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Reserve your Seats Yet? National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) is now enrolling for the VIP GROW Program, June 20-22, 2017. Folks, this amazing program is offered at no cost to Veterans. Like so many others throughout our Veterans small business community, I personally endorse this Program as it is 100% about service to our Veterans. Sign up now while seats are still available. Please know that this one of a kind Program has had a very positive impact on the Veterans that have taken the course and successfully completed it. VIP GROW is a 3-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification program designed for Veteran owned small businesses to increase their ability to win government contracts. Facilitated by subject matter experts, participants receive hands-on market-based instruction that helps establish best business practices for Federal government contracting. Since the program launched in 2009, 678 Veteran-Owned Small Businesses have graduated from VIP GROW. Click here for a recap of the December 2016 VIP GROW Session! For more information and to enroll, go here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Spread-the-Word-to-Veteran-Owned-Small-Businesses—Apply-to-VIP-GROW-Class—June-20-22–2017.html?soid=1101128334983&aid=2V61VIVWPBc
Stars & Stripes Mattis: North Korea missile test meant to ‘provoke’ response. North Korea’s latest attempt over the weekend to launch a missile aimed to elicit a response from the United States, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday. He vowed to continue to work with China to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Associated Press Army taps reservists with cyber skills to fight ISIS militants. A decade ago, he was a young Army soldier training Iraqi troops when he noticed their primitive filing system: handwritten notes threaded with different colors of yarn, stacked in piles. For organization’s sake, he built them a simple computer database.
FOX News: Army should consider PTSD in gauging how it discharges Vets, lawsuit says. A federal lawsuit alleges the U.S. Army has issued less-than-honorable discharges for potentially thousands of service members without adequately considering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions. Stephen Kennedy and Alicia Carson, two Army veterans from Connecticut who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in a lawsuit filed Monday that they were wrongly denied honorable discharges.
Military Times California governor pardons three veterans who were deported to Mexico. Three veterans of the U.S. military were pardoned by California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Following their honorable discharges from the military, former Marines Erasmo Apodaca Mendizabal and Marco Antonio Chavez, and former soldier Hector Barajas Varela, were convicted of crimes and deported.
Stars & Stripes Pardons give deported veterans hope, but no promises. The California governor on Saturday pardoned Army veteran Hector Barajas-Varela and two other honorably discharged veterans who were deported from the United States after serving prison terms for criminal convictions
Military Times: There’s a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill benefits. A congressional proposal to make service members buy into their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits surprised veterans groups on Tuesday, with advocates divided over whether it amounts to a long-term fix for the benefit or an unfair bill for veterans. “This new tax on troops is absurd,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy in a statement.
Stars and Stripes: Proposal in Congress would require service members to pay into GI Bill for benefits. Congress is in the early stages of considering a mandate for servicemembers to pay into the GI Bill – a proposal that has drawn sharp criticism from one veterans organization, while another argues it would improve and protect the education benefit for the long haul. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs gave veterans groups a draft last week of legislation that would deduct $100 from servicemembers’ basic pay each month for two years…
Task & Purpose: Exclusive: Congress is Quietly trying To Pass A ‘GI Bill 3.0’ By Memorial Day. In the past few weeks, congressional staffers and advocates from some of the largest veterans service organizations have quietly begun work on “GI Bill 3.0,” a major revamp of service members’ educational benefits, with $3 billion in new spending planned over the next decade. But some veterans advocates say the plan would amount to a new tax on the lowest-paid service members…
VFW VFW Strongly Opposes New Tax On Troops. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is strongly opposed to a congressional proposal to reinstate GI Bill enrollment fees on service members. Prior to 2009, troops had the option of paying into the Montgomery GI Bill, an educational benefit created during peacetime that came with a $1,200 non-reimbursable enrollment fee. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued, Congress worked with the VFW and others to create what is now known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This benefit, like other military and veteran benefits such as health care, is earned through honorable service – not through out-of-pocket fees. But now, while American forces are still actively …
The Hill: Push accountability on Capitol Hill to fix problems with VA. Since the news first broke three years ago this month that as many as 40 veterans died while waiting for access to medical care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), one of the first, and most consistently, uttered words from lawmakers has been the need for accountability. In direct response to this scandal, in August 2014, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, which aimed to do just that — inject accountability into the VA…
Military.com: Trump to Sign Bill Extending VA Choice Program. President Donald Trump was expected to sign a bill Wednesday extending the current Veterans Choice Program, which allows vets to opt for private care. However, new VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin has said the program still needs a major fix from Congress before the end of the year.
