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Department of Veterans Affairs — The VA's Veteran Health Administration, in support of the Open Data Initiative, is providing the Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Synthetic Dataset (VASPSD). The...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR) receives and stores information on cancer diagnosis and treatment constraints compiled and sent in by the local...
...: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease. SUMMARY: The... preference and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their...
...: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL). SUMMARY... and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families...
...: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL). SUMMARY... and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families...
... Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of intent to enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL). SUMMARY: The... homelessness and their families; and provide a supportive services program that guides resident Veterans toward...
... of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL). SUMMARY: The... homelessness and their families; and provide a supportive services program that guides resident Veterans toward...
... Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease. SUMMARY: The Secretary of... and Veterans at risk of homelessness; and provide a supportive services program that guides resident...
Bakaeen, Faisal G; Stephens, Elizabeth H; Chu, Danny; Holman, William L; Vaporciyan, Ara A; Merrill, Walter H; Grover, Frederick L
With cardiothoracic education going through a critical phase of reevaluation and adaptation, we investigated perceptions of Veterans Affairs hospitals in cardiothoracic training. A content-validated survey was distributed electronically to 676 cardiothoracic surgery residents, recent cardiothoracic graduates (on or after June 2006), cardiothoracic surgery chairpersons, program directors, associate program directors, and section heads. The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network was used to identify target recipients and their e-mail addresses. Forty-three percent of the target recipients (292/676) completed the survey. Of those who were residents, 59% (65/111) rotated at a Veterans Affairs hospital during their cardiothoracic training; this rotation accounted for 25% or more of the total training period for 19% of them (21/111). A Veterans Affairs appointment was held by 42% of program directors/chairpersons (20/48) and 24% of graduates, associate program directors, and section heads (31/129). An affiliation with a Veterans Affairs hospital was rated as somewhat to very beneficial by 93% of the responders (273/292), and the cardiothoracic training received at Veterans Affairs facilities was rated as good to excellent by 73% of the responders (213/292). Sixty-nine percent of respondents (201/292) reported the operating room environment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to be at least as conducive to learning as that at the affiliate teaching hospital, and 76% (223/292) indicated that residents get more autonomy and hands-on experience at Veterans Affairs institutions. In addition, 64% of responders (188/292) reported that they would seek or recommend a Veterans Affairs job. Responses were positive toward the Veterans Affairs system regardless of whether the responder had any Veterans Affairs affiliation (ie, appointment as staff or rotation as resident); however, a Veterans Affairs affiliation was associated with a higher rate of positive responses regarding Veterans Affairs
... Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease. SUMMARY: The Secretary of VA... homelessness; and provide a supportive services program that guides resident Veterans toward attaining long...
Department of Veterans Affairs — Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a health care benefit program designed for the dependents of certain Veterans....
Contracting Letter 1 Background 3 The Extent to Which VA Used IAAs Is Unknown Due to Incomplete Information 10 Management of the Award and Oversight...of IAAs Varied, and in Some Cases Did Not Comply with Policy 13 VA Obligated Over $244 Million to FFRDCs with Significant Increases for Two VA...Documentation among Selected IAA Orders 14 Table 2: Veterans Affairs Obligations to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, Fiscal
... 96910. Hawaii Director, Department of Social Services & Housing, Veterans Affairs Section, 3949 Diamond..., CA 95814. Colorado Director, Division of Veterans Affairs, Department of Social Services, 1575..., Trenton, NJ 08608. New Mexico Director, Veterans Service Commission, P.O. Box 2324, Santa Fe, NM 87503...
... representation at funeral. When requested by the person entitled to the custody of the body of a deceased beneficiary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, official representation at the funeral will be granted... Veterans Affairs representation at funeral. 3.1611 Section 3.1611 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief...
Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; White-Kazemipour, Whitney; Washington, Donna; Villa, Valentine M; Dhanani, Shawkat; Harada, Nancy D
Diverse veteran's perspectives on the accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services are presented. The qualitative methodology uses 16 focus groups (N = 178) stratified by war cohort (World War II and Korean Conflict versus Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War) and four ethnic/racial categories (African American, Asian American, European American, Hispanic American). Five themes emerged regarding veterans' health care expectations: (1) better information regarding available services, (2) sense of deserved benefits, (3) concern about welfare stigma, (4) importance of physician attentiveness, and (5) staff respect for patients as veterans. Although veterans' ethnic/racial backgrounds differentiated their military experiences, it was the informants' veteran identity that framed what they expected of VA health services. Accessibility and acceptability of VA health care is related to veterans' perspectives of the nature of their entitlement to service. Provider education and customer service strategies should consider the identified factors to increase access to VA as well as improve veterans' acceptance of the care.
Hussey, Peter S.; Ringel, Jeanne S.; Ahluwalia, Sangeeta; Price, Rebecca Anhang; Buttorff, Christine; Concannon, Thomas W.; Lovejoy, Susan L.; Martsolf, Grant R.; Rudin, Robert S.; Schultz, Dana; Sloss, Elizabeth M.; Watkins, Katherine E.; Waxman, Daniel; Bauman, Melissa; Briscombe, Brian
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) current and projected health care capabilities and resources. An examination of data from a variety of sources, along with a survey of VA medical faci...
Patricia L Schirmer
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR, 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US, outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL, in 2009-2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. METHODOLOGY: Outpatient encounters from 1/2007-12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009-12/2010 with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE. Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. FINDINGS: Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. CONCLUSIONS: Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This is a monthly report that the VA Office of Information Technology provides to congress about data incidents that took place during the month (April 2014). The...
Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Griffin, Anne R; Chu, Karen; Dobalian, Aram
Background Like other integrated health systems, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has widely implemented telehealth during the past decade to improve access to care for its patient population. During major crises, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has the potential to transition healthcare delivery from traditional care to telecare. This paper identifies the types of Veterans Affairs telehealth services used during Hurricane Sandy (2012), and examines the patient characteristics of those users. Methods This study conducted both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Veterans Affairs administrative and clinical data files were used to illustrate the use of telehealth services 12 months pre- and 12 months post- Hurricane Sandy. In-person interviews with 31 key informants at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center three-months post- Hurricane Sandy were used to identify major themes related to telecare. Results During the seven-month period of hospital closure at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center after Hurricane Sandy, in-person patient visits decreased dramatically while telehealth visits increased substantially, suggesting that telecare was used in lieu of in-person care for some vulnerable patients. The most commonly used types of Veterans Affairs telehealth services included primary care, triage, mental health, home health, and ancillary services. Using qualitative analyses, three themes emerged from the interviews regarding the use of Veterans Affairs telecare post- Hurricane Sandy: patient safety, provision of telecare, and patient outreach. Conclusion Telehealth offers the potential to improve post-disaster access to and coordination of care. More information is needed to better understand how telehealth can change the processes and outcomes during disasters. Future studies should also evaluate key elements, such as adequate resources, regulatory and technology issues, workflow integration, provider resistance, diagnostic fidelity and
Veterans Affairs, Volume 1: Integrated Report (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 1, 2015). This assessment was conducted in response to a requirement in the Veterans...VETERANS AFFAIRS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations...Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems What GAO Found GAO
Marx, Brian P; Engel-Rebitzer, Eden; Bovin, Michelle J; Parker-Guilbert, Kelly S; Moshier, Samantha; Barretto, Kenneth; Szafranski, Derek; Gallagher, Matthew W; Holowka, Darren W; Rosen, Raymond C; Keane, Terence M
This study examined the influence of veterans' race and examiners' use of psychometric testing during a Department of Veterans Affairs posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) disability examination on diagnostic and service connection status outcomes. Participants were 764 veterans enrolled in a national longitudinal registry. Current and lifetime PTSD diagnostic status was determined with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and was compared with PTSD diagnosis conferred upon veterans by their compensation and pension (C&P) examiners as well as with ultimate Veterans Affairs (VA) PTSD service connected status. The concordance rate between independent SCID current PTSD diagnosis and PTSD disability examination diagnosis was 70.4%, and between SCID lifetime PTSD diagnosis and PTSD disability examination diagnosis was 77.7%. Among veterans with current SCID diagnosed PTSD, Black veterans were significantly less likely than White veterans to receive a PTSD diagnosis from their C&P examiner (odds ratio [OR] = .39, p = .003, confidence interval [CI] = .20-.73). Among veterans without current SCID diagnosed PTSD, White veterans were significantly more likely than Black veterans to receive a PTSD diagnosis from their C&P examiner (OR = 4.07, p = .005, CI = 1.51-10.92). Splitting the sample by use of psychometric testing revealed that examinations that did not include psychometric testing demonstrated the same relation between veteran race and diagnostic concordance. However, for examinations in which psychometric testing was used, the racial disparity between SCID PTSD status and disability exam PTSD status was no longer significant. Results suggest that psychometric testing may reduce disparities in VA PTSD disability exam outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
This article examines the disability compensation programs and health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from the perspective of therapeutic jurisprudence scholarship. VA psychiatric patients have unambiguous financial incentives to endlessly litigate disability claims, to seek lengthy hospitalization rather than outpatient treatment, and to be ill, disabled, and unemployed. These countertherapeutic incentives reward incapacitation, encourage perceiving one-self as sick, diminish personal responsibility, taint treatment relationships, and lead to disparaging perceptions of VA patients. In addition, such perceptions produce moral dilemmas that arise from mutual distrust and frustration when patients and caregivers have antagonistic goals for the clinical encounter. Changes in disability determination procedures, compensation levels, and patterns of payment for treatment could give VA patients and caregivers a "healthier" health care system that encourages personal responsibility and promotes respectful attitudes toward patients. In the absence of such changes, an awareness of countertherapeutic financial incentives can help clinicians distinguish between psychopathological behavior and the pursuit of a rational income strategy, and can help practitioners recognize that apparently deceitful or litigious behavior represents a reasonable response to the economic contingencies that VA patients face.
... placement for senior, disabled, homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810...
Misra-Hebert, Anita D; Santurri, Laura; DeChant, Richard; Watts, Brook; Sehgal, Ashwini R; Aron, David C
To assess health status among student veterans at a community college utilizing a partnership between a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a community college. Student veterans at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, in January to April 2013. A health assessment survey was sent to 978 veteran students. Descriptive analyses to assess prevalence of clinical diagnoses and health behaviors were performed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess for independent predictors of functional limitations. 204 students participated in the survey (21% response rate). Self-reported depression and unhealthy behaviors were high. Physical and emotional limitations (45% and 35%, respectively), and pain interfering with work (42%) were reported. Logistic regression analyses confirmed the independent association of self-reported depression with functional limitation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-7.8, p stress disorder with pain interfering with work (OR 3.9, CI 1.1-13.6, p student veterans at a community college. A partnership between a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a community college can be utilized to help understand the health needs of veteran students. Reprint & Copyright © 2015 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
... of an Assisted Living Facility in Newington, CT AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION... required to construct, renovate, operate and maintain an assisted living facility; provide preference and...
... year-to-year performance. One method divided the State agencies into two groups based on comparing each... DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Veterans' Employment and Training Service 20 CFR Part 1001 RIN 1293-AA18 Uniform National Threshold Entered Employment Rate for Veterans AGENCY: Veterans' Employment and Training...
The deployment of National Guard and Reserve forces and active duty soldiers has created new veterans of a foreign war. What role should education and educational benefits play in their return to civilian life? Since 1944, GI Bills have financed the college education of a large group of veterans, and have come to be viewed by some as a right--as a…
Wong, Edwin S; Maciejewski, Matthew L; Herbert, Paul L; Bryson, Christopher L; Liu, Chuan-Fen
Veterans Health Administration (VA) operates the largest integrated health system in the nation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require any changes to VA, but the individual mandate and expanded health insurance options may change veterans' preferences for coverage. We examined the impact of healthcare reform in Massachusetts, which also included these policy changes, on veterans' enrollment in VA, private insurance, and Medicaid. Massachusetts' healthcare reform in June 2006 served as a natural experiment. Using data from the 2004-2013 Current Population Surveys, we examined enrollment in VA, private insurance, and Medicaid, comparing veterans residing in Massachusetts with veterans residing in neighboring New England states that did not undergo health reform. We estimated the probability of being enrolled in VA, private insurance, and Medicaid before and after healthcare reform, using multivariate probit models while adjusting for individual characteristics. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we compared pre-post changes in enrollment probability among Massachusetts and non-Massachusetts veterans, respectively. Compared with other New England veterans, Massachusetts veterans decreased their enrollment in VA and private insurance by 0.2 (P = .857) and 0.9 (P = .666) percentage points, respectively, following health reform. In contrast, Medicaid enrollment increased by 2.5 percentage points (P = .038). Healthcare reform in Massachusetts was associated with greater Medicaid enrollment, but was not significantly associated with VA and private insurance enrollment. Our results are significant for informing VA fiscal planning in the post ACA era.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates one of the largest nationwide healthcare systems and is increasing use of internet technology, including development of an online personal health record system called My HealtheVet. This study examined internet use among veterans in general and particularly use of online health information among VA patients and specifically mental health service users. A nationally representative sample of 7215 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans was used. Logistic regression was employed to examine background characteristics associated with internet use and My HealtheVet. 71% of veterans reported using the internet and about a fifth reported using My HealtheVet. Veterans who were younger, more educated, white, married, and had higher incomes were more likely to use the internet. There was no association between background characteristics and use of My HealtheVet. Mental health service users were no less likely to use the internet or My HealtheVet than other veterans. Most veterans are willing to access VA information online, although many VA service users do not use My HealtheVet, suggesting more education and research is needed to reduce barriers to its use. Although adoption of My HealtheVet has been slow, the majority of veterans, including mental health service users, use the internet and indicate a willingness to receive and interact with health information online.
exposure in numerous epidemiologic studies.25 This law also established a program to provide disability compensation to radiation-exposed veterans who...to include a “medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia , and irritable bowel syndrome) that...conduct an epidemiological study of the possible health effects in veterans who served in Vietnam of exposure to dioxin as found in herbicides including
.../Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/ VBA))--Match Number 1309 AGENCY: Social Security Administration (SSA... announces a renewal of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting with VA/VBA... Matching Program, SSA With the Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/VBA) A...
Wong, Edwin S; Hebert, Paul L; Nelson, Karin M; Hernandez, Susan E; Sylling, Philip W; Fihn, Stephan D; Liu, Chuan-Fen
Prior research examining the relationship between economic conditions and health service demand has focused primarily on outpatient use. This study examines whether local area unemployment, as an indicator of economic conditions, was associated with use of inpatient care, which is theoretically less subject to discretionary use. Using a random sample of 131,603 patients dually enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System and fee-for-service Medicare, we measured VA, Medicare, and total (VA and Medicare) hospitalizations. Overall, local unemployment was not associated with VA, Medicare, or total hospitalization probability. Among low-income veterans exempt from VA copayments, higher local unemployment was moderately associated with a lower probability of hospitalization through Medicare. For veterans subject to VA copayments, higher local unemployment was moderately associated with a higher likelihood of VA hospitalization. These results suggest inpatient use is less sensitive to the economy, although worse economic conditions slightly affected inpatient demand for select veterans. © The Author(s) 2015.
from diverse locations, rural and urban. VBA is no exception, and understands that 12 a Veteran might have to traverse quite a distance to reach its...highest priorities: Veteran homelessness , “VBA access” to allow improved awareness of available VA services and benefits, and the backlog of benefits...claims pending within VBA for unacceptable periods of time. Veteran homelessness refers to the Department’s initiative to eliminate homelessness in
Gellad, Walid F; Zhao, Xinhua; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Thorpe, Joshua M; Sileanu, Florentina E; Cashy, John P; Mor, Maria; Hale, Jennifer A; Radomski, Thomas; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Fine, Michael J; Good, Chester B
Buprenorphine is a key tool in the management of opioid use disorder, but there are growing concerns about abuse, diversion, and safety. These concerns are amplified for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), whose patients may receive care concurrently from multiple prescribers within and outside VA. To illustrate the extent of this challenge, we examined overlapping prescriptions for buprenorphine, opioids, and benzodiazepines among veterans dually enrolled in VA and Medicare Part D. We constructed a cohort of all veterans dually enrolled in VA and Part D who filled an opioid prescription in 2012. We identified patients who received tablet or film buprenorphine products from either source. We calculated the proportion of buprenorphine recipients with any overlapping prescription (based on days supply) for a nonbuprenorphine opioid or benzodiazepine, focusing on veterans who received overlapping prescriptions from a different system than their buprenorphine prescription (Part D buprenorphine recipients receiving overlapping opioids or benzodiazepines from VA and vice versa). There were 1790 dually enrolled veterans with buprenorphine prescriptions, including 760 (43%) from VA and 1091 (61%) from Part D (61 veterans with buprenorphine from both systems were included in each group). Among VA buprenorphine recipients, 199 (26%) received an overlapping opioid prescription and 11 (1%) received an overlapping benzodiazepine prescription from Part D. Among Part D buprenorphine recipients, 208 (19%) received an overlapping opioid prescription and 178 (16%) received an overlapping benzodiazepine prescription from VA. Among VA and Part D buprenorphine recipients with cross-system opioid overlap, 25% (49/199) and 35% (72/208), respectively, had >90 days of overlap. Many buprenorphine recipients receive overlapping prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines from a different health care system than the one in which their buprenorphine was filled. These findings highlight
Wong, Edwin S; Liu, Chuan-Fen
In the U.S., economic conditions are intertwined with labor market decisions, access to health care, health care utilization and health outcomes. The Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has served as a safety net provider by supplying free or reduced cost care to qualifying veterans. This study examines whether local area labor market conditions, measured using county-level unemployment rates, influence whether veterans obtain health care from the VA. We used survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in years 2000, 2003 and 2004 to construct a random sample of 73,964 respondents self-identified as veterans. VA health service utilization was defined as whether veterans received all, some or no care from the VA. Hierarchical ordered logistic regression was used to address unobserved state and county random effects while adjusting for individual characteristics. Local area labor market conditions were defined as the average 12-month unemployment rate in veterans' county of residence. The mean unemployment rate for veterans receiving all, some and no care was 5.56%, 5.37% and 5.24%, respectively. After covariate adjustment, a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate in a veteran's county of residence was associated with an increase in the probability of receiving all care (0.34%, p-value = 0.056) or some care (0.29%, p-value = 0.023) from the VA. Our findings suggest that the important role of the VA in providing health care services to veterans is magnified in locations with high unemployment.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
Concerns that disability benefits may create disincentives for employment may be especially relevant for young American military veterans, particularly veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are facing a current economic recession and turning in large numbers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for disability compensation. This study describes the rate of employment and VA disability compensation among a nationally representative sample of veterans under the age of 65 and examines the association between levels of VA disability compensation and employment, adjusting for sociodemographics and health status. Data on a total of 4,787 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans were analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions to compare employed veterans with two groups that were not employed. Two-thirds of veterans under the age of 65 were employed, although only 36 % of veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 50 % or higher were employed. Veterans who received no VA disability compensation or who were service-connected 50 % or more were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for employment than veterans who were not service-connected or were service-connected less than 50 %, suggesting high but not all levels of VA disability compensation create disincentives for employment. Results were similar when analyses were limited to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Education and vocational rehabilitation interventions, as well as economic work incentives, may be needed to maximize employment among veterans with disabilities.
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Disclosure to private physicians and hospitals other than Department of Veterans Affairs. 1.514 Section 1.514 Pensions, Bonuses... (Federal, State, municipal, or private), such information as to the medical history, diagnosis, findings...
... Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Public Availability of FY 2011 Service Contract Inventories. SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-117), Department of Veterans...
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Weinick, Robin M.; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D.; Farmer, Carrie M.
