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Just a few seat left! Reserve your Seat 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
A Variety of Veterans News from a Variety of Sources
Reducing stigma of mental health care supports overall wellness: If you broke your arm, came down with pneumonia, or your child had a severe earache, you wouldn’t think twice about going to the doctor and getting treatment. Maintaining our health and receiving effective treatment for ourselves and our loved ones is a duty and responsibility. But what if the injury isn’t accompanied by physical pain, an x-ray finding, or an abnormal lab test? What is our duty and responsibility when it comes to good mental health?
Stars and Stripes Russia’s Putin to talk with the leaders of the West — separately. Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to talk with the West’s two most powerful leaders Tuesday, with a face-to-face meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by a phone call with President Donald Trump later in the day.
Reuters Putin, Trump agree to work together on Syria, set up meeting: Kremlin. Russia’s Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call on Tuesday to try to meet in July and work together to try to strengthen a shaky ceasefire in Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Stars and Stripes Trump’s comments on N. Korea sow confusion, but that may be the point. President Donald Trump opened the door for possible talks with North Korea, saying he would be willing to talk to leader Kim Jong Un. At the same time, the United States was putting its military prowess on display in a reminder that the new administration is keeping all options on the table.
Defense News McCain: Lawmaker has hold on Trump’s Air Force secretary pick. A Democratic lawmaker has a hold on U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for Air Force secretary, and legislators need to “work through” questions before she can receive a confirmation vote, according to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.
The Hill: Senators push to limit wait time for VA appeals. The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is set to unveil a bill as early as Wednesday that would speed up the appeals process for veterans unhappy with their benefits payments. Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and member Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced the bill in a joint statement Tuesday. It aims to overhaul the appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has been criticized as too lengthy.
Military Times: House considers measure to trim years off the VA appeals process. Veterans unhappy with their benefits payouts have a five-year average wait today if they appeal the decision, thanks to outdated and cumbersome review process. House lawmakers are hopeful that soon they can take years off that wait. Members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee debated draft legislation on Tuesday that would radically overhaul the Veterans Affairs benefits appeals process…
WFED (AM-1500): Congress takes another shot at fixing outdated, lengthy Veterans appeals process. The Veterans Affairs Department said it would need “billions of dollars in additional appropriations” to work through the 470,000 appeals that are now pending in the Veterans Benefits Administration and Board of Veterans Appeals as of April 1. “What we need is either an extraordinary amount of resources or we need to change the law,” David McLenachen, director of VBA’s Appeals Management Office, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee May 2.
Stars and Stripes Lawmakers again trying to reduce time that veterans wait for benefits. Congress is trying again to shorten the amount of time that veterans must wait to receive their government benefits, which has climbed to an average of three years if a veteran is forced to appeal a claim that is denied, a Department of Veterans Affairs official said Tuesday.
FOX News (Video): VA fires embattled Louisiana director amid scandal, secret wait lists. The director of the beleaguered Shreveport VA hospital in Louisiana has been fired following a three-year tenure filled with scandal — including accusations of covering up a secret wait-list, creating severe staffing shortages and refusing to buy essentials like vital signs machines, linens or mattresses.
The Times: Shreveport whistle blower applauds firing of VA director. A whistle blower who has complained about problems at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport said Tuesday that the recent firing of the center’s director is a good step toward correcting its problems. Shea Wilkes, a social worker at the VA medical center, said being transparent and holding individuals accountable for wrongdoing are essential for the VA as with any business or organization.
Military.com: VA Cites Fixes at DC Hospital Ahead of Veterans’ Town Hall. A new acting director at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center has cleaned up a messy medical supplies warehouse and set up an inventory hotline ahead of a town hall meeting to air veterans’ complaints, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Retired Army Col. Lawrence Connell, a top policy adviser to new VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, was named acting director after Shulkin relieved Director Brian Hawkins…
KTBC (FOX-7, Video): Mental health support for Veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs encourages everyone to “use your voice” during Mental Health Awareness Month. Dr. Wendy Tenhula, Deputy Chief Consultant for Specialty Mental Health at the VA, has more.
NPR (Audio): Veterans at risk of suicide negotiate a thorny relationship with guns. There’s sort of a designated driver in Jason Stavely’s circle of Iraq buddies, but he doesn’t take away people’s car keys. He takes the guns. “Come toward September-October, if I get the feeling, I’m more than happy to give my guns back to my buddy again,” said Stavely. Stavely has bad memories from the war that get triggered every autumn.
