VA Exploring Alternative Therapies for Chronic Pain and Other Ailments

The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs have announced the launch of a five-year, $21.7 million initiative to study the effectiveness of alternative treatments. The undertaking includes 13 separate research projects.  The alternative-therapy programs mark a dramatic departure in the treatment offered to troops and veterans.  The effectiveness of some alternative treatments remains uncertain.

Read more at: http://wapo.st/11rVz6i

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Veterans Affairs Choice Card Deadline Nears

Congress last August gave the Department of Veteran Affairs 90 days to issue medical “Choice Cards” to 9.1 million veterans enrolled in VA care.   The card will ensure that veterans have access to private sector health care if they reside more than 40 miles from a VA clinic or hospital, or if they face unacceptable waits, usually longer than 30 days, to access VA healthcare.  The guarantee, centerpiece of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, will be a challenge to deliver in …

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Military Health Review Highlights Secure Doctor-Patient Email

The recent 90-day review of the Military Healthcare System found it  “comparable in access, quality and safety to average private-sector health care,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a press conference recently.  The report also turns a spotlight on a new tool that patients, staff and outside health experts agree is improving access to care and perhaps quality too: a secure messaging system between patients and military physicians.

Read more at: http://1.usa.gov/1vU4I0K

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Agent Orange Exposure by U.S. Air Force C-123 Crew Members

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force C-123 aircraft were used to spray the herbicide Agent Orange.  After the war, the planes were used for cargo and medical flights.  Veteran C-123 crew members believe their illnesses—including cancer—are tied to their time on the planes between 1972 and 1982.  In 2013, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded that “aircrew operating in this, and similar, environments were exposed to TCDD” [commonly referred to as dioxin, a chemical included in Agent Orange].  A bipartisan group …

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DAV calls for Congress to guarantee timely VA appropriations

In marking the one-year anniversary of the 16-day federal government shutdown, which caused huge disruptions for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) has called on Congress to guarantee veterans are protected from future shutdowns and late appropriation bills.  DAV has urged Congress to ensure that if there are future budget delays, or even another government shutdown, there is not a disruption to veterans’ programs, benefits and services.

Learn more at: http://bit.ly/1sZNWjz

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Memorial Honoring Disabled Veterans Dedicated

On Sunday, Oct. 5, wounded veterans, military advocates and government officials gathered in Washington, D.C., for the dedication of he American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. The event was the culmination of 16 years of work and $80 million in private donations. The new memorial in unique in that it is dedicated to both deceased and living veterans.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1vHBzYd

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Veterans Administration Healthcare Eligibility

Eligibility for VA health care is dependent upon a number of factors.  These factors influence determination of the services for which you may qualify. They include, among other variables, the nature of a veteran’s discharge from military service (e.g., honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable), length of service, service-connected disabilities, income level, and available VA resources.

Read more at: http://mil-com.me/1vII2RN

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Understanding the Veteran’s Choice Card

In August, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.  As part of this new legislation, all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system as of Aug. 1, 2014 as well as those who served in combat will receive a “Veterans Choice Card”.  VA still has to issue the regulations that will further define this program, how it operates and how veterans can participate.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1yHodiu

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TRICARE Nurse Advice Line and links to Crisis Hotlines

The TRICARE Nurse Advice Line (1-800-TRICARE, Option 1) has registered nurses available 24/7 to answer your questions about Urgent Care, give health care advice, schedule next-day appointments, etc.  Additionally, several Crisis Hotlines are available to military/veterans needing to talk to someone or to find key info quickly.

Learn more at: http://www.tricare.mil/nal
and http://1.usa.gov/YUC1FL

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Email Alert: October 1, 2014 – Veterans Health Library

The Veterans Health Library (VHL) offers Veterans, family members, and caregivers 24/7 access to comprehensive, Veteran-focused health information.  The Library is a one-stop source for health information to help Veterans stay well-informed.  All health information has been approved by VA experts, and includes topics specific to Veterans.  Learn more at the first link and via the introductory video at the second link:

http://www.veteranshealthlibrary.org/ 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXeJIPnL47o&feature=youtu.be

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