ABC News (AP): Some Vets can go to CVS ‘MinuteClinics’ for minor illnesses. Some ailing veterans can now use their federal health care benefits at CVS “MinuteClinics” to treat minor illnesses and injuries, under a pilot program announced Tuesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The new program, currently limited to the Phoenix area, comes three years after the VA faced allegations of chronically long wait times at its centers, including its Phoenix facility, which treats about 120,000 veterans.
The Arizona Republic: CVS MinuteClinics to relieve stress on Phoenix VA, open doors to many Veterans in Arizona. Veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System can now get immediate medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries from CVS MinuteClinics under a pilot project announced Tuesday. The program will be open to about 120,000 veterans, enabling them to call VA triage nurses and, if their symptoms qualify, receive an appointment within two hours at one of the drugstore chain’s 24 clinic outlets in central Arizona.
Stars and Stripes: VA launches review of its caregiver program, stops medical centers from canceling family enrollments. The Department of Veterans Affairs initiated a review of its caregiver support program and halted medical centers from dropping families enrolled in the benefit, the VA announced Monday. “VA is taking immediate action to review the National Caregiver Support Program to ensure we honor our commitment to enhance the health and well-being of veterans,” VA Secretary David Shulkin said Monday in the prepared statement.
Military.com: VA Stops Dropping Family Caregivers Amid Program Review. The Veterans Affairs Department has temporarily stopped dropping caregivers from a program designed to compensate family members who provide primary care to severely injured troops while officials review the effort. Designed by Congress to pay caregivers to keep post-9/11 veterans out of long-term treatment facilities, the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers gives eligible participants a monthly stipend — some participants receive $2,500…
Military Times: VA halts change to caregiver stipends, pending a full program review. Veterans Affairs officials on Monday announced they will not kick any more individuals out of the department’s caregiver support program while a full review of the benefit is conducted over the next three weeks. The move comes two weeks after an NPR report that dozens of regional medical centers were cutting back on the number of families receiving caregiver benefits, possibly against VA rules.
Rolling Stone: Can Virtual Reality Help Cure PTSD? Meet a Veteran whose life has been turned around because of VR. Merkle reached out to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and was eventually connected with a therapist who suggested he try Virtual Reality-based exposure therapy. Unsurprisingly, Merkle wasn’t thrilled about the idea. In VR exposure therapy, a patient enters a virtual re-enactment of a traumatic event. In the case of many vets like Merkle, these events are really multiple traumas, graphic battle scenes imbued with violence, confusion, helplessness, and grief.
WBUR (NPR-90.9, Audio): VA Expands Suicide Hotline Service With Second Call Center in Atlanta. Federal data show the suicide rate among veterans has risen over the last decade. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approached this problem with a 24-hour call center in upstate New York. The VA recently expanded that service with a second hotline in Atlanta.
Healio: A model of success: he VA’s battle against MRSA. The growing problem of antibiotic resistance threatens the successful prevention and treatment of an increasing range of infections. This mounting public health concern has led some hospitals to implement antimicrobial stewardship programs and other infection control initiatives, some with impressive results.
Reuters: VA may top other hospitals in quality but not patient satisfaction. Researchers examined data for 129 VA and 4,010 non-VA hospitals nationwide and found the VA had lower rates of six complications tied to quality: pressure ulcers, deaths of surgical patients with serious treatable conditions, care-related lung injuries, clots in the vein in surgical patients, catheter-related bloodstream infections, post-operative bloodstream infections and post-operative surgical wound ruptures. Rates of other complications tied to quality were similar at VA and non-VA hospitals.
