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Here are our future meeting dates of our VAC of SW La, all to be held at the South Regional Library , Located off Johnston St. in Lafayette.

October 26, 2017, Thursday
7:00 pm…General meeting ( guest speaker pending)

November 21, 2017, Tuesday (Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov 23) 7:00pm….General Meeting ( speaker pending)

Meetings last between 60-90 minutes. All public is invited to attend.

Meetings are normally held the LAST THURSDAY of the month unless noted otherwise.
Hope to see you there!!



Below is the agenda for our VAC Meeting TONIGHT!

South Regional Library Branch located off Johnston St.-Lafayette

Meetings are between 60-90 minutes
All public is invited and you are urged to attend.


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                                                                                              HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!



Just a reminder that TONIGHT
26 OCTOBER 2017
is our monthly VAC meeting for OCTOBER.

Meetings normally last 60-90 minutes and all public is invited to attend.
Meetings are normally held the LAST THURSDAY of the month unless noted otherwise.

Due to the Thanksgiving Holidays our meeting for November will be held on TUESDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2017
instead of THURSDAY

Hope to see you there

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Dedication ceremony held for new VA facility in Lake Charles


John Guidroz
The American Press
Oct 21, 2017
Updated Oct 21, 2017

Thomas Bowman, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said Lake Charles’ new permanent VA clinic is an example of what the department should be doing throughout the country.

“This, I think, becomes the standard as I see it,” Bowman said during a dedication ceremony Friday. “I would love to see more VA facilities constructed, laid out and staffed the way this one is.”
Bowman joined other VA officials, along with state and local elected leaders, for the event. The 24,000-square-foot clinic opened Aug. 28 at 3601 Gerstner Memorial Drive. Services provided include mental health, nutrition, pharmacy, dental, eye care, hearing aid services, X-ray imaging, physical therapy and prosthetics.

Bowman said the promise of a permanent clinic for Southwest Louisiana veterans was “long overdue.”
“Their patience and their dedication has made this happen,” he said. “I think when they come here, they’re going to say, ‘This is what we had hoped would have occurred earlier, but it’s here now.’ ”

Skye McDougall, South Central VA Health Care Network director, said nearly 7,000 veterans in the Lake Charles area have enrolled with the clinic. She said the VA plans to have 10,000 veterans enrolled by this time next year to provide additional services.

McDougall said the clinic is a “truly modern facility” that “belongs to the veterans.”
“I want veterans to come back and to give us our chance,” she said.
McDougall said the clinic would not be here without the advocacy by the Veterans Action Coalition of Southern Louisiana and Jim Jackson, president of the Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission.
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Jackson said the clinic is “such a great move forward” for Southwest Louisiana veterans. He said veterans are moving to Lake Charles from cities like Jennings and Beaumont, Texas.
“There was a guy who said I’m never coming to Lake Charles again, but now he’s back and he’s happy,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the clinic needs to be fully staffed to make sure veterans can be cared for quickly.

“You have more and more veterans coming in here every day,” he said. “The other day there were 35 veterans in here waiting to get their blood drawn, and there was one young lady doing it.”
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said opening the clinic honors the promise made to make sure veterans have access to local care.

“We have righted that wrong,” he said.
Hunter said his grandmother was a Navy veteran who served during World War II as a Woman Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES. He said she “never forgot her service” even after her mental abilities deteriorated with age.
Hunter said she needed assistance as she reached her late 80s, but that driving to Lafayette or Alexandria was too difficult.

Bowman said federal resources will be focused on mental and behavioral health services for veterans. He said President Donald Trump’s administration is “fully engaged” in providing continued care for veterans.

VA Secretary David Shulkin will testify before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday on enhancing the Choice Program, which gives eligible veterans the chance to get health care from a community provider.

During his speech, Bowman chose Harold Gournay, an Air Force veteran and former World War II prisoner of war, to serve as the clinic’s sponsor.


LAKE CHARLES VAC November 2017 Meeting

Please join the LAKE CHARLES VAC for their monthly meeting for NOVEMBER:

The meeting will be held:

Hope to see you there!!

***Please also note the Joe Sinceno, with the VBA Outreach Program will be at the Lake Charles Clinic

to assist Veterans with their claims.


