VA News 574 Weeks of April 21 & 28, 2014

VA News 574 Weeks of April 21 & 28, 2014


>>A few of the stories we have
for you this week include.>>A new Women’s Center at the
Washington, D.C., V. A. Medical
Center.>>Four young V.A. research
scientists received the prestigious Presidential Early
Career Scientists and Engineers
Award.>>Another look at the just
completed National Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. And the
Marine Commandant’s take on Paralympians.>>Hello, I’m Katrice Pasture
with the Veterans Health
Administration.>>And I’m Nick Antonetti with
the Office of Information
Security. This is V.A. News.>>Just before we began
production of this show, we learned that V.A. had received
the results of an independent
survey that found satisfaction among Veteran patients as V.
A. is among the best in the
nation.>>Congratulations all around to
V.A. healthcare providers at more than 1700
inpatient and outpatient
facilities across the country. The 2013 American
Customer Satisfaction Index gave
V.A. an overall satisfaction index of
84 for inpatient care and 82 for outpatient care.>>By comparison, the U.S.
hospital industry scored 80 for inpatient care and 83 for
outpatient care. In the ACSI survey, Veteran
patients strongly endorse V.A. healthcare, with 91 percent
offering positive assessments of inpatient care and 92 percent
for outpatient care.>>The ACSI has consistently
shown Veterans have greater satisfaction in V.A. hospitals
and clinics than patients give private sector healthcare
facilities. You can download te
separate inpatient or outpatient surveys
by pasting these addresses into your web
browser.>>Billed as a promise kept, the
Washington, D.C. V.A. Medical Center celebrated
the opening of its new Women’s Health Center recently. Here’s
Dwayne Wingfield with the story.>>There’s a lot of women
Veterans that we need to take care of.>>The Washington, D.C., V.A.
Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new Women’s
Health Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on
April 8, 2014. And to hear V. A. officials tell it, the clinic
won’t be lacking for business.>>It means more women have
access to healthcare. It means
state-of-the-art technology. It means being
able to bring in different
providers to provide that specialty healthcare for
our female Veterans.>>And here at the D.C. V.A.,
the population has been growing, so when there weren’t any women
Veterans here, there are now ovr
16,000 women Veterans enrolled in your healthcare
system and as you heard, 7,300 today are using the services
both here at the main site and at your
community-based, outpatient
clinics.>>The nearly 7200 square foot
outpatient facility will consolidate medical and mental
health care under one roof, significantly increasing the
space dedicated to the care of
women Veterans. The new clinic includes six exam
rooms, two procedure rooms, a meditation and alternative
therapies treatment area, a conference room, a serene
waiting area with computer access, and inset fireplace and
a children’s table.>>We just been in this new
space a couple of weeks. We’ve
already brought diabetes education to this clinic so our
diabetes educator comes here and has a women’s only support
group and education group which
is going to be ongoing. We’re
going to bring our integrative health position to
the clinic to provide alternative medicine
interventions to our women patients. We’re going to bring
telehealth into this clinic. So these are new
things that we’re going to do
going forward.>>During her 24-year career as
a nurse working at the Washington, D.C., V.A. Medical
Center, Gail Bell and her team are responsible for ensuring
the D.C. V.A. Medical Center isa comfortable and convenient
facility where women can feel safe and secure receiving
healthcare.>>We have always desired to
prevent and provide care to our women Veterans in an atmosphere
that was calming, that was inviting, where they felt
secure and certainly comfortable
in the care that they were receiving
here at the D.C. V.A. Medical Center. But we’re really happy
that we’re open to provide the quality care our women Veterans
deserve.>>Four V.A. researchers were
among this year’s Presidential
Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers or
PECASE award. The four were
among 102 scientists and engineers
announced by the White House in December as the newest PECASE
award recipients. President
Obama presented the awards at te
White House. The four PECASE awardees from
V.A. are — Dr. Karunesh Ganguly with the Neurology and
Rehabilitation Research and Development Service at the San
Francisco V.A. Medical Center. Dr. Brian Head with the V.A.
Biomedical Laboratory Science Research and Development
Service at the V.A. San Diego
Healthcare System. Dr. Katherine Iverson, a
psychologist with the Clinical Science Research and
Development Service in the
Women’s Health Sciences Division for the
National Center for PTSD at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System.
And Dr. Hardeep Singh with the Houston V.A. Health Services
Research and Development of Excellence at the Michael E.
DeBakey V.A. Medical Center. Three of the research scientists
were able to take the time to talk to talk to us about their
work.>>I’m a clinical neurologist at
the V.A. and then part of what our lab does is look at how to
use emerging neurotechnology to help with the recovery and to
help serve ultimately Veterans to experience improved
function. Currently, we are ata
stage where we’re primarily examining
animal models and we work on non-human primates as well as
rodents. And the goal of our
research is to understand how can the brain
exert control over external devices and specifically what
we do is have models in which
these animals learn to control
external devices using only ther
brain activity.>>I’m a basic scientist in my
training and I look at how receptors are organized in the
cell membrane and specifically protocol caveolin, which helps
to organize a variety of receptors that are critical for
neural transmission as well as
growth. And so what I found is that when
I over expressed this gene to make more caveolin only in
neurons that it created a rapid enhancement in growth. So I
then injected the gene into the brains of mice and they
showed improvement in functional growth as well as enhancement
in memory. A TBI is high
incidence among the Veterans both from Iraq and
Afghanistan and TBI can also kind of grow into PTSD at late
changes, as well as spinal cord injuries. So what I’m hoping
to do is bring this to the clinc
so that I can increase growth in the