FEDweek: Audit Cites Shortcomings in VA Patient Advocacy Program. An IG audit has found that the VA’s Patient Advocacy Program, intended to identify patterns and causes of unsatisfactory service, has “material weaknesses in internal control areas, such as policies, quality control, information technology, and human capital.” A report said that the Veterans Health Administration “did not adequately capture patient complaint information and identify complaint trends” and that “lapses in collecting, monitoring, and trending patient complaints reduced the potential effectiveness of the Patient Advocacy Program…
Maine Sun Journal: Angus King seeks Senate action to speed up VA claims that take years now. Forty years ago, Larry Howell served aboard the USS Newport News, a heavy cruiser that spent the fall of 1967 shelling targets along the coast of Vietnam. Along the way, it plowed through clouds of dust that sailors later discovered consisted mostly of Agent Orange, a herbicide that stripped away vegetation and wound up causing serious long-term health problems for millions of soldiers and civilians exposed to it.
Federal Times: VA taking early proposals to move VistA to the cloud. The Department of Veterans Affairs Technology Acquisition Center is conducting market research to identify solutions and services for transforming aspects of the Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) into a cloud-based platform. The VA asked vendors to identify the potential of a commercial-off-the-shelf software-as-a-service model for consolidating the clinical (electronic health record) component of its system in a recent request for information posted to FedBizOpps.
Southern Senior: Be A Part Of History Volunteer for the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Mississippi residents have a historic and tremendous opportunity to sup- port our nation’s veterans through volunteerism during the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Biloxi, May 7-11. The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System is the host site for the 2017 NVGAG. The NVGAG is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States
April Spotlight Our Social Workers At VA: VA Social Workers are essential to our mission of helping and healing Veterans and their families as they provide comprehensive services through a holistic and psychosocial approach which integrates primary care, physical therapies and other treatment. Our Social Workers work with clients with an inclusive perspective, considering social, environmental, psychological and economic factors as they work on specialized treatment for each patient.
Stars and Stripes EUCOM gives ‘another look’ at planned base closures. A plan to shut down 15 military sites is under review by U.S. European Command, which is taking a second look at a Pentagon cost-saving initiative to consolidate installations in Britain and Germany.
Stars and Stripes Pentagon’s Mattis discussing war aims in Mideast this week. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy.
Army Times: Veterans with PTSD are suing the Army to have their discharges upgraded. Two former soldiers who have been diagnosed with PTSD have filed a federal class-action lawsuit to have their general discharges upgraded, according to a complaint filed Monday in Connecticut. Former Pfc. Stephen Kennedy, 30, and Spc. Alicia Carson, 28, are plaintiffs in a suit alleging that despite the requirement for the Army Discharge Review Board to give “liberal consideration” to veterans claiming their discharges were related to post-traumatic stress disorder…
The Washington Times (AP): Lawsuit: Army should factor PTSD in discharge decisions. A federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges the U.S. Army has issued less-than-honorable discharges for potentially thousands of service members without adequately considering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions. The plaintiffs, two Army veterans from Connecticut who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, say in the lawsuit that they were wrongly denied honorable discharges.
ABC News (AP): Trump to sign bill extending Veterans’ health care program. President Donald Trump plans to sign legislation to extend temporarily a program that gives veterans access to private-sector health care. White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump will sign the bill Wednesday at the White House. The extension will provide stopgap services while Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin develops a longer-term plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA medical system for care.
The Virginian-Pilot: Editorial: Improving care for American’s Veterans. In Hampton Roads, the scandal was especially painful and problematic. Home to some of the nation’s most important military facilities, the region boasts tens of thousands of active-duty and retired service members. These are men and women who risked their lives in defense of the United States, and who continue to do dangerous duty at home and around the globe.