Abstract The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade. PMID:28083423
Haun, Jolie N; Chavez, Margeaux; Nazi, Kim; Antinori, Nicole; Melillo, Christine; Cotner, Bridget A; Hathaway, Wendy; Cook, Ashley; Wilck, Nancy; Noonan, Abigail
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has multiple health information technology (HIT) resources for veterans to support their health care management. These include a patient portal, VetLink Kiosks, mobile apps, and telehealth services. The veteran patient population has a variety of needs and preferences that can inform current VA HIT redesign efforts to meet consumer needs. This study aimed to describe veterans' experiences using the current VA HIT and identify their vision for the future of an integrated VA HIT system. Two rounds of focus group interviews were conducted with a single cohort of 47 veterans and one female caregiver recruited from Bedford, Massachusetts, and Tampa, Florida. Focus group interviews included simulation modeling activities and a self-administered survey. This study also used an expert panel group to provide data and input throughout the study process. High-fidelity, interactive simulations were created and used to facilitate collection of qualitative data. The simulations were developed based on system requirements, data collected through operational efforts, and participants' reported preferences for using VA HIT. Pairwise comparison activities of HIT resources were conducted with both focus groups and the expert panel. Rapid iterative content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Descriptive statistics summarized quantitative data. Data themes included (1) current use of VA HIT, (2) non-VA HIT use, and (3) preferences for future use of VA HIT. Data indicated that, although the Secure Messaging feature was often preferred, a full range of HIT options are needed. These data were then used to develop veteran-driven simulations that illustrate user needs and expectations when using a HIT system and services to access VA health care services. Patient participant redesign processes present critical opportunities for creating a human-centered design. Veterans value virtual health care options and prefer standardized, integrated
Hanna, Jennifer; Simiele, Ernest; Lawson, D Curtis; Tyler, Douglas
Conflicts of interest exist when an arrangement potentially exerts inappropriate influence on decision making or professional judgment, or is perceived to do so, and can thus damage the public trust and undermine the integrity of those decisions. Concerns regarding financial conflicts of interest in the medical arena have reached their height as of late, given that physicians now function in a milieu of complex and delicate relationships with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Even when such relationships do not correlate with actual compromise of judgment or patient care, it threatens the credibility of both the health care professional and the institution because of the social perception of the effect of these relationships. Although most institutions in the Western world set forth a code of ethics and conflict-of-interest policies to be followed under threat of termination, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) presents itself as a unique environment in which conflicts of interest are subject to governmental laws, violation of which may not only result in employment-related discipline, but may be sanctioned by civil and criminal penalties. Moreover, these provisions are developed by a national authoritative organization rather than being institution-specific guidelines. Given that many academic physicians working within the VHA may also have a component of their practice in a University setting, it becomes important to understand the differences in policy between these contexts so as not to threaten the public trust in the veracity of decisions made and, therefore, maintain the integrity of the relationship between physician and patient. This article will review aspects of conflict-of-interest policies in the realm of research, financial relationships, foreign travel, and vendor contracting that are particular to the VHA and make it a unique environment to function in as a physician and scientist. Copyright © 2011 Society for
Mattocks, Kristin M; Sullivan, J Cherry; Bertrand, Christina; Kinney, Rebecca L; Sherman, Michelle D; Gustason, Carolyn
Many lesbian women experience stigma and discrimination from their healthcare providers as a result of their sexual orientation. Additionally, others avoid disclosure of their sexual orientation to their providers for fear of mistreatment. With the increasing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans seeking care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), it is important to understand lesbian veterans' experiences with stigma, discrimination, and disclosure of sexual orientation. This article examines lesbian veterans' experiences with perceived stigma and discrimination in VHA healthcare, their perspectives on disclosure of sexual orientation to VHA providers, and their recommendations for improvements in VHA healthcare to create a welcoming environment for lesbian veterans. This is a mixed methods study of twenty lesbian veterans at four VHA facilities. The women veterans participated in a one-hour interview and then completed an anonymous survey. Ten percent of lesbian veterans had experienced mistreatment from VHA staff or providers, but nearly 50% feared that their Veterans Affairs (VA) providers would mistreat them if they knew about their sexual orientation. A majority of lesbian veterans (70%) believed that VHA providers should never ask about sexual orientation or should only ask if the veteran wanted to discuss it. A majority (80%) believed the VHA had taken steps to create a welcoming environment for LBGT veterans. Though many lesbian veterans have fears of stigma and discrimination in the context of VHA care, few have experienced this. Most lesbian veterans believed the VHA was trying to create a welcoming environment for its LGBT veterans. Future research should focus on expanding this study to include a larger and more diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans receiving care at VA facilities across the country.
GAO reviewed. These readjustment difficulties include financial and employment, relationships, legal, homelessness , and substance abuse. According...without major difficulty, others may struggle with physical and mental health problems, financial difficulties, and unemployment . In the past few years...financial and employment, relationships, legal difficulties, homelessness , and substance abuse. One of VA’s strategic objectives is to improve veteran
Whitehead, Alison M; Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M; Hayes, Patricia M; Haskell, Sally G
Increasing numbers of women veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has contributed to the need for equitable, high-quality care for women. The VA has evaluated performance measure data by gender since 2006. In 2008, the VA launched a 5-year women's health redesign, and, in 2011, gender disparity improvement was included on leadership performance plans. We examined data from VA Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence quarterly gender reports for trends in gender disparities in gender-neutral performance measures from 2008 to 2013. Through reporting of data by gender, leadership involvement, electronic reminders, and population management dashboards, VA has seen a decreasing trend in gender inequities on most Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measures.
Price, Lauren E; Shea, Kimberly; Gephart, Sheila
The Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) is supported by one of the largest integrated health care information systems in the United States. The VHA's Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) was developed in 2006 to accommodate the massive amounts of data being generated from more than 20 years of use and to streamline the process of knowledge discovery to application. This article describes the developments in research associated with the VHA's transition into the world of Big Data analytics through CDW utilization. The majority of studies utilizing the CDW also use at least one other data source. The most commonly occurring topics are pharmacy/medications, systems issues, and weight management/obesity. Despite the potential benefit of data mining techniques to improve patient care and services, the CDW and alternative analytical approaches are underutilized by researchers and clinicians.
Kralovic, Stephen M; Evans, Martin E; Simbartl, Loretta A; Ambrose, Meredith; Jain, Rajiv; Roselle, Gary A
Implementation of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative within US Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities was associated with a significant reduction in MRSA health care-associated infection (HAI) rates nationwide. The first 36 months of data from the Initiative were analyzed to determine how many facilities reported zero MRSA HAIs each month. From October 2007 through September 2010, there was a 37.6% increase nationwide in the number of facilities achieving zero MRSA HAIs each month. Published by Mosby, Inc.
Detweiler, Mark B.; Pagadala, Bhuvaneshwar; Candelario, Joseph; Boyle, Jennifer S.; Detweiler, Jonna G.; Lutgens, Brian W.
The effectiveness of medications for PTSD in general has been well studied, but the effectiveness of medicatio.ns prescribed specifically for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nightmares is less well known. This retrospective chart review examined the efficacy of various medications used in actual treatment of PTSD nightmares at one Veteran Affairs Hospital. Records at the Salem, VA Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) were examined from 2009 to 2013 to check for the efficacy of actual treatments used in comparis.on with treatments suggested in three main review articles. The final sample consisted of 327 patients and 478 separate medication trials involving 21 individual medications plus 13 different medication combinations. The three most frequently utilized medications were prazosin (107 trials), risperidone (81 trials), and quetiapine (72 trials). Five medications had 20 or more trials with successful results (partial to full nightmare cessation) in >50% of trials: risperidone (77%, 1.0–6.0 mg), clonidine (63%, 0.1–2.0 mg), quetiapine (50%, 12.5–800.0 mg), mirtazapine (50%; 7.5–30.0 mg), and terazosin (64%, 50.0–300.0 mg). Notably, olanzapine (2.5–10.0) was successful (full remission) in all five prescription trials in five separate patients. Based on the clinical results, the use of risperidone, clonidine, terazosin, and olanzapine warrants additional investigation in clinically controlled trials as medications prescribed specifically for PTSD nightmares. PMID:27999253
SD = standard deviation, TBI = traumatic brain injury. 831 BHATNAGAR et al. Lower-limb amputation , PTSD, and VA costsFigure 1. Among Veterans with...PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, TBI = traumatic brain injury. 835 BHATNAGAR et al. Lower-limb amputation , PTSD, and VA costsModel Covariates...JRRD Volume 52, Number 7, 2015Pages 827–838Lower-limb amputation and effect of posttraumatic stress disorder on Department of Veterans Affairs
.... SUMMARY: The Secretary of VA intends to enter into an EUL on a 1.9-acre parcel of land at the Canandaigua... homelessness and their families; and provide a supportive services program that guides resident Veterans toward...
Bossarte, Robert M.; Lu, Naiji; Tu, Xin; Stephens, Brady; Draper, John; Kemp, Janet E.
Objective The Transit Authority Suicide Prevention (TASP) campaign was launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a limited number of U.S. cities to promote the use of crisis lines among veterans of military service. Methods We obtained the daily number of calls to the VCL and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) for six implementation cities (where the campaign was active) and four control cities (where there was no TASP campaign messaging) for a 14-month period. To identify changes in call volume associated with campaign implementation, VCL and NSPL daily call counts for three time periods of equal length (pre-campaign, during campaign, and post-campaign) were modeled using a Poisson log-linear regression with inference based on the generalized estimating equations. Results Statistically significant increases in calls to both the VCL and the NSPL were reported during the TASP campaign in implementation cities, but were not reported in control cities during or following the campaign. Secondary outcome measures were also reported for the VCL and included the percentage of callers who are veterans, and calls resulting in a rescue during the study period. Conclusions Results from this study reveal some promise for suicide prevention messaging to promote the use of telephone crisis services and contribute to an emerging area of research examining the effects of campaigns on help seeking. PMID:25364053
Silva, Abigail; Tarlov, Elizabeth; French, Dustin D; Huo, Zhiping; Martinez, Rachael N; Stroupe, Kevin T
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 and its individual mandate and expanded health care coverage options were implemented in 2014. These provisions may affect Veterans Affairs (VA) enrollment and health care utilization. Using data from two VA regional networks, we examined recent patterns in the number of new VA enrollees and their primary care use. Trends were assessed by enrollment priority group (based on the veteran's severity of service-connected disabilities, exposures, and income level) and a state's Medicaid expansion status. Compared to the same time period in the previous year, the number of new enrollees from low-income priority groups was higher during the open enrollment period and the increase was sharper in Medicaid non-expansion states (25-42%) than in expansion states (20-32%). In addition, low-income patients with a copay requirement who enrolled in the VA during the ACA open enrollment had a lower average number of primary care visits than counterparts who had enrolled in prior time periods (1.73 versus 1.87, p < 0.0001). Although this study is an initial step, more research is required to better understand veterans' decision making and behavior in regard to health care coverage through the ACA and related impacts on VA and non-VA health care utilization and care coordination. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Chang, Bei-Hung; Mueller, Lisa; Resnick, Sandra G; Osatuke, Katerine; Eisen, Susan V
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) peer specialists and vocational rehabilitation specialists are Veterans employed in mental health services to help other Veterans with similar histories and experiences. Study objectives were to (a) examine job satisfaction among these employees, (b) compare them to other VA mental health workers, and (c) identify factors associated with job satisfaction across the 3 cohorts. The study sample included 152 VA-employed peer specialists and 222 vocational rehabilitation specialists. A comparison group included 460 VA employees from the same job categories. All participants completed the Job Satisfaction Index (11 aspects and overall satisfaction ratings). Linear regression was used to compare job satisfaction and identify its predictors among the 3 cohorts. Job satisfaction was fairly high, averaging "somewhat satisfied" to "very satisfied" in 6 (peer specialists) and 9 (vocational rehabilitation specialists) of the 11 aspects and overall job ratings. Adjusting for length of employment, age and gender resulted in no significant group differences with 2 exceptions: White peer specialists were less satisfied with pay and promotion opportunities than vocational rehabilitation specialists and comparison-group employees. Across all cohorts, shorter length of time employed in the job was associated with higher job satisfaction. The high job satisfaction levels among the 2 peer cohorts suggest support for the policy of hiring peer specialists in the VA. Furthermore, the results are consistent with those of the nonveteran samples, indicating that integrating peer providers into mental health care is possible in VA and non-VA settings. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Smith, Phillip N; Currier, Joseph; Drescher, Kent
This study aimed to describe the frequency of firearm ownership in veterans entering residential treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and examine the association of firearm ownership with suicide ideation and suicide attempt history, combat exposure, and PTSD symptom severity. Two samples of veterans entering residential PTSD treatment were assessed at intake using self-report measures. Approximately one third of participants endorsed firearm ownership across the two samples. Analyses with a sample predominantly comprised of Vietnam Veterans found that those who endorsed both suicide ideation and prior suicide attempts were less likely to own a firearm compared to suicide ideators and non-suicidal participants. In addition, more frequent combat exposure, but not PTSD symptom severity, was associated with firearm ownership in both samples and most participants endorsed using safe storage practices. These lower rates of firearm ownership generally, and in those with suicide ideation and prior attempts in particular, may reflect an increased focused on means restriction in treatment for combat-related PTSD. Means restriction counseling among PTSD treatment seeking veterans should target those with combat exposure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
McDonald, Scott D; Mickens, Melody N; Goldberg-Looney, Lisa D; Mutchler, Brian J; Ellwood, Michael S; Castillo, Teodoro A
Depression and other mental disorders are more prevalent among individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) than in the community at large, and have a strong association with quality of life. Yet little is known about the prevalence and predictors of mental disorders among U.S. military Veterans living with SCI. The primary aim of this study was to present an estimate of mental disorder point prevalence in this population. The secondary aim was to examine the relationship of mental disorders to demographics, injury characteristics, and other clinically relevant features such as impairment from mental health problems and life satisfaction. Cross-sectional. A SCI & Disorders Center at a U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Administrative and medical records of 280 Veterans who attended annual comprehensive SCI evaluations were evaluated. Demographics, injury characteristics, self-reported mental and emotional functioning (i.e. SF-8 Health Survey), and clinician-determined mental disorder diagnoses were attained. Overall, 40% of patients received at least one mental disorder diagnosis, most commonly depressive disorders (19%), posttraumatic stress disorder (12%), and substance or alcohol use disorders (11%). Several patient characteristics predicted mental disorders, including age, racial minority identity, non-traumatic SCI etiology, and incomplete (i.e. AIS D) vs. complete injury. Mental disorders were associated with greater impairment from health and mental health-related problems and less satisfaction with life. Mental disorders are common among outpatients receiving VA specialty care for SCI. These findings highlight the importance of having adequate and effective available mental health services available for Veterans with SCI.
... Affairs. ACTION: Notice of intent to enter into an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL). SUMMARY: The Secretary of VA... homelessness, and provide on-site supportive services. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office...
... MISCELLANEOUS CLAIMS Federal Tort Claims § 14.605 Suits against Department of Veterans Affairs employees arising... damage, personal injury, or death allegedly occurring as a result of malpractice or negligence committed... Health Administration. Accordingly, a malpractice or negligence suit for property damage, personal injury...
Campbell, Duncan G.; Bonner, Laura M.; Bolkan, Cory R.; Lanto, Andrew B.; Zivin, Kara; Waltz, Thomas J.; Klap, Ruth; Rubenstein, Lisa V.; Chaney, Edmund F.
Background Whereas stigma regarding mental health concerns exists, the evidence for stigma as a depression treatment barrier among patients in Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care (PC) is mixed. Purpose To test whether stigma, defined as depression label avoidance, predicted patients' preferences for depression treatment providers, patients' prospective engagement in depression care, and care quality. Methods We conducted cross-sectional and prospective analyses of existing data from 761 VA PC patients with probable major depression. Results Relative to low stigma patients, those with high stigma were less likely to prefer treatment from mental health specialists. In prospective controlled analyses, high stigma predicted lower likelihood of the following: taking medications for mood, treatment by mental health specialists, treatment for emotional concerns in PC, and appropriate depression care. Conclusions High stigma is associated with lower preferences for care from mental health specialists and confers risk for minimal depression treatment engagement. PMID:26935310
Halverson, P K; Kaluzny, A D; Young, G J
Strategic alliances are proving to be effective strategies for responding and adapting to changing environments, and as such they offer the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system valuable opportunities for accomplishing the goals of its major reorganization effort. This article begins with an examination of basic strategic-alliance structures that are employed across many different types of industries. Next, consideration is given to the ways in which these basic alliance structures may be adapted to the unique organizations and individuals that serve as providers, purchasers, and consumers of health services. Finally, this article explores how models of strategic alliance in healthcare can be tailored to the specific needs and constraints of the VA healthcare system through an examination of existing and potential alliance opportunities.
Gayed, Benjamin; Black, Stephen; Daggy, Joanne; Munshi, Imtiaz A
In April 2009, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, revealed that total hip and knee replacements incurred $1.4 million in non-Veterans Affairs (VA) care costs with an average length of stay of 6.1 days during fiscal year 2008. The Joint Replacement Program system redesign project was initiated following the Vision-Analysis-Team-Aim-Map-Measure-Change-Sustain (VA-TAMMCS) model to increase efficiency, decrease length of stay, and reduce non-VA care costs. To determine the effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma process improvement methods applied in a VA hospital. Perioperative processes for patients undergoing total joint replacement were redesigned following the VA-TAMMCS model--the VA's official, branded method of Lean Six Sigma process improvement. A multidisciplinary team including the orthopedic surgeons, frontline staff, and executive management identified waste in the current processes and initiated changes to reduce waste and increase efficiency. Data collection included a 1-year baseline period and a 20-month sustainment period. The primary endpoint was length of stay; a secondary analysis considered non-VA care cost reductions. Length of stay decreased 36% overall, decreasing from 5.3 days during the preproject period to 3.4 days during the 20-month sustainment period (P Six Sigma process improvement initiatives in a surgical practice, producing a 36% sustained reduction in length of stay and completely eliminating non-VA care for total hip and knee replacements while increasing total joint replacement volume at this medical center.
