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VA Coalition November 2014 Meeting

Please mark your calendars!! Our next VA Coalition meeting for November 2014 will be held on:

Monday, November 24th at the South Regional Library Branch Location in Lafayette off Johnston St. 7:00pm

Our topic for the evening will be ”The Ebola Virus, an Update“.

Meetings last 60-90 minutes.

Please note that these meetings are not only limited to Veterans but all concerned for the healthcare of Veterans. These meetings are very beneficial to Veterans, their families, friends, etc.

Hope to see you there!Coming Up

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Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed

Montgomery, AL – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formally removed the Director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHCS) from federal service. This decision followed an investigation by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR) in which allegations of neglect of duty were substantiated.

This removal action underscores VA’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and get Veterans the care they need.  OAR, which reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, assists VA facilities in accelerating leadership accountability actions and ensuring that such actions are applied consistently across the Department.

The Veterans Health Administration will begin recruiting a Director for CAVHCS. To ensure continuity of care for Veterans and leadership for VA employees during the recruitment period, Dr. Robin Jackson, Deputy Network Director, VISN 7, has been designated acting CAVHCS director.

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Patient Centered Community Care (PC3) Information Sheet



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Secretary McDonald “VA Is Critical To Medical and Vets”

As seen in the Baltimore Sun on : 10-24/14

From the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-va-secretary-20141023-story.html#

By Robert A. McDonald

October 24, 2014

During preparation for my confirmation as secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), I was repeatedly asked, “Why doesn’t VA just hand out vouchers allowing veterans to get care wherever they want?” For a department recovering from serious issues involving health care access and scheduling of appointments, that was a legitimate question.

After nine weeks at VA, travel to 31 VA facilities in 15 cities, discussions with hundreds of veterans and VA clinicians, meetings with 75 Members of Congress, two hearings before the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs committees and dozens of meetings with Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders, I can answer that question.

Veterans need VA, and many more Americans benefit from VA.

Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that’s essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.

VA’s accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized.

Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that’s essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.

VA’s accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized.

VA is affiliated with over 1,800 educational institutions providing powerful teaching and research opportunities. And our research initiatives, outcomes and honors are tremendous. Few understand that VA medical professionals:

•Pioneered and developed modern electronic medical records;

•Developed the implantable cardiac pacemaker;

•Conducted the first successful liver transplants;

•Created the nicotine patch to help smokers quit;

•Crafted artificial limbs that move naturally when stimulated by electrical brain impulses;

•Demonstrated that patients with total paralysis could control robotic arms using only their thoughts — a revolutionary system called “Braingate”;

•Identified genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Werner’s syndrome, among others;

•Applied bar-code software for administering medications to patients — the initiative of a VA nurse;

•Proved that one aspirin a day reduced by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart attacks in patients with unstable angina;

•Received three Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology; seven prestigious Lasker Awards, presented to people who make major contributions to medical science or public service on behalf of medicine; and two of the eight 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medals.

No single institution trains more doctors or nurses than VA. More than 70 percent of all U.S. doctors have received training at VA. Each year, VA trains, educates and provides practical experience for 62,000 medical students and residents, 23,000 nurses and 33,000 trainees in other health fields — people who go on to provide health care not just to veterans but to most Americans.

The 278,000 employees of the Veterans Health Administration work in a system spanning all 50 states and beyond, providing — from Maine to Manila — a high volume of quality, clinical care. Our 150 flagship VA Medical Centers are connected to 819 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, 300 Vet Centers providing readjustment counseling, 135 Community Living Centers, 104 Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Centers, and to mobile medical clinics, mobile Vet Centers and telehealth programs providing care to the most remote veterans.

That network of facilities allows VA to deliver care to veterans from the greatest generation of World War II to the latest generation from Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2013, VA provided over 90 million episodes of care; that’s an average of over 240,000 each day. And since 2004, the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey has consistently shown that veterans receiving inpatient and outpatient care from VA hospitals and clinics give a higher customer satisfaction score, on average, than patients at private sector hospitals.

Finally, VA is uniquely positioned to contribute to the care of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), prosthetics, PTSD and other mental health conditions, and the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hepatitis. The work we do in these areas, as well as many others, produces results and life changing improvements in care for veterans — and for all Americans and people around the world who suffer from these conditions.

Fixing access to VA care is important; we have a plan to do that and are dedicated to implementing it. That process will take time — but it must be done, and we will be successful. Those who fully understand the value of the department in research, training, and clinical care understand that veterans and all Americans need and deserve their VA to continue providing exceptional care to those we serve.

 Robert A. McDonald is secretary of Veterans Affairs. His email is Bob.mcdonald@va.gov.

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Mr. Paul Hilliard Interview 11-9-14

Mr. Paul Hilliard will be interviewed by Mr. Keith Huxen of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA on Sunday, November 9, 2014.
This will occur at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  The museum is at the intersection of St. Mary’s and Girard Park Drive in Lafayette, LA.
Mr. Hilliard is the gentleman who purchased and donated the C-47 aircraft to the National WWII Museum.  Mr. Hilliard was a member of a U.S. Marine Corps aviation unit in WWII.  He was a gunner on a Marine Dive Bomber operating in the Pacific theater of operations during WWII.  Besides being and American hero, he became a Lawyer and a successful oil man in Lafayette, LA.  He is a philantrophist who has given much back to our community and state.
The flyer attached in part says: “A Conversation with WWII veteran Paul Hilliard and Keith Huxen, the Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Director of Research and History, National World War II Museum
This event is in conjunction with our current exhibitions of Russian art and photography during and
after World War II.  Conversation will be followed by a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the Hilliard University Art Museum – come and eat cake!
Hilliard Interview Image
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Delta Honor Guard

Delta Baggage Handlers.

This will give you goose bumps or tears!   This is done at D/FW International Airport.

As you watch the video, notice the number of
people watching from inside the terminal.

Most people have no idea Delta does this.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/c_VGxfmDmEo>

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VA Choice Card

Below is information on the new VA Choice Card:

The new VA Health Choice card  is not going to change anything for anyone who is not “eligible” for the VA healthcare system.  If you are not eligible even though you receive a card,  you will be stuck with the bill.  Several of VA Counselors attended a meeting in Shreveport at the VA Hospital and were told what is written below.

The VA Choice card is being sent to all who are registered;  however, this does not change the fact if you are not eligible for VA health care then your VA choice card will not allow the VA to pay your medical bill.  This needs wide dissemination as soon as possible.  The cards are being sent out now to all who are registered in the VA health care system.

WORD OF CAUTION.  Do not use the card unless you have checked with the VA prior to use!

This information was put out by Shreveport VAMC regarding the VA Choice Card:

The card will contain:

-the veteran’s name & an identifying number that is not a Social Security number.

-It apparently will look very similar to a Credit Card.   It is unclear the exact wording of information to be included with the card,  but there will be some wording that the card “is for obtaining medical care outside the Department of Veterans affairs”.

The staff at Overton Brooks is, understandably,  concerned that many Veterans will think that they can bring this card to their local doctor, hospital, clinic, etc. and receive treatment and the cost will be billed to the VA.

Veterans need to understand that there will be very specific individual eligibility requirements to be able to use this card.

Some of the  points being talked about are the: 40 mile requirement, and if the vet cannot get an appointment within 30 days, etc… And they will apparently “estimate the costs of outside care and collect and verify information on other types of health insurance used by veterans”.

The cards are apparently being sent to all veterans in the system, but not all will be able to use them.  The concern is that Veterans will seek local medical service thinking the VA is going to pay for it, but if they are not eligible to use the card,  the Veteran will be responsible for the bill.

When this card is received , Veterans should call their primary care team at their VAMC to find out if they will be able to use the card.

Thank you.

 

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VA COALITION OCTOBER 2014 MEETING

VA COALITION MEETING: OCTOBER 2014

The VA Coalition will hold it’s monthly meeting for OCTOBER on:
THURSDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2014 at the South Regional Branch Library ( located off Johnston St.) in Lafayette at 7:00pm.

During this month’s meeting we will have an update on the future of our CBOC.

In addition our guest speakers  will be (in order):

The order of our speakers will be:
        Mr. Joey Durel, Lafayette City-Parish Mayor President
        U.S. Congressman William Cassidy, MD
        VAMC-Alexandria Director Marty Traxler
We will also take several photos of our 43,000+ letters of support from Acadiana citizens.  This photograph will be taken on the stage before the meeting, and we would like to include all of the VAC members in the picture.  This may be a crowded, but fun, photograph as we thank those who have supported us.

Meetings last 60-90 minutes.

Please note that these meetings are not only limited to Veterans but all concerned for the healthcare of Veterans. These meetings are very beneficial to Veterans, their families, friends, etc.

 

The November VAC Meeting will be Monday, November 24th.  Our topic for the evening will be ”The Ebola Virus, an Update“.

Hope to see you there

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PC3 Fact Sheet

Patient Centered Community Care (PC3) is a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nationwide program that offers healthcare contracts to provide eligible Veterans access to:

-inpatient specialty care

-outpatient specialty care

-mental health care

-limited emergency care

-limited newborn care for enrolled female Veterans following the birth of a child.

Under PC3, VHA contracts with Health Net and TriWest develop a network of providers who deliver the covered care. Care is available through PC3 when the local VA Medical Center (VAMC) cannot readily cannot provide the needed care to Veterans due to lack of available specialists , long wait times, geographic inaccessibility, and other factors.

For more information on PC3 please see the PC3 fact sheet by clicking the link below:

PC3FactSheet (1)

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Remarks by Secretary Robert McDonald during AM VETs National Conference

Remarks by Secretary Robert McDonald during the AM VETS National Conference in Memphis, TN 8/13/14

For the full article click the link below:

Remarks by Secretary Robert McDonald during AMVETS Conference (1)