Archive for May, 2018

Bill directing the Secretary of VA to establish Alzheimer’s disease research, education, and clinical centers introduced

Representative Mike Coffman (CO) introduced H.R. 5191, a bill directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish at least three Alzheimer’s disease research, education, and clinical centers within the Department.

Image result for Mike Coffman (CO)

Studies show veterans who experienced brain trauma in the course of their service are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.  Likewise, veterans who experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are twice as likely as those without PTSD to develop dementia.

VA’s Geriatric and Mental Illness research, education and clinical centers have become models of innovation which synergize the worlds of research, education and patient care using evidence-based practices to develop new patient care models and clinical treatment protocols for veterans.  These laboratories also often serve to recruit or retain top-flight scarce medical practitioners from leading universities who are then available to treat veterans and educate the next generation of physicians and independent practitioners receiving training within the VA. While these clinical centers conduct geriatric research and education none are focused exclusively on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia although VA does operate centers focused on Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and Multiple Sclerosis.

DAV Resolution 061 calls on VA to support integrated and effective models of care for veterans with dementia.  Creating these new centers will assist VA in determining how best to meet the unique needs of service-disabled veterans with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and allow researchers and physicians to focus on developing best practices and effective treatments so that these veterans can be cared for with dignity, compassion and respect.

Please use the prepared letter and ask your Representative to cosponsor and pass H.R. 5191. Thank you for your support of America’s disabled veterans.

Take Action

 

25 May, 2018  Posted by Beth   1 Comment »
Read More

Please Contact Your Senators and Urge Them to Vote YES on Critical Legislation to Expand Caregiver Benefits and Strengthen Veterans Health Care

Earlier this week the House passed legislation to expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans as well as begin a major reform to strengthen the VA health care system, but now we need to be sure it passes the Senate next week.

Image result for vote yes

The legislation, called the VA MISSION Act, developed in collaboration with DAV and other VSOs has strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate-passing the House by a vote of 347 to 70.  The bill is supported by virtually every major veterans organization, including DAV, PVA, VFW and The American Legion.  Now we need to ensure that every Senator understands how important this legislation is to DAV members, their families and caregivers.

As you know, DAV has long advocated for extending comprehensive caregiver benefits to veterans injured and ill prior to September 11, 2001.  Thanks to all of your efforts supporting our Unsung Heroes Initiative over the past year, this legislation would take major strides to provide equity to thousands of family caregivers currently ineligible for that benefit because they served prior to 9/11.  This will be the most important vote for caregivers in almost a decade and we must be certain that Congress hears our voices.

The legislation would also consolidate VA’s community care programs and develop integrated networks of VA and community providers to supplement, not supplant VA health care, so that all enrolled veterans have timely access to quality medical care.  In addition, it would provide VA with new tools to hire and retain quality health care professionals to expand VA’s internal capacity.  Finally, the bill would require the development of a long-term plan to realign and modernize VA’s health care infrastructure so that its hospitals and clinics are located where veterans will need them in the future.

Please use the prepared electronic letter, or draft your own, to urge your Member of Congress to support and vote for the VA MISSION Act.

Thanks for your continuing support of America’s injured and ill veterans, their families and caregivers.

Write Your Senators

Tweet Your Senators

 

20 May, 2018  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on Please Contact Your Senators and Urge Them to Vote YES on Critical Legislation to Expand Caregiver Benefits and Strengthen Veterans Health Care
Read More

National Caregiver Support Call-In Day – Tuesday, May 15 Ask Your Representative to Support the VA MISSION Act

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the “VA MISSION Act” tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, legislation that would expand the VA Comprehensive Family Caregiver Program to veterans injured in service before September 11, 2001. This historic legislation would finally provide fairness for thousands of family caregivers of seriously injured veterans from World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars.

The bipartisan VA MISSION ACT, which was approved by the House VA Committee last week, would also consolidate and reform VA’s community care programs, as well as provide for the assessment and modernization of VA’s health care infrastructure.

Now, however, it is critical that the legislation pass the full House with a strong majority so that the Senate will take it up next week.  To help build support in the House, DAV and other VSOs are organizing a National Caregiver Support Call-In Day TODAY to make sure our voices – and all those who support family caregivers of disabled veterans – are heard loud and clear.

So please take just a few minutes TODAY to call your Member of Congress and urge them to VOTE YES on the VA MISSION Act.  And don’t’ forget to share this with your family and friends so that they can do the same!

