News

Credit Newswise —  To protect our nation’s Veterans, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) urges extreme caution when considering the “Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act,” S. 2279. As currently drafted, this legislation contains a misguided provision that removes physician anesthesiologists from surgery and replaces them with nurses. Veterans will receive a lower standard of care, jeopardizing their safety and lives, if physician involvement is eliminated from anesthesia care in surgery. Although the purpose of the legislation, introduced Nov. 10 in the U.S. Senate, is admirable, proposing to ease the transition of military health care providers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it also includes provisions abandoning the physician-nurse team-based model of care for all advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), including nurse anesthetists, in the VA. Senators sponsoring the legislation note the act proposes “common-sense” changes in staffing policies to improve Veterans’ care at health care facilities by addressing the shortfall of medical staff. However, there is no shortage of physician anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists in the VA system. Surgery and anesthesia care inherently contain risk, and this is true even more so for Veterans, who often have complex medical conditions that pose a heightened risk of complications during surgery. Physician involvement when performing surgery on our Veterans is much more critical than providing typical primary care or treating chronic health conditions. The legislation would eliminate the existing and proven model of care where physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work together as a team to ensure our Veterans receive the highest quality and safest anesthesia care. “Taking physicians out of surgical care is not a common-sense solution for our VA patients who are often sicker, older and have multiple medical conditions that put them at greater risk for complications,” said ASA President Daniel J. Cole, M.D. “The team-based model of care ensures all Veterans have access to a physician anesthesiologist should an emergency or complication occur. This legislation will place our Veterans at increased risk. There can be no compromise on the highest-quality, safest medical care for those who have served our country” Similar dangerous proposals have been considered, and when it comes to the subject of substituting nurses for physicians in anesthesia care, the VA’s own experts on surgical anesthesia care, the Chiefs of Anesthesiology, have told VA leadership that a policy substituting nurses for physicians “would directly compromise patient safety and limit our ability to provide quality care to Veterans.” (Letter from VA Chiefs to Secretary Shinseki, Dr. Petzel, and Dr. Jesse - Oct 1, 2013.) Physician anesthesiologists receive 12 to 14 years of education, including medical school, and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training to specialize in anesthesia care and pain control, with the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body. By comparison, nurse anesthetists have only about 1,650 hours of clinical training. The Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act was introduced by Senators Merkley (Oregon) and Rounds (South Dakota). The bill has also been co-sponsored by Senators Tillis (North Carolina), Warner (Virginia), Shaheen (New Hampshire), Wyden (Oregon), Tester (Montana) and Brown (Ohio). ASA strongly urges reconsideration of the provisions that lower the standard of care for Veterans and puts their health and lives at risk in surgery.More information about the proposed legislation and the importance of physician-led, anesthesia care is available at www.asahq.org. THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS®Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 
Credit Newswise — A University of Iowa researcher is working with the Veterans Administration on a pilot program to help female veterans suffering from postpartum depression. MomMoodBooster is an online intervention tool that helps mothers who live in rural areas cope with their depression. “Women in rural areas often don’t seek out or have access to mental health care,” saysMichael O’Hara, professor and Starch Faculty Fellow in the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “Reaching out in particular to rural veteran women seemed to me like it was just something important to do.” Each year, about 300,000 new mothers in the United States suffer from postpartum depression, experiencing low moods, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, insomnia, appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts—and O’Hara says this estimate is low. So far, about 40 women from across the country have taken part in MomMoodBooster with positive results. Over a six-week period, women participate in six sessions that target managing mood, increasing pleasant activities, managing negative thoughts, increasing positive thoughts, and planning for the future. Phone coaches also call to check in with the women, tracking progress, answering questions, and providing encouragement. O’Hara says it seems possible, given the combat experience of many female veterans, that they may be more at risk for depression, though that has not been quantified. “I was in the Navy for four-and-a-half years, and it’s not an easy life,” O’Hara says. “These are women who have served our country, and we have a way of contacting them. You put that together, and it’s sort of a winning combination.” Treating postpartum depression is important not only for mothers, but also for the well-being of their children. A depressed parent often pays less attention to the baby’s cues, either interacting less and neglecting the child or working so hard to interact that the baby becomes overwhelmed, leading to developmental problems. The self-focus caused by depression can be harmful to children in other ways as well. For example, when parents choose whether to make a meal or drive to a fast food restaurant, depression can influence them to make the easier choice. “Any time a parent is distracted by mental health concerns, this can lead to problems with the children,” O’Hara says. “We know that inconsistent parenting often makes it harder for children to internalize societal rules, a situation that often sets the stage for behavior problems. Having parents who are emotionally stable is quite a benefit to the child.” For some women, postpartum depression represents a recurrence of depression at a stressful time in their lives. For others, it stems from issues surrounding the marriage, finances, or simply the challenge of caring for an infant. Biologically, there is increasing evidence that pregnancy hormones may the set the stage for low mood, which, when combined with environmental factors, may cause postpartum depression. “The most dominant things I see are poor social support systems and conflict with the partner,” O’Hara says. The program will continue at least through the end of September, when the VA will determine whether to continue funding, and O’Hara expects to write a research study based on the results of the pilot. The MomMoodBooster project is funded by the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA Office of Women’s Health Services.
