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  • VA releases plans for sweeping health care overhaul

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials on Monday presented Congress with their formal plan to ease rules concerning veterans seeking medical appointments outside the VA system at government expense, potentially sending tens of thousands of new veterans into the private sector for care.

    The proposal once again raises questions about the long-term goals of the VA medical system and potential privatization of veterans care, issues that have already caused infighting among some veterans groups and Capitol Hill lawmakers.

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  • VA Studying Suicide Prevention In Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Suicide among veterans is 22 percent higher than for civilians of the same age. The VA and the Pentagon have been studying how to prevent suicides.

    Transcript (click the associated article URL to play the audio version of this article):

    DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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  • Don't abandon our female veterans to staggering risk of suicide

    Type of content: News

    Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs released an updated version of its “Veteran Suicide Statistics by State” report, the most comprehensive examination of veteran suicide in American history which analyzed over 55 million records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states and four territories.

    One of the most staggering public health statistics in this report was the rate of female veterans’ suicide rate: 250 percent higher than civilian women.

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    Women Veterans
  • VA's suicide prevention hotline expanding to third site

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials will open a third call center for the Veterans Crisis Line in Kansas in coming weeks, a move that’s expected to add about 100 new personnel to the emergency response service.

    The new office will be located in Topeka on the campus of VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System. More than 500 staffers currently operate the around-the-clock hotline out of locations in New York and Georgia.

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  • Suicide among veterans highest in western U.S., rural areas

    Type of content: News

    Social isolation, gun ownership and access to health care may be factors

    WASHINGTON — Suicide among military veterans is especially high in the western U.S. and rural areas, according to new government data that show wide state-by-state disparities and suggest social isolation, gun ownership and access to health care may be factors.

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  • The Suicide Contagion: How The Effort To Combat Veterans’ Suicide May Be Making It Worse

    Type of content: News

    In May 2011, amid President Barack Obama’s troop surge, the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division began leaving Afghanistan after a grueling year-long tour. By the end of the summer, the entire division had returned home to Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, greeted by a succession of parades and award ceremonies honoring the 101st’s sacrifice in some of Afghanistan’s most volatile regions, where a total of 131 Screaming Eagles lost their lives and many more were wounded. Chests were adorned with medals; families were reunited; alcohol flowed.

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  • New Pentagon rules aim to broaden reviews of 'bad paper' dismissals

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans advocates are hopeful that more veterans with “bad paper” dismissals will be able to upgrade their discharge status now that defense officials have released clearer guidance of how to handle a host of mental health and injury cases.

    The new memo, released Monday by the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office, states that reviewers must take into consideration “conditions resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, sexual assault or sexual harassment” when deciding whether to upgrade a veterans’ status.

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    VA
  • In Norfolk, VA Secretary outlined 5 priorities for overhauling veterans' care

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.

    “The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

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  • Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

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  • Veterans' health-care gap creates 'greater risk' for opioid abuse

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The information about the veteran is scant, clinical in tone, yet disturbing.

    "At the time of his death, the patient was a male in his forties with a past medical history significant for PTSD, chronic low back pain, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, and depression," the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general reported.

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    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA

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