VA Seeks Partnerships to Build and Improve Health-care Facilities


WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking interest from potential partners who want to support efforts to build world-class health-care facilities for America’s Veterans.

Public Law 114-294, the Communities Helping Invest through Property and Improvements Needed for Veterans Act of 2016, also known as the “CHIP-IN Act,” authorizes VA to accept donations from up to five non-federal entities to help fund and expedite the construction of health-care related capital projects.
The CHIP-IN Act aligns with VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin’s efforts to modernize the department and enhance service to Veterans by streamlining and instituting infrastructure improvements to health-care facilities.

“Our strategic partnerships are one of many valuable tools that allow us to provide assistance to our Veterans,” Shulkin said. “Donations through the CHIP-IN Act will help us deliver health-care facilities for our Veterans in a faster, more cost-effective manner.”

The first CHIP-IN Act partner is helping to build a new Ambulatory Care Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The center will provide a much-needed facility to Veterans in the region faster than a traditional funding and construction timeframe, and with a reduced burden on the taxpayer. VA is looking forward to developing similar partnerships for future CHIP-IN Projects through the RFI.

The RFI, available on the Federal Business Opportunities website, is seeking interest from non-federal entities, including 501(c)(3) nonprofits, private entities, and donor groups, for the remaining four partnership opportunities. The donations must be: (1) real property that includes a constructed facility or that is to be used as the site of a facility constructed by the donor, or (2) a facility to be constructed by the donor on VA-controlled property. Interested parties must respond by Jan. 15, 2018.

The CHIP-IN Act will help VA forge even closer bonds to the community by developing strategic partnerships with existing and new partners that have close ties to the communities they serve. The CHIP-IN Act is also a roadmap for communities that want to support VA’s efforts to address the emerging needs of Veterans in a collaborative, cost-efficient manner, which will benefit taxpayers and communities broadly.


Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program

“It is the desire of this department that all of the men and women who served our great nation find meaningful work here in Louisiana,” LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland said. “We are grateful to all of our LVEP partners for making this business startup opportunity available to our veterans.”

First class of veterans begins boot camp at LSU; future classes anticipated statewide

BATON ROUGE, La. — The first class of military veterans in the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program began coursework at the program’s inaugural boot camp today, with Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson and other officials welcoming them at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center in LSU Innovation Park.

Created this year, the LVEP program will enable service members leaving the military to gain intensive training in the initial boot camp, followed by long-term counseling from small business resource partners. Developed through a partnership of LED, LDVA, the Louisiana National Guard, the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive Education, the program will train 19 veterans in the initial camp and an estimated 108 participants in its first year. Goals target at least 30 percent of the participants launching a business and collectively raising at least $5 million in startup capital.

A long-term goal for the program is to create 100 new jobs through newly formed businesses operated by LVEP-trained veterans.

“The best thanks we can provide to Louisiana veterans who have given so much to our nation and our state is the promise of a better life for them and their families,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “As a veteran and small business owner myself, I know the sacrifices required for service to our country and the satisfaction that comes with success after service. This LVEP initiative combines many of our state partners in a powerful way to ensure that Louisiana veterans can achieve their dream of business ownership.”

Today’s boot camp culminates a three-week, online-learning process in which veterans have gained training in capital fundraising, banking, Small Business Administration loans, accounting systems, tax matters and business management skills. LVEP coursework, developed and delivered through the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive Education, outlines critical steps to start, operate, fund and launch a business, while giving veterans the tools needed to develop their business ideas.

LED is providing initial program funding for LVEP.

“The Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program recognizes so many important priorities in our work,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “As one of our nine key strategies at LED, we cultivate small business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. To assist veterans in becoming successful entrepreneurs is indeed a great privilege for our department and our state.”

Following the completion of the LVEP pilot program with the initial class of veterans this fall, the program partners plan to add more classes for veterans in other parts of Louisiana in the coming months.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this for our veterans,” LSU President F. King Alexander said. “Our staff at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center and LSU Executive Education are excited to work with our veterans on business planning, marketing, financing, capital formation and other strategies that are key to operating a successful small business. This is just another way LSU supports the men and women who have chosen to serve our country.”
As LED and program partners implement LVEP during the initial year, they will evaluate progress and identify solutions for sustainable funding of the program in future years. Both the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the Louisiana National Guard have played integral roles in establishing the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program.

