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In This Issue October 16, 2014

VVA Convention Resolutions, Constitutional Amendments, Awards Nominations

Improve VA Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Care Programs

VA Contracting Officer Resigns

Alcohol and Opioid Pain Relievers or Benzodiazepines Increase Overdose Risk

Former Gulf War RAC Chair: VA Steers Gulf War Illness Panel Away from Science

For-profit Schools Dependent on Taxpayer Dollars

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

 

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VVA National Convention: July 21 - 25, 2015
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VVA Convention Resolutions, Constitutional Amendments, Awards Nominations 

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Proposed amendments to the VVA Constitution and VVA Convention Resolutions can be made online. Use the buttons below to submit amendments and resolutions (each separately). Submissions for both are due no later than March 22, 2015. NOTE: If you submitted your amendment prior to October 14, please resubmit it.

Submit Constitutional Amendments Online Here

Submit Resolution Proposals Online Here

VVA National Awards are submitted by mail and must be postmarked by May 22, 2015.

VVA National Awards Criteria

VVA National Awards Nomination Form - Download Here

 

As Reported byThe Huffington Post Blog

Improve VA Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Care Programs

Representative John Delaney (D-MD) wrote an October 14 op-ed for The Huffington Post Blog wherein he says that one of the most critical areas of need is improving our suicide-prevention efforts. According to a study conducted by the VA, on average, 22 veterans a day commit suicide. That's one tragedy every 65 minutes, and according to analysis done by CNN, that number could be even higher. This is an area where the American people are clearly united that we have to do more. 

Read complete story here

As Reported by The Washington Post

VA Contracting Officer Resigns

VA Seal

According to an October 15 Washington Post story by Josh Hicks, a top VA contracting officer, who allegedly steered work to a Virginia firm, resigned Tuesday, eight days after the agency announced that it had begun the process of firing her.

Read complete story here

CDC Report

Alcohol and Opioid Pain Relievers or Benzodiazepines Increase Overdose Risk

According to an October 10 CDC report, Opioid Pain Relievers (OPRs) and benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs most commonly involved in overdose deaths and Emergency Department (ED) visits. When these drugs are combined with alcohol, the risk for overdose increases. In 2010 the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) data, alcohol was involved in 18.5 percent of OPR and 27.2 percent of benzodiazepine drug abuse-related ED visits and over 20 percent of both OPR and benzodiazepine drug-related deaths. Men had a higher percentage than women of alcohol involvement in ED visits for both OPRs and benzodiazepines. More can be done to educate providers and the public about the dangers of combining these substances. 

Read study here

As Reported by the Arizona Republic

Former Gulf War RAC Chair: VA Steers Gulf War Illness Panel Away from Science

James H. Binns, a Phoenix business executive who was the committee chairman until last month, said the new perspectives being sought by the VA will move the committee away from established science.
(Photo: Michael Schennum / The Republic)

According to an October 9 Arizona Republic story by Paul Giblin, the VA is seeking new members who offer "fresh perspectives" for an advisory committee that researches illnesses tied to the first Gulf War.

Read complete story here

As Reported by The Center for Investigative Reporting

For-profit Schools Dependent on Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee about the Office of Inspector General's final report about VA health care facilities in Phoenix, AZ, during a hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. The report on Phoenix found that 28 veterans had 'clinically significant delays' in care and that six of them died but investigators couldn't conclusively li | Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

According to an October 9 article by Aaron Glantz posted to The Center for Investigative Reporting website, more than 100 for-profit colleges are so dependent on taxpayer money that they would be violating a law designed to prevent profiteering, if not for a loophole that excludes GI Bill funds and Department of Defense tuition assistance to active duty military.

Read complete story here

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From the Veterans Health Council

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Flu Shot

Aging, along with certain chronic health conditions, can leave our immune system weakened and even more vulnerable to serious diseases, including pneumococcal pneumonia and new flu strains. As we enter into the winter months and the incidence of respiratory diseases increases, it’s important that we consider getting a flu shot.

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