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ALS News Today (Higher Rates of ALS Amongst Military Servicemembers & Veterans)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | Category: Health Care - National

This site offers past and current Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALS) news, inclusive of military veteran-specific news.

Research indicates that there is a higher rate of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALS) amongst individuals who served in the military. In 2008, laws passed making ALS a presumptive compensable illness. Through the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are rated at a minimum of 100% with access to other supportive benefits to assist them and their families/caregivers with the veteran’s daily care. Veteran families should expect ALS claims to be processed expeditiously. Families can benefit from assistance from veteran service organizations, particularly the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) who have extensive training in working claims for complicated illnesses.

ALS Awareness Month: ALS in the Military...Unexpected Consequences of Military Service

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | Category: Health Care - National

On April 11, 2019, the ALS Association released a report, “ALS in the Military: Unexpected Consequences of Military Service,” including reviews of numerous studies, reports, and other evidence demonstrating the link between ALS and military service. In summary:

‘Existing evidence supports the conclusion that people who have served in the military are at a greater risk of developing ALS and dying from the disease than those with no history of military service. As outlined in this paper, study after study continues to demonstrate this to be true: If you serve in the military, regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether you served in the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, and regardless of whether you served during a time of peace or a time of war, you are at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if you had not served in the military. The questions we are asking today are these: Why is there a greater risk of ALS with military service? And what are we, as a nation, going to do about it?

It is the goal of The ALS Association that this paper raise awareness of the important work that so far has been done on the relationship between ALS and military service. In this effort, we hope to impress upon the Congress, the Administration and the American public the seriousness of this issue and the need to act now.’

In 2008, the VA implemented regulations to establish a “presumption of service connection” for ALS. Under the regulation, the VA presumes that ALS in military veterans was incurred or aggravated by a veteran’s service in the military. Veterans diagnosed with ALS are rated 100% disabled by the VA through an expedited claims process, understanding the fast progression of the disease and the need for medical equipment and services. The disabled veteran and their survivors are eligible for “service connected” benefits.

The month of May is “ALS Awareness Month,” providing an opportunity to better understand what is known about the disease and how to help afflicted veterans and others as well as their families. A reputable starting point is the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/search/search.jsp?query=ALS+Military&Image2.x=0&Image2.y=0).

K9s For Warriors - Because Together We Stand

Friday, September 14, 2018 | Category: Health Care - National

Meet the founder of K9s for Warriors (a Better Business Bureau accredited charity), a veteran caregiver, and her son, a veteran struggling with PTSD. This article shares the journey many military veterans experience post-military service and how their health, and their rescued dogs’ health, improved when they were paired together to help each other live a productive, more joyful life. As of summer 2018, “the program has rescued more than 850 dogs and 440 military service members, with an astounding 99% program success rate.”

K9s for Warriors: https://www.k9sforwarriors.org

VA Says It Will Not Study Effects Of Medical Marijuana On PTSD And Chronic Pain

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | Category: Health Care - National

Minnesota Representative Tim Walz received a “no can do” response to his request for the VA to research veteran use of medical marijuana. James Clark of Task & Purpose reported: “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says it will not conduct research into the effects of medical cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, some of the very ailments veteran patients rely on the drug to treat. In a Dec. 21 letter to Minnesota Democrat Rep. Tim Walz, VA Secretary David Shulkin said that the department is unable to research medical cannabis due to federal restrictions.”

Factsheet: VA Mission Act 2018 & New Veterans Community Care Program

Friday, June 15, 2018 | Category: Health Care - International

This factsheet provides an overview of what the VA Mission Act 2018 is and why the legislation was passed. Some VA medical centers are hosting listening sessions to share information about the legislation and request feedback from veterans.

White House Launched Veterans' Complaint Hotline: Call 855-948-2311

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 | Category: Health Care - National

Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Shulkin announced the White House "soft launch" of their veterans' complaint phone line on June 1st. Veterans can call 855-948-2311 to voice their concerns. The Secretary noted that the intent of the phone line is to allow "veterans to call in their complaints and concerns about conditions at the Department of Veterans Affairs."

An official launch will occur by August 15, 2017.

Facebook Live-Stream/Q & A May 23, 2017@ 2:00 p.m. EST: VA Office of Women's Health "Women Veterans' Health Panel"

Sunday, May 21, 2017 | Category: Health Care - National

VA Facebook site states:

'In observance of National Women's Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Month, which also occurs in May, the HHS Office on Women's Health is hosting a panel discussion with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Army Medicine and several others to raise awareness about women veteran's health.

Join us live on Facebook as we talk to experts and women veterans about steps that #womenvets can take to improve their health.'

When: May 23, 2017@ 2:00 p.m. EST

Collins Advocates for Improved Neonatal VA Benefits

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | Category: Health Care - National

Newborn medical care within the Department of Veterans Affairs would be extended if H.R. 907, the Newborn Care Improvement Act, introduced by Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) is passed. "Currently, female veterans can receive up to 42 days of post-delivery care from the VA, while their infants are limited to seven days of medical care. Veterans may face medical challenges linked to their service, including high-risk pregnancies. For example, females who give birth within a year of being affected by PTSD are 35% more likely to deliver prematurely, and that means greater health risks for their children."

Healing Retreats May Reduce PTSD Symptoms, Improve Relationships

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | Category: Health Care - National

The Institute for the Health of Military Families released the findings of their study of four-day healing retreats. They found that: "Preliminary results indicate that therapeutic retreats can reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms in veterans and improve relationships for both veterans and their caregivers." Retreats include a variety of activities, including PTSD education, acupuncture, yoga and art therapy.

Military Hospitals Work to Improve Care of Women and Newborns

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 | Category: Health Care - National

A Government Accounting Office report found that all 41 domestic military hospitals offered general gynecological care, such as contraceptive services and cervical cancer screening. Basic maternity and neonatal care was offered at 37 of them and fewer offered more specialized care, such as treatment for gynecological cancers. In 2015, the Department of Defense’s Military Health System (MHS) collected data for 90 maternity, neonatal, and gynecological care quality measures. This data is being used to identify and improve lagging areas of care.

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