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VA COALITION JANUARY 2015 MEETING

Please mark your calendars!! Our next VA Coalition meeting for JANUARY 2015 will be held on:

THURSDAY, 22ND JANUARY 2015  at the South Regional Library Branch Location in Lafayette off Johnston St.7:00pm

During this meeting the Coalition will discuss:

-the current status of the long delayed CBOC

-the current status of medical care at the present Lafayette, & Lake Charles CBOC’s and the medical complex in Alexandria

-correspondences with National Secretary McDonald in DC

-the Lafayette Central Park Veteran’s Memorial Foundation

-the Lafayette Parish Government Support for Veterans

-Q &A

-Discussion on the general aspects of cancers in men

-Reel Recovery Retreat

(For more information on this retreat please contact Dr. Skip Palmintier)

 

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.

 

Meetings are normally held on the second to last Thursday of the month unless stated otherwise.

All public is invited and you are urged to bring a friend.

Hope to see you there. mark_your_calendar_graphic

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A Stable Journey-Free Veteran Event THIS Weekend

A Stable Journey, a therapeutic horse farm, is offering an experiential workshop on Sunday, January 18th from 2 to 4 PM for any veteran.
The workshop is free but registration is required as the number of veterans will be limited to 20.  Future workshops are planned.
This event includes Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC’s) and certified horse specialists.  It will cover groundwork with horses, therefore no riding at this first event.  Riding is planned for future events.  No horse is experience is required.
The workshop will be held at a covered arena at 200 Flying W Dr., Carencro, LA  70520.
To register or for more information, please contact Bill Langford at 337-280-1535 or Anne Babineaux at 337-280-4492.
Please visit the website at www.astablejouney.com.
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Lafayette VA Clinic Closure

The air conditioner in the Lafayette clinic had a short circuit which caused smoke damage.  Because of this, the clinic will be closed today (1/15)  and likely tomorrow( 1/16).  It is expected that the clinic will reopen on Tuesday ( 1/20) but until assessments are complete a final decision cannot be made.

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LCG is at the facility now assessing damage and a team from Alexandria is on their way.  The VA will keep all appointments by providing transportation to the Jennings or Alexandria facility where patients will see their primary care physician.

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Vitter and Boustany Demand Answers on VA Clinic Timelines

Vitter and Boustany Demand Answers on VA Clinic Timelines

For Immediate Release – December 19, 2014Charles Boustany

(Lafayette, LA) – Senator David Vitter (R-Metairie) and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald highlighting their disappointment with the agency’s continued substandard treatment of South Louisiana veterans.

The VA announced earlier this week it would drastically push back construction deadlines for new veterans’ health clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles. Vitter and Boustany were able to achieve authorization for the clinics in this year’s veterans reform bill. In August, the VA assured Boustany construction would be completed in Lake Charles in Summer 2015 and in Lafayette by Winter 2015/2016. However, Monday evening at a Town Hall in Lake Charles the VA announced construction would be completed in Lafayette in August 2016 and in Lake Charles in April 2016. Neither Vitter nor Boustany were given prior notice of the timeline change by the VA. The letter demands to know the reasons for these delays, when the VA knew the original timeline was not feasible, and why Vitter and Boustany were never notified of the change.

Additionally, the letter outlines Vitter and Boustany’s frustration at the treatment of Alexandria VA employees Kimberly Hoge, HSS Primary Care, and Martin Traxler, former Medical Center Director in Alexandria. Vitter and Boustany obtained emails sent from local American Federation of Government Employees President Ben Johnson directly to Secretary McDonald deriding both employees. Vitter and Boustany said about Hoge and Traxler: “In our experiences, we have found them to be two of the most positive and responsive veterans advocates in your agency. To see them attacked because they worked to provide additional health care services to veterans in South Louisiana is extremely disappointing.”

Vitter said: “We absolutely owe it to our veterans to provide them with the best and most accessible care possible. We’re not going to let up until the VA completes these clinics.”

 

Boustany said: “It’s been six years since VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles were first promised to South Louisiana veterans. After Senator Vitter and I worked together to achieve authorization for the clinics earlier this year, veterans were optimistic they may finally see progress on construction of these long overdue facilities. However, this week’s announcement these timelines will be pushed back an additional year is another setback for our veterans. The VA’s track record on this issue is completely unacceptable. Senator Vitter and I demand to know why and how this happened, and we won’t let up until shovel hits dirt on these facilities.”

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Another VA Clinic Delay

Another VA clinic delay

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 11:00 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

The long-awaited permanent Veterans Affairs clinics in Lake Charles and Lafayette have experienced yet another setback as VA officials announced Monday night that the projects will be completed in 2016 — a year later than expected after congressional approval.

Officials with the Alexandria VA told local veterans that construction of the Lake Charles clinic will be completed April 30, 2016, and that the first patient will not be served until June 2016. VA officials had said previously that the clinic would be operating by the summer of 2015.

“We’ll all be dead by then,” one veteran said as he left the American Legion Post 1, where the community meeting was held. Another veteran voiced, “You all better say your prayers.”

The Lafayette clinic is also behind its anticipated schedule, with construction now expected to be done by Aug. 31, 2016 and the first patient being served in October.

The change extends a timeline the VA set in August to award leases and complete the construction of VA clinics in Lake Charles and Lafayette. Legislation authorizing

the two clinics was passed through Congress and signed into law earlier this year.

Lynn Rogers, facilities strategic planner with the Alexandria VA, said the extra year is being added because bidders said it wasn’t a “feasible time frame.” Officials with the Alexandria VA confirmed with the American Press they knew of the timeline change Sept. 25.

However, James Jackson, American Legion Post 1 Commander, alleged that the Alexandria VA made a mistake by trying to use a Request For Proposal from 2012. He said the proposal is old, and that a new RFP should have been released three months ago, but wasn’t.

“These people don’t tell the veterans the truth, and it’s a giant irritant to me,” he said. “They are lying. The veterans lose because these people don’t do their damn job.”

A spokesman for Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, said Monday night he was not made aware of the date changes.

“Just when South Louisiana’s veterans are given a chance for optimism, the VA goes back on its word again,” Boustany said in a prepared statement. “I am furious this agency would announce such a drastic delay in the construction timeline without consulting with Congress or with local veterans. Our veterans were promised these facilities in a timely manner, and they have been counting on the VA to uphold its end of the bargain. If the VA thinks they can treat South Louisiana veterans like this and get away with it, they’re wrong.”

Boustany’s spokesman confirmed that the congressman will meet with Yolanda Jackson, executive director of the Alexandria VA, on Thursday in Alexandria and will demand a full explanation. Yolanda Jackson said the next step is to wait for the lease to be awarded.

The Lake Charles clinic, which is expected to treat 10,000 patients per year, will be a remodel. The Lafayette clinic will be built from the ground up.

Specific locations for the clinics have not been released.

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The Advocate: Lafayette VA Clinic Postponed

Lafayette VA Clinic postponed
as seen in the ADVOCATE
The opening of a new, much-enlarged Veterans Affairs medical clinic in Lafayette has been pushed back to October 2016 — nearly a year beyond the previously announced date — U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany said Monday, and he’s not happy about it. For the full story click the link below

Lafayette VA Clinic Postponed

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Oversight Needed on New VA Law

An op-ed  Congressman Boustany and Senator Vitter wrote concerning the need for oversight as the VA implements the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.  The piece was published in The Hill this morning, and it is linked below.

Oversight Needed on New VA Law

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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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