Service members returning from active duty can face many challenges—including finding a new job or even a new career. To help veterans succeed, we’ve worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make AWS Certification exams eligible for VA reimbursement under the GI Bill’s education provision. About AWS CertificationsAWS Certifications recognize IT professionals with the technical expertise to design, deploy, and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. Career transitions are never easy, but cloud IT presents one promising path forward—especially when industry surveys show that these skills remain in short supply. Our hope is that easier access to our certification exam, combined with the unique talents veterans already possess, will open up more career possibilities for retired servicemen and servicewomen and help them achieve success in their post-military careers. How it WorksQualifying US veterans covered under a GI Bill with an education provision can now submit a reimbursement request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for exams taken after December 10, 2015 and purchased from Webassessor. The VA will cover exam fees up to $2000 (costs connected with preparing for a certification such as training courses or practice exams are not reimbursable).   To read ths full story Click Here Credit Jeff Barr
WASHINGTON (KTRK) --A decorated Marine veteran was attacked in the last place he expected, a McDonald's in Washington D.C. Chris Marquez says a group of rowdy teenagers started taunting him while he was eating. "They asked me if I believe that black lives matter," Marquez says. "I felt threatened and thought they were trying to intimidate me, so I figured I'm just going to keep to my food, eat my food, and hopefully they'll leave me alone." "And because I wasn't responding back to them, they were calling me a racist. "Marquez says he doesn't really remember what happened next. The restaurant manager says the group followed him outside. He was hit in the back of the head and fell to the ground. The teens stole his wallet and credit cards. They have not been caught.   Marquez says the attack brought back memories of the war. He hopes the teens are caught before they attack anyone else.   Chris Marquez says several teenagers attacked him in Washington D.C. To read full story Click Here Credit ABC News 13
The military is less of a melting pot and more of an awkward stew with liberals thrown in among conservatives, conformists, and the occasional hippie stoner. That sort of diversity doesn’t just vanish once you leave active duty. Just as you changed after leaving the military, the friends you made while you were in have likely gone through the same transformation, and sometimes it’s a bit shocking. Here are the five military buddies that all veterans have, or have had, at one point or another. 1. The one who waits to leave the military to get in shape. Back when you guys were roommates, the farthest distance you ever saw him walk was the seven feet from his sweat-stained La-Z-Boy to the fridge so he could grab another beer and a slice of three-day-old pizza. Now he’s doing Tough Mudder every week, uploading daily sepia-toned gym selfies to instagram, and announcing to his friends when his posts are the top hit on #bodybuilding. You can’t decide what’s more impressive, or irritating: his sudden transformation from fat body to body builder or that his gym selfies always have perfect composition and use the rule of thirds. 2. The guy who suddenly gets all sophisticated. The last time you saw each other in the military, he was passed out on the floor with an empty handle of Sailor Jerry’s rum next to his head, and partially choking on a full horseshoe of Grizzly Wintergreen Long Cut snuff. Now he’s attending an Ivy League school, doing a double major in postcolonial literature and art history, reading Descartes and Derrida for fun, and pronouncing their names correctly.   3. The guy who’s still pretty much in, except now he has a beard. 4. The guy who gets accused of stolen valor when he says he was in the military. 5. The female vet whose military service makes her civilian boyfriend feel emasculated. To read full story Click Here Credit James Clark
Hypocrite Jeb has been going after Donald Trump for imminent domain use despite stealing land from a war veteran as Florida governor.     Image source: Washington Times     Jeb Bush has repeatedly attacked Donald Trump for his use of imminent domain at campaign stops and televised debates, but according to disabled war veteran Jesse Hardy, Jeb used the measure to steal his property in 2005.  