brain of injured Veterans as well as the spinal cord to
improve the daily lives, whether it’s going to work, driving a
car, or even just with their relationships at home.>>Well, intimate partner
violence which is commonly
referred to as IPV refers to physical, sexual, or
psychological aggression from a
past or current intimate partner. So sometimes it’s
confused with domestic violence
which is a broader term that refers to any
kind of family violence. And intimate partner violence
refers specifically to instances of aggression between intimate
partners. And that’s what I
focus on in terms of women’s experience of
intimate partner violence because women are
disproportionately affected by
IPV.>>Dr. Singh was releasing a
paper on his work at the time of
the interviews. The title of his project is
“Automated Point of Care
Surveillance of Outpatient Delays in Cancer
Diagnoses.” Dr. Singh’s research began on the front
lines of V.A. primary care and is focused on improving
patient safety in the context of
the V. A.’ s electronic health record.>>Some 400 Veterans with
traumatic brain injuries, spinal
cord injuries, orthopedic amputation, visual
impairments, and other
disabilities attended the 28th National Disabled
Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snow Mass, Colorado March 30
through April 4.>>And more than 200 certified
ski instructors for the disabled
volunteered to help V.A. and the disabled American Veterans meet
our commitment to improving the quality of life for Veterans
with disabilities.>>The five-day clinic consists
of downhill and cross country ski lessons, a challenge race,
adaptive sports workshop, and educational classes plus
sponsored and self directed
alternate activities like scuba diving, sled hockey, a climbing
wall, snow mobiling, and other activities.>>Secretary Shinseki helped
open the clinic this year.>>For a number of cultures,
mountains are sacred places. An ancient Pueblo saying advises
“Remember always to look to the mountain top. For in doing so,
you look to greatness.” Let no problem, no matter how
great, discourage you. But
here’s what I want you to understand. There are a lot of
high places around here. Except for us, except for us,
this mountain would just be another high place. I know the
mayor doesn’t want to hear that. There are lots of other high
places out here. Our coming
here, we give this mountain meaning by coming
here. We give it inspiration by what we do here. And we
give it healing powers by letting it change the rest of
our lives. That’s what this wek
is about. There’s a lot of living left to
do, so let’s get on with it. Good luck. Have a great week.
God bless all of you. Thank yo.>>As we reported in the last
V.A. News, during the week of the Winter Clinic, many
paralympians and Olympians were in Washington, D.C ., for the
first ever Best of the U.S. Awards Program. Veterans and
active military participants wee
among the contestants for awards of
distinction. We got a chance to
speak for a few minutes with the current
and 35th Marine Corps Commandant>>I couldn’t be prouder. I
have met a lot of them through our own annual trials, Warrior
Games we have every year. I know all of the Marines and I
have met a lot of the soldiers and our special operators. So
for me it’s a bit of a reunion
and I get to see them. And the fact that they
competed in the Paralympics and
associate and I’m excited about seeing
them tonight.>>The Community Resource and
Referral Center operating under the V.A. Medical Center in
Washington, D.C., has begun a
unique program to help at-risk and
homeless Veterans obtain gainful
employment. The Center build a commercial
kitchen and through the
Compensated Work Therapy Program it’s teaching the culinary arts
to a number of Veterans. They had their first graduate
recently.>>A couple of years ago, our
esteemed Secretary stated that he wanted V.A. to get
involved in food service.>>The culinary program is
really a part of offering a one stop shop for Veterans who
are either homeless or at risk
for homelessness.>>The program is outstanding.
Chef Joe is an outstanding teacher.>>I have them for 11 weeks out
of the 16 week program, teaching all the techniques, procedures,
safety, how to handle protein safely, sanitation, all those
things. And then gradually
building them up to adapt because it’s very
intense.>>We teach Veterans how to cook
from scratch so they’re learning new recipes every day. Chef
Gerald is a wonderful person. He’s teaching them all the
basics about produce, meats, how to cut.>>For some of them, culinary
arts has been their passion.
They love to cook and this is an
opportunity to make sort of a dream come
true.>>I cook because I like to eat,
so I have a lot of favorites. I think it’s opened up a lot of
opportunities for me. And I’ve been out of work for
some time, so I’m really looking
forward to getting back to work.>>There is a growing body of
evidence that if they are able to get employment, their
overall outcomes are markedly
improved.>>Every major city, there’s a
high percentage of hospitality in that city. Everybody has to
eat, so why not the food service
industry?>>A long time ago, I wanted to
find some type of means of
opening up a place where I can do the things that I like that
I’m passionate about.>>Did you know V.A. actually
continues the salute to Veteran
patients throughout the year to encourage volunteerism at V.A.
facilities. The V. A. Voluntay
Services Annual Conference was in North
Carolina the week of April 21. The youth and adult volunteers
of the year will be introduced at the conference to V.A.
employees and Veteran service organization representatives.
We’ll show you who they are in the next V.A. News. Meanwhile
here is a public service
announcement by the 2014 Voluntary Service National
Salute Chairperson David James Elliott. It’s airing
nationwide.>>Hi. I’m David James Elliott.
During my career, I’ve played
many different roles. One of the closest to my heart
was that of a Naval officer. That’s because away from the
studio I’m passionate about supporting our nation’s
Veterans. As Chairman of the
V.A.’s National Salute to Veterans
Patients, I urge you to volunter
at your local V.A. medical facility. If you can’t
do that, please consider an
online donation to benefit our Veterans. Go to
the website on our screen and be a V.A. volunteer.>>That’s all we have for this
week. Thank you for making V.A.
News part of your day. I’m Nick
Antonetti.>>And I’m Katrica Pasture.
Have a really nice day, please. They are the best kind.

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