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Articles 100221: A Veterans Flavor

Written by veterans  |  23. February 2010

WEEKEND -- 20 & 21 FEBRUARY 2010

THE WEEK IN REVIEW from VA WATCHDOG DOT ORG -- A complete, one-page look at VA and veterans' news for the week ending February 20, 2010.

VETERAN GUILTY OF THREATENING TO BLOW UP JACKSON VA HOSPITAL
-- The vet described to investigators how to construct explosive devices with household products and explained how he would place charges and remote detonator to cause damage.

CONGRESSMAN SEEKS RELEASE OF VA'S "SECRET" REPORTS ABOUT CARE AT PHILLY
-- Rep. Joe Sestak said he wants to be able to assure veterans that any problems have been corrected, "but I can't do that if I can't see what's in the closet."

VA ANNOUNCES BEST EMPLOYEE IDEAS TO IMPROVE CLAIMS PROCESSING
-- VA Secretary Shinseki: "The men and women of VA and the veterans service organizations who understand the challenges in our claims processing systems have stepped up to deliver tangible results for our Nation's Veterans."

VETS' RESEARCH: HIV INCREASES LUNG CANCER RISK, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS SMOKING
-- Researchers examined the medical records of people receiving care through VA clinics and hospitals.

DoD TO PROBE PTSD TREATMENT AT CAMP LEJEUNE -- Will look at allegations of whistleblower Dr. Kernan Manion who said Marines weren't getting proper treatment for PTSD.

VAOIG EXPECTS VA'S CLAIMS BACKLOG WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IN 2010 AND 2011
-- "As a result of not tracking local performance standards or overtime usage, VBA cannot accurately determine its workforce capacity and its future workforce needs."

FRIDAY -- 19 FEBRUARY 2010

VA, U. OF CINCINNATI RESEARCHERS TO STUDY CAUSES OF CHRONIC ILLNESSES -- Studies to look at the step-by-step cellular development of diseases to find out why they occur and what can be done to prevent them.

DETAILS ON PAYBACK OF G.I. BILL "ADVANCED PAY" -- What we know about the VA's plans to "recoup" advance payments made to veterans on the New G.I. Bill.

IT'S OFFICIAL: PETZEL SWORN IN AS VA'S NEW HEALTH CARE CHIEF
-- Secretary Shinseki: "Dr. Petzel brings to this position a strong leadership background in caring for Veterans as a longtime health system manager in VA."

DUCKWORTH SAYS CIVILIANS MUST HELP IDENTIFY COMBAT TRAUMA
-- Tammy Duckworth: "Often, it is us who see the signs of trouble in a veteran before they are willing to admit it."

VA'S WACO REGIONAL OFFICE TO HIRE 100 NEW EMPLOYEES
-- Will use Stimulus funds to hire 100 workers to expedite veterans' claims processing.

GULF WAR VETERANS MEET WITH SHINSEKI AND ROCKEFELLER
-- "These are folks who've been dealing with the real symptoms of diseases for a long time and we want to get to the bottom of it."

VA'S OFFICE OF NEW MEDIA: ENGINE FOR CHANGE OR PROPAGANDA MACHINE?
-- VA official on agency's web site: It's "all about telling the customer how great we are and how much we 'care' but not solving their problems as our constituents."

THURSDAY -- 18 FEBRUARY 2010

MARINES, CONTRACTOR HID CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CONTAMINATION FOR 26 YEARS -- "It is a shame that an institution founded on honor and integrity would resort to open deceit in order to protect their reputation at the cost of the health, safety and welfare of its service men, women and their families."

IRAQ BURN PITS: VETERANS SPEAK OUT -- "I remember thinking: This doesn't look good, smell good or taste good. I knew it couldn't be good for anybody."

VETERAN SUES: VA SURGEONS LEAVE CLAMP BEHIND HEART
-- "Finally, they took an X-ray of my chest and told me I had a piece of metal in my chest." (with video)

RICHMOND VA HOSPITAL SETTLES CLASS-ACTION DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
-- The VA will pay $5 million to black workers who alleged that the Richmond hospital showed favoritism to white workers.

FOLLOW-UP: IN ALASKA, VETS COMPLAIN, VA PROMISES FIX
-- Veteran says, "I am told I have one more appointment, one more appointment, one more appointment."

TWO CAUGHT EMBEZZLING FROM VA'S BRENTWOOD GOLF COURSE
-- Two workers at the VA's hospital golf course embezzled $180,000. The men, who have been fired, have pleaded guilty to theft of government funds.

VETERANS Q&A with JIM STRICKLAND, #13 for 2010 -- Veterans' Advocate Jim Strickland answers questions from VA Watchdog dot Org readers.

WEDNESDAY -- 17 FEBRUARY 2010

PLAGUED BY SCANDALS, PHILLY VA DIRECTOR RICHARD CITRON TO RETIRE -- VA network director Michael Moreland says, "He is absolutely not retiring under any pressure."

VA TO TRACK PHYSICIANS' RESPONSE TO E-ALERTS
-- Currently, the VA's computer system only knows if a doctor receives the alert but not what action was taken.

REPORT: BILOXI VA FAILED TO PROPERLY INSPECT AND MAINTAIN MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
-- VA Secretary Shinseki: "The evidence substantiates employees violated VA policy concerning the inspection and maintenance of medical equipment."

MAN DEPOSITED DEAD MOTHER'S VA CHECKS
-- Gilbert Harges deposited 221 VA checks made out to his dead Mom and spent the money on crack and alcohol.

OVERSOLD COLONOSCOPY MAKE MANY MISS SIMPLE COLON CANCER TEST
-- The dreaded colonoscopy may get the most attention but a cheap, old-fashioned stool test works, too.

VAOIG FINDS PROBLEMS IN 15 HEALTH CARE AREAS AT ANN ARBOR VA
-- Problems include patient's personal information not secured, no follow-up on patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, and more.

TUESDAY -- 16 FEBRUARY 2010

A FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR VETERAN AFTER TWO-MONTH LIMBO -- "It's inhumane to see someone laying there, embalmed for over two months and not being buried."

VETERAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING VA COP
-- The veteran was an inpatient in a VA substance abuse program and he obtained a bottle of vodka off campus and brought it back to the center.

VETERANS Q&A with JIM STRICKLAND, #12 for 2010 -- Veterans' Advocate Jim Strickland answers questions from VA Watchdog dot Org readers.

FOLLOW-UP: MORE DOCUMENTS ADD FOCUS TO VA'S SHREDDER SCANDAL
-- VA documents released under FOIA detail problems at Regional Offices in St. Petersburg, Winston-Salem, Detroit, Albuquerque and others.

IT'S A HARD WAY TO DIE
-- Why hundreds of thousands of Vietnam vets with Agent Orange-related diseases have been made to suffer without VA health care.

VA ASKS NRC TO RETRACT 80 NEGATIVE MEDICAL EVENTS
-- VA now says only 17 of 97 events at the Philadelphia prostate cancer treatment program qualify as violations.

MONDAY -- 15 FEBRUARY 2010 -- PRESIDENTS' DAY

VA SEEKS HELP WITH NEW PATIENT-CENTERED CARE MODEL -- Care will be focused on patient needs and desires as opposed to traditional methods of care delivery which are focused on the provider and the needs of the system.

MAN ACCUSED IN DAV / VA FRAUD SCHEME CLAIMS HE IS A VICTIM
-- "What's equally offensive about these two men is the DAV and the VA allowed this scam to go on unnoticed, undetected, negligently."

TRICARE WANTS RETIREES TO GET MEDS BY MAIL
-- "We've heard from a lot of elderly beneficiaries that it's tough to get out sometimes."

STUDY: TALKING ABOUT KILLING MAY BE HELPFUL TO VETERANS
-- "We need as a culture to find ways to not blame soldiers who are ashamed of killing."

CONGRESSMAN PUTS PHILADELPHIA VA DIRECTOR ON NOTICE
-- Rep. Joe Sestak: "Failure to identify any other reports reflecting poorly on the VA would represent a breach of faith and trust with our veterans, their families and the American public."

VETERAN WHO KILLED CENTER DIRECTOR HAD HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
-- Two years ago, Raymond Ice charged at a group of police officers at the Cleveland VA, where he had been receiving treatment.

U.S. GIs TRAINED AT GAGETOWN COULD HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE
-- "I was enraged they would send us over there and not tell us about the spray, and keep it a secret. I felt like we were betrayed, and we were."

WEEKEND -- 13 & 14 FEBRUARY 2010 -- HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

THE WEEK IN REVIEW from VA WATCHDOG DOT ORG -- A complete, one-page look at VA and veterans' news for the week ending February 14, 2010.

AS VA SHARES MEDICAL INFORMATION, SECURITY IS TOP PRIORITY
-- "Those with medical records, which have some of the most personal information people have, have a legal, ethical and even moral obligation to secure that information."

VA'S ANCHORAGE REGIONAL OFFICE FOCUS OF SENATE FIELD HEARINGS
-- Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) to hold two Senate Vets' Committee field hearings to explore major problems facing Alaska veterans.

COMMENTARY: DoD'S ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS NEED A FIX
-- Fresh scrutiny of government procurement efforts relating to EHR systems has raised serious questions about what is being done.

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HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS -- PRESS RELEASES

No press releases this week.

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    SENATE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS -- PRESS RELEASES

    No press releases this week.

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    VA -- PRESS RELEASES

    Shinseki Announces Winners of Innovation Competition for Improving Claims Processing -- 02-19-2010
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS PRESS RELEASE

    Petzel Sworn in to Head Veterans Health Care System -- 02-18-2010
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS PRESS RELEASE

    "Innovation Initiative" Underway for Health Records Improvements -- 02-18-2010
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS PRESS RELEASE

  • --- Regards, Walt Schmidt

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