Hardy wrote a blog post today detailing Bush’s contemptible use of imminent domain as Florida governor. On April 12, 2005, Hardy received a letter from Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection agency in which the state had requested to take his land. Jesse responded by hiring attorneys to defend his property and fend off the government. Hardy hired respected advocate Charlie Forman who offered the disabled war veteran an opportunity to defeat the state and retain his land. Forman didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. “As we progressed through the ongoing negotiations, he seemed to not want to fight for my land, and he seemed anxious to settle.” Hardy wrote. “Charlie would tell me that they (DEP) would keep coming back again and again, and that they were going to get my property, one way or the other.” Hardy told Forman that there was “no reason for them (the state) to take” the land therefore he wanted to continue fighting. “Here I was, trying to be a good citizen, I fought for my country, this was all totally beyond my comprehension,” he wrote.  “I did not want to lose my home!” His attorney maintained that he had to settle with the government and turnover his property. Hardy reluctantly followed through with a monetary settlement but he was monumentally ripped off by the state in the process. He reportedly tried to negotiate further with the DEP but ultimately couldn’t strike a deal that would more adequately compensate him. Why? Attorney Charlie Forman was bought and paid for by then Florida governor Jeb Bush. To read full story Click Here Credit Benjamin Knight 
    A partially-blind teenager from Long Island started a kind-hearted campaign to help wounded veterans and others who are suffering from a similar condition.  Matthew Redlein, 13, of St. James in Suffolk County, started a campaign to raise money to sponsor service dogs for needy veterans or the blind. It costs about $6,000 to acquire and train each dog. "If you see someone who's struggling, you know you want to help in any way you can," said Redlien. A hereditary eye disease has left Redlein blind in one eye and an older brother completely blind. "I think anyone can really understand how these dogs can make a difference. You don't have to have something like this, what I have, disability-wise," Redlein said. Much of the fundraising has been among the student body at Nesaquake Middle School in St. James. He's been selling rubber bracelets and lollipops to help bring in donations. Money was also raised by bringing in a little show-and-tell with the service dogs courtesy of America's Vet Dogs and the Guide Dog Foundation, which helped show Redlein's classmates just how their money would be spent.   Click Here to read full story Credit Sandra Bookman    
OLYMPIA – Washington state is urging businesses to say “yes” to the state’s veterans when filling open positions. The YesVets pilot project will start in Klickitat, Kittitas, Skamania, and Yakima counties this month—and employers across the state may be able to participate by early summer. Employers who hire a veteran will be recognized with a YesVets window decal they can display at their business to demonstrate support for America’s service members. They will be recognized each year with annual decals that can be displayed next to the YesVets decal. Employers who wish to participate in the pilot project should visit http://www.yesvets.org to sign up. Background Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, developed the idea after she met with veterans early in the 2015 legislative session. “I was surprised to learn these veterans were having difficulty finding jobs to support their families after leaving military service,” said McCabe, who owns several small businesses herself. “Serving in the military provides our veterans with a strong work ethic, a diverse skillset and the ability to work well in teams.” McCabe sponsored House Bill 2040 to encourage businesses to hire veterans and to improve the veteran employment rate overall. The bill passed both legislative chambers and was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee in late April. YesVets initiative  Inslee’s Employment Security Department, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Commerce worked together to turn McCabe’s vision into a pilot project—and they hope to expand statewide in June. “Hiring a veteran is good for our state’s businesses and good for our country,” said Inslee, who has made improving veteran employment rates a primary goal for his administration. “We hope YesVets will increase the number of veterans who find great jobs, and also encourage returning veterans to consider starting their own veteran-owned business,” said Alfie Alvarado, director of the state’s Department of Veteran Affairs. “We have skilled local veterans employment representatives in every community, helping our state’s veterans find great jobs every day,” said Dale Peinecke, Commissioner of the state’s Employment Security Department, a partner in the WorkSource system. “Veterans who come into our WorkSource offices work with staff who are also veterans and who understand the skills and abilities they bring to the workforce.” "Commerce is committed to the success of our state’s economy, and that includes ensuring we have the talented workforce to meet industry’s needs, today and into the future,” said Brian Bonlender, Director of the state Department of Commerce. “We know that hiring veterans is a great way to tap an already skilled talent pool and to retain a diverse labor force in our state.  That’s why we are proud to partner with ESD and WDVA on this effort.” Contacts:   Janelle Guthrie, ESD Communications Director, (360) 902-9289                  Heidi Audette, WDVA Communications Director, (360) 725-2154                  Barbara Dunn, Commerce Communications Director, (360) 725-2805                                                                        ###   To read more on this information Click Here