“It is the desire of this department that all of the men and women who served our great nation find meaningful work here in Louisiana,” LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland said. “We are grateful to all of our LVEP partners for making this business startup opportunity available to our veterans.”

The National Guard Transition Assistance Program is assisting in marketing the new initiative to veterans and military personnel statewide through the program’s advisers and employment coordinators. Once veterans complete LVEP, they will be provided resources in their communities for followup support and small business counseling. Louisiana’s Small Business Development Centers, business incubators and other small business partners will be available for ongoing business coaching after completion of the boot camp.

“This is an amazing opportunity for today’s National Guardsman, and I want to thank all of the partners of the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program for making this happen,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard. “The connection between the veteran and their community is so very important, and this initiative demonstrates just how strong that bond is here in Louisiana.”

To Apply
Veterans who would like to participate in the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program may learn more


**Veterans Save this Number**

Veterans, Families and Friends

As many of our Veterans screen unknown phone calls, attached is a flyer provided by TriWest to get the word out about the number that Triwest uses to call Veterans.

Veterans receiving care via Triwest may want to consider adding this number to their phone as a way to alert them that it is TriWest attempting to contact them.

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Whole Health

Whole Health, also known as “Personalized, Proactive, Patient-driven Care,” is an approach to health care that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and well-being and to live their life to the fullest. VA facilities across the country are shifting from a health care system focused primarily on treating disease to one rooted in forming continuous healing relationships and partnerships that support Veterans in achieving their greatest overall well-being. The result is a whole health approach, which is a bold redesign of health care focused on empowering each Veteran.


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During military service, Veterans committed their lives, health, and well-being to mission success in defense of our country. Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) is committed to helping Veterans be mission ready for their lives – to optimize their health in service of what matters most to them. We recognize the need to change health care to support Veterans in addressing all aspects of their health and well-being.

System-wide implementation of a whole health approach to Veteran care is one of the top priorities in VA. This bold whole health approach to care represents a transformation from traditional disease management, to a more comprehensive approach that is based in a partnership across time focused on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of each Veteran. The VA is working hard to provide this whole health approach through the support of not only health teams, but also trained Veteran peers, well-being teachers, coaches, and community partners.

We have developed a publication that shares the stories of Veterans across the country who are partnering with their local VA health teams to explore their whole health.

“Whole Health – It’s All About You” are stories of these Veterans and you can learn how they took control of their health to achieve their goals with the support of their VA health teams and their communities.

We look forward to supporting you on your whole health journey as we carry out our mission to “honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.”

for more information please visit:…/explore/annual-report.asp


VA Announces Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences CARE Act


VA Announces Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (‘CARE’) Act
Replaces Current ‘30-day/40-mile’ System With Patient/Provider-centric Decision-making

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has presented the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees with the administration’s draft proposal of the Veterans Coordinated Access & Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act, designed to improve Veterans’ experiences with and access to health care, building on the best features of VA’s existing community care programs and strengthening VA’s ability to furnish care in its facilities.

In order to meet Veterans’ needs quickly and in a way that is easy to understand, the bill aims to:

-Clarify and simplify eligibility requirements,

-Set the framework for VA to continue to build a high-performing network,

-Streamline clinical and administrative processes,

-Implement new care coordination support for Veterans, and
-Merge and modernize community care programs.

“We want Veterans to work with their VA physicians to make informed decisions that are best for their clinical needs, whether in the VA or in the community, and this bill does just that, while strengthening VA services at the same time,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.

The bill would replace the current wait-time and distance eligibility criteria under the Choice Program (“30-day/40-mile”) with criteria that:

-Place the Veteran and his or her physician at the center of the decision process on how and where to get the best care available,

-Ensure VA is improving medical facilities and staffing levels to meet Veterans’ needs in areas where VA care is substandard, and
-Offer options for Veterans to use a network of walk-in clinics for minor illnesses and injuries.

The CARE Act also includes:

-Proposals for new workforce tools to assist in maintaining and strengthening VA’s world-class medical staff,

-A number of business process enhancements to improve financial management of the Community Care program,
Provisions that would strengthen VA’s ability to partner with other federal agencies and streamline VA’s real property management authorities.

More information about access to care at the VA can be found at