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  • Statement of VVA National President John Rowan On IOM’s Major Report on PTSD Treatment Programs Statement of VVA National President John Rowan On IOM’s Major Report on PTSD Treatment Programs
    of this newest report can find many of its recommendations for PTSD assessment and treatment re worded from IOM and RAND reports of five and six years ago As an example one new implementation recommendation calls for the departments to encourage and support the use of evidence based methods for PTSD screening treatment and rehabilitation This recommendation has appeared in at least two previous IOM reports and has been a VVA rallying cry to both agencies and Congressional committees for the last decade One new recommendation that VVA applauds however is important to note To study the efficacy of treatment and to move toward measurement based PTSD care in the DoD and VA assessment data should be collected before during and after treatment and should be entered into patients medical records It is the fervent hope of VVA that both departments will finally adopt actual outcome metrics for use with each individual patient instead of just collecting numbers of individuals who enter pass through or drop out of treatment programs Otherwise VVA finds little new in this latest IOM report other than the addition of specific recommendations involving Military Sexual Trauma PTSD and co morbidities However VVA holds out hope

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-017.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America Dismayed with Supreme Court Ruling To Overturn Federal Stolen Valor Act
    we take great pride in our civil liberties And while it is a stretch for us to recognize how lying about military awards earned for exploits never performed constitutes an abridgment of speech under the First Amendment we do acknowledge the ruling of the majority said VVA President John Rowan Veterans who have been through the chaos of combat can sniff out an imposter They can tell when someone isn t what he claims to be Rowan said Under the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 the plaintiff s false claim of having the Medal of Honor could have earned him a year in a federal penitentiary Social ostracism and public humiliation of those who would take what is not theirs what was earned with blood and pain can be every bit as effective as penalties inscribed in black letter law said Rowan noting that the plaintiff in the case heard by the Supreme Court is shunned by most neighbors and has lost his position on the water board on which he had served And so perhaps the penalty for frauds and poseurs those who claim the mantle of service those wannabe prisoners of war those who falsely claim having earned

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-014.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America To Hold National Leadership Conference August 7-11 in Irving, Texas
    Hundreds of Vietnam veteran leaders will come together at the Omni Hotel to take part in seminars meetings and other activities including the Saturday Awards Banquet The Opening Ceremonies will be held Wednesday morning August 8 Steve Kroft the renowned Sixty Minutes television correspondent who served as an Army journalist in the Vietnam War will deliver the Keynote Speech VVA s supporting organization the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America AVVA is for the first time co sponsoring the conference We re very pleased that AVVA and VVA are working together on this always stimulating event said VVA President John Rowan All members of both organizations are now able to take part in all of the Leadership Conference activities something that will greatly benefit all of us The biennial Leadership Conference brings together VVA and AVVA leaders from across the country They will take part in three and a half days of activities including a wide selection of seminars The subjects range from the elements of leadership parliamentary procedures the duties of the officers and board of directors the management of chapters and state councils and media outreach to updates on veterans healthcare successful membership recruitment and retention tools and

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-013.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Seeks President's Help to Study Dow's Dioxin Corn Seed
    Monsanto wish to release genetically modified corn that has increased resistance to 2 4 D What will this mean to Vietnam vets who have already been exposed to this chemical through our military service To our progeny We believe there has been little serious epidemiological investigation by the VA or the CDC or the NIH into this very real issue To add insult to potential injury Dow s naming of this weed control method Enlist is unintended or not a slap at all Vietnam veterans The USDA did perform an environmental assessment on this seed and concluded that its deregulation would have no significant impact on the environment We disagree We submitted formal comments regarding this issue in a letter on April 27 2012 to the USDA s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Given what we know we have major concerns about the effects on biodiversity human health cumulative environmental impacts and the security of the world s food supply The increased use of 2 4 D could significantly harm the economic interests of farmers who grow broadleaf crops such as tomatoes potatoes and grapes which are damaged by 2 4 D The potential for cross pollination and destruction of other varieties of corn and other crops has not been seriously addressed in the environmental assessment although it is a factor in whether or not this corn is a plant pest and can itself be considered a noxious weed because of its impacts on other plant species Dow has also acknowledged that its ultimate goal for its new variety of corn is to eventually seize the market Should this come to pass USDA fails to address how increased use of Dow s product could then impact human health Democracy and free markets cannot exist without an informed citizenry We

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-011.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA’s Veterans Health Council Calls on Senate to Set Aside Drug Importation Amendment and Ensure Immediate Approval of PDUFA
    producers for whom the FDA has no jurisdiction Framed as a cost cutting measure this could serve as a serious threat to our national security It needlessly exposes millions of American patients many of whom are veterans and family members of veterans to medicines the U S simply cannot guarantee to be safe or effective The introduction of this amendment into the vital reauthorization of PDUFA could only serve to slow down or stifle the passage of this important legislation Given the range of chronic diseases still waiting for a cure from cancer to dementia HIV and Alzheimer s Americans should not have to wait to benefit from new and improved treatments PDUFA helps ensure the breakthroughs that researchers are making in treating these chronic illnesses are expediently reviewed for safety and made available for the patients who need them as soon as possible Just as veterans put aside their differences to fight for this nation it is incumbent upon Congress to unite behind the health of its citizens and to ensure that this important legislation is not delayed by individual agendas Congress owes it to the country and to the millions of veterans who served in defense of our

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-010.html (2016-02-15)
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  • President Issues Executive Order to Protect Student Veterans
    misled by schools seeking their federal education benefits and it will reduce fraudulent or deceptive marketing to the military and veterans giving student veterans a better gauge of what schools and technical programs really cost The order will limit institutions and their recruiters with a history of poor behavior from military bases and it will require that current and former troops be given more information before signing up for programs as well as require schools to provide financial aid options added Rowan Rowan also noted that the order will direct the VA to notify the roughly 6 000 schools that participate in the GI Bill program that they are expected to provide students with a federal form called Know Before You Owe which describes federal financial aid and other information and also directs the VA to register the term GI Bill a step urged by some lawmakers and veterans advocates who complain that some businesses use words in their Web addresses to imply that they are government sanctioned In addition the VA and the Defense Department will be ordered to work with other federal agencies to create a centralized system through which service members and veterans can file complaints First

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-009.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Vietnam Veterans of America Applauds VA Decision To Hire More Mental Health Professionals
    support staff at VA Medical Centers around the country It is very important that the Secretary ensure these clinicians are properly oriented to the needs of veterans particularly those with combat related Post traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma Rowan said The ongoing medical education of the VA staff is critical to their effectiveness in the treatment and care for veterans suffering from neuropsychiatric wounds The VA must ensure that all clinicians are trained in the best evidence based medicine for accurate diagnosis and assessment of PTSD as recommended by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in a series of studies commissioned in 2006 and 2007 by the VA It does no good to move toward a proper a level of staffing if the VA does not follow the best recommended medical procedures for accurate diagnoses and assessments of PTSD noted Rowan To read the IOM studies go to http iom edu Reports 2006 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis and Assessment aspx When asked over the last six years why the VA is not doing the proper psychological testing to accurately diagnose PTSD Veterans Health Administration officials at VA headquarters responded that it is too expensive Local clinicians at VA medical centers have responded to the same question by noting that they do not have enough staff to do the proper testing VVA contends that this failure is jeopardizing the recovery of veterans Effective treatment is dependent upon an accurate and complete diagnosis If we do not do the proper diagnosis of PTSD because it is too expensive what s next as a cost saving measure Rowan asked It can be argued that without an accurate diagnosis and assessment it is hit or miss as to whether the mental health clinicians are then applying the proper

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-008.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Newly Disclosed Records Reveal Hundreds More Illegal Personality Disorder Discharges; VVA Finds Navy and Air Force Worst Offenders 
    military has discharged over 31 000 service members on the alleged basis of PD PD can be used as the illegal basis for incorrectly discharging veterans suffering from Post traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury TBI The DoD considers PD a preexisting condition and a PD diagnosis renders veterans ineligible for several benefits On a veteran s discharge paperwork it states clearly discharged for personality disorder and not only does it keep veterans from benefits they may have earned but it is one of the first things that prospective employers see Anyone who sees the veteran s DD 214 can determine the reason for discharge said Paul Barry President of VVA Chapter 120 Hartford Connecticut Shame on the Department of Defense said Dr Thomas J Berger VVA Executive Director for the Veterans Health Council It acknowledged the widespread illegality of these discharges and changed its rules going forward but has left 31 000 wounded warriors alone to fend for themselves denied even basic medical care for their injuries In 2008 Congress directed the Government Accountability Office GAO to investigate illegal personality discharges The Congressional pressure prompted new DoD regulations but VVA has found that illegal personality disorders continued through FY 2010 and that since 2007 the total number of PD discharges has increased at least 20 percent according to documents released under one of two pending VVA Freedom of Information Act FOIA lawsuits In a document obtained by the FOIA lawsuit a Navy report on 2008 2009 PD discharges noted that only 8 9 percent of PD discharges were processed properly This does not paint a pretty picture Additionally VVA analysis of DoD documents uncovered a two fold rise in Adjustment Disorder AD discharges in the United States Air Force from FY 2008 to FY 2010 that may

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2012/pr12-007.html (2016-02-15)
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