Valenstein, Marcia; Kim, Hyungjin Myra; Ganoczy, Dara; Eisenberg, Daniel; Pfeiffer, Paul N; Downing, Karen; Hoggatt, Katherine; Ilgen, Mark; Austin, Karen L; Zivin, Kara; Blow, Frederic C; McCarthy, John F
Studies report mixed findings regarding antidepressant agents and suicide risks, and few examine suicide deaths. Studies using observational data can accrue the large sample sizes needed to examine suicide death, but selection biases must be addressed. We assessed associations between suicide death and treatment with the 7 most commonly used antidepressants in a national sample of Department of Veterans Affairs patients in depression treatment. Multiple analytic strategies were used to address potential selection biases. We identified Department of Veterans Affairs patients with depression diagnoses and new antidepressant starts between April 1, 1999, and September 30, 2004 (N = 502,179). Conventional Cox regression models, Cox models with inverse probability of treatment weighting, propensity-stratified Cox models, marginal structural models (MSM), and instrumental variable analyses were used to examine relationships between suicide and exposure to bupropion, citalopram, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine. Crude suicide rates varied from 88 to 247 per 100,000 person-years across antidepressant agents. In multiple Cox models and MSMs, sertraline and fluoxetine had lower risks for suicide death than paroxetine. Bupropion had lower risks than several antidepressants in Cox models but not MSMs. Instrumental variable analyses did not find significant differences across antidepressants. Most antidepressants did not differ in their risk for suicide death. However, across several analytic approaches, although not instrumental variable analyses, fluoxetine and sertraline had lower risks of suicide death than paroxetine. These findings are congruent with the Food and Drug Administration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials reporting lower risks for "suicidality" for sertraline and a trend toward lower risks with fluoxetine than for other antidepressants. Nevertheless, divergence in findings by analytic approach suggests caution when
Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Chen, Xi; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Chomsky, Amy; Baze, Elizabeth; Vollman, David; Lawrence, Mary G; Daly, Mary K
To explore visual outcomes, functional visual improvement, and events in resident-operated cataract surgery cases. Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Database Project across 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Retrospective data analysis of deidentified data. Cataract surgery cases with residents as primary surgeons were analyzed for logMAR corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) and vision-related quality of life (VRQL) measured by the modified National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire and 30 intraoperative and postoperative events. In some analyses, cases without events (Group A) were compared with cases with events (Group B). The study included 4221 cataract surgery cases. Preoperative to postoperative CDVA improved significantly in both groups (P < .0001), although the level of improvement was less in Group B (P = .03). A CDVA of 20/40 or better was achieved in 96.64% in Group A and 88.25% in Group B (P < .0001); however, Group B had a higher prevalence of preoperative ocular comorbidities (P < .0001). Cases with 1 or more events were associated with a higher likelihood of a postoperative CDVA worse than 20/40 (odds ratio, 3.82; 95% confidence interval, 2.92-5.05; P < .0001) than those who did not experience an event. Both groups had a significant increase in VRQL from preoperative levels (both P < .0001); however, the level of preoperative to postoperative VRQL improvement was significantly less in Group B (P < .0001). Resident-operated cases with and without events had an overall significant improvement in visual acuity and visual function compared with preoperatively, although this improvement was less marked in those that had an event. None of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright © 2016 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zullig, Leah L; Williams, Christina D; Fortune-Britt, Alice G
Lung cancer (LC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are the second- and third-most commonly diagnosed cancers in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. While many studies have evaluated the treatment quality and outcomes of various aspects of VA LC and CRC care, there are no known reviews synthesizing this information across studies. The purpose of this literature review was to describe LC and CRC treatment (ie, surgical and nonsurgical) and outcomes (eg, mortality, psychosocial, and other) in the VA health care system as reported in the existing peer-reviewed scientific literature. We identified potential articles through a search of published literature using the PubMed electronic database. Our search strategy identified articles containing Medical Subject Headings terms and keywords addressing veterans or veterans’ health and LC and/or CRC. We limited articles to those published in the previous 11 years (January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2013). A total of 230 articles were retrieved through the search. After applying the selection criteria, we included 74 studies (34 LC, 47 CRC, and seven both LC and CRC). VA provides a full array of treatments, often with better outcomes than other health care systems. More work is needed to assess patient-reported outcomes
Reker, D M; O'Donnell, J C; Hamilton, B B
To assess variation in stroke outcomes and create a case-mix adjustment model for stroke rehabilitation in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Observational Within Veteran's Health Administration hospitals, there are 63 acute rehabilitation bedservice units that care for approximately 2,000 stroke patients annually. Functional gain in FIM points, length of stay (LOS), LOS efficiency (FIM gain/LOS). Significant variation in average patient functional gain, LOS, and LOS efficiency was observed among the 37 highest-volume rehabilitation units. Using analysis of covariance, a model was developed that adjusted functional gain and LOS (logged LOS) unit means using 10 potential covariates identified in a literature review and in pilot studies. Four and six covariates, respectively, were retained in the final models for FIM gain and LOS. The R2 for FIM gain and LOS accounted for by rehabilitation unit alone increased from .07 to .31 (FIM gain) and from .13 to .34 (logLOS) with the addition of the significant covariates to each model. As much as 24% of the variation in two important stroke rehabilitation outcomes is attributable to largely immutable patient and system characteristics (eg, patient function on admission, age, days since stroke onset, year of discharge, marital status, and referral source). Hence, controlling for case-mix is critical for accurate comparison of unit outcomes. Further, the variation in LOS efficiency between VA rehabilitation units suggests a large potential for cost and resource utilization savings system-wide.
Belperio, Pamela S; Chartier, Maggie; Ross, David B; Alaigh, Poonam; Shulkin, David
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the nation's largest care provider for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients and is uniquely suited to inform national efforts to eliminate HCV. An extensive array of delivery of services, policy guidance, outreach efforts, and funding has broadened the reach and capacity of the VA to deliver direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV therapy, supported by an infrastructure to effectively implement change and informed by extensive population health data analysis. The VA has treated more than 92 000 HCV-infected veterans since all-oral DAAs became available in January 2014, with cure rates exceeding 90%; only 51 000 veterans in VA care are known to remain potentially eligible for treatment. Key actions advancing the VA's aggressive treatment of HCV infection that are germane to non-VA settings include expansion of treatment capacity through the use of nonphysician providers, video telehealth, and electronic technologies; expansion of integrated care to address psychiatric and substance use comorbidities; and electronic data tools for patient tracking and outreach. A critical component of effective implementation has been building infrastructure through the creation of regional multidisciplinary HCV Innovation Teams, whose system redesign efforts have produced innovative HCV practice models addressing gaps in care while providing more efficient and effective HCV management for the populations they serve. Financing for HCV treatment and infrastructure resources coupled with reduced drug prices has been paramount to the VA's success in curing HCV infection. The VA is poised to share and extend best practices to other health care organizations and providers delivering HCV care, contributing to a concerted effort to reduce the overall burden of HCV infection.
Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Radcliff, Tiffany A; Gable, Alicia R; Riopelle, Deborah; Hagigi, Farhad A; Brewster, Pete; Dobalian, Aram
Introduction There have been numerous initiatives by government and private organizations to help hospitals become better prepared for major disasters and public health emergencies. This study reports on efforts by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration, Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) to assess the readiness of VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) across the nation. Hypothesis/Problem This study conducts descriptive analyses of preparedness assessments of VAMCs and examines change in hospital readiness over time. To assess change, quantitative analyses of data from two phases of preparedness assessments (Phase I: 2008-2010; Phase II: 2011-2013) at 137 VAMCs were conducted using 61 unique capabilities assessed during the two phases. The initial five-point Likert-like scale used to rate each capability was collapsed into a dichotomous variable: "not-developed=0" versus "developed=1." To describe changes in preparedness over time, four new categories were created from the Phase I and Phase II dichotomous variables: (1) rated developed in both phases; (2) rated not-developed in Phase I but rated developed in Phase II; (3) rated not-developed in both phases; and (4) rated developed in Phase I but rated not- developed in Phase II. From a total of 61 unique emergency preparedness capabilities, 33 items achieved the desired outcome - they were rated either "developed in both phases" or "became developed" in Phase II for at least 80% of VAMCs. For 14 items, 70%-80% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome. The remaining 14 items were identified as "low-performing" capabilities, defined as less than 70% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome. Measuring emergency management capabilities is a necessary first step to improving those capabilities. Furthermore, assessing hospital readiness over time and creating robust hospital readiness assessment tools can help hospitals make informed decisions
Mark B Zimering
Full Text Available Aim: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the present study was to test whether plasma basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF levels predict future cardiovascular disease (CVD occurrence in adults from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. Methods: Nearly four- hundred veterans, 40 years of age or older, having a mean baseline diabetes duration of 11.4 years were recruited from outpatient clinics at six geographically distributed sites in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT. Within the VADT, they were randomly assigned to intensive or standard glycemic treatment, with follow-up as much as seven and one-half years. Cardiovascular disease occurrence was examined at baseline in the patient population and during randomized treatment. Plasma bFGF was determined with a sensitive, specific two-site enzyme-linked immunoassay at the baseline study visit in all 399 subjects. Results: One hundred-five first cardiovascular events occurred in these 399 subjects. The best fit model of risk factors associated with the time to first cardiovascular disease occurrence (in the study over a seven and one-half year period had as significant predictors: prior cardiovascular event, (hazard ratio [HR] 3.378; 95% confidence intervals [CI] 3.079- 3.807; P < .0001, baseline plasma bFGF (HR 1.008; 95% CI 1.002-1.014; P =.01, age, (HR 1.027; 95% CI 1.004-1.051; P =.019, baseline plasma triglycerides, (HR 1.001; 95% CI 1.000-1.002; P =.02 and diabetes duration-treatment interaction (P =.03. Intensive glucose-lowering was associated with significantly decreased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.38-0.63 in patients with known diabetes duration of 0-10 years, and non-significantly increased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.82-1.78 in patients with longer diabetes duration. Conclusion: High level ofplasma basic fibroblast growth factor is a predictive biomarker of future cardiovascular
Mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by perioperative complications in veterans undergoing elective surgery: data from Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)?a cohort study
Singh, Jasvinder A; Hawn, Mary; Campagna, Elizabeth J; Henderson, William G; Richman, Joshua; Houston, Thomas K
Objective To assess the mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by postoperative complications. Design Observational cohort study. Setting Using data from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Surgical Quality Improvement Programme, a quality assurance programme for major surgical procedures in the VA healthcare system, we assessed the association of current smoking at the time of the surgery with 6-month and 1-year mortality. Primary and secondary outcome measures Using mediation analyse...
Mayer, Stephanie B; Levy, James R; Farrell-Carnahan, Leah; Nichols, Michelle G; Raman, Shekar
This cross-sectional study aimed to characterize sleep patterns, the quality and duration of sleep, and estimate the prevalence of common sleep disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a hospital-based Veterans Affairs MOVE! (Managing Overweight Veterans Everywhere) clinic. Participants completed five instruments: the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Smith's Measure of Morningness/Eveningness, Restless Legs Syndrome Rating Scale, the STOP Questionnaire, and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist - Civilian Version (PCL-C). Enrolled Veterans (n = 96) were mostly male (78%), African American (49%), mean age 58 (standard deviation [SD] 10.6) years, and mean body mass index (BMI) 38.4 kg/m(2) (SD 8.4). By PSQI, 89% rated sleep quality as "poor" (mean = 11.1, SD = 5.1), consistent with severely impaired sleep. Most were at high risk for sleep disorders including restless leg syndrome (53%), obstructive sleep apnea (66%), and circadian sleep disorders (72%). Forty-seven percent endorsed clinically significant symptoms of PTSD. Hypotheses-generating regression models suggest sleep latency (minutes before falling asleep) was associated with BMI (p = 0.018). Bedtime, getting up time, hours of sleep, waking up in the middle of the night or early morning, having to get up to use the bathroom, inability to breathe comfortably, cough or snore loudly, feeling too cold or too hot, having bad dreams, pain, and frequency of having trouble sleeping, were not significantly associated with BMI. Our cross-sectional study suggests that sleep difficulties are common among Veterans referred to a weight loss program at a Veterans Affairs Hospital. Controlled studies are needed to investigate whether the results are generalizable and whether obesity among veterans is a risk factor for sleep disorders and PTSD. A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 943. © 2016 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
... provide needed treatment services by telemental health (using technology to communicate) or by referral to Vet Centers ... Minority Veterans Plain Language Surviving Spouses & Dependents Adaptive Sports Program ADMINISTRATION Veterans Health Administration Veterans Benefits Administration ...
O'Connell, Maria J; Kasprow, Wesley J; Rosenheck, Robert A
Permanent supported housing has increasingly been identified as a central approach to helping homeless individuals with disabilities exit from homelessness. Given that one third or more of homeless individuals actively use substances, it is important to determine the extent to which individuals who report using alcohol and/or drugs at the time of housing benefit from such programs. The current study examines data from the evaluation of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs (HUD-VA) Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program to determine differences in housing and clinical outcomes among participants with two different levels of active alcohol or drug use at time of housing entry. Whereas veterans with 1-15 days of active use and 15-30 days of active use had significantly more days homeless than abstainers, albeit with small effect sizes (.06 and .19, respectively), there were no significant differences in days housed or days in institutions. Interaction analysis suggests that the highest frequency substance users who spent time in residential treatment prior to housing had the poorest housing outcomes, while those who were not in residential treatment had outcomes comparable to abstainers. Although active substance users clearly benefit from supportive housing with small differences in outcomes from abstainers, high frequency substance users who were admitted to residential treatment before housing placement, may be an especially vulnerable population. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Nonzee Narissa J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Patient navigation programs have been launched nationwide in an attempt to reduce racial/ethnic and socio-demographic disparities in cancer care, but few have evaluated outcomes in the prostate cancer setting. The National Cancer Institute-funded Chicago Patient Navigation Research Program (C-PNRP aims to implement and evaluate the efficacy of a patient navigation intervention for predominantly low-income minority patients with an abnormal prostate cancer screening test at a Veterans Affairs (VA hospital in Chicago. Methods/Design From 2006 through 2010, C-PNRP implemented a quasi-experimental intervention whereby trained social worker and lay health navigators worked with veterans with an abnormal prostate screen to proactively identify and resolve personal and systems barriers to care. Men were enrolled at a VA urology clinic and were selected to receive navigated versus usual care based on clinic day. Patient navigators performed activities to facilitate timely follow-up such as appointment reminders, transportation coordination, cancer education, scheduling assistance, and social support as needed. Primary outcome measures included time (days from abnormal screening to diagnosis and time from diagnosis to treatment initiation. Secondary outcomes included psychosocial and demographic predictors of non-compliance and patient satisfaction. Dates of screening, follow-up visits, and treatment were obtained through chart audit, and questionnaires were administered at baseline, after diagnosis, and after treatment initiation. At the VA, 546 patients were enrolled in the study (245 in the navigated arm, 245 in the records-based control arm, and 56 in a subsample of surveyed control subjects. Discussion Given increasing concerns about balancing better health outcomes with lower costs, careful examination of interventions aimed at reducing healthcare disparities attain critical importance. While analysis of the C-PNRP data is
Mattocks, Kristin M; Kuzdeba, Judy; Baldor, Rebecca; Casares, Jose; Lombardini, Lisa; Gerber, Megan R
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a comprehensive, telephonic maternity care coordination (MCC) program for all pregnant veterans enrolled for care at New England Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities that comprise the Veterans Integrated Service Network 1. Telephone interviews were conducted with postpartum women veterans who had participated in the MCC program during their pregnancies. The program evaluation instrument assessed satisfaction and use of MCC services, prenatal education classes, and infant and maternal outcomes (e.g., newborn birthweight, insurance status, maternal depression) using both closed-ended and open-ended questions. A substantial majority (95%) of women enrolled in the MCC program expressed satisfaction with the services they received in the program. Women were most satisfied with help understanding VA maternity benefits and acquiring VA services and equipment, such as breast pumps and pregnancy-related medications. More than one-third of women noted their infants had experienced health problems since delivery, including neonatal intensive care unit hospitalizations. A majority of women planned to return to VA care in the future. Our findings suggest that MCC services play an important role for women veterans as they navigate both VA and non-VA care systems. MCC staff members coordinated maternity, medical, and mental health care services for women veterans. Additionally, by maintaining contact with the veteran during the postpartum period, MCC staff were able to assess the health of the mother and the infant, and refer women and their infants to medical and psychosocial services in the community as needed. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Johnson, Earl E
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) audiologists were surveyed regarding their perceptions and evaluations of hearing aid (HA) brands on seven factors previously published in peer-reviewed research as important to the HA brand preference decision of audiologists. One of the seven factors formed a distinct dimension of brand differentiation based on Contract Pricing (dimension 1). Brand perceptions for the other six factors were highly correlated with one another; this dimension of correlated perceptions was labeled Propensity to Dispense Based on a Gestalt Percept (dimension 2). That is, a direct relation exists between the collective perception of HA brand and its likelihood of being dispensed. These two dimensions accounted for 93.1% of the variance in the perceived differences among the HA brands surveyed. Joint-space mapping was used to model the effect of altering perceptions on VA HA brand dispensing. Results indicate that few VA audiologists (7.7%) dispense HA brands in majority association with contract pricing. Instead, the vast majority (77%) form brand preferences in majority association with their individualized perceptions.
Knapp, Herschel; Hagedorn, Hildi; Anaya, Henry D
Routine HIV testing in primary care settings is now recommended in the United States. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has increased the number of patients tested for HIV, but overall HIV testing rates in VA remain low. A proven strategy for increasing such testing involves nurse-initiated HIV rapid testing (HIV RT). The purpose of this work was to use a mixed methodology approach to evaluate the 5-year sustainability of an intervention that implemented HIV RT in a VA emergency department setting in a large, urban VA medical center to reduce missed diagnostic and treatment opportunities in this vulnerable patient population. In-person semistructured interviews were conducted with providers and stakeholders. Interview notes were qualitatively coded for emerging themes. Quarterly testing rates were evaluated for a 5-year time span starting from the launch in July 2008. Findings indicate that HIV RT was sustained by the enthusiasm of 2 clinical champions who oversaw the registered nurses responsible for conducting the testing. The departure of the clinical champions was correlated with a substantial drop-off in testing. Findings also indicate potential strategies for improving sustainability including engaging senior leadership in the project, engaging line staff in the implementation planning from the start to increase ownership over the innovation, incorporating information into initial training explaining the importance of the innovation to quality patient care, providing ongoing training to maintain skills, and providing routine progress reports to staff to demonstrate the ongoing impact of their efforts. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Siegel, Eliot L.; Reiner, Bruce I.; Kuzmak, Peter M.
The diffusion of PACS technology within the Department of Veterans Affairs has followed the 'S' curve transition originally described by Ryan and Gross in 1943. They described a paradigm that describes the diffusion of a new technology into the community. However the rate of adoption of filmless radiology by the VA has been much higher than that of the general healthcare system. This is likely due to the fact that the VA and Department of Defense medical systems are somewhat isolated and independent from other health care systems and are subject to a different rate of diffusion of technology. The early introduction and success of PACS in the VA undoubtedly accelerated its acceptance throughout the system. An additional impetus to the growth of PACS in the VA has been the development of an image management system that has been incorporated into the electronic medical record. The universal use of the VISTA HIS and RIS system throughout the VA and the fact that it was developed 'in-house' as well as its extensive support for DICOM functionality have also played a major role in facilitating the acceptance of Picture Archival and Communication Systems throughout the VA.
Leehey, David J; Zhang, Jane H; Emanuele, Nicholas V; Whaley-Connell, Adam; Palevsky, Paul M; Reilly, Robert F; Guarino, Peter; Fried, Linda F
Proteinuric diabetic kidney disease frequently progresses to ESRD. Control of BP delays progression, but the optimal BP to improve outcomes remains unclear. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the relationship between BP and renal outcomes in proteinuric diabetic kidney disease. BP data from all 1448 randomized participants in the Veterans Affairs Nephropathy in Diabetes Trial were included in a post hoc analysis. The associations of mean on-treatment BP with the primary end point (decline in eGFR, ESRD, or death), renal end point (decline in eGFR or ESRD), rate of eGFR decline, and mortality were measured. The median (25th, 75th percentile) follow-up time was 2.2 (1.2, 3.0) years. There were 284 primary end points. In univariate analyses, both mean systolic and mean diastolic BPs were strongly associated (Prenal end point and rate of eGFR decline were similar to those with the primary end point. No association of BP with mortality was observed, possibly because of the limited number of mortality events. In patients with proteinuric diabetic kidney disease, mean systolic BP ≥ 140 mmHg and mean diastolic BP ≥ 80 mmHg were associated with worse renal outcomes. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Tsan, Grace L; Hoban, Keely L; Jun, Weon; Riedel, Kevin J; Pedersen, Amy L; Hayes, John
We conducted a retrospective chart review of 200 diabetic patients who had teleretinal imaging performed between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011, at Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center outpatient clinics to assess the effectiveness of the diabetic teleretinal imaging program. Twenty patients (10%) had diabetic retinopathy. Ninety percent of the available teleretinal imaging studies were of adequate quality for interpretation. In accordance with local VA policy at that time, all teleretinal imaging patients should have been referred for a dilated retinal examination the following year. Image readers referred 97.5% of the patients to eye clinics for subsequent eye examinations, but the imagers scheduled appointments for only 80% of these patients. The redundancy rate, i.e., patients who had an eye examination within the past 6 mo, was 11%; the duplicate recall rate, i.e., patients who had a second teleretinal imaging performed within 1 yr of the eye examination, was 37%. Rates of timely diabetic eye examinations at clinics with teleretinal imaging programs, particularly when teleretinal imaging and eye clinics were colocated at the same community-based outpatient clinic, were higher than those without a teleretinal imaging program. We concluded that the Portland VA Medical Center's teleretinal imaging program was successful in increasing the screening rate for diabetic retinopathy.
Szymanski, Benjamin R.; Karlin, Bradley E.; Katz, Ira R.
Objectives. We assessed suicide rates up to 6 months following discharge from US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes. Methods. In VA Minimum Data Set (MDS) records, we identified 281 066 live discharges from the 137 VA nursing homes during fiscal years 2002 to 2008. We used MDS and administrative data to assess resident age, gender, behaviors, pain, and indications of psychoses, bipolar disorder, dementia, and depression. We identified vital status and suicide mortality within 6 months of discharge through National Death Index searches. Results. Suicide rates within 6 months of discharge were 88.0 per 100 000 person-years for men and 89.4 overall. Standardized mortality ratios relative to age- and gender-matched individuals in the VA patient population were 2.3 for men (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.9, 2.8) and 2.4 overall (95% CI = 2.0, 2.9). In multivariable proportional hazards regression analyses, resident characteristics, diagnoses, behaviors, and pain were not significantly associated with suicide risk. Conclusions. Suicide risk was elevated following nursing home discharge. This underscores the importance of ongoing VA efforts to enhance discharge planning and timely postdischarge follow-up. PMID:24134359
Kilbourne, Amy M; Greenwald, Devra E; Hermann, Richard C; Charns, Martin P; McCarthy, John F; Yano, Elizabeth M
This study assessed the extent to which mental health leaders perceive their programs as being primarily accountable for monitoring general medical conditions among patients with serious mental illness, and it assessed associations with modifiable health system factors. As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2007 national Mental Health Program Survey, 108 mental health program directors were queried regarding program characteristics. Perceived accountability was defined as whether their providers, as opposed to external general medical providers, were primarily responsible for specific clinical tasks related to serious mental illness treatment or high-risk behaviors. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether financial incentives or other system factors were associated with accountability. Thirty-six percent of programs reported primary accountability for monitoring diabetes and cardiovascular risk after prescription of second-generation antipsychotics, 10% for hepatitis C screening, and 17% for obesity screening and weight management. In addition, 18% and 27% of program leaders, respectively, received financial bonuses for high performance for screening for risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and for alcohol misuse. Financial bonuses for diabetes and cardiovascular screening were associated with primary accountability for such screening (odds ratio=5.01, pFinancial incentives to improve quality performance may promote accountability in monitoring diabetes and cardiovascular risk assessment within mental health programs. Integrated care strategies (co-location) might be needed to promote management of high-risk behaviors among patients with serious mental illness.
Im, Jinwoo J; Shachter, Ross D; Finney, John W; Trafton, Jodie A
In fiscal year (FY) 2008, 133,658 patients were provided services within substance use disorders treatment programs (SUDTPs) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. To improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of SUDTPs, we analyze the impacts of staffing mix on the benefits and costs of specialty SUD services. This study demonstrates how cost-effective staffing mixes for each type of VA SUDTPs can be defined empirically. We used a stepwise method to derive prediction functions for benefits and costs based on patients' treatment outcomes at VA SUDTPs nationally from 2001 to 2003, and used them to formulate optimization problems to determine recommended staffing mixes that maximize net benefits per patient for four types of SUDTPs by using the solver function with the Generalized Reduced Gradient algorithm in Microsoft Excel 2010 while conforming to limits of current practice. We conducted sensitivity analyses by varying the baseline severity of addiction problems between lower (2.5 %) and higher (97.5 %) values derived from bootstrapping. Compared to the actual staffing mixes in FY01-FY03, the recommended staffing mixes would lower treatment costs while improving patients' outcomes, and improved net benefits are estimated from $1472 to $17,743 per patient.
Mattocks, Kristin M; Mengeling, Michelle; Sadler, Anne; Baldor, Rebecca; Bastian, Lori
Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 [Veterans Choice Act (VCA)] to improve access to timely, high-quality health care for Veterans. Although Congress mandated that VCA must begin within 90 days of passage of the legislation, no guidelines were provided in the legislation to ensure that Veterans had access to an adequate number of community providers across different specialties of care or distinct geographic areas, including rural areas of the country. To examine VCA policy implementation across a sampling of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Medical Centers. We conducted a qualitative study of 43 VHA staff and providers by conducting in-person interviews at 5 VA medical centers in the West, South, and Midwest United States. Interview questions focused on perceptions and experiences with VCA and challenges related to implementation for VHA staff and providers. We identified 3 major themes to guide description of choice implementation: (1) VCA implemented too rapidly with inadequate preparation; (2) community provider networks insufficiently developed; and (3) communication and scheduling problems with subcontractors may lead to further delays in care. Our evaluation suggests that VCA was implemented far too rapidly, with little consideration given to the adequacy of community provider networks available to provide care to Veterans. Given the challenges we have highlighted in VCA implementation, it is imperative that the VHA continue to develop care coordination systems that will allow the Veterans to receive seamless care in the community.
Tsai, Jack; Doran, Kelly M; Rosenheck, Robert A
We examined the proportion of homeless veterans among users of Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency departments (EDs) and compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of homeless and nonhomeless VA emergency department users nationally. We used national VA administrative data from fiscal year 2010 for a cross-sectional study comparing homeless (n = 64,091) and nonhomeless (n = 866,621) ED users on sociodemographics, medical and psychiatric diagnoses, and other clinical characteristics. Homeless veterans had 4 times the odds of using EDs than nonhomeless veterans. Multivariate analyses found few differences between homeless and nonhomeless ED users on the medical conditions examined, but homeless ED users were more likely to have been diagnosed with a drug use disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 4.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.97, 4.27), alcohol use disorder (OR = 3.67; 95% CI = 3.55, 3.79), or schizophrenia (OR = 3.44; 95% CI = 3.25, 3.64) in the past year. In a national integrated health care system with no specific requirements for health insurance, the major differences found between homeless and nonhomeless ED users were high rates of psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses. EDs may be an important location for specialized homeless outreach (or "in" reach) services to address mental health and addictive disorders.
McDiarmid, Melissa A.; Gaitens, Joanna M.; Hines, Stella; Condon, Marian; Roth, Tracy; Oliver, Marc; Gucer, Patricia; Brown, Lawrence; Centeno, Jose A.; Dux, Moira; Squibb, Katherine S.
Background: A small group of Gulf War I veterans wounded in depleted uranium (DU) friendly-fire incidents have been monitored for health changes in a clinical surveillance program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore since 1994. Methods: During the spring of 2015, an in-patient clinical surveillance protocol was performed on 36 members of the cohort, including exposure monitoring for total and isotopic uranium concentrations in urine and a comprehensive assessment of health outcomes. Results: On-going mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated urine U concentrations. The DU isotopic signature is observed principally in participants possessing embedded fragments. Those with only an inhalation exposure have lower urine U concentration and a natural isotopic signature. Conclusions: At 25 years since first exposure to DU, an aging cohort of military veterans continues to show no U-related health effects in known target organs of U toxicity. As U body burden continues to accrue from in-situ mobilization from metal fragment depots, and increases with exposure duration, critical tissue-specific U concentration thresholds may be reached, thus recommending on-going surveillance of this veteran cohort. - Highlights: • Gulf War I veterans wounded with depleted uranium are monitored for health changes. • In 2015 in-patient clinical surveillance was performed on 36 members of the cohort. • Mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated U in urine. • This cohort of continues to show no U-related health effects.
Moreau, Jessica L; Cordasco, Kristina M; Young, Alexander S; Oishi, Sabine M; Rose, Danielle E; Canelo, Ismelda; Yano, Elizabeth M; Haskell, Sally G; Hamilton, Alison B
Women veterans are a growing segment of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) users with distinct mental health needs and well-documented barriers to care. Telemental health holds much promise for reducing barriers to mental health care. We assessed VA stakeholders' perceptions of telemental health's appropriateness and potential to address the mental health needs of women veteran VA users. We conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with 40 key leadership and clinical stakeholders at VA medical centers and associated outpatient clinics. Transcripts were summarized in a template of key domains developed based on the interview guide, and coded for topics relevant to women's mental health needs and telehealth services. Telemental health was perceived to increase access to mental health care, including same-gender care and access to providers with specialized training, especially for rural women and those with other limiting circumstances. Respondents saw women veterans as being particularly poised to benefit from telemental health, owing to responsibilities associated with childcare, spousal care, and elder caregiving. Interviewees expressed enthusiasm for telemental health's potential and were eager to expand services, including women-only mental health groups. Implementation challenges were also noted. Overall, our stakeholders saw telemental health as a good fit for helping to address the perceived needs of women veterans, especially in addressing the geographical barriers experienced by rural women and those with a limited ability to travel. These findings can help to inform gender-tailored expansion of telemental health within and outside of the VA. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Ball, Sherry L; Stevenson, Lauren D; Ladebue, Amy C; McCreight, Marina S; Lawrence, Emily C; Oestreich, Taryn; Lambert-Kerzner, Anne C
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is adapting to meet the changing needs of our Veterans. VHA leaders are promoting quality improvement strategies including Lean Six Sigma (LSS). This study used LSS tools to evaluate the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), a program that aims to improve access to health care services for eligible Veterans by expanding health care options to non-VHA providers. LSS was utilized to assess the current process and efficiency patterns of the VCP at 3 VHA Medical Centers. LSS techniques were used to assess data obtained through semistructured interviews with Veterans, staff, and providers to describe and evaluate the VCP process by identifying wastes and defects. The LSS methodology facilitated the process of targeting priorities for improvement and constructing suggestions to close identified gaps and inefficiencies. Identified key process wastes included inefficient exchange of clinical information between stakeholders in and outside of the VHA; poor dissemination of VCP programmatic information; shortages of VCP-participating providers; duplication of appointments; declines in care coordination; and lack of program adaptability to local processes. Recommendations for improvement were formulated using LSS. This evaluation illustrates how LSS can be utilized to assess a nationally mandated health care program. By focusing on stakeholder, staff, and Veteran perspectives, process defects in the VCP were identified and improvement recommendations were made. However, the current LSS language used is not intuitive in health care and similar applications of LSS may consider using new language and goals adapted specifically for health care.
Manheim, Chelsea E; Haverhals, Leah M; Jones, Jacqueline; Levy, Cari R
The Medical Foster Home program is a unique long-term care program coordinated by the Veterans Health Administration. The program pairs Veterans with private, 24-hour a day community-based caregivers who often care for Veterans until the end of life. This qualitative study explored the experiences of care coordination for Medical Foster Home Veterans at the end of life with eight Veterans' family members, five Medical Foster Home caregivers, and seven Veterans Health Administration Home-Based Primary Care team members. A case study, qualitative content analysis identified these themes addressing care coordination and impact of the Medical Foster Home model on those involved: (a) Medical Foster Home program supports Veterans' families; (b) Medical Foster Home program supports the caregiver as family; (c) Veterans' needs are met socially and culturally at the end of life; and (d) the changing needs of Veterans, families, and caregivers at Veterans' end of life are addressed. Insights into how to best support Medical Foster Home caregivers caring for Veterans at the end of life were gained including the need for more and better respite options and how caregivers are compensated in the month of the Veteran's death, as well as suggestions to navigate end-of-life care coordination with multiple stakeholders involved.
..., training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research) relating to drug abuse, alcoholism or alcohol abuse... importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting... Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.011, Veterans Dental Care; 64.012, Veterans...
..., rehabilitation, or research) relating to drug abuse, alcoholism or alcohol abuse, infection with the human... importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting... Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.011, Veterans Dental Care; 64.012, Veterans...
Poteet, Stephen; Tarpley, Margaret; Tarpley, John L; Pearson, A Scott
In a time of increasing specialization, academic training institutions provide a compartmentalized learning environment that often does not reflect the broad clinical experience of general surgery practice. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the Veterans Affairs (VA) general surgery surgical experience to both index Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements and as a unique integrated model in which residents provide concurrent care of multiple specialty patients. Institutional review board approval was obtained for retrospective analysis of electronic medical records involving all surgical cases performed by the general surgery service from 2005 to 2009 at the Nashville VA. Over a 5-year span general surgery residents spent an average of 5 months on the VA general surgery service, which includes a postgraduate year (PGY)-5, PGY-3, and 2 PGY-1 residents. Surgeries involved the following specialties: surgical oncology, endocrine, colorectal, hepatobiliary, transplant, gastrointestinal laparoscopy, and elective and emergency general surgery. The surgeries were categorized according to ACGME index requirements. A total of 2,956 surgeries were performed during the 5-year period from 2005 through 2009. Residents participated in an average of 246 surgeries during their experience at the VA; approximately 50 cases are completed during the chief year. On the VA surgery service alone, 100% of the ACGME requirement was met for the following categories: endocrine (8 cases); skin, soft tissue, and breast (33 cases); alimentary tract (78 cases); and abdominal (88 cases). Approximately 50% of the ACGME requirement was met for liver, pancreas, and basic laparoscopic categories. The VA hospital provides an authentic, broad-based, general surgery training experience that integrates complex surgical patients simultaneously. Opportunities for this level of comprehensive care are decreasing or absent in many general surgery training
Atkinson, David M; Rodman, John L; Thuras, Paul D; Shiroma, Paulo R; Lim, Kelvin O
Burnout, a state of emotional exhaustion associated with negative personal and occupational outcomes, is prevalent among healthcare providers. A better understanding of the psychological factors that may be associated with resilience to burnout is essential to develop effective interventions. Self-compassion, which includes kindness toward oneself, recognition of suffering as part of shared human experience, mindfulness, and nonjudgment toward inadequacies and failures, may be one such factor. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between burnout, depression, and self-compassion in Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health staff. Cross-sectional study. VA medical center and affiliated community-based clinics. VA mental health staff. The 19-item Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, the 26-item Self-Compassion Scale, and the Patient Health Questionnaire 2-item depression screen. Demographic information included age, sex, years worked in current position, and number of staff supervised. One hundred and twenty-eight of a potential 379 individuals (33.8%) responded. Clerical support, nursing, social work, psychology, and psychiatry were the major professions represented. Self-compassion was inversely correlated with burnout (r = -0.41, p burnout remained significant even after accounting for depressive symptoms and demographic variables in a multiple linear regression model. Of all the variables examined, self-compassion was the strongest predictor of burnout. The results of this study support the hypothesis that self-compassion may be associated with resilience to burnout. Alternatively, decreased self-compassion may be a downstream effect of increased burnout. Prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to determine the directional relationship between these factors, and whether interventions that cultivate self-compassion may decrease burnout and/or protect against its negative personal and professional outcomes.
Byrne, John M; Kashner, Michael; Gilman, Stuart C; Aron, David C; Cannon, Grant W; Chang, Barbara K; Godleski, Linda; Golden, Richard M; Henley, Steven S; Holland, Gloria J; Kaminetzky, Catherine P; Keitz, Sheri A; Kirsh, Susan; Muchmore, Elaine A; Wicker, Annie B
To develop a survey instrument designed to quantify supervision by attending physicians in nonprocedural care and to assess the instrument's feasibility and reliability. In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations convened an expert panel to adopt a working definition of attending supervision in nonprocedural patient care and to construct a survey to quantify it. Feasibility was field-tested on residents and their supervising attending physicians at primary care internal medicine clinics at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in their encounters with randomly selected outpatients diagnosed with either major depressive disorder or diabetes. The authors assessed both interrater concurrent reliability and test-retest reliability. The expert panel adopted the VA's definition of resident supervision and developed the Resident Supervision Index (RSI) to measure supervision in terms of residents' case understanding, attending physicians' contributions to patient care through feedback to the resident, and attending physicians' time (minutes). The RSI was field-tested on 60 residents and 37 attending physicians for 148 supervision episodes from 143 patient encounters. Consent rates were 94% for residents and 97% for attending physicians; test-retest reliability intraclass correlations (ICCs) were 0.93 and 0.88, respectively. Concurrent reliability between residents' and attending physicians' reported time was an ICC of 0.69. The RSI is a feasible and reliable measure of resident supervision that is intended for research studies in graduate medical education focusing on education outcomes, as well as studies assessing quality of care, patient health outcomes, care costs, and clinical workload.
Turalba, Angela; Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Chomsky, Amy S; Vollman, David E; Baze, Elizabeth F; Lawrence, Mary; Daly, Mary K
To compare visual acuity outcomes, vision-related quality of life, and complications related to cataract surgery in eyes with and without glaucoma. Retrospective cohort study. Cataract surgery outcomes in cases with and without glaucoma from the Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgical Outcomes Data Project were compared. We identified 608 glaucoma cases and 4306 controls undergoing planned cataract surgery alone. After adjusting for age, pseudoexfoliation, small pupil, prior ocular surgery, and anterior chamber depth, we found that glaucoma cases were more likely to have posterior capsular tear with vitrectomy (odds ratio [OR] 1.8, P = .03) and sulcus intraocular lens placement (OR 1.65, P = .03) during cataract surgery. Glaucoma cases were more likely to have postoperative inflammation (OR 1.73, P < .0001), prolonged elevated intraocular pressure (OR 2.96, P = .0003), and additional surgery within 30 days (OR 1.92, P = .03). Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ) scores significantly improved after cataract surgery in both groups (P < .0001), but there were larger improvements in BCVA (P = .01) and VFQ composite scores (P < .0001) in the nonglaucoma vs the glaucoma group. A total of 3621 nonglaucoma cases (94.1%) had postoperative BCVA 20/40 or better, compared to 466 glaucoma cases (89.6%) (P = .0003). Eyes with glaucoma are at increased risk for complications and have more modest visual outcomes after cataract surgery compared to eyes without glaucoma. Despite this, glaucoma patients still experience significant improvement in vision-related outcomes after cataract extraction. Further study is needed to explore potential factors that influence cataract surgery outcomes in glaucomatous eyes. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Faraone, Stephen V; Skol, Andrew D; Tsuang, Debby W; Bingham, Stephen; Young, Keith A; Prabhudesai, Sarita; Haverstock, Susan L; Mena, Felicitas; Menon, Aerath Sri Kumar; Bisset, Darren; Pepple, John; Sautter, Fred; Baldwin, Charlene; Weiss, David; Collins, Joseph; Keith, Tim; Boehnke, Michael; Tsuang, Ming T; Schellenberg, G D
Several prior reports have suggested that chromosomal region 13q32 may harbor a schizophrenia susceptibility gene. In an attempt to replicate this finding, we assessed linkage between chromosome 13 markers and schizophrenia in 166 families, each with two or more affected members. The families, assembled from multiple centers by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, included 392 sampled affected subjects and 216 affected sib pairs. By DSM-III-R criteria, 360 subjects (91.8%) had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and 32 (8.2%) were classified as schizoaffective disorder, depressed. The families had mixed ethnic backgrounds. The majority were northern European-American families (n = 62, 37%), but a substantial proportion were African-American kindreds (n = 60, 36%). Chromosome 13 markers, spaced at intervals of approximately 10 cM over the entire chromosome and 2-5 cM for the 13q32 region were genotyped and the data analyzed using semi-parametric affected only linkage analysis. For the combined sample (with race broadly defined and schizophrenia narrowly defined) the maximum LOD score was 1.43 (Z-score of 2.57; P = 0.01) at 79.0 cM between markers D13S1241 (76.3 cM) and D13S159 (79.5 cM). Both ethnic groups showed a peak in this region. The peak is within 3 cM of the peak reported by Brzustowicz et al. [1999: Am J Hum Genet 65:1096-1103]. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Chavez, Margeaux; Nazi, Kim; Antinori, Nicole; Melillo, Christine; Cotner, Bridget A; Hathaway, Wendy; Cook, Ashley; Wilck, Nancy; Noonan, Abigail
Background The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has multiple health information technology (HIT) resources for veterans to support their health care management. These include a patient portal, VetLink Kiosks, mobile apps, and telehealth services. The veteran patient population has a variety of needs and preferences that can inform current VA HIT redesign efforts to meet consumer needs. Objective This study aimed to describe veterans’ experiences using the current VA HIT and identify their vision for the future of an integrated VA HIT system. Methods Two rounds of focus group interviews were conducted with a single cohort of 47 veterans and one female caregiver recruited from Bedford, Massachusetts, and Tampa, Florida. Focus group interviews included simulation modeling activities and a self-administered survey. This study also used an expert panel group to provide data and input throughout the study process. High-fidelity, interactive simulations were created and used to facilitate collection of qualitative data. The simulations were developed based on system requirements, data collected through operational efforts, and participants' reported preferences for using VA HIT. Pairwise comparison activities of HIT resources were conducted with both focus groups and the expert panel. Rapid iterative content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Descriptive statistics summarized quantitative data. Results Data themes included (1) current use of VA HIT, (2) non-VA HIT use, and (3) preferences for future use of VA HIT. Data indicated that, although the Secure Messaging feature was often preferred, a full range of HIT options are needed. These data were then used to develop veteran-driven simulations that illustrate user needs and expectations when using a HIT system and services to access VA health care services. Conclusions Patient participant redesign processes present critical opportunities for creating a human-centered design. Veterans value virtual health
Oliva, Elizabeth M; Nevedal, Andrea; Lewis, Eleanor T; McCaa, Matthew D; Cochran, Michael F; Konicki, P Eric; Davis, Corey S; Wilder, Christine
In an effort to prevent opioid overdose mortality among Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities began implementing opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) in 2013 and a national program began in 2014. VA is the first national health care system to implement OEND. The goal of this study is to examine patient perceptions of OEND training and naloxone kits. Four focus groups were conducted between December 2014 and February 2015 with 21 patients trained in OEND. Participants were recruited from a VA residential facility in California with a substance use disorder treatment program (mandatory OEND training) and a homeless program (optional OEND training). Data were analyzed using matrices and open and closed coding approaches to identify participants' perspectives on OEND training including benefits, concerns, differing opinions, and suggestions for improvement. Veterans thought OEND training was interesting, novel, and empowering, and that naloxone kits will save lives. Some veterans expressed concern about using syringes in the kits. A few patients who never used opioids were not interested in receiving kits. Veterans had differing opinions about legal and liability issues, whether naloxone kits might contribute to relapse, and whether and how to involve family in training. Some veterans expressed uncertainty about the effects of naloxone. Suggested improvements included active learning approaches, enhanced training materials, and increased advertisement. OEND training was generally well received among study participants, including those with no indication for a naloxone kit. Patients described a need for OEND and believed it could save lives. Patient feedback on OEND training benefits, concerns, opinions, and suggestions provides important insights to inform future OEND training programs both within VA and in other health care settings. Training is critical to maximizing the potential for OEND to save lives, and this study
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report summarizes the history of women Veterans in the military and as Veterans. It profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2015, and illustrates how...
Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort
This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Manhattan Campus (VA- Manhattan) fleet to identify the daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support successful introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the agency’s fleet. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively called PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.
Lipschitz, Jessica M; Benzer, Justin K; Miller, Christopher; Easley, Siena R; Leyson, Jenniffer; Post, Edward P; Burgess, James F
The collaborative care model is an evidence-based practice for treatment of depression in which designated care managers provide clinical services, often by telephone. However, the collaborative care model is infrequently adopted in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Almost all VA medical centers have adopted a co-located or embedded approach to integrating mental health care for primary care patients. Some VA medical centers have also adopted a telephone-based collaborative care model where depression care managers support patient education, patient activation, and monitoring of adherence and progress over time. This study evaluated two research questions: (1) What does a dedicated care manager offer in addition to an embedded-only model? (2) What are the barriers to implementing a dedicated depression care manager? This study involved 15 qualitative, multi-disciplinary, key informant interviews at two VA medical centers where reimbursement options were the same- both with embedded mental health staff, but one with a depression care manager. Participant interviews were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to identify descriptive and analytical themes. Findings suggested that some of the core functions of depression care management are provided as part of embedded-only mental health care. However, formal structural attention to care management may improve the reliability of care management functions, in particular monitoring of progress over time. Barriers to optimal implementation were identified at both sites. Themes from the care management site included finding assertive care managers to hire, cross-discipline integration and collaboration, and primary care provider burden. Themes from interviews at the embedded site included difficulty getting care management on leaders' agendas amidst competing priorities and logistics (staffing and space). Providers and administrators see depression care management as a valuable healthcare service that
Swetter, Susan M; Chang, Julia; Shaub, Amanda R; Weinstock, Martin A; Lewis, Eleanor T; Asch, Steven M
Skin cancer screening may improve melanoma outcomes and keratinocyte carcinoma morbidity, but little is known about the feasibility of skin cancer training and clinical skin examination (CSE) by primary care practitioners (PCPs) in large health care systems. To assess the association of skin cancer training and screening by PCPs with dermatology referral patterns and rates of skin biopsies. In this pilot interventional study performed at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, patients 35 years or older scheduled for an annual health habits screen in the PCP general medicine clinics were studied. Six PCPs underwent Internet Curriculum for Melanoma Early Detection (INFORMED) training in May 2015, and 5 screened patients during the following 14 months. Proportion of dermatology referrals, subsequent skin biopsies, and PCP diagnostic accuracy for skin cancer or precancer compared with dermatologist diagnosis were assessed in screened patients 14 months before the intervention (February 18, 2014, through April 30, 2015) and after the intervention (June 18, 2015, through August 30, 2016). Among 258 patients offered screening (median age, 70 years; age range, 35-94 years; 255 [98.8%] male), 189 (73.3%) received CSE and 69 (26.7%) declined. A total of 62 of 189 patients (32.8%) were referred to a dermatologist after intervention: 33 (53.2%) for presumptive skin cancers and 15 (24.2%) for precancers. Nine of 50 patients (18.0%) evaluated in dermatology clinic underwent biopsy to exclude skin cancer. Correct diagnoses were made by PCPs in 13 of 38 patients (34.2%; 4 of 27 patients [14.8%] diagnosed with skin cancers and 5 of 11 patients [45.5%] diagnosed with actinic keratoses). Comparison of all outpatient visits for the 5 main participating PCPs before vs after intervention revealed no significant differences in dermatology referrals overall and those for presumptive skin cancer or actinic keratoses, skin biopsies, or PCP diagnostic accuracy with the exception
Evans, Martin E; Kralovic, Stephen M; Simbartl, Loretta A; Freyberg, Ron W; Obrosky, D Scott; Roselle, Gary A; Jain, Rajiv
Implementation of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative was associated with significant declines in MRSA transmission and MRSA health care-associated infection rates in Veterans Affairs acute care facilities nationwide in the 33-month period from October 2007 through June 2010. Here, we show continuing declines in MRSA transmissions (P = .004 for trend, Poisson regression) and MRSA health care-associated infections (P < .001) from July 2010 through June 2012. The Veterans Affairs Initiative was associated with these effects, sustained over 57 months, in a large national health care system. Published by Mosby, Inc.
services, eliminating the disability claims backlog, and ending veteran homelessness . According to the plan, the department intends to improve access...training, to end veteran homelessness . Toward this end, VA is working with other agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, to... cause for concern. Thus, to help provide reasonable assurance that VHA achieves its long-term goal of modernizing its claims processing system, we
Gupte, Gouri; Vimalananda, Varsha; Simon, Steven R; DeVito, Katerina; Clark, Justice; Orlander, Jay D
Electronic consultations (e-consults) offer rapid access to specialist input without the need for a patient visit. E-consult implementation began in 2011 at VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS). By early 2013, e-consults were available for all clinical services. In this implementation, the requesting clinician selects the desired consultation within the electronic health record (EHR) ordering menu, which creates an electronic form that is pre-populated with patient demographic information and allows free-text entry of the reason for consult. This triggers a message to the requesting clinician and requested specialty, thereby enabling bidirectional clinician-clinician communication. The aim of this study is to examine the utilization of e-consults in a large Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Data from the electronic health record was used to measure frequency of e-consult use by provider type (physician or nurse practitioner (NP) and/or physician assistant), and by the requesting and responding specialty from January 2012 to December 2013. We conducted chart reviews for a purposive sample of e-consults and semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of clinicians and hospital leaders to better characterize the process, challenges, and usability of e-consults. A total of 7097 e-consults were identified, 1998 from 2012 and 5099 from 2013. More than one quarter (27.56%, 1956/7097) of the e-consult requests originated from VA facilities in New England other than VABHS and were excluded from subsequent analysis. Within the VABHS e-consults (72.44%, 5141/7097), variability in frequency and use of e-consults across provider types and specialties was found. A total of 64 NPs requested 2407 e-consults (median 12.5, range 1-415). In contrast, 448 physicians (including residents and fellows) requested 2349 e-consults (median 2, range 1-116). More than one third (37.35%, 1920/5141) of e-consults were sent from primary care to specialists. While most e
Carter, Andrea; Borrero, Sonya; Wessel, Charles; Washington, Donna L; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Corbelli, Jennifer
Women are a rapidly growing segment of patients who seek care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, yet many questions regarding their health care experiences and outcomes remain unanswered. Racial and ethnic disparities have been well-documented in the general population and among veterans; however, prior disparities research conducted in the VA focused primarily on male veterans. We sought to characterize the findings and gaps in the literature on racial and ethnic disparities among women using the VA. We systematically reviewed the literature on racial and ethnic health care disparities exclusively among women using the VA Healthcare System. We included studies that examined health care use, satisfaction, and/or quality, and stratified data by race or ethnicity. Nine studies of the 2,591 searched met our inclusion criteria. The included studies examined contraception provision/access (n = 3), treatment of low bone mass (n = 1), hormone therapy (n = 1), use of mental health or substance abuse-related services (n = 2), trauma exposure and use of various services (n = 1), and satisfaction with primary care (n = 1). Five of nine studies showed evidence of a significant racial or ethnic difference. In contrast with the wealth of literature examining disparities both among the male veterans and women in non-VA settings, only nine studies examine racial and ethnic disparities specifically among women in the VA Healthcare System. These results demonstrate that there is an unmet need to further assess health care disparities among female VA users. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... through disabled veterans' outreach program specialists and through local veterans' employment... inclusion in the statute of specific authorization (at 38 U.S.C. 4102A(g)) for the Secretary to provide... four to six CAPS per year, and allowing for the possible inclusion of some of the State agencies from...
Karlin, Bradley E.; Brown, Gregory K.; Trockel, Mickey; Cunning, Darby; Zeiss, Antonette M.; Taylor, C. Barr
Objective: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system is nationally disseminating and implementing cognitive behavioral therapy for depression (CBT-D). The current article evaluates therapist and patient-level outcomes associated with national training in and implementation of CBT-D in the VA health care system. Method: Therapist…
Evans, Martin E; Kralovic, Stephen M; Simbartl, Loretta A; Jain, Rajiv; Roselle, Gary A
Declines in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) health care associated infections (HAIs) were previously reported in Veterans Affairs acute care (2012), spinal cord injury (SCIU) (2011), and long-term-care facilities (LTCFs) (2012). Here we report continuing declines in infection rates in these settings through September 2015. Monthly data entered into a national database from 127 acute care facilities, 22 SCIUs, and 133 LTCFs were evaluated for trends using negative binomial regression. There were 23,153,240 intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU, and 1,794,234 SCIU patient-days from October 2007-September 2015, and 22,262,605 LTCF resident-days from July 2009-September 2015. Admission nasal swabbing remained >92% in all 3 venues. Admission prevalence changed from 13.2%-13.5% in acute care, from 35.1%-32.0% in SCIUs, and from 23.1%-25.0% in LTCFs during the analysis periods. Monthly HAI rates fell 87.0% in ICUs, 80.1% in non-ICUs, 80.9% in SCIUs, and 49.4% in LTCFs (all P values Prevention Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Rehman, Shakaib U; Hutchison, Florence N; Hendrix, Katharine; Okonofua, Eni C; Egan, Brent M
Differential access to health care may contribute to lower blood pressure (BP) control rates to under 140/90 mm Hg in African American compared with white hypertensive patients, especially men (26.5% vs 36.5% of all hypertensive patients in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, which provides access to health care and medications across ethnic and economic boundaries, may reduce disparities in BP control. To test this hypothesis, BP treatment and control groups were compared between African American (VA, n = 4379; non-VA, n = 2754) and white (VA, n = 7987; non-VA, n = 4980) hypertensive men. In both groups, whites were older than African Americans (Pcardiovascular risk.
Keller, Deborah S; Kroll, Donald; Papaconstantinou, Harry T; Ellis, C Neal
To identify patients with a high risk of 30-day mortality after elective surgery, who may benefit from referral for tertiary care, an institution-specific process using the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) Risk Calculator was developed. The goal was to develop and validate the methodology. Our hypothesis was that the process could optimize referrals and reduce mortality. A VASQIP risk score was calculated for all patients undergoing elective noncardiac surgery at a single Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. After statistical analysis, a VASQIP risk score of 3.3% predicted mortality was selected as the institutional threshold for referral to a tertiary care center. The model predicted that 16% of patients would require referral, and 30-day mortality would be reduced by 73% at the referring institution. The main outcomes measures were the actual vs predicted referrals and mortality rates at the referring and receiving facilities. The validation included 565 patients; 90 (16%) had VASQIP risk scores greater than 3.3% and were identified for referral; 60 consented. In these patients, there were 16 (27%) predicted mortalities, but only 4 actual deaths (p = 0.007) at the receiving institution. When referral was not indicated, the model predicted 4 mortalities (1%), but no actual deaths (p = 0.1241). These data validate this methodology to identify patients for referral to a higher level of care, reducing mortality at the referring institutions and significantly improving patient outcomes. This methodology can help guide decisions on referrals and optimize patient care. Further application and studies are warranted. Copyright © 2017 American College of Surgeons. All rights reserved.
Beste, Lauren A; Glorioso, Thomas J; Ho, P Michael; Au, David H; Kirsh, Susan R; Todd-Stenberg, Jeffrey; Chang, Michael F; Dominitz, Jason A; Barón, Anna E; Ross, David
The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest US provider of hepatitis C treatment. Although antiviral regimens are becoming simpler, hepatitis C antivirals are not typically prescribed by primary care providers. The Veterans Affairs Extension for Community Health Outcomes (VA-ECHO) program was launched to promote primary care-based hepatitis C treatment using videoconferencing-based specialist support. We aimed to assess whether primary care provider participation in VA-ECHO was associated with hepatitis C treatment and sustained virologic response. We identified 4173 primary care providers (n = 152 sites) responsible for 38,753 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. A total of 6431 patients had a primary care provider participating in VA-ECHO; 32,322 patients had an unexposed primary care provider. Exposure was modeled as a patient-level time-varying covariate. Patients became exposed after primary care provider participation in ≥1 VA-ECHO session. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards frailty modeling assessed the association between VA-ECHO exposure and hepatitis C treatment. Among treated patients, modified Poisson regression assessed the relationship between exposure and sustained virologic response. After adjustment, exposed patients received significantly higher rates of antiviral treatment compared with unexposed patients (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.32; P <.01). The rate of primary care provider-initiated antiviral medication was 21.4% among treated patients reviewed on VA-ECHO teleconferences compared with 2.5% among unexposed patients (P <.01). No difference in adjusted rates of sustained virologic response was observed for patients with exposed primary care providers (P = .32), with similar crude rates for primary care providers versus specialists. National implementation of VA-ECHO was positively associated with hepatitis C treatment initiation by primary care providers, without differences in sustained
Rutt, Benjamin T; Oehlert, Mary E; Krieshok, Thomas S; Lichtenberg, James W
Objective This study evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure in conditions reflective of current clinical practice within the Veterans Health Administration. Method This study involved a retrospective review of 2030 charts. A total of 750 veterans from 10 U.S. states who received cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure in individual psychotherapy were included in the study (participants in cognitive processing therapy, N = 376; participants in prolonged exposure, N = 374). The main dependent variable was self-reported posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms as measured by total scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. The study used multilevel modeling to evaluate the absolute and relative effectiveness of both treatments and determine the relationship between patient-level variables and total Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores during treatment. Results Cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure were equally effective at reducing total Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores. Veterans who completed therapy reported significantly larger reductions in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist than patients who did not complete therapy. There were no significant differences in the improvement of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms with respect to age and three racial/ethnic groups (Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic). Conclusions Cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure were shown to be effective in conditions highly reflective of clinical practice and with a highly diverse sample of veterans. Challenges related to dropout from trauma focused therapy should continue to be researched.
Yano, Elizabeth M; Goldzweig, Caroline; Canelo, Ismelda; Washington, Donna L
In response to concerns about the availability and quality of women's health services in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in the early 1990s, Congress approved landmark legislation earmarking funds to enhance women's health services. A portion of the appropriation was used to launch Comprehensive Women's Health Centers as exemplars for the development of VA women's health care throughout the system. We report on the diffusion and characteristics of VA women's health clinics (WHCs) 10 years later. In 2001, we surveyed the senior women's health clinician at each VA medical center serving > or =400 women veterans (83% response rate) regarding their internal organizational characteristics in relation to factors associated with organizational innovation (centralization, complexity, formalization, interconnectedness, organizational slack, size). We evaluated the comparability of WHCs (n = 66) with characteristics of the original comprehensive women's health centers (CWHCs; n = 8). Gender-specific service availability in WHCs was comparable to that of CWHCs with important exceptions in mental health, mammography and osteoporosis management. WHCs were less likely to have same-gender providers (p business case for managers faced with small female patient caseloads.
Radomski, Thomas R; Bixler, Felicia R; Zickmund, Susan L; Roman, KatieLynn M; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Hale, Jennifer A; Sileanu, Florentina E; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Thorpe, Joshua M; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Gordon, Adam J; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J; Gellad, Walid F
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented robust strategies to monitor prescription opioid dispensing, but these strategies have not accounted for opioids prescribed by non-VA providers. State-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a potential tool to identify VA patients' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers, and recent legislation requires their use within VA. To evaluate VA physicians' perspectives and experiences regarding use of PDMPs to monitor Veterans' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers. Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Forty-two VA primary care physicians who prescribed opioids to 15 or more Veterans in 2015. We sampled physicians from two states with PDMPs (Massachusetts and Illinois) and one without prescriber access to a PDMP at the time of the interviews (Pennsylvania). From February to August 2016, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews that addressed the following topics regarding PDMPs: overall experiences, barriers to optimal use, and facilitators to improve use. VA physicians broadly supported use of PDMPs or desired access to one, while exhibiting varying patterns of PDMP use dictated by state laws and their clinical judgment. Physicians noted administrative burdens and incomplete or unavailable prescribing data as key barriers to PDMP use. To facilitate use, physicians endorsed (1) linking PDMPs with the VA electronic health record, (2) using templated notes to document PDMP use, and (3) delegating routine PDMP queries to ancillary staff. Despite the time and administrative burdens associated with their use, VA physicians in our study broadly supported PDMPs. The application of our findings to ongoing PDMP implementation efforts may strengthen PDMP use both within and outside VA and improve the safe prescribing of opioids.
... contracts, Government employees, Government property, Infants and children, Inventions and patents, Parking... Affairs. For the reasons stated in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR parts 1 and 2 as follows: PART 1... fee amount exceeds $250.00 or the requester previously has failed to pay a FOIA fee in a timely manner...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The caring responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Some of the responders are...
Schult, Tamara M; Galway, Allison M; Awosika, Ebi R; Schmunk, Sandra K; Hodgson, Michael
To determine whether a "worksite culture of health" exists within the Veterans Health Administration and implications on integrating employee health promotion programs. Three national surveys were used-an organizational health survey, a health behaviors survey, and a worksite environment survey. Cross-sectional associations between measures of organizational health and employee health behaviors and between measures of organizational health and worksite environment were assessed. There were significant associations between a number of organizational health measures and a combined measure of health behaviors. Likewise, presence of employee-wellness committees and/or coaches was significantly associated with higher appraisal on organizational health measures. Results suggest that a worksite culture of health exists in some but not all facilities within Veterans Health Administration; this has implications for integrating employee health promotion programs systemwide. A phased-in approach is likely warranted.
Boyle, Melissa A; Lahey, Joanna N
Measuring the total impact of health insurance receipt on household labor supply is important in an era of increased access to publicly provided and subsidized insurance. Although government expansion of health insurance to older workers leads to direct labor supply reductions for recipients, there may be spillover effects on the labor supply of uncovered spouses. While the most basic model predicts a decrease in overall household work hours, financial incentives such as credit constraints, target income levels, and the need for own health insurance suggest that spousal labor supply might increase. In contrast, complementarities of spousal leisure would predict a decrease in labor supply for both spouses. Utilizing a mid-1990s expansion of health insurance for U.S. veterans, we provide evidence on the effects of public insurance availability on the labor supply of spouses. Using data from the Current Population Survey and Health and Retirement Study, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of the wives of older male veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion. Although husbands' labor supply decreases, wives' labor supply increases, suggesting that financial incentives dominate complementarities of spousal leisure. This effect is strongest for wives with lower education levels and lower levels of household wealth and those who were not previously employed full-time. These findings have implications for government programs such as Medicare and Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Burgess, Diana J; van Ryn, Michelle; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Clothier, Barbara; Taylor, Brent C; Sherman, Scott; Joseph, Anne M; Fu, Steven S
We examined whether a proactive care smoking cessation intervention designed to overcome barriers to treatment would be especially effective at increasing cessation among African Americans receiving care in the Veterans Health Administration. We analyzed data from a randomized controlled trial, the Veterans Victory over Tobacco study, involving a population-based electronic registry of current smokers (702 African Americans, 1569 whites) and assessed 6-month prolonged smoking abstinence at 1 year via a follow-up survey of all current smokers. We also examined candidate risk adjustors for the race effect on smoking abstinence. The interaction between patient race and intervention condition (proactive care vs. usual care) was not significant. Overall, African Americans had higher quit rates than Whites (13% vs. 9%; P Whites. These findings may be a result of the large number of veterans receiving smoking cessation services and the lack of racial differences in receipt of these services as well as racial differences in smoking history, self-efficacy, and motivation to quit that favor African Americans.
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides healthcare services to its veterans across the USA including territories and possessions. Healthcare services are...
Huttner, Benedikt; Jones, Makoto; Huttner, Angela; Rubin, Michael; Samore, Matthew H
Currently used metrics for antibiotic utilization are not linked to a diagnosis and may be difficult to interpret. We aimed to describe patterns and variation in antibiotic management of three common infectious disease diagnoses in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). This descriptive retrospective cohort study included all veterans discharged between 2007 and 2009 after an acute care admission to a VAMC and a principal ICD-9-CM code for pneumonia (PNEU), skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTI), urinary tract infections (UTI) or non-infectious disease-related diagnoses (NON_INF). Systemic antibiotic use was assessed based on barcode medication administration data. A treatment period was defined as a time of uninterrupted inpatient antibiotic therapy with no gaps of >1 calendar day. Over the study period there were 1.44 million discharges with an acute care admission to 128 VAMCs included in the study. Of the discharges, 58 118 had a primary ICD-9-CM diagnosis classifiable as PNEU, 36 797 as SSTI, 30 223 as UTI and 1 243 098 as NON_INF. Empirical antibiotic use during the first 2 hospital days was frequent for all infectious disease diagnoses. Type of empirical coverage varied among facilities for all conditions, as did treatment durations. Roughly half of all empirical courses of therapy where the patient was still hospitalized on day 4 did not exhibit any change to the antibiotic regimen. There is substantial variation in the management of common infectious diseases with regard to choice of empirical agents and duration of therapy. Diagnosis-specific antibiotic use metrics may prove useful for antibiotic stewardship programmes.
Nelson, J T; Swan, A A; Swiger, B; Packer, M; Pugh, M J
Hearing loss is the second most common disability awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to former members of the U.S. uniformed services. Hearing readiness and conservation practices differ among the four largest uniformed military services (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy). Utilizing a data set consisting of all hearing loss claims submitted to the VA from fiscal years 2003-2013, we examined characteristics of veterans submitting claims within one year of separation from military service. Our results indicate that having a hearing loss disability claim granted was significantly more likely for men, individuals over the age of 26 years at the time of the claim, individuals most recently serving in the U.S. Army, and those with at least one hearing loss diagnosis. Importantly, individuals with at least one test record in the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System-Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC) system were significantly less likely to have a hearing loss disability claim granted by the VA. Within the DOEHRS-HC cohort, those with at least one threshold shift or clinical hearing loss diagnosis while on active duty were more than two and three times more likely to have a hearing loss disability claim granted, respectively. These findings indicate that an established history of reduced hearing ability while on active duty was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of an approved hearing loss disability claim relative to VA claims without such a history. Further, our results show a persistent decreased rate of hearing loss disability awards overall. These findings support increased inclusion of personnel in DoD hearing readiness and conservation programs to reduce VA hearing loss disability awards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Caffrey, Aisling R; Morrill, Haley J; Puzniak, Laura A; Laplante, Kerry L
As variability in vancomycin dosing, susceptibility, and tolerability has driven the need to compare newer agents with vancomycin in real-world clinical settings, we sought to quantify the effectiveness of linezolid compared with vancomycin on clinical outcomes for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia. Retrospective cohort study. Veterans Health Administration national databases. Adults admitted to Veterans Affairs hospitals between January 2002 and September 2010 with diagnosis codes for MRSA and pneumonia, plus initiation and receipt of at least 3 days of continuous intravenous vancomycin therapy (4943 patients) or intravenous or oral linezolid therapy (328 patients) while in the hospital. Propensity score-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models quantified the effect of linezolid compared with vancomycin on time to 30-day mortality (primary outcome), therapy change, hospital discharge, discharge from intensive care, intubation, 30-day readmission, and 30-day MRSA reinfection. In addition, a composite outcome of clinical success was defined as discharge from the hospital or intensive care unit by day 14 after treatment initiation, in the absence of death, therapy change, or intubation by day 14. Subgroup analyses were performed in a validated microbiology-confirmed MRSA subgroup and clinical subgroup meeting clinical criteria for infection. Although a number of baseline variables differed significantly between the vancomycin and linezolid treatment groups, balance was achieved within propensity score quintiles. A significantly lower rate of therapy change was observed in the linezolid group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48-0.96). The clinical success rate was significantly higher among patients treated with linezolid (adjusted HR 1.25, 95% CI 1.07-1.47). Comparable findings were observed in the subgroup analyses. Individual clinical outcomes were similar among patients treated
Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) is the fifth in a series of comprehensivenationwide surveys designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan...
Jimenez-Lucho, V E; Fallon, F; Caputo, C; Ramsey, K
Although general guidelines for control of institutional outbreaks of scabies have been published, little information is available on the long-term efficacy of these measures in extended care facilities. An epidemic of scabies occurred in a comprehensive care Veterans Affairs facility as a result of an unrecognized case of crusted scabies, with a total of 112 persons affected during a 12-month period. The initial outbreak occurred in the acute care units, with highest attack rates among roommates of the index patient (11/14, 78%) and nursing staff (27/55, 49%). Despite sustained infection control measures, secondary outbreaks continued to occur in the extended care units. Factors contributing to the persistence of the epidemic were transfer of patients with unrecognized infestation within the facility, prolonged latency period and atypical manifestations in elderly patients, and failure of scabicide treatment. In addition, a role may be played by carriage of scabies mites by infested staff members before they have symptoms. Control of the epidemic was only achieved with the following: increased awareness and better scabies recognition, restriction of staff rotation in the facility, and improved communication among primary providers and infection control personnel. Prolonged surveillance may be required for eradication of nosocomial scabies in extended care settings.
Estrada, Carlos A; Dolansky, Mary A; Singh, Mamta K; Oliver, Brant J; Callaway-Lane, Carol; Splaine, Mark; Gilman, Stuart; Patrician, Patricia A
Healthcare professionals need a new skill set to ensure the success of quality improvement in healthcare. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiated the VA National Quality Scholars fellowship in 1998; its mission is to improve the quality of care, ensure safety, accelerate healthcare re-design, and advance the improvement science by educating the next generation of leaders in quality and safety. We describe the critical need for leadership in quality and safety and interprofessional education, illustrate the curriculum, provide lessons learned by fellows, summarize key lessons learned from the implementation of an interprofessional education approach, and present most recent accomplishments. Narrative review. As of 2011, 106 program alumni are embedded in the health care delivery system across the United States. Since 2009, when nurse fellows joined the program, of the first nine graduating interdisciplinary fellows, the tailored curriculum has resulted in five advanced academic degrees, 42 projects, 29 teaching activities, 44 presentations, 36 publications, six grants funded or submitted, and two awards. The VA National Quality Scholars program continues to nurture and develop leaders for the new millennium focusing on interprofessional education. The nations' health care systems need strong interdisciplinary leaders in advanced quality improvement science who are dedicated to improving the overall quality of health and health care. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate information is needed to direct healthcare systems’ efforts to control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA. Assembling complete and correct microbiology data is vital to understanding and addressing the multiple drug-resistant organisms in our hospitals. Methods Herein, we describe a system that securely gathers microbiology data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA network of databases. Using natural language processing methods, we applied an information extraction process to extract organisms and susceptibilities from the free-text data. We then validated the extraction against independently derived electronic data and expert annotation. Results We estimate that the collected microbiology data are 98.5% complete and that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was extracted accurately 99.7% of the time. Conclusions Applying natural language processing methods to microbiology records appears to be a promising way to extract accurate and useful nosocomial pathogen surveillance data. Both scientific inquiry and the data’s reliability will be dependent on the surveillance system’s capability to compare from multiple sources and circumvent systematic error. The dataset constructed and methods used for this investigation could contribute to a comprehensive infectious disease surveillance system or other pressing needs.
Bowman, Candice C; Johnson, Linda; Cox, Malcolm; Rick, Catherine; Dougherty, Mary; Alt-White, Anna C; Wyte, Tamar; Needleman, Jack; Dobalian, Aram
In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the VA Nursing Academy (VANA), a 5-year, $60-million pilot program funding 15 partnerships between schools of nursing and local VA health care facilities nationwide, to expand nursing faculty, enhance clinical faculty development, increase nursing student enrollment, and promote educational innovations. VA is an ideal setting for educating nursing students owing to a well-educated registered nurse staff, an array of traditional and nontraditional settings, a state-of-the-art computerized electronic health record system, and a unique patient population. Challenges related to the complex nature of VANA partnerships, conceptualized as strategic alliances created between disparate subunits, each embedded in a larger organization, require careful governance to ensure smooth implementation. To ensure the program's aims are met, a 6-year national evaluation has been funded to help identify which strategies best achieve VANA's goals. The speed of economic recovery and the resulting changes in the nursing workforce are important determinants of VANA's future. Published by Mosby, Inc.
Biggerstaff, K S; Frankfort, B J; Orengo-Nania, S; Garcia, J; Chiao, E; Kramer, J R; White, D
The validity of the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9) code for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic medical record has not been examined. We determined the accuracy of the ICD-9 code for POAG and developed diagnostic algorithms for the detection of POAG. We conducted a retrospective study of abstracted data from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center's medical records of 334 unique patients with at least one visit to the Eye Clinic between 1999 and 2013. Algorithms were developed to validly identify POAG using ICD-9 codes and pharmacy data. The positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), sensitivity, specificity and percent agreement of the various algorithms were calculated. For the ICD-9 code 365.1x, the PPV was 65.9%, NPV was 95.2%, sensitivity was 100%, specificity was 82.6%, and percent agreement was 87.8%. The algorithm with the highest PPV was 76.3%, using pharmacy data in conjunction with two or more ICD-9 codes for POAG, but this algorithm also had the lowest NPV at 88.2%. Various algorithms for identifying POAG in the VA administrative databases have variable validity. Depending on the type of research being done, the ICD-9 code 365.1x can be used for epidemiologic or health services database research.
Locatelli, Sara M; LaVela, Sherri L
Changes to the work environment prompted by the movement toward patient-centered care have the potential to improve occupational stress among health care workers by improving team-based work activities, collaboration, and employee-driven quality improvement. This study was conducted to examine professional quality of life among providers at patient-centered care pilot facilities. Surveys were conducted with 76 Veterans Affairs employees/providers at facilities piloting patient-centered care interventions, to assess demographics, workplace practices and views (team-based environment, employee voice, quality of communication, and turnover intention), and professional quality of life (compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress).Professional quality-of-life subscales were not related to employee position type, age, or gender. Employee voice measures were related to lower burnout and higher compassion satisfaction. In addition, employees who were considering leaving their position showed higher burnout and lower compassion satisfaction scores. None of the work practices showed relationships with secondary traumatic stress.
Tsuang, D W; Skol, A D; Faraone, S V; Bingham, S; Young, K A; Prabhudesai, S; Haverstock, S L; Mena, F; Menon, A S; Bisset, D; Pepple, J; Sauter, F; Baldwin, C; Weiss, D; Collins, J; Boehnke, M; Schellenberg, G D; Tsuang, M T
Previous studies have reported genetic linkage evidence for a schizophrenia gene on chromosome 15q. Here, chromosome 15 was examined by genetic linkage analysis using 166 schizophrenia families, each with two or more affected subjects. The families, assembled from multiple centers by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study Program, consisted of 392 sampled affected subjects and 216 affected sibling pairs. By DSM-III-R criteria, 360 subjects (91.8%) had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and 32 (8.2%) were classified as schizo-affective disorder, depressed. Participating families had diverse ethnic backgrounds. The largest single group were northern European American families (n = 62, 37%), but a substantial proportion was African American kindreds (n = 60, 36%). The chromosome 15 markers tested were spaced at intervals of approximately 10 cM over the entire chromosome and 2-5 cM for the region surrounding the alpha-7 nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunit gene (CHRNA7). These markers were genotyped and the data analyzed using semiparametric affecteds-only linkage analysis. In the European American families, there was a maximum Z-score of 1.65 between markers D15S165 and D15S1010. These markers are within 1 cM from CHRNA-7, the site previously implicated in schizophrenia. However, there was no evidence for linkage to this region in the African America kindreds. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Tuepker, Anaïs; Zickmund, Susan L; Nicolajski, Cara E; Hahm, Bridget; Butler, Jorie; Weir, Charlene; Post, Lori; Hickam, David H
The capacity of electronic health records (EHRs) to capture desired information depends on the practices of health care providers. These practices have not been well studied in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This qualitative study investigated how providers write EHR notes on PTSD through 38 interviews with providers working at five Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across the United States of America. Two overarching themes were prominent in the results. Providers used progress notes primarily to remember and access details for direct patient care, but only rarely for care coordination. Providers infrequently recorded information not judged to directly contribute to improved care, sometimes deliberately omitting information perceived to jeopardize patients' access to, or quality of, care. Omitted information frequently included sexual or non-military trauma. Understanding providers' thought processes can help clinicians be aware of the limitations of EHR notes as a tool for learning the histories of new patients. Similarly, researchers relying on EHR data for PTSD research should be aware of likely areas of missing data.
Wang, Liya; Sawhney, Monika; Zhao, Yingnan; Carpio, Gandahari Rosa; Fonseca, Vivian; Shi, Lizheng
This study aimed to determine the association between colchicine use and the incidence of diabetes in a cohort of patients with gout. This is a retrospective study of 27,876 adults with gout identified via the Veterans Integrated Services Network 16 data warehouse. Patients had up to 11 years of follow-up (January 1999 through December 2010). The final study sample consisted of 1046 pairs of 1:1 propensity score-matched patients from the colchicine treated and control cohorts. Time to first diabetes development since the first gout diagnosis was modeled. After the propensity score matching, the 12-month baseline variables (eg, age, sex, race, index year, body mass index, serum uric acid, antigout drug use, and health care use) were comparable between the matched cohorts (P > 0.05 for all). Among the 1046 matched pairs, 234 patients who had taken colchicine and 224 patients who had never taken colchicine developed diabetes; the incidence rates were 38.95 and 39.02 per 1000 patient-years, respectively. In Poisson and Cox proportional hazards regression, the risk of incident diabetes was reduced with increased duration of colchicine use, but the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). In a time-varying Cox proportional hazards model, the hazard ratio for incident diabetes among patients who had taken colchicine was 0.877 (95% CI, 0.662-1.163; P = 0.362) compared with those who had not taken colchicine. This study suggests a possible duration- or dose-related association between colchicine use and reduced risk of diabetes in adults with gout even though the risk reduction was not significant. Further studies are needed to confirm findings from this study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.
Lucero, Cynthia A; Oda, Gina; Cox, Kenneth; Maldonado, Frank; Lombardo, Joseph; Wojcik, Richard; Holodniy, Mark
The establishment of robust biosurveillance capabilities is an important component of the U.S. strategy for identifying disease outbreaks, environmental exposures and bioterrorism events. Currently, U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) perform biosurveillance independently. This article describes a joint VA/DoD biosurveillance project at North Chicago-VA Medical Center (NC-VAMC). The Naval Health Clinics-Great Lakes facility physically merged with NC-VAMC beginning in 2006 with the full merger completed in October 2010 at which time all DoD care and medical personnel had relocated to the expanded and remodeled NC-VAMC campus and the combined facility was renamed the Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC). The goal of this study was to evaluate disease surveillance using a biosurveillance application which combined data from both populations. A retrospective analysis of NC-VAMC/Lovell FHCC and other Chicago-area VAMC data was performed using the ESSENCE biosurveillance system, including one infectious disease outbreak (Salmonella/Taste of Chicago-July 2007) and one weather event (Heat Wave-July 2006). Influenza-like-illness (ILI) data from these same facilities was compared with CDC/Illinois Sentinel Provider and Cook County ESSENCE data for 2007-2008. Following consolidation of VA and DoD facilities in North Chicago, median number of visits more than doubled, median patient age dropped and proportion of females rose significantly in comparison with the pre-merger NC-VAMC facility. A high-level gastrointestinal alert was detected in July 2007, but only low-level alerts at other Chicago-area VAMCs. Heat-injury alerts were triggered for the merged facility in June 2006, but not at the other facilities. There was also limited evidence in these events that surveillance of the combined population provided utility above and beyond the VA-only and DoD-only components. Recorded ILI activity for NC-VAMC/Lovell FHCC was more pronounced in the Do
... homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans...
...-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044C...; provide preference and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness; and...
Thielke, Stephen; Tumosa, Nina; Lindenfeld, Rivkah; Shay, Kenneth
The scope of geriatrics-related educational offerings in large health care systems, in either the target audiences or topics covered, has not previously been analyzed or reported in the professional literature. The authors reviewed the geriatrics-related educational sessions that were provided between 1999 and 2009 by the Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) and the Employee Education System (EES) of the United States' largest integrated health care system, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Using records of attendance and content at local training events and regional and national conferences, the authors estimated the number of attendees in different health disciplines and the number and types of lectures. During the past 11 years, GRECCs and EES provided geriatric-related educational sessions to about one third of a million attendees, most of them nurses and physicians, in about 15,000 lectures. About three-fourths of the educational events occurred through local, rather than regional or national, events. Lectures covered a wide variety of topics, with a particular emphasis on dementia and other mental health topics. A comparison of the number of potential learners in VHA with the number of geriatric-related educational presentations over this time period yields an average of one offering per VHA provider every 3 years; most providers likely never received any. Since 1999 the GRECCs have been the dominant source for geriatrics-related education for VHA health professionals, but given that about one half of VHA patients are older than age 65, there is still a large unmet need to provide geriatric education to VHA providers. Examination of the GRECC resources that have been put to use in the past to develop and deliver the face-to-face education experiences described sheds light on the magnitude of resources that might be required to address remaining unmet need in the future, and supports the prediction that there will need to be
Karacsonyi, Judit; Armstrong, Ehrin J; Truong, Huu Tam D; Tsuda, Ryan; Kokkinidis, Damianos G; Martinez-Parachini, Jose Roberto; Alame, Aya J; Danek, Barbara A; Karatasakis, Aris; Roesle, Michele; Khalili, Houman; Ungi, Imre; Banerjee, Subhash; Brilakis, Emmanouil S; Rangan, Bavana V
The contemporary use and outcomes of excimer laser coronary atherectomy (ELCA) in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are not well described. We examined the baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics and procedural outcomes of 130 target lesions in 121 consecutive PCIs (n = 116 patients) in which ELCA was performed at three United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers between 2008 and 2016. Mean age was 68.5 ± 9 years and 97% of the patients were men. Patients had high prevalence of diabetes mellitus (63%), prior coronary artery bypass graft surgery (41%), and prior myocardial infarction (60%). The most common target vessel was the left anterior descending (32%), followed by the right coronary artery (30%), circumflex artery (20%), and saphenous vein graft (12%). The target lesions were highly complex, with moderate/severe calcification in 62% and in-stent restenosis in 37%. The most common indication for ELCA was balloon-uncrossable lesions (43.8%), followed by balloon-undilatable lesions (40.8%) and thrombotic lesions (12.3%). Use of ELCA was associated with high technical success rate (90.0%) and procedural success rate (88.8%), and low major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate (3.45%). Mean procedure time was 120 min (interquartile range [IQR], 81-191 min), air kerma radiation dose was 2.76 Gy (IQR, 1.32-5.01 Gy), and contrast volume was 273 mL (IQR, 201-362 mL). In a contemporary multicenter United States registry, ELCA was commonly used in highly complex lesions and was associated with high technical and procedural success rates and low incidence of MACE.
Bellows, Brandon K; DuVall, Scott L; Kamauu, Aaron W C; Supina, Dylan; Pawaskar, Manjiri; Babcock, Thomas; LaFleur, Joanne
In 2013 binge-eating disorder (BED) was recognized as a formal diagnosis, but was historically included under the diagnosis code for eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). This study compared the characteristics and use of treatment modalities in BED patients to those with EDNOS without BED (EDNOS-only) and to matched-patients with no eating disorders (NED). Patients were identified for this study from electronic health records in the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2000 to 2011. Patients with BED were identified using natural language processing and patients with EDNOS-only were identified by ICD-9 code (307.50). First diagnosis defined index date for these groups. NED patients were frequency matched to BED patients up to 4:1, as available, on age, sex, BMI, depression, and index month encounter. Baseline characteristics and use of treatment modalities during the post-index year were compared using t-tests or chi-square tests. There were 593 BED, 1354 EDNOS-only, and 1895 matched-NED patients identified. Only 68 patients with BED had an EDNOS diagnosis. BED patients were younger (48.7 vs. 49.8years, p=0.04), more were male (72.2% vs. 62.8%, pobese (BMI 40.2 vs. 37.0, ptreatment modality. The characteristics of BED patients were different from those with EDNOS-only and NED as was their use of treatment modalities. These differences highlight the need for a separate identifier of BED. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Multidrug-resistant (MDR and carbapenem-resistant (CR Gram-negative pathogens are becoming increasingly prevalent around the globe. Polymyxins and tigecycline are among the few antibiotics available to treat infections with these bacteria but little is known about the frequency of their use. We therefore aimed to estimate the parenteral use of these two drugs in Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs and to describe the pathogens associated with their administration. For this purpose we retrospectively analyzed barcode medication administration data of parenteral administrations of polymyxins and tigecycline in 127 acute-care VAMCs between October 2005 and September 2010. Overall, polymyxin and tigecycline use were relatively low at 0.8 days of therapy (DOT/1000 patient days (PD and 1.6 DOT/1000PD, respectively. Use varied widely across facilities, but increased overall during the study period. Eight facilities accounted for three-quarters of all polymyxin use. The same statistic for tigecycline use was twenty-six VAMCs. There were 1,081 MDR or CR isolates during 747 hospitalizations associated with polymyxin use (1.4/hospitalization. For tigecycline these number were slightly lower: 671 MDR or CR isolates during 500 hospitalizations (1.3/hospitalization (p = 0.06. An ecological correlation between the two antibiotics and combined CR and MDR Gram-negative isolates per 1000PD during the study period was also observed (Pearson's correlation coefficient r = 0.55 polymyxin, r = 0.19 tigecycline. In summary, while polymyxin and tigecycline use is low in most VAMCs, there has been an increase over the study period. Polymyxin use in particular is associated with the presence of MDR Gram-negative pathogens and may be useful as a surveillance measure in the future.
Turalba, Angela; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Chomsky, Amy S; Vollman, David E; Baze, Elizabeth F; Lawrence, Mary G; Daly, Mary K
To compare clinical outcomes of cataract surgery in eyes with and without pseudoexfoliation (PXF). Retrospective deidentified data analysis. A total of 123 PXF and 4776 non-PXF eyes of patients who underwent cataract surgery. We compared data on visual acuity, Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ)-based quality of life, and complications in PXF and non-PXF eyes from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project across 5 VA medical centres. Pupillary expansion devices were used in 31 (25.2%) PXF cases and 398 (8.4%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.0001). Capsular tension rings were used in 6 (4.9%) PXF cases and 55 (1.2%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.004). The following complications occurred more frequently in PXF cases: zonular dehiscence without vitrectomy (4 [3.3%] PXF cases vs 40 [0.8%] non-PXF cases p = 0.02), persistent inflammation (28 [24.1%] vs 668 [14.5%]; p = 0.007), and persistent intraocular pressure elevation (5 [4.3%] vs 68 [1.5%]; p = 0.03). Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved in both groups after 1 month, but 87 (83.7%) PXF cases achieved postoperative BCVA better than or equal to 20/40 compared to 3991 (93.8%) non-PXF cases (p = 0.0003). There was no significant difference in the postoperative composite VFQ scores between PXF (82.1 ± 16.9) and non-PXF cases (84.2 ± 16.8, p = 0.09). Several complications occurred more frequently in the PXF group compared to the non-PXF group, and fewer PXF cases achieved BCVA better than or equal to 20/40. Despite this, both groups experienced similar improvement in vision-related quality of life after cataract surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Review of the Report of the Commission To Assess Veterans' Education Policy and the Response of the DVA. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education, Training and Employment of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, First Session.
Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
This document describes a hearing to review a report of the Commission to Assess Veterans' Education Policy, which was established by Congress in 1986, and the initial response from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), which administers education and training programs. Following the opening statements by Congressmen Timothy J. Penny and…
Department of Veterans Affairs — The spreadsheet of Korean War Veterans by State includes the total Korean War Veteran population for each state and broken out by age and gender. It also includes...
Interagency partnership to deliver Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services: Interviews with Aging and Disability Network agency personnel regarding their experience with partner Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.
Thomas, Kali S; Allen, Susan M
Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS) is a consumer-directed program that began in 2009 and is jointly administered in a partnership between the Veterans Health Administration and the Administration for Community Living. The objective of this article is to describe the Aging and Disability Network agency (ADNA) personnel's perceptions of the implementation of the VD-HCBS program with partner Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Qualitative interviews with 26 ADNA VD-HCBS personnel across the country were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Results suggest that the majority of ADNA personnel interviewed perceive the collaboration experience to be positive. Interviewees reported several key mechanisms for facilitating a successful partnership, including frequent communication, training in VAMC billing procedures, having a designated VAMC staff person for the program, and active involvement of the VAMC from the onset of VD-HCBS program development. Findings have implications for other interagency partnerships formed to deliver services to vulnerable Veterans.
Schey, Stephen [Intertek Testing Services, North America, Phoenix, AZ (United States); Francfort, Jim [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, James J. Peters VA Medical Center (VA - Bronx) fleet to identify daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support the successful introduction of PEVs into the agencies’ fleets. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...
.... The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that it has served approximately 300 returning veterans in its homeless programs and has identified over 1,000 more as being at risk of homelessness...
Department of Veterans Affairs — As of June 28, 2010, the Master Veteran Index (MVI) database based on the enhanced Master Patient Index (MPI) is the authoritative identity service within the VA,...
Full Text Available Abstract Background The establishment of robust biosurveillance capabilities is an important component of the U.S. strategy for identifying disease outbreaks, environmental exposures and bioterrorism events. Currently, U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD and Veterans Affairs (VA perform biosurveillance independently. This article describes a joint VA/DoD biosurveillance project at North Chicago-VA Medical Center (NC-VAMC. The Naval Health Clinics-Great Lakes facility physically merged with NC-VAMC beginning in 2006 with the full merger completed in October 2010 at which time all DoD care and medical personnel had relocated to the expanded and remodeled NC-VAMC campus and the combined facility was renamed the Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC. The goal of this study was to evaluate disease surveillance using a biosurveillance application which combined data from both populations. Methods A retrospective analysis of NC-VAMC/Lovell FHCC and other Chicago-area VAMC data was performed using the ESSENCE biosurveillance system, including one infectious disease outbreak (Salmonella/Taste of Chicago-July 2007 and one weather event (Heat Wave-July 2006. Influenza-like-illness (ILI data from these same facilities was compared with CDC/Illinois Sentinel Provider and Cook County ESSENCE data for 2007-2008. Results Following consolidation of VA and DoD facilities in North Chicago, median number of visits more than doubled, median patient age dropped and proportion of females rose significantly in comparison with the pre-merger NC-VAMC facility. A high-level gastrointestinal alert was detected in July 2007, but only low-level alerts at other Chicago-area VAMCs. Heat-injury alerts were triggered for the merged facility in June 2006, but not at the other facilities. There was also limited evidence in these events that surveillance of the combined population provided utility above and beyond the VA-only and DoD-only components. Recorded ILI activity for NC
Shunk, Kendrick A; Zimmet, Jeffrey; Cason, Brian; Speiser, Bernadette; Tseng, Elaine E
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) revolutionized the treatment of aortic stenosis. Developing a TAVR program with a custom-built hybrid operating room (HOR) outside the surgical operating room area poses unique challenges in Veterans Affairs (VA) institutions. To present the process by which the San Francisco VA Medical Center developed a VA-approved TAVR program, in which an HOR exists in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, as a guideline for future programs. Retrospective review of each required approval process for developing an HOR in a cardiac catheterization laboratory in a VA designated for complex surgery. Participants included San Francisco VA Medical Center health care professionals and individuals responsible for new program initiation in VA institutions. External reviews by industry vendors, the VA Central Office, and the Office for Construction, Facilities, and Management and an internal Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis. The timeline for each process. Developing a TAVR program required vetting and approval from industry vendors, who provided training and expertise. Architectural plans for construction of the HOR began in 2010-2011, followed by approval from Edwards Lifesciences, Inc, in 2012 and fundamentals training on February 8 and 9, 2013. Following a pilot launch of the first VA TAVR program at the Houston VA Medical Center, subsequent programs were required to submit a plan to the VA Central Office for proposed restructuring of their clinical programs. After the San Francisco VA Medical Center proposal submission on February 3, 2013, a site visit consisting of a National Chief of Catheterization Laboratory Managers, a cardiac surgeon, and an interventional cardiologist with TAVR experience was conducted on April 12, 2013. During construction, HOR plans were inspected by the Office for Construction, Facilities, and Management followed by on-site inspection on August 8, 2013, to assess the adequacy of the HOR, newly built
Kobayashi, Taisei; Glorioso, Thomas J; Armstrong, Ehrin J; Maddox, Thomas M; Plomondon, Mary E; Grunwald, Gary K; Bradley, Steven M; Tsai, Thomas T; Waldo, Stephen W; Rao, Sunil V; Banerjee, Subhash; Nallamothu, Brahmajee K; Bhatt, Deepak L; Rene, A Garvey; Wilensky, Robert L; Groeneveld, Peter W; Giri, Jay
Current comparative outcomes among black and white patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are not known. To compare outcomes between black and white patients undergoing PCI in the VA health system. This study compared black and white patients who underwent PCI between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2013, at 63 VA hospitals using data recorded in the VA Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System for Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories (CART-CL) program. A generalized linear mixed model with a random intercept for site assessed the relative difference in odds of outcomes between black and white patients. The setting was integrated institutionalized hospital care. Excluded were all patients of other races or those with multiple listed races and those with missing data regarding race or the diagnostic cardiac catheterization. The dates of analysis were January 7, 2016, to April 17, 2017. Percutaneous coronary intervention at a VA hospital. The primary outcome was 1-year mortality. Secondary outcomes were 30-day all-cause readmission rates, 30-day acute kidney injury, 30-day blood transfusion, and 1-year readmission rates for myocardial infarction. In addition, variations in procedural and postprocedural care were examined, including the use of intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, fractional flow reserve measurements, bare-metal stents, postprocedural medications, and radial access. A total of 42 391 patients (13.3% black and 98.4% male; mean [SD] age, 65.2 [9.1] years) satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. In unadjusted analyses, black patients had higher rates of 1-year mortality (7.1% vs 5.9%, P < .001) as well as secondary outcomes of 30-day acute kidney injury (20.8% vs 13.8%, P < .001), 30-day blood transfusion (3.4% vs 2.7%, P < .01), and 1-year readmission rates for myocardial infarction (3.3% vs 2.7%, P = .01) compared with white
Department of Veterans Affairs — Total Veteran and Non-Veteran Interments at National Cemetery, and shown by Interment Type of Casket or Cremain, FY2000 to FY2012. Non-Veteran includes dependents,...
Eisenberg, Dan; Lohnberg, Jessica A; Kubat, Eric P; Bates, Cheryl C; Greenberg, Lauren M; Frayne, Susan M
Provision of bariatric surgery in the Veterans Health Administration must account for obese veterans' co-morbidity burden and the geographically dispersed location of patients relative to Veterans Affairs (VA) bariatric centers. To evaluate a collaborative, integrated, interdisciplinary bariatric team of surgeons, bariatricians, psychologists, dieticians, and physical therapists working in a hub-and-spokes care model, for pre- and post-bariatric surgery assessment and management. This is a description of an interdisciplinary clinic and bariatric program at a VA healthcare system and a report on program evaluation findings. Retrospective data of a prospective database was abstracted. For program evaluation, we abstracted charts to characterize patient data and conducted a patient survey. Since 2009, 181 veterans have undergone bariatric surgery. Referrals came from 7 western U.S. states. Mean preoperative body mass index was 46 kg/m 2 (maximum 71). Mean age was 53 years, with 33% aged>60 years; 79% were male. Medical co-morbidity included diabetes (70%), hypertension (85%), and lower back or extremity joint pain (84%). A psychiatric diagnosis was present in 58%. At 12 months, follow-up was 81% and percent excess body mass index loss was 50.5%. Among 54 sequential clinic patients completing anonymous surveys, overall satisfaction with the interdisciplinary team approach and improved quality of life were high (98% and 94%, respectively). The integrated, interdisciplinary team approach using a hub-and-spokes model is well suited to the VA bariatric surgery population, with its heavy burden of medical and mental health co-morbidity and its system of geographically dispersed patients receiving treatment at specialty centers. As the VA seeks to expand the use of bariatric surgery as an option for obese veterans, interdisciplinary models crafted to address case complexity, care coordination, and long-term outcomes should be part of policy planning efforts. Published by
... addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The GWVI-TF published its first annual report in September... AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans...
Association of Admission to Veterans Affairs Hospitals vs Non-Veterans Affairs Hospitals With Mortality and Readmission Rates Among Older Men Hospitalized With Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia.
Nuti, Sudhakar V; Qin, Li; Rumsfeld, John S; Ross, Joseph S; Masoudi, Frederick A; Normand, Sharon-Lise T; Murugiah, Karthik; Bernheim, Susannah M; Suter, Lisa G; Krumholz, Harlan M
Little contemporary information is available about comparative performance between Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, particularly related to mortality and readmission rates, 2 important outcomes of care. To assess and compare mortality and readmission rates among men in VA and non-VA hospitals. Cross-sectional analysis involving male Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 years or older hospitalized between 2010 and 2013 in VA and non-VA acute care hospitals for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), or pneumonia using the Medicare Standard Analytic Files and Enrollment Database together with VA administrative claims data. To avoid confounding geographic effects with health care system effects, we studied VA and non-VA hospitals within the same metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Hospitalization in a VA or non-VA hospital in MSAs that contained at least 1 VA and non-VA hospital. For each condition, 30-day risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates for VA and non-VA hospitals. Mean aggregated within-MSA differences in mortality and readmission rates were also assessed. We studied 104 VA and 1513 non-VA hospitals, with each condition-outcome analysis cohort for VA and non-VA hospitals containing at least 7900 patients (men; ≥65 years), in 92 MSAs. Mortality rates were lower in VA hospitals than non-VA hospitals for AMI (13.5% vs 13.7%, P = .02; -0.2 percentage-point difference) and HF (11.4% vs 11.9%, P = .008; -0.5 percentage-point difference), but higher for pneumonia (12.6% vs 12.2%, P = .045; 0.4 percentage-point difference). In contrast, readmission rates were higher in VA hospitals for all 3 conditions (AMI, 17.8% vs 17.2%, 0.6 percentage-point difference; HF, 24.7% vs 23.5%, 1.2 percentage-point difference; pneumonia, 19.4% vs 18.7%, 0.7 percentage-point difference, all P percentage-point difference, -0.22; 95% CI, -0.40 to -0.04) and HF (-0.63; 95% CI, -0.95 to -0.31), and
Murdoch, Maureen; Polusny, Melissa A; Hodges, James; Cowper, Diane
The goal was to describe the association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in-service sexual harassment in a nationally representative sample of Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD disability applicants. The study was a cross-sectional survey. Of 4,918 eligible veterans, 3,337 (68%) returned surveys. Nonresponse bias appeared to be minimal. After adjustment for other reported traumas, women's reported in-service sexual harassment severity was significantly associated with PTSD symptom severity (p effect seen was about the same size as that seen for combat exposure among the men and for in-service sexual assault among the women. Men showed no association between in-service sexual harassment and PTSD (p = 0.33), although power was low for this test. Sexual harassment significantly contributed to female veterans' PTSD symptoms; its contribution to men's symptoms was unclear. We discuss mechanisms through which sexual harassment might affect PTSD symptom severity, including the possibility that sexual harassment sometimes meets the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, definition of a criterion A stressor.
...: (a) Guidance and training centers located at schools and colleges. (b) Space used for veterans hospitals, including outpatient and medical-related clinics, such as drug, mental health, and alcohol. Limitations on the Use of Delegated Authority ...
... provide preference and priority placement for homeless and at-risk Veterans, and provide on-site supportive services. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management...
... will be set aside to provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless and at-risk Veterans. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward L. Bradley, III, Office of Asset Enterprise Management...