Call Your Representative

You can find your Representative and their office phone number by entering your zip code at this website: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.

Or you can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Representative. You can use our script to talk to the staffer you are connected with:

For Veterans/Caregivers/Family Members-

Hello, my name is [your name] and I live in Rep. [name] district.

I am calling to urge Rep. [name] to vote YES on the VA MISSION Act.

As a [veteran/caregiver/family member], I strongly support this legislation to expand VA’s comprehensive caregiver assistance program to veterans injured before September 11, 2001. 

This legislation would also improve veterans’ health care by consolidating and reforming VA’s community care programs, as well as developing a plan for modernizing and realigning VA’s health care infrastructure.

Please let Rep. [name] know that the best way they can support veterans and their family caregivers is by voting YES on the VA MISSION Act.

OR you can simply call your Representative’s office and in your own words, ask them to VOTE YES on the VA MISSION Act. Typically they will take your name and message and will not ask you to answer any questions about the legislation.  If they do, please feel free to refer them to DAV’s caregiver website: www.unsungheroesinitiative.org.

Thanks once again for your continuing support of America’s injured and ill veterans, their families and caregivers.

15 May, 2018  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on National Caregiver Support Call-In Day – Tuesday, May 15 Ask Your Representative to Support the VA MISSION Act
Read More

Please Help Us Pass Critical Legislation to Expand Caregiver Benefits and Strengthen Veterans Health Care

Next week the House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation that would expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans as well as begin a major reform to strengthen the VA health care system.  The legislation, H.R. 5674, the VA MISSION Act of 2018, was developed in collaboration with DAV and other VSOs; has strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate; and just passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee with a strong bipartisan vote of 20 to 2.  This bill is supported by virtually every major veterans organization, including DAV, VFW and The American Legion.  Now we need to ensure that every Member of Congress understands how important this legislation is to DAV members, their families and caregivers.

As you know, DAV has long advocated for extending comprehensive caregiver benefits to veterans injured and ill prior to September 11, 2001.  Thanks to all of your efforts supporting our Unsung Heroes Initiative over the past year, this legislation would take major strides to provide equity to thousands of family caregivers currently ineligible for that benefit because they served prior to 9/11.  This will be the most important vote for caregivers in almost a decade and we must be certain that Congress hears our voices.

The legislation would also consolidate VA’s community care programs and develop integrated networks of VA and community providers to supplement, not supplant VA health care, so that all enrolled veterans have timely access to quality medical care.  In addition, it would provide VA with new tools to hire and retain quality health care professionals to expand VA’s internal capacity.  Finally, the bill would require the development of a long-term plan to realign and modernize VA’s health care infrastructure so that its hospitals and clinics are located where veterans will need them in the future.

Please use the prepared electronic letter, or draft your own, to urge your Member of Congress to support and vote for H.R. 5674, the VA MISSION Act.

Thanks for your continuing support of America’s injured and ill veterans, their families and caregivers.

Take Action

 

13 May, 2018  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on Please Help Us Pass Critical Legislation to Expand Caregiver Benefits and Strengthen Veterans Health Care
Read More

Please stand up for the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 bill introduced in Congress

On April 11, 2018, Congressman Daniel Lipinski (IL), introduced H.R. 5467, the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018.

Image result for Congressman Daniel Lipinski (IL)

Access to the Department of Defense (DoD) commissary stores and Morale, Welfare & Recreational (MWR) retail facilities is currently limited to active duty service members and dependents, Guard and reservists, military retirees, certain surviving spouses of deceased service members and veterans rated at 100 percent permanently disabled. In November 2017, the Secretary of DoD granted online access to MWR retail facilities to all honorably discharged veterans.

This legislation, H.R. 5467, will expand eligibility to physical commissary stores and MWR retail facilities to veterans awarded the Purple Heart, Medal of Honor recipients, former prisoners of war, veterans with a service-connected disability and caregivers of certain veterans.

DAV supports this legislation as it is in agreement with DAV Resolution No. 222, to expand commissary privileges to all service-connected veterans. Please use the prepared electronic letter or draft your own to urge your Member of Congress to support and cosponsor H.R. 5467.

Standing up for veterans is vital and we appreciate your advocacy. Your actions help make DAV a highly influential and effective organization in Washington. Thank you for all you do for America’s ill and injured veterans and their families

Take Action

06 May, 2018  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on Please stand up for the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 bill introduced in Congress
Read More