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VAC Meeting TUESDAY 3-21-17 7:00PM

Photographs from our VAC Meeting held TUESDAY 3-21-17 7:00PM

Photos are courteousy of Mr. Bryan J. Anthony

The VAC would like to thank Mr. Anthony for capturing them.VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #1 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #2 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #3 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #4 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #5 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #6 VAC Meeting 3-21-17 #7

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LAKE CHARLES CBOC ACTIVATION PLAN

Lake Charles Activation Plan

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LAKE CHARLES CBOC LAYOUT PLAN

Lake Charles CBOC Layout

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VA Secretary David Shulkin : Our Plan to Deliver Greater Accountability to America’s Veterans

Friends – Below is an op-ed written by Secretary Shulkin. Please distribute widely. I’ve copied and pasted the text below, but the original website is also at the bottom.

On February 28, 2017 President Trump, while addressing a Joint Session of Congress, once again identified accountability in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a top priority. The President is right, veterans deserve much better.

There have been well publicized incidents of VA employees who have failed in our mission and have done harm to those I and all VA employees have been entrusted to serve.

If there is evidence that an employee has broken the law, caused harm to veterans, or have violated the public trust, they should be terminated immediately. Instead, due to overly cumbersome and lengthy arbitrations as well as extensive bureaucratic red tape, VA has not been able to remove employees as quickly as we would have liked. Some employees, like the former VA pharmacist who was stealing medications, have simply retired before VA was able to fire them – allowing them to avoid accountability all together.
This is unacceptable.

I am empowering our leaders to start taking swift and immediate actions when the evidence warrants a removal. VA recently fired the San Juan Medical Center Director after an investigation revealed unethical behavior that ran contrary to our VA values.

Just a few days ago, one of our Veterans Integrated Support Network directors proposed the removal of another medical center director. These actions are examples of the strong leadership we need to cultivate in VA. There should be no doubt that VA will seek greater accountability going forward.

Having said that, my team and I can’t do this alone. I am pleased that Congress is poised to act on accountability legislation in the coming weeks.

It is critical for us to set politics aside and tackle these challenges together. We won’t succeed with a bill that only partially solves the problem.

Veterans and the American people expect us to get this right. That is why my team and I have been and will continue to provide our partners in Congress with the right solutions that will give VA the flexibility to conduct removals quickly while ensuring due process and reducing the risk of a court forcing us to reinstate underperformers.

Accountability is a two way street. We can’t just make it easier for us to fire people, we must make it easier for us to hire people.
It takes VA an average of 240 days to complete the hiring process for executives joining VA from outside government.We are losing talented people because it simply takes too long.

The VA must be able to compete effectively with private sector health care organizations to recruit doctors, nurses, administrators, and other key staff.

We also need to attract innovative leaders and strong front-line staff to help us modernize VA.

If given direct hiring authority, comparable pay, schedule flexibility and the ability to offer competitive recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives, VA will be able to attract and retain world class talent.

As I have said many times, the vast majority of our employees are dedicated and hard-working people. They come to work every day to provide veterans with the best care and services they can. There is nothing more demoralizing than having a few bad apples constantly distracting you from your mission.

I am confident that if Congress grants VA additional authority and flexibility, both veterans and our employees will be better served.
Our veterans have waited far too long for these changes. No matter how divided we may seem, we are Americans first. And we will keep our promise to our veterans and military families.

David Shulkin is the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Here is the link below:

VA Secretary David Shulkin Plan to Deliver Greater Accountability to America’s Veterans

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VA HOSPITAL IN NEW ORLEANS MAY SERVE AS MODEL

For more information please click the link below:

New VA Hospital in New Orleans May Serve as A Model

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VE-HEROES (VIETNAM ERA VETERANS )

VE-HEROeS is the first large-scale study on the health and well-being of Vietnam era Veterans in 30 years. A group of 54,000 scientifically selected individuals received an invitation to join the study, including Veterans and a comparison group of Americans. If you were invited, please participate in this important study.

 

For more information please click the link below

 

 

VE-HEROES Epidemiology Studies

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2/21/17 Lake Charles VA Clinic Phone System

2-21-17

To All Lake Charles and surrounding area Veterans

Below is a news release from the Alexandria Healthcare System in response to the many questions about the Lake Charles TELEPHONE SYSTEM:
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We are aware that Veterans in the Lake Charles community are having difficulty reaching the Interim Lake Charles Clinic by phone. That is unacceptable and we apologize for this situation.
The Interim Lake Charles Clinic does not have a standalone phone switch but utilizes an Alexandria phone number as a temporary measure.

Due to this workaround, there have been substantial issues with Veterans being unable to reach the Lake Charles Clinic for scheduling and other needs. In an effort to improve Veteran experiences via the telephones, Lake Charles calls will be routed to the Alexandria VA Call Center.

Staff in the call center are well trained and able to schedule for the Lake Charles Clinic. Any calls that cannot be handled by the staff in the call center will be referred to the staff in Lake Charles for resolution.

The only number to be used for the Lake Charles Clinic is (318) 466-4500.

There are a few adjustments to be made to phone hardware and software to make this happen; therefore, this will be in place on Wednesday, February 22nd.

New business cards have been printed that include this number and will be available at the clinic on Wednesday as well. This should improve phone response times and provide more consistent customer service for our Veterans.

When the new Lake Charles clinic is activated in August 2017, it will have its own phone switch and Automated Call Distribution (ACD) system which will enable direct access to the Lake Charles clinic and staff.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to ensure our Veterans receive the care they so richly deserve.
Tammie Arnold
Public Affairs Officer
Alexandria VA Health Care System

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Lake Charles CBOC Update 1/19/17

 

As seen on KPLC…

For the full story click the link below:

 

VA Says Beam Signing Signifies Progress On Veterans Clinic

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CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!!!

Lafayette CBOC Voluntter 232 help

Volunteers are needed in the new Lafayette CBOC.

For more information or to pick up a Volunteer application to be considered, please contact:

MS. RAE LOGAN, Community Volunteer Liaison

at (337) 205-6008

*Volunteer Applications can be faxed or  picked up at : 232-Help

You may also click the link below to download and print the Volunteer Application.

Completed forms may be mailed to:

Rae Logan

1005 Jefferson St.

Lafayette, LA 70501

 

To Download the Volunteer Application Please click the link below:

Volunteer Application

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VAC Mission Statement

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Mission Statement of The Veteran’s Action Coalition of South Louisiana

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Veterans Action Coalition of Southwest Louisiana is to assure all local veterans obtain the highest quality medical care available. In addition, the Coalition functions to promote and support other veteran programs in southwest Louisiana.

Objectives
1. Encourage all veterans to sign up for VA privileges
2. Obtain enlarged, improved medical clinic facility in the Lake Charles CBOC area
3. Insure quality medical care at any clinic available to the veterans of southwest Louisiana
4. Obtain better specialty care to minimize long distance travel to other VA facilities
5. Utilize local physicians to help assure specialty services for veterans
6. Keep veterans informed of health and other issues through Monthly/Quarterly medical presentations, website and media
7. Inform, promote and support veteran activities not related to medical issues
8. Adjust objectives and direction of VAC efforts as needed in response to major changes in local, regional or national VA system