A planned monument that would serve as the final piece of a veterans’ memorial in a Detroit suburb has caused controversy over its prominent depiction of a military rifle, the Detroit Free Press reported. Bear Hall, the chairman of the local chapter of Friends of American Veterans in Milford, Mich. earlier this month proposed placing a sculpture of the battlefield cross at the end of a brick walkway leading out of the present veterans’ memorial. The battlefield cross-- a military helmet adorned with dog tags perched on the stock of an automatic rifle, its barrel pointing downward into a pair of combat boots --has been used by those in active duty as far back as the Civil War to memorialize fallen soldiers. Hall told the Free Press he approached the village council’s parks and recreation commission about adding the just-over four-foot sculpture of the battlefield cross on a four-foot base. He said was told by some council members that the icon might not be appropriate as a centerpiece for the park. "There was some concern from a couple of members regarding the specific memorial that’s proposed. Specifically, the gun," Milford Village Manager Christian Wuerth told the Free Press, "They understood the history and meaning of it; they just didn’t feel it was appropriate for that specific location." "Being a veteran, I want to see a monument there, yes," Councilman Tom Nader said, according to the Free Press, "I just don’t think this is the proper one." To read full story Click Here Credit Fox News
Chaplains who are part of the Army's first line of defense against suicide say they need more training in how to prevent soldiers from killing themselves, according to a RAND survey published online Tuesday. Nearly all the chaplains and chaplain assistants surveyed said they have dealt with suicidal soldiers, and most said they encourage troubled soldiers to get help. Because of confidentiality, roughly half said they would be reluctant to alert someone in the chain of command about the soldier, and roughly a third said they would not call a crisis hotline for the GI. In addition, the study found chaplains and chaplain assistants hold some of the same negative views about therapy that often discourage soldiers from seeing a behavioral health specialist. Most in the survey agreed that servicemembers who seek help for suicidal thoughts would be seen differently by their peers. About half said they would be embarrassed. Researchers said they believe this may be why chaplains are reluctant to intervene when a soldier comes to them with signs of suicidal thinking. Forty-four percent of chaplains and 57% of chaplain assistants said they need training in suicide prevention treatment, the survey found. "In this circumstance where people are going to them and using (them) like a behavioral health provider, let's make sure they have a basic amount of competency," said Rajeev Ramchand, lead author of the study. Army spokeswoman Tatjana Christian said chaplains receive instruction in suicide intervention skills during their basic officer course. The Army Office of Chaplains is studying where there may be gaps in intervention practices, she said. Annual numbers of suicides in the Army began rising in 2004, peaking at 185 deaths among those on active duty in 2012 — a suicide rate of about 30 per 100,000, more than double the rate for civilians. Numbers have since declined to 135 Army suicides in 2014, about where they were in 2008. The RAND study was posted online Tuesday in Spirituality in Clinical Practice, which is published by the American Psychological Association. Researchers did an online survey of about 4,900 Army chaplains and chaplain assistants and based their results on validated responses from about 1,500. The authors said there is scant research on chaplains and suicide prevention. Last month, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention released a study complaining about "meager" investments to understand and prevent suicide, the 10th-leading cause of death in America, claiming 40,000 lives each year. The Action Alliance, a private-public partnership formed in 2010, noted that the annual U.S. investment of $72 million in suicide research pales by comparison with funding for other diseases that claim a similar number of American lives. Two examples cited by the group include $222 million a year for influenza research, a disease that kills 30,700 annually and $304 million in hypertension studies for an illness that claims 56,000 lives per year. The RAND study was paid for by the Pentagon, which is second only to the National Institutes of Health in funding suicide research. The findings were based on a 2012 online survey in which 41% of Army chaplains participated. To see story Click Here Credit Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY