union officials and others. Please read this article and participate in this month's online opinion poll about whether the Hatch Act violates freedom of speech rights for federal employees, and should Congress alter it to allow federal employees greater participation in the political process.More
Appeals Court Ruling Allows Judicial Oversight of VA Programs SAN FRANCISCO - A ruling in the case Veterans for Common Sense vs. Eric K. Shinseki could result in the judiciary’s forcing VA to make changes in order to correct deficiencies in its system, even though that role usually falls to the executive and legislative branches of government. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that veterans may look to the courts to seek relief from their claims about VA’s failure to provide adequate or timely care to veterans in need. More
VA Says Infection Control Problems Being Remedied WASHINGTON - Despite the VA’s efforts to improve oversight in areas such as the cleaning and reprocessing of medical equipment, infection risks still exist for patients, according to a recent government report. GAO investigators looking at a cross-section of six VA medical centers found “disturbing deficiencies and systemic problems that need to be addressed at the national level,” according to Randall Williamson, GAO director of health care, who testified at a congressional hearing. More
Conflicting Systems Still Complicate Process for Wounded Warriors Washington - In a case of good intentions gone awry, efforts to smooth wounded warriors’ transition from DoD to VA health-care services has created a confusing web of services. Now, the Government Accounting Office is investigating those services and has found serious problems in terms of compatibility and communication. More
Early Nutrition Therapy Can Benefit Wounded Warriors with Severe TBI Washington - Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be a complex medical condition with serious long-term consequences, but the latest recommendations are for a relatively simple change in diet to improve morbidity and mortality. A recently released Institute of Medicine (IOM) study suggests that a high energy, high protein diet received immediately after a severe TBI injury and through the first two weeks of treatment may benefit patients with these injuries. More http://www.usmedicine.com/articles/iom-panel-early-nutrition-therapy-can-be-benefit-to-wounded-warriors-with-severe-tbi.html
Current data suggest that schizophrenia is under diagnosed in the United States military as a result of a variety of factors, including a focus on diagnosing other conditions and the stigma associated with seeking mental health services. Become more confident and competent in assessing and identifying schizophrenia and in implementing safe and effective treatment regimens early to reduce symptoms and improve long-term outcomes by reviewing this complimentary, certified CME/CE newsletter. Visit www.Med-IQ.com to read today. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.