Becker’s Hospital Review:VA hospitals outperform non-VA hospitals on patient outcome measures. Though the Veterans Affairs health system has been under fire for various reasons, a look at quality data shows VA hospitals actually outperform non-VA hospitals in outcomes, readmission and mortality measures, according to a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine. However, the data suggest VA hospitals need to work on patient experience and behavioral health.
The Oregonian: VA stops kicking out Vets from caregiver program nationwide. Veterans Affairs offices nationwide will stop kicking disabled veterans out of a program that pays their spouses to be caregivers, following scrutiny of the program by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Effective Monday, the VA is pausing removals for three weeks until an internal review can determine whether it’s been acting consistently and find clearer ways to explain to participants why they’ve been removed.
The Washington Times (AP): 90-day hold placed on referrals to Oklahoma Veterans. An Oklahoma Veterans Affairs hospital has placed a 90-day hold on admission referrals to an already struggling veterans center. The Oklahoman reports that this is the second instance in less than six months that the Muskogee hospital has placed a hold on referrals to the Talihina Veterans Center. Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs deputy director Doug Elliott says the center relies on referrals for about 60 or 70 percent of its new patients.
Patient EngagementHIT: VA Tool Shoes Vets healthcare Access, Care Quality Information. The VA calculated patient experience with appointment scheduling by surveying at least 30 patients per care site about their experiences. The tool displays the percentage of patients who reported that they always or usually obtain an appointment when needed. The agency established the tool to help simplify veteran healthcare access, the VA said.
WAMC (NPR-90.3, Audio): Blumenthal: Major federal Funds Needed To Modernize VA Facilities. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is calling for major federal investments to modernize Veterans Affair facilities. Last month, Senate Democrats proposed a $10 billion plan to modernize VA facilities over the next 10 years. Blumenthal says the federal government needs to upgrade VA facilities in an effort to keep up with the high demand of chronic health concerns, preventative medical care, and laboratory testing and physical exams.
mHealth Intelligence: GAO Report: Telehealth troubles Tied to Reimbursement Barriers. Healthcare providers aren’t embracing telehealth and remote patient monitoring because they aren’t being reimbursed for those services, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO report, issued last week as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, found that Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense used telehealth to treat 12 percent or less of their beneficiaries…
MedCity News: Cerner is the best replacement for VistA, Black Book says. There’s news for those charting the ongoing VistA drama at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cerner might be the best replacement for the decades-old EHR system, according to a new Black Book report. VistA was developed internally by the VA more than 30 years ago. In recent years, critics have agonized over the system’s lack of interoperability and how outdated it is.
Commercial Carrier Journal: Trucking school allegedly bilked more than $4M from VA. A California trucking school operator was arrested last week after he and the owner were indicted on federal charges of allegedly cheating the Veterans Administration out of more than $4 million, according to the Department of Justice. Emmit Marshall, owner of Chatsworth, Calif.-based Alliance School of Trucking, and Robert Waggoner, director at the school, were allegedly involved in a scheme to recruit eligible veterans to take trucking classes paid for by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Shelby County Reporter: Cemetery dedicates Blue Star Memorial Marker. The Alabama National Cemetery dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker on Saturday, April 15. “In remembering today, we dedicate this Blue Star Marker to the honor and glory of all those men and women who have served, are now serving and will serve in the Armed Forces of this great nation,” Montevallo Evening Garden Club president Melanie Poole said.
Stars and Stripes SPECIAL REPORT | 75 years of serving America’s military in Europe. During the past 75 years, through stories, photographs and videos, the Stars and Stripes staff has chronicled the history of America’s military in Europe. Follow along as we share some of the moments staff writers have covered, from the mundane to the shocking.
American Legion Post 328, Southfield, Michigan Listing of Current Events in and around the Metro Detroit Area for and about Veterans, for the period April 13 – May 23, 2017. http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html Sent in by our fellow Veteran Tim Wirkus. Thanks Tim!
Down & Dirty – GSA Schedules – A Tactical Guide (Fredericksburg), April 25, 2017, 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM. Registration Deadline: 4/25/2017 8:00 AM (EDT) Point of Contact: Susan Ball(540) 654-1096, Center: Virginia PTAP – Central Virginia Fee: $75.00 Registration Policies Location: 1125 Jefferson Davis Hwy Suite 400, Fredericksburg VA 22401-8447 Description: This hands-on workshop will provide assistance to companies who already meet the basic requirements of the GSA Schedule. The Administrative, Technical and Pricing Sections will be discussed and direction will be provided on how to complete these Sections and the additional complex GSA forms. A best practices time-line for project managing your proposal will be provided. Participants will learn how to complete the GSA proposal in a timely fashion while being competitive and compliant. Time will be allotted for Q&A throughout the workshop. For more info and to register: https://vaptap.ecenterdirect.com/events/1900
Virginia Veteran Entrepreneurship Study Public Form to be Held April 27, 2017, GMU, Fairfax. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services/Board of Veterans Services Veteran Entrepreneurship Working Group cordially invites you to a Virginia Veteran Entrepreneurship Study Public Forum at George Mason University, Hub Ball Room, 10400 York River Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030 on April 27th from 9-11:30am. Who Should Attend? Veteran entrepreneurs, University faculty & staff / student veterans,local incubators & accelerators, SBDC / VBOC / Chamber members / EDA / legislators. Questions? Contact Veteran Entrepreneurship Working Group Chairman Nick Kesler at nick.kesler@firstname.lastname@example.org Full details may be obtained in the attached flyer. Register here
The Officers and Members of Chapter XI, Special Forces Association Cordially invite you to attend the Regimental Birthday Reception, Dinner and Dance Honoring Veterans of Project Hotfoot and Operation White Star Laos 1958. Friday evening, May 5, 2017. For details and to register…..
PTAP (VPTAP) & Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Small Business Subcontracting Training and Networking Outreach Event – May 18, 2017. For more information please go here…… If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Myra Morgan, Defense Logistics Agency, Office of Small Business Programs (DB)at email@example.com or 703-767-3653.
NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Inaugural Scocial, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD, May 23, 2017. For details please go here…. For additional information, please contact Mr. Gary Simpson, USMC (Ret), Transition Care Coordinator, United States Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, Walter Reed national Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD 301-400-0576, Gary.J.Simpson.firstname.lastname@example.org
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) VETS-17, June 12 – 14, 2017, Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk VA. A great Business Development Conference created by Veterans for Veterans. Early Bird registration is now through March 31st. Pay now, save now! The Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Virginia always sells out quickly. NSSBC does not have other hotels contracted, so if you want the convenience of staying at the Riverside Marriott, please consider booking ASAP. Go here for more scoop and to register: http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com/Hope to see you folks there!
2017 Virginia Women Veterans Summit, June 22 – 23, 2017, Chesapeake, VA. This event brings together Veterans, employers, community leaders and government agencies from federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness about the services and benefits offered specifically for women veterans through expert presenters, panel discussion and exhibits. The conference will feature speakers such as Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia (Invited) and Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016, U.S. Army Reserve Captain and more! The Virginia Department of Veterans Services encourages women veterans who have, currently are, or will be transitioning into civilian life to register for this event. If you do not meet this qualification, kindly respect those who do by not registering for this event. Registration for this event is required. For details and to sign up, go here…
Mount Vernon Celebrates Purple Heart Day – Monday, August 7, 2017. You are cordially invited to celebrate National Purple Heart Day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. It is our honor to have you join us as we commemorate the oldest military decoration in the United States at the beloved home of its founder. Here is information you might find helpful in planning your visit. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2313d2141f19dbc004908589e&id=04795fbcf8&e=
14th Annual Elite SDVOB National Conference, August 16 – 18, 2017, Orlando, FL. Convention website here: http://www.sdvobconference.com/ Go here for Hotel Information and Reservations: