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Physical Well-Being

  • Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans' Opioid Use Similar to that of Civilians

    Type of content: News

    Heavy rucksacks, parachuting out of helicopters, combat injuries, and stress result in chronic pain for many service members. In the United States, opioids are commonly prescribed to manage chronic pain, and overprescribing is a concern, particularly for veterans' healthcare.

    However, a new study published in Pain suggests that opioid use among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) veterans is roughly comparable to that of the general U.S. population.

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    Physical Well-Being
  • WRNMMC, VCE Staffs Discuss Care, Rehab With Blind Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Vision Center of Excellence staff briefed members of the Blind Veterans Association and Blind Veterans UK about care and rehabilitation capabilities at the nation’s flagship health care facility April 5.

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    Physical Well-Being
  • VA Launches 'New, Unique' Tool to Help Prevent Veteran Suicides

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs recently unveiled a new program that reviews veterans’ health records to identify which ones might attempt suicide.

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Veterans Administration, CVS Test Program to Reduce Wait Times

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — 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 VA medical center, which treats about 120,000 veterans.

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    Benefits
    Collaboration
    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Exclusive: New VA chief on public scrutiny: Bring it

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has a new message on public scrutiny: Bring it on.

    President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, VA Secretary David Shulkin, is unveiling a new web site that reveals for the first time exactly how care at VA hospitals compares with nearby private-sector hospitals and national averages. The site has data for roughly 20 hospitals but more will be added soon, the VA says.

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA, Veterans Fighting Opioid Epidemic

    Type of content: News

    Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old Marine, husband and father, died at the Tomah VA  Medical Center in Wisconsin in 2014 from a toxic combination of prescription drugs. His overdose sparked national outrage, with some veterans calling VA hospitals “candy factories.” His death eventually led to the passage of the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which created stronger procedures for the prescription guidelines used by VA providers. 

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    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Congress Advance Bill to Extend Veterans Choice Program

    Type of content: News

    The Senate and House of Representatives have both passed a bill to extend the Veterans Choice Program, a VA initiative to allow veterans access to non-VA healthcare when facing extraordinary wait times or other barriers to treatment, according to multiple sources.

    The Senate unanimously passed the bill earlier this week, according to a statement from Senator John McCain’s office.

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Some VAs Are Dropping Veteran Caregivers From Their Rolls

    Type of content: News

    By the time they cut her from the program, Alishia Graham was angry, but not surprised. Her postman delivered the news in February.

    "The letter was sitting at the top — and my stomach dropped because I knew what it was," she says.

    The letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs informed Graham that her husband Jim, who sustained a brain injury on his third deployment to Iraq, no longer qualified for a caregiver to help with his daily life.

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    Topics
    Caregivers
    Family
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Concerns Linger Over Veterans Crisis Line Operations Despite Improvements

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs leaders say staffers at the Veterans Crisis Line have answered every single incoming call for 43 of the last 79 days. Oversight officials say there is still a lot of room for improvement. 

    “This is the one area where we must aim for perfection,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. “This is a zero-sum proposition, with lives in the balance.”

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Women Veterans Changing VA Care Practices

    Type of content: News

    IRON MOUNTAIN — The fastest growing demographic in today’s military is women. They make up 14% of America’s active duty personnel.

    The number of women Veterans using VA services skyrocketed in recent years, from 159,000 in the year 2000, to 390,000 in 2013.

    “When you think about those 13 years, you’ve had 9/11, we’ve had a surge in enlistments” said Brad Nelson, public affairs officer at Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain. “Correspondingly then with more women in the military, they get out and now we have an increase in women Veteran’s seeking VA care.”

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    Topics
    Physical Well-Being
    Women Veterans

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