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In This Issue April 25, 2014
A Fatal Wait: Veterans Languish and Die on a VA Hospital's Secret List

VA Director at Phoenix Hospital Got $9K Bonus

Study Shows Long-term Damage from Repeated Head Hits

VBA's Top Official Questions Use of Term 'Gulf War illness'

Researchers Report Early Findings of Virtual Reality Studies on Vets with PTSD

Respecting the Sacrifice of America's Warriors

VVA Leadership & Education Conference Agenda Posted

 

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A Fatal Wait: Veterans Languish and Die on a VA Hospital's Secret List

A Fatal Wait: Veterans Languish and Die on a VA Hospital's Secret List

CNN Investigative reporters Scott Brownstein and Drew Griffin reported April 23 that at least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list, CNN reports, was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix, who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Read the CNN report

As Reported by the Washington Free Beacon

VA Director at Phoenix Hospital Got $9K Bonus

VA Director at Phoenix Hospital Got $9K Bonus

As reported April 24, 2014, by CJ Ciaramella in the Washington Free Beacon, the director of the Phoenix VA hospital, where at least 40 military veterans died from delays, received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013, public records show.

Last year, Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, got a $9,345 bonus, in addition to her annual base salary of $169,900. Overall, leadership at the hospital was paid more than $700,000 in taxpayer money, according to publicly available salary data.

To read more

As Reported by USA Today

Study Shows Long-term Damage from Repeated Head Hits

Brain Scan

In an April 21 USA Today article by Greg Zoroya, according to a small study that looked at college football players, repeated blows to the head common in sports or combat cause structural damage to the brain that fails to clear up, even after a rest period of six months. The research adds to evidence from other findings suggesting that treatment procedures — pulling football players off the playing field or soldiers from combat for a week or two to allow time for a concussion to heal — may not be enough to provide full recovery. 

Read full story here

As Reported in MilitaryTimes

VBA's Top Official Questions Use of Term 'Gulf War illness'

Allison Hickey, VA's benefits chief

In an April 22 article by Patricia Klime that appeared in The MilitaryTimes, after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in March recommended using the term “Gulf War illness” to describe symptoms affecting more than 200,000 Persian Gulf War veterans, a top Veterans Affairs Department official expressed concern that such a change would imply a direct causal link between service in the 1990-’91 conflict and long-term illness.

Read complete story here

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Researchers Report Early Findings of Virtual Reality Studies on Vets with PTSD

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

In an April 21 article appearing on the Emory (University) News Center website, a study was published in the April 18, 2014, online edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry that showed, in a randomized controlled clinical trial of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), that shorter doses of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) reduce PTSD diagnoses and symptoms.

Read story here

Washington Times Editorial

Respecting the Sacrifice of America's Warriors

In an April 18 op-ed for the Washington Times, Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Vets For America, writes that Washington is wearing out its welcome with those who wore the uniform. 

Read complete editorial here

August 5-9, 2014 - Wichita, Kansas

VVA National Leadership & Education Conference Agenda

VVA National Leadership Conference

The most up to date Agenda (DRAFT) is now located on the VVA website at http://www.vva.org/leadership_conf.html

It lists the seminars and what they will be about. So make plans to be in Wichita in August—Wes Guidry, VVA Director of Meetings.

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