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ND Veterans Affairs News: Federal

June 25, 2014 by Chris Porter

I’ve worked at a few VA medical centers, including four years at the Phoenix VA. I’d like to report something missed in the media storm. Before spilling secrets, though, I’ll dispense with the non-secrets. Everyone who has entered a VA hospital knows:

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 26, 2014 - 05:55PM

For dog lovers, it’s an absolute: The unconditional love of a canine companion heals the soul, reaching into the heart to cross canyons of loneliness and despair.

Military researchers now are trying to learn if there’s real science behind that semimystical link — and if so, whether it can help treat the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 25, 2014 - 10:53 AM

Lawmakers are moving as fast as they can to pass a new Veterans Affairs reform bill. Unfortunately for supporters, that doesn’t guarantee it’ll be finished soon.

Gregg Zoroya
USA TODAY
12:47 p.m. EDT June 18, 2014

Actors have Oscars. Live theater, the Tony Awards. Journalists receive Pulitzers and scientists Nobel Prizes.

Now there is the Lincoln — for veterans.

The idea is to recognize exemplary service by and for veterans. The award is the brain child of an ex-Green Beret and former assistant secretary with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Tommy Sowers, in cooperation with the Friars Club and Friars Foundation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                

June 18, 2014          

WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson today directed all Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Medical Center and Health Care System Directors to conduct monthly in-person reviews of scheduling practices in every clinic within their jurisdiction.  Site inspections will include observing daily scheduling processes and interacting with scheduling staff to ensure all policies are being followed to deliver Veterans the timely care they have earned.

Stacy Kaper
National Journal
June 12, 2014

The Senate’s passage Wednesday of legislation intended to stop veterans from dying waiting for health care is likely to be Congress’s last major reform bill for the year to address failings in veterans’ services or clean up the embattled Veterans Affairs Department.

BY MARK FLATTEN | JUNE 11, 2014 | 6:20 PM
Washington Examiner

Department of Veterans Affairs memo that prohibits top administrators from answering questions from members of Congress, the media or veterans' groups is being called a “gag order” meant to cover up agency wrongdoing by a Kansas congressman.

By Cristina Marcos
The Hill
June 11, 2014, 06:14 pm

The House on Wednesday adopted an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 11, 2014 - 06:00AM

The Senate overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation on Veterans Affairs Department health visits and administrator accountability Wednesday, paving the way for the reforms to become law in a matter of days.

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will automatically apply a 6% interest rate cap to eligible federal student loan borrowers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act without the need for additional paperwork.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014                              

WASHINGTON –Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 27 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) release of results from its Nationwide Access Audit, and other facility level access data.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 12:22PM

While the Veterans Affairs Department encourages former troops with Gulf War illness symptoms to file claims for health care and benefits, only one in five applications are approved, according to data obtained by Military Times.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 05:32PM

Congress appears poised to adopt new legislation making it easier for veterans to get private medical care and harder for underperforming administrators to keep their jobs, under a deal announced by Senate leaders Thursday.

By ANDY MEDICI
Federal Times
Jun. 2, 2014 - 12:24PM

The Veterans Affairs Department secretary would be able to fire senior executives and the agency would receive new hiring authorities and emergency funding under legislation announced June 1.

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