The Huffington Post: Your Livelihoods are at Stake: Net Neutrality in Reality. The VA health system has come under a great deal of scrutiny lately, and rightly so. We demand the best care for our veterans and anything short of that is simply unacceptable. One of the areas where the VA has truly innovated and excelled is telemedicine – using the Internet and communication technology to deliver the best quality health care to remote locations.
WTNH (ABC-8, Video): Battlefield acupuncture for VT Veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs is increasingly embracing non-traditional methods for managing pain – acupuncture. But, veterans at the VA hospital in West Haven are not getting the traditional way acupuncturists provide treatment. It’s Thursday — the only day of the week this clinic is open for military veterans looking to manage their pain.
Daily News Journal (Video): Judge Toby Gilley holds commitment hearings at York VA. York VA Medical Center mental health patients no longer face commutes to Nashville for involuntary commitment hearings because Judge Toby Gilley comes to their Murfreesboro campus. “It’s easier on the patients, so they are not taken out of the environment they are in,” Gilley said during a recent interview from his General Sessions Court chambers in the Rutherford County Judicial Building.
ExecutiveGov: VA, DOE Collaborate on Big Data Analysis for Veterans Healthcare. The departments of Veterans Affairs and Energy have partnered to analyze big data from the VA and other federal sources as they optimize healthcare for veterans and other citizens. The VA-DOE Big Data Science Initiative will explore digital health and genomic data to support the development of treatments and preventive strategies in areas such as suicide prevention, cancer and heart disease, the VA said Monday.
New Hampshire Union Leader: Veteran expresses thanks for Manchester VA staff. One day Mr. “Bob” Tucker was waiting for his ride home from the Manchester VA Medical Center after his appointment and I, as the public affairs officer for the center, had the pleasure of meeting him. It started with a smile. “How are you?” I asked. Bob extended his hand to hold mine and said, “I am much better now.”
KMMS (CMN-1450): My Eleven-Hour Day With the VA Hospital. Once a year I venture up to the VA Hospital in Helena to get my old bones checked out by the fine folks at Ft. Harrison. The VA as it turns out has a shuttle service for veterans that might be handicapped, or don’t drive, or just don’t want to wear out their own personal vehicle.
Herald-Mail: Local Veterans prepare for National Golden Age Games. Many people see turning 55 as a time to slow down and relax, but for veterans interested in joining Team Martinsburg for the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s National Veterans Golden Age Games, it means a new opportunity to get active again. Veterans on Team Martinsburg see 55 as an opportunity to improve their health and wellness through some competitive activities.
Military Times Zachary Fisher named to the Philanthropy Hall of Fame. The Almanac of American Philanthropy has added Zachary Fisher, the founder of the Fisher House Foundation, to the Philanthropy Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Andrew Carnegie, George Washington, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan.
Celebrating Nurses, Every Day Patient Safety Champions: Thousands of nurses in the Military Health System (MHS) are being honored this month during Nurse’s Week, May 6-12. Nurses are critical members of health care teams and influence the quality of care and patient safety in military treatment facilities worldwide. Many nursing responsibilities may become routine over time to the experienced nurse, but the importance of these key functions should never be overlooked.
KRGV (ABC-5, Video): Phone Line Hacking Targets Veterans under Choice Program. A newly developed program allowing veterans to seek care from private doctors is reportedly being hacked. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs officials said the Choice Program phone line is being mimicked. CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned imposters are using a telephone number similar to the original number. Imposters tell veterans they are offering a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card.
Politico Trump starts dismantling his shadow Cabinet. The White House is quietly starting to pull the plug on its shadow Cabinet of Trump loyalists who had been dispatched to federal agencies to serve as the president’s eyes and ears.
Stars and Stripes THAAD now ready to defend South Korea against missile attacks. The controversial American anti-missile battery deployed to South Korea to protect the U.S. ally from a potential North Korean attack has reached its initial ability to intercept an incoming rocket, a U.S. defense official said Monday.
Stars and Stripes Lawmakers settle on $1T plan to avoid US government shutdown. Lawmakers on Monday unveiled a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September but would deny President Donald Trump money for a border wall and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs.
Defense News US Air Force inching forward with improvements to FMS process. The U.S. Air Force is making headway on improved training for officials tasked with facilitating foreign military sales, as well as plans to move its first security cooperation officer through the new process within a year, a top service official told Defense News.
The Huffington Post: Dr. David Shulkin Will Help Fix A Broken VA. When President Trump selected David Shulkin to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs, he did a terrific job of finding the right person to lead a very important department. When President Trump was elected, he vowed to draw from his decades of experience in the business world and put the right people in the right places.
PennLive: Fixing the VA – – Just the facts; no hyperbole needed. The fact is that most of the people in the Department of Veterans Affairs are ethical and competent. The remainder of this opinion piece is not meant to criticize them. By definition reform is change meant to improve something. Many of the processes in place need reform and some people simply have to go.
Modern Healthcare: Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove to step down. Dr. Toby Cosgrove, the longtime CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, announced on Monday he will be stepping down by the end of this year. A succession process for his replacement has now begun and Cosgrove will stay on at the clinic in an advisory role, according to a news release. The clinic also said his successor will be a practicing physician, keeping up with the system’s long history as a physician-led institution.
Health Data Management: The leveraging health IT to address its 5 top priorities. Healthcare information technology is crucial to the Department of Veterans Affairs achieving its five strategic priorities, according to Poonam Alaigh, MD, the VA’s acting under secretary for health. Alaigh told an audience on Friday at the 2017 Health Datapalooza conference in Washington that VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, has laid out five priorities for the agency: greater choice, modernizing the healthcare delivery system, efficiency, timeliness of care and suicide prevention.
Boston Herald: Lawyer: Special protection proves hard to beat in court. Veterans dissatisfied with their treatment at VA hospitals have limited legal recourse, due largely to laws that give the agency’s doctors cover that private hospitals don’t get, a leading veterans’ advocate lawyer said.
GCN: Debunking the myths on VistA. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was recently quoted in Stars and Stripes about negative reports concerning the VA. “I think that it’s time to stop beating us up,” he said. “I’m disappointed there seems to be an obsession with finding our failings.”
CNN (Video): Purple Heart Vets have earned full education benefits. Every Purple Heart medal is earned. With roots dating back to the American Revolution, the Purple Heart has been awarded to millions of American service members who are wounded fighting an enemy of the United States, or to the family of those killed in action. Every Purple Heart recipient has his or her own story — just like Aranda’s — of sacrifice for the sake of America’s safety.
Herald-Mail Media: Camp Lejeune water was a silent enemy. When a member of the military goes to war they often have to confront an enemy on the battlefield. There is always the possibility of facing death and dodging bullets in this arena. It can be a harrowing experience for the individual and something that is real.
KPAX (CBS-8, Video): Helena homeless living facility for military Veterans to close. A homeless living facility for military veterans in Helena will officially close after months of uncertainty and the residents there will be forced to find a new place to go. March started off rocky for the 13 veterans living in the Willis Cruse Transitional Living Facility — finding out they would have to look for a new place to live after financial instability.
Upcoming Veteran Events
American Legion Post 328, Southfield, Michigan Listing of Current Events in and around the Metro Detroit Area for and about Veterans, for the period May 4 – August 18, 2017.
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…..
National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) Wednesday, May 10, 2017, DC Metro Chapter Dinner Meeting. From 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM, Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA. For more information and to register please go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-veteran-small-business-coalition-10-may-2017-dc-metro-chapter-dinner-meeting-tickets-33903728966 Register NOW to hear inspirational speaker Jan Scruggs – Vietnam veteran, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and the driving force behind the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “the Wall”. Jan will share his perspectives in a memorable evening speaking on the topic of: Confidence, Commitment and The Can Do Spirit. Jan Craig Scruggs is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1979 he decided that America’s Veterans deserved national recognition. Three years later the Memorial was built. He sparred with Congress, the media and powerful people determined to end plans for the Memorial. Jan has delighted audiences nationwide for decades as a professional speaker. He has a powerful message to help others overcome adversity with courage, teamwork and creative solutions. Scruggs has appeared on CBS Sixty Minutes, the Today Show, and other national shows.
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
GOVCONECTX Doing Business with DoD Spring Showcase – Thursday May 25, 2017, 6633 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church VA, 22042 at the Best Western. There is a Cost. This particular event is Military intensive. Meet with key representatives from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and DOD. Keynote Speaker: VADM Lou Crenshaw USN (Ret.), Crenshaw Consulting Associates. For Veterans, use the Coupon Code “Vet” and take $100.00 off the cost. For additional details and to sign up, go here….
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…
Non Commissioned Officers Association Annual Conference – July 11 -14, 2017. The Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, NV. Go here for more information and to register for this event:https://www.ncoaconference.org/
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. Conventionwebsite here: http://www.sdvobconference.com/ Go here for Hotel Information and Reservations: