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Senator David Vitter

Senator David Vitter again went to the floor of the senate pleading  to bring Senate bill S.1740,, authorizing the funding of our clinics along with 25 other clinics, up for a vote.

For the second time Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the chairman of the senate veterans affairs committee, refused to bring the bill up for a vote. He is holding the funding bill hostage in an attempt to get an ” omnibus bill” S.1982 passed. This “omnibus ” bill includes seven other veterans bills. This bill was voted down a few weeks ago. Sanders said during his second refusal that he is working to bring the “omnibus” back to the floor by Memorial day . This unnecessary delay is absolutely shameful, and a slap in the face of all 350,000 veterans who have long awaited either a new or replacement clinic.

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Senate Bill

Senator David Vitter requested that the Senate version of H.R. 3521 be brought to the senate floor for a U/C [unanimous consent] vote.

Bernie Sanders [I] Vermont, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, refused to allow the bill to fund the clinics to come to the Senate floor. He is determined to get the entire larger bill passed, which was defeated last week.

 

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Omnibus Bill

The Senate received House Bill 3521 on December 20,2013. It is Senate bill 1740. This bill has been combined with seven other Senate bills into this much larger bill which is now Senate bill 1950. It will need to go to the Senate floor for discussion & hopefully quick passage. As we now understand it will have to go back to the House for passage again.

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CBOC Funding

H.R. 3521 passed in the House today, 10 December,2013 with only one dissenting vote, 346-1. On to the Senate.

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NEW MEETINGS ANNOUNCED

The Veterans Action Coalition next meeting will be in 31, March 2014,
at the South Regional Library (6101 Johnston St. Lafayette, LA 70503)@ 7;00PM. Mr. Sean Cronan head of the Military Advisory Project of Louisiana will be our guest speaker.

Meetings last about 60 to 90 minutes. All public is invited to attend and urged to bring a friend.

 

Most months a medical presentation will be given by a local doctor or someone from the VAMC Alexandria. These medical talks are an effort to keep us all better informed as to how we can live a healther & better life.

April meeting will be on 24 April, 2014 @ the South Regional Library,7 PM.

May meeting will be on 22 May,2014 @ the South Regional Library, 7 PM.

Please extend the invitation to all of your family, friends and neighbors. See you there…

 

 

Tom Grote/ Dr. Skip Palminter  Co/Chairs

Veterans Action Coalition

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An Editorial from KLFY’s General Manager

Veterans Hospital Editorial
Posted: Dec 01, 20104:57 PM CST

To read the original post on the KLFY website, click here.

We have been following Acadiana Veterans’ fight to establish a veterans hospital in Lafayette parish. KLFY TV1 is putting its support behind those efforts.

The following is a KLFY TV10 editorial by General Manager Mike Barras.

Acadiana’s service men and women give of themselves to serve our country in both peace time and war and now our veterans need your help.

We are in dire need of a veteran’s hospital and super outpatient clinic here in Southwest Louisiana. Currently, our veterans must travel to Pineville, Shreveport, or even Houston for treatment and many vets simply cannot continue to make such a physically demanding journey to receive care.

The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce strongly endorses the addition of a veterans hospital and clinic saying a VA Hospital would only enhance Lafayette’s center for health related services and with the large number of military veterans in the Acadiana area it just makes sense that a hospital and clinic should be placed here.

Plus many current hospital administrators believe that a new VA Facility would only be a benefit for everyone in Acadiana. This proposed hospital and clinic combined would create more than 900 jobs and impact the economy with 65 million dollars in new income for Acadiana.

We need your support now as the Veteran’s Action Coalition asks the veteran’s administration to seriously consider acquiring a facility that would greatly enhance the level of treatment and the quality of care available to our veterans.

The goal is simple a veteran’s hospital and super outpatient clinic capable of meeting the needs of over 60,000 military veterans in Southwest Louisiana. All it takes is your signature. Support Acadiana’s veterans
and visit http://vacoalition.com to help our vets get the care they need today!

To read the original post on the KLFY website, click here.
All content Copyright 2000 – 2010 Wor1dNow and KLFY.
All Rights Reserved.

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Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Endorses VACoalition

On November the 7th, the Veterans’ Action Coalition of South Louisiana, received the following endorsement:

Greater Lafayette – Chamber of Commerce
November 17, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

On behalf of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, I express the organization’s strong endorsement of the Veteran’s Action Coalition of Southwest Louisiana petition to establish a veteran administration hospital facility and super clinic in this community.

Lafayette is the hub for healthcare for the 600,000 residents of the Acadiana region. A VA hospital, or its equivalent, would only enhance the center for health related services. With the large number of military veterans in this area it is logical that such a facility would be well placed.

Additionally, the hospital administrators in Lafayette with whom I was able to visit with on this matter are steadfast in their belief that a new VA facility in the parish would be a benefit to everyone.

The Chamber joins in the worthwhile effort of the local veterans to have this documented need met in a expeditious fashion.

I urge you to give this petition your most serious consideration and urge you to act favorably. If there is anything more that the Chamber of Commerce can do to assist you in making such an important decision please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Rob Guidry
President/CEO

For a PDF of the scanned letter, please click here.

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Veterans Hear VA Proposal

This article was originally published by the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette Louisiana – the article can be read in its orginal form by clicking on the link totheadvertiser.com

Veterans hear VA proposal

Bruce Brown • bbrown@theadvertiser.com • September 23, 2010

The message was hard to miss Wednesday — military veterans in South Louisiana want better medical care, and they don’t want to have to go to Pineville to get it.

Gracie Specks, director of the VA Medical Center in Pineville, heard those concerns. She and her senior staff first met with members of the Veterans Action Coalition of Acadiana in the afternoon, then Specks fielded comments and questions from the audience at the group’s regular meeting.

“First of all, thank you to all of you veterans for our freedom,” Specks told the group. “You have done your part. Now, it’s our responsibility to take care of you.”

She made it clear that a VA hospital is not in the cards, since that actually takes an act of Congress to enact, but said the VA was committed to a greatly expandedCommunity Based Outpatient Clinic in Lafayette.

A similar CBOC facility is planned for Lake Charles, and the combination of those two facilities will alleviate much of the travel presently required by veterans for care.

Current plans call for a facility between 25,000 and 28,000 square feet, roughly three times the size of the current outpatient clinic in Lafayette. Reviews of specifics of the package will be conducted, then the VA will issue a request for proposal of bids.

Focused efforts by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, as well as U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. and Charlie Melancon, are credited with speeding up the normally slow process of doing business in Washington, and officials are hopeful that progress will be shown by January.

“With their help, we should see bids for a super clinic on the streets two months sooner than usual,” said Specks, who listed many of areas of care to be provided by the expanded center.

“We will have lab services,” she said. “You won’t have to drive an hour and a half, and wait 40 minutes for an appointment, so we’ll bring the lab down here. We can have special services like urologists and cardiologists on certain days, or bring the surgeon here.

“We’ll definitely look at having a pharmacy. We’re adding OEF-OIF counselors. Dermatology will be handled by telemedicine. For surgery, we’ll be able to do the lumps and bumps but not something like major heart surgery. We can contract with private doctors into the Super Clinic.”

Female veterans have special needs that need to be addressed, Specks said. She also recognized long-range care needs in audiology and opthalmology for current military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as PTSD, head trauma and mental-health issues.

Specks got an idea of what to expect from the public from her afternoon meeting with the coalition, many of whom voiced concerns about the square footage issue.

“We will be unhappy if there are limits on this clinic,” said Rodney Hamilton, who continues to press for both a Super Clinic and a hospital despite the odds. “As military, we understand rules and regulations, but we’re looking for first best, not second best, care. If it’s limited, that turkey’s not going to fly.

“I feel the 25,000 (square footage) should be a minimum, with no ceiling. If you lock it in, you’ve obviously eliminated the space to grow.”

“When I served, the square footage I was allocated was a foxhole,” said Link Savoie. “No one is doing us a favor. We’re just asking for our just due.”

Both Specks and Bryan Bayley, Deputy Network Director based in Jackson, Miss., emphasized that expansion is a key ingredient of any new facility.

“If you’re talking about an inpatient facility, that gets into a whole different type facility than a CBOC,” said Bayley, himself a veteran from a military family, whose son has served two tours of duty in Iraq.

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TO ALL CONCERNED

Recently, veterans from Lafayette and surrounding parishes formed a Veteran’s Action Coalition because of the dire need for a Veteran’s Super Outpatient Clinic in Southwest Louisiana. A marvelous opportunity exists due to the vacancy of Southpark Hospital located in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Collectively, the Veteran’s Action Coalition would like the Veteran’s Administration to seriously consider acquiring this facility. Such an acquisition would (1) greatly enhance the level or treatment available; (2) improve the quality of care, and; (3) provide a modern, spacious medical facility that will meet the needs of our veterans.

Currently, veterans must travel to Veteran’s Affairs Medical Centers in Pineville and Shreveport Louisiana, or Houston, Texas for treatment. Many veterans in Southwest Louisiana simply cannot be expected to continue to make such physically demanding journeys to receive treatment.

We are soliciting support from veterans and their families, from veteran’s organizations and from citizens living in each of the communities in Southwest Louisiana, as well as the support of elected official (City, Parish, State, and Federal). The Veteran’s Action Coalition is fortunate to have the support of the Louisiana Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Our goal is simple…success acquiring a Veteran’s Super Outpatient Clinic capable of meeting the needs of over 60,000 military veterans in Southwest Louisiana.

Thank you for supporting Louisiana’s, deserving, veterans!

Please return a copy of the signed letter ( a copy can be downloaded here) to the following address:

VETERANS ACTION COALITION OF ACADIANA

Rodney Hamilton

217 Cricklade Court

Youngsville, LA 70592

For any further information, you may contact Rodney Hamilton at 337-856-0092. Rodney can also disclose the next meeting date and location.