... placement for homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044...
... placement for homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044...
Mills, Peter D.; Huber, Samuel J.; Watts, Bradley Vince; Bagian, James P.
While suicide among recently returned veterans is of great concern, it is a relatively rare occurrence within individual hospitals and clinics. Root cause analysis (RCA) generates a detailed case report that can be used to identify system-based vulnerabilities following an adverse event. Review of a national database of RCA reports may identify…
Art and Science MDMP Military Decision Making Process SOP Standard Operating Procedure SAMS School of Advanced Military Studies VBA Veterans...technological elements in the course of action. Furthermore the staff had access to Veterans Benefits Administration ( VBA ) data showing that factors...later than 1 January 2015, the VBA will have no unprocessed claims older than 125 days. The VBA will place processes into action which will ensure
Caffrey, Aisling R; Morrill, Haley J; Puzniak, Laura A; LaPlante, Kerry L
The treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia is exceedingly complicated, which is concerning because of the high mortality rate associated with the infection. Identification of independent predictors of clinical success can optimize patient care by assisting clinicians in treatment decisions. Our goal was to identify independent predictors of clinical success in a national Veterans Affairs (VA) cohort of patients with MRSA pneumonia. A nested case-control study was conducted among a cohort of VA patients with MRSA pneumonia receiving linezolid or vancomycin between January 2002 and September 2010. Cases included those demonstrating clinical success, defined as discharge from the hospital or intensive care unit by day 14 after treatment initiation, in the absence of death, therapy change, or intubation by day 14. Control subjects represented nonsuccess, defined as therapy change, intubation, intensive care unit admission, readmission, or death between treatment initiation and day 14. The potential predictors assessed included treatment, patient demographic and admission characteristics, previous health care and medication exposures, comorbidities, and medical history. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were calculated from logistic regression. Our study included 2442 cases of clinical success and 1290 control subjects. Demographic characteristics varied between the clinical success and nonsuccess groups, including age, race, and region of facility. A current diagnosis of chronic respiratory disease (46% vs 42%) and diagnosis of pneumonia in the year before the MRSA pneumonia admission (37% vs 32%) were both more common in the clinical success group. Despite these significant differences, only 2 predictors of clinical success were identified in our study: previous complication of an implant or graft, including mechanical complications and infections, in the year before the MRSA pneumonia admission (adjusted OR, 1.55 [95% CI, 1
Itani, Kamal M F
The demand for physicians has fluctuated from shortages to oversupply, with reliance on international medical graduates (IMGs) during periods of shortages. Twenty-four percent of the total physician workforce and 20% of general surgeons are IMGs. To address an estimated shortage of 200,000 physicians by 2020 to 2025, a constant and stable supply of IMG physicians, in addition to greater numbers of graduating medical students is needed. General surgery, especially in underserved areas, will be severely affected, and little has been done so far to address this shortage. Over the years, Veteran Affairs hospitals have addressed physician shortages in their facilities by relying on IMGs despite mounting difficulties with visa sponsorship. A sensible solution is presented to address general surgery shortages in the United States while preventing global brain drain.
Valle, Javier A; O'Donnell, Colin I; Armstrong, Ehrin J; Bradley, Steven M; Maddox, Thomas M; Ho, P Michael
Stigma against the obese is well described in health care and may contribute to disparities in medical decision-making. It is unknown whether similar disparity exists for obese patients in cardiovascular care. We evaluated the association between body mass index (BMI) and prescription of guideline-recommended medications in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention. Using data from the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System Program, we identified patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention from 2007 to 2012, stratifying them by category of BMI. We described rates of prescription for class I guideline recommended medications for each BMI category (normal, overweight, and obese). Multivariable logistic regression assessed the association between BMI category and medication prescription. Seventeen thousand thirty-seven patients were identified, with 35.3% having overweight BMI, and 50.8% obese BMI. Obese patients were more likely than normal BMI patients to be prescribed β-blockers (OR 1.34), statins (OR 1.39), or ACE/ARB (odds ratio [OR] 1.52; all significant) when indicated. Overweight patients were more likely than normal BMI patients to be prescribed statins (OR 1.29) and angiotensin-converting enzymes/angiotensin II receptor blockers (OR 1.41) when indicated. There was no association between BMI category and prescription of anticoagulants. Over 85% of patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention in the Veterans Affairs are overweight or obese. Rates of guideline-indicated medication prescription were cardiovascular conditions. © 2016 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
Sauer, Brian C; Jones, Barbara E; Globe, Gary; Leng, Jianwei; Lu, Chao-Chin; He, Tao; Teng, Chia-Chen; Sullivan, Patrick; Zeng, Qing
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are objective estimates of lung function, but are not reliably stored within the Veteran Health Affairs data systems as structured data. The aim of this study was to validate the natural language processing (NLP) tool we developed-which extracts spirometric values and responses to bronchodilator administration-against expert review, and to estimate the number of additional spirometric tests identified beyond the structured data. All patients at seven Veteran Affairs Medical Centers with a diagnostic code for asthma Jan 1, 2006-Dec 31, 2012 were included. Evidence of spirometry with a bronchodilator challenge (BDC) was extracted from structured data as well as clinical documents. NLP's performance was compared against a human reference standard using a random sample of 1,001 documents. In the validation set NLP demonstrated a precision of 98.9 percent (95 percent confidence intervals (CI): 93.9 percent, 99.7 percent), recall of 97.8 percent (95 percent CI: 92.2 percent, 99.7 percent), and an F-measure of 98.3 percent for the forced vital capacity pre- and post pairs and precision of 100 percent (95 percent CI: 96.6 percent, 100 percent), recall of 100 percent (95 percent CI: 96.6 percent, 100 percent), and an F-measure of 100 percent for the forced expiratory volume in one second pre- and post pairs for bronchodilator administration. Application of the NLP increased the proportion identified with complete bronchodilator challenge by 25 percent. This technology can improve identification of PFTs for epidemiologic research. Caution must be taken in assuming that a single domain of clinical data can completely capture the scope of a disease, treatment, or clinical test.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. Today is Armistice Day, renamed Veterans Day in 1954, to honor our Nation's Veterans. In Washington the rhetoric from both the political right and left supports our Veterans. My cynical side reminds me that this might have something to do with Veterans voting in a higher percentage than the population as a whole, but let me give the politicians this one. Serving our Country in the military is something that deserves to be honored. I was proud to serve our Veterans over 30 years at the four Department of Veterans Affairs (VA hospitals. However, the VA has had a very bad year. First, in Washington there were the resignations of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki; the undersecretary for the Veterans Health Administration, Robert Petzel; and the undersecretary for the Veterans Benefits Administration, Allison Hickey. Locally, in the light of the VA wait scandal there were the firing of ...
... Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided... homeless programs at each VAMC, geographic distribution, and the VA's case management resources. After... 25 Housing Authority of Kansas 301 E. Armour Blvd.-- Kansas City..... MO 64111 140,577 25 City...
Outcalt, Samantha D; Hoen, Helena Maria; Yu, Zhangsheng; Franks, Tenesha Marie; Krebs, Erin E
Because posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both prevalent and underrecognized, routine primary care-based screening for PTSD has been implemented across the Veterans Health Administration. PTSD is frequently complicated by the presence of comorbid chronic pain, and patients with both conditions have increased symptom severity and poorer prognosis. Our objective was to determine whether the presence of pain affects diagnosis and treatment of PTSD among Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who have a positive PTSD screening test. This retrospective cohort study used clinical and administrative data from six Midwestern VA medical centers. We identified 4,244 VA primary care patients with a positive PTSD screen and compared outcomes for those with and without a coexisting pain diagnosis. Outcomes were three clinically appropriate responses to positive PTSD screening: (1) mental health visit, (2) PTSD diagnosis, and (3) new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescription. We found that patients with coexisting pain had a lower rate of mental health visits than those without pain (hazard ratio: 0.889, 95% confidence interval: 0.821-0.962). There were no significant differences in the rate of PTSD diagnosis or new SSRI prescription between patients with and without coexisting pain.
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Profile of Vietnam War Veterans uses the 2015 ACS to provide a view into the demographic characteristics and socioeconomic conditions of the Vietnam War Veteran...
... Affairs determines it appropriate, the Agency shall seek the view of the Department of Justice. The... with or receive the cooperation of the Department of Justice and, where indicated, advise the Regional... Justice may afford counsel and representation to Government employees who are sued individually as a...
Watkins, Laura E; Sippel, Lauren M; Pietrzak, Robert H; Hoff, Rani; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan
Aggression and suicidality are two serious public health concerns among U.S. veterans that can co-occur and share many overlapping risk factors. The current study aims to elucidate the contribution of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters defined by a five-factor model and alcohol misuse in predicting aggression and suicide attempts among veterans entering residential treatment for PTSD. Participants were 2570 U.S. veterans across 35 Veterans Health Administration sites. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to identify correlates of aggression only (n = 1471; 57.2%), suicide attempts only (n = 41; 1.6%), co-occurring aggression and suicide attempts (n = 202; 7.9%), and neither behavior (n = 856; 33.3%) over the past four months. When compared to veterans endorsing neither behavior, greater PTSD re-experiencing symptoms were related to suicide attempts (odds ratio [OR] = 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09-2.30), aggression (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02-1.26), and co-occurring aggression and suicide (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.13-1.68), and higher PTSD dysphoric arousal symptoms and alcohol misuse symptoms were related to aggression (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.38-1.71; OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.18-1.44, respectively) and co-occurring aggression and suicide (OR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.35-2.04; OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.28-1.75, respectively). Our findings suggest that assessment of PTSD symptom clusters and alcohol misuse can potentially help to identify veterans who endorse suicide attempts, aggression, or both concurrently. These results have important implications for risk assessment and treatment planning with U.S. veterans seeking care for PTSD. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This spreadsheet contains data from the 2015 American Community Survey and shows the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Veterans who live in rural and...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This dataset provide a count of Veteran by their religious affiliation and state of residence. The dataset set covers all 50 states, District of Columbia and other...
Department of Veterans Affairs — VetPop2014 is an actuarial projection model developed by the Office of the Actuary (OACT) for Veteran population projection from Fiscal Year FY2014 to FY2043. Using...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This speadsheet contains data from the 2014 American Community Survey and shows the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Veterans who live in rural and...
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Dai, Lingzhen; Koutrakis, Petros; Coull, Brent A.; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel S.; Schwartz, Joel D.
Background PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm) has been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, but it is unclear whether specific PM2.5 components, particularly metals, may be responsible for cardiovascular effects. Objectives We aimed to determine which PM2.5 components are associated with blood pressure in a longitudinal cohort. Methods We fit linear mixed-effects models with the adaptive LASSO penalty to longitudinal data from 718 elderly men in the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study, 1999–2010. We controlled for PM2.5 mass, age, body mass index, use of antihypertensive medication (ACE inhibitors, non-ophthalmic beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and angiotensin receptor antagonists), smoking status, alcohol intake, years of education, temperature, and season as fixed effects in the models, and additionally applied the adaptive LASSO method to select PM2.5 components associated with blood pressure. Final models were identified by the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). Results For systolic blood pressure (SBP), nickel (Ni) and sodium (Na) were selected by the adaptive LASSO, whereas only Ni was selected for diastolic blood pressure (DBP). An interquartile range increase (2.5 ng/m3) in 7-day moving-average Ni was associated with 2.48-mmHg (95% CI: 1.45, 3.50 mmHg) increase in SBP and 2.22-mmHg (95% CI: 1.69, 2.75 mmHg) increase in DBP, respectively. Associations were comparable when the analysis was restricted to study visits with PM2.5 below the 75th percentile of the distribution (12 μg/m3). Conclusions Our study suggested that exposure to ambient Ni was associated with increased blood pressure independent of PM2.5 mass in our study population of elderly men. Further research is needed to confirm our findings, assess generalizability to other populations, and identify potential mechanisms for Ni effects. Citation Dai L, Koutrakis P, Coull BA, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, Schwartz JD. 2016. Use of the adaptive LASSO method to
Begoli, Edmon [ORNL; Bates, Jack [Veterans Administration; Kistler, Derek E [ORNL
The Polystore architecture revisits the federated approach to access and querying of the standalone, independent databases in the uniform and optimized fashion, but this time in the context of heterogeneous data and specialized analyses. In the light of this architectural philosophy, and in the light of the major data architecture development efforts at the US Department of Veterans Administration (VA), we discuss the need for the heterogeneous data store consisting of the large relational data warehouse, an image and text datastore, and a peta-scale genomic repository. The VA's heterogeneous datastore would, to a larger or smaller degree, follow the architectural blueprint proposed by the polystore architecture. To this end, we discuss the current state of the data architecture at VA, architectural alternatives for development of the heterogeneous datastore, the anticipated challenges, and the drawbacks and benefits of adopting the polystore architecture.
... Academic Affairs. 17.251 Section 17.251 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Grants for Exchange of Information § 17.251 The Subcommittee on Academic Affairs. There is... Subcommittee on Academic Affairs, and the Subcommittee shall advise the Secretary, through the Under Secretary...
Jones, Makoto; Ying, Jian; Huttner, Benedikt; Evans, Martin; Maw, Matthew; Nielson, Christopher; Rubin, Michael A; Greene, Tom; Samore, Matthew H
The study of hospital methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) epidemiology is complicated by its transmissibility. Our objective was to understand how MRSA importation and transmission influence MRSA nosocomial infections in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). We performed hospital-level analyses of acute-care MRSA admission prevalence, acquisition rates, and incident nosocomial clinical culture (INCC) rates, each a surrogate measure of importation, transmission, and nosocomial infection, respectively. We studied 112 VAMCs from October 2007 through September 2010, after the start of a bundled intervention including active surveillance for MRSA. We analyzed data using generalized linear mixed models. A total of 2.9 million surveillance tests were collected from 1.4 million patient admissions. Overall MRSA admission prevalence was 11.4%, acquisition was 5.2 per 1000 patient-days at risk, and INCC was 1.8 per 1000 patient-days at risk. A 10% increase in a hospital's average admission prevalence was associated with a 9.7% increase in its weekly acquisition rates (P transmission contributed to lower rates of nosocomial MRSA infection.
Meyer, Emily M; Zapatka, Susan; Brienza, Rebecca S
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) is one of five Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE) pilot sites. The overall goal of the CoEPCE program, which is funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations, is to develop and implement innovative approaches for training future health care providers in postgraduate education programs to function effectively in teams to provide exceptional patient care. This longitudinal study employs theoretically grounded qualitative methods to understand the effect of a combined nursing and medical training model on professional identity and team development at the VACHS CoEPCE site. The authors used qualitative approaches to understand trainees' experiences, expectations, and impressions of the program. From September 2011 to August 2012, they conducted 28 interviews of 18 trainees (internal medicine [IM] residents and nurse practitioners [NPs]) and subjected data to three stages of open, iterative coding. Major themes illuminate both the evolution of individual professional identity within both types of trainees and the dynamic process of group identity development. Results suggest that initially IM residents struggled to understand NPs' roles and responsibilities, whereas NP trainees doubted their ability to work alongside physicians. At the end of one academic year, these uncertainties disappeared, and what was originally artificial had transformed into an organic interprofessional team of health providers who shared a strong sense of understanding and trust. This study provides early evidence of successful interprofessional collaboration among NPs and IM residents in a primary care training program.
Pineles, Lisa; Morgan, Daniel J; Lydecker, Alison; Johnson, J Kristie; Sorkin, John D; Langenberg, Patricia; Blanco, Natalia; Lesse, Alan; Sellick, John; Gupta, Kalpana; Leykum, Luci; Cadena, Jose; Lepcha, Nickie; Roghmann, Mary-Claire
This was an observational study designed to estimate the frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission to gowns and gloves worn by health care workers (HCWs) interacting with Veterans Affairs Community Living Center (VA nursing home) residents to inform MRSA prevention policies. Participants included residents and HCWs from 7 VA nursing homes in 4 states and Washington, DC. Residents were cultured for MRSA at the anterior nares, perianal skin, and wound (if present). HCWs wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities. After each activity, a research coordinator swabbed the HCW's gown and gloves. Swabs were cultured for MRSA. There were 200 residents enrolled; 94 (46%) were MRSA colonized. Glove contamination was higher than gown contamination (20% vs 11%, respectively; P care from 0%-19% for gowns and 7%-37% for gloves. High-risk care activities (odds ratio [OR] > 1.0, P hygiene (eg, brushing teeth), and bathing. Low-risk care activities (OR care, but all care had a risk of contamination, demonstrating the importance of hand hygiene after all care. Transmission to gowns was significantly higher with certain types of care. Optimizing gown and glove use by targeting high-risk care activities could improve resident-centered care for MRSA-colonized residents by promoting a home-like environment. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Cruz-Oliver, D M; Malmstrom, T K; Allen, C M; Tumosa, N; Morley, J E
To evaluate predictive validity of cognitive dysfunction of the Saint Louis University mental status (SLUMS) exam or mini-mental state exam (MMSE) for institutionalization and mortality after 7.5-years. Longitudinal study. Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center Veterans Affairs Hospital St. Louis, MO. Patients (N=705) were screened for cognitive dysfunction in 2003 using the SLUMS exam and MMSE, and mortality and institutionalization up to 7.5-years later were evaluated as outcome measures. The associations between outcome measures and MMSE and SLUMS exam total scores, and cognitive status were examined using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional-hazards regression. Five hundred thirty-three charts were reviewed, 176/533(33%) patients had died and 31/526 (6%) were institutionalized during 7.5-year follow-up period. All subjects were male with a mean age of 75 years and most had high school education or greater (71%). MMSE dementia, SLUMS dementia (psinstitutionalization (SLUMS: HR=3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.1; p institutionalization. The SLUMS exam and MMSE both predict mortality and institutionalization for male patients screened as positive for dementia.
Gentry, Chris; Flournoy, Dayl J; Reinert, Richard
Gram-negative bacilli antimicrobial resistance remains a significant problem for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Patterns of antimicrobial use may be a contributing factor. Gram-negative bacilli from ICU patients of a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center were tested to determine in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility (205 isolates in 1995 and 209 in 1999). Antimicrobial use was calculated from 1995 through 1999. For Pseudomonas aeruginosa, significant declines in susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (medical ICU [MICU] individually and all units) and aztreonam (all units) were noted. For gram-negative bacilli that was non-P aeruginosa, significant increases in susceptibility to ceftazidime (MICU, surgical ICU, and all units), gentamicin (all units), and ticarcillin/clavulanate (MICU) were noted. The most notable trends in antimicrobial usage were sharp increases in fluoroquinolone use in the MICU and surgical ICU and substantial decreases in the use of third-generation cephalosporins, monobactams, and aminoglycosides. In each instance of significant change in the susceptibility of a group of organisms to an antibiotic, there was a corresponding inverse change in the use of the antibiotic and/or its antimicrobial category (except for aztreonam). Significant changes in antimicrobial use may affect certain gram-negative bacilli antimicrobial susceptibilities in ICUs.
Full Text Available Background: In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA consulted with the Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes team at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, to reproduce their successful model within the VHA. Methods: The VHA launched SCAN-ECHO (Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, a multisite videoconferencing system to conduct live clinical consultations between specialists at a VHA Medical Center (hospital and primary care providers stationed at satellite VHA CBOCs (Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. Results: Analysis of the first three years rendered a mean attendee satisfaction of 89.53% and a consultation satisfaction score of 88.10%. About half of the SCAN-ECHO consultations resulted in patients receiving their treatment from their local primary care providers; the remaining half were referred to the VHA Medical Center when the treatment involved equipment or services not available at the CBOCs (e.g., MRI, surgery. Conclusion: This paper details the setup, operation logistics and preliminary findings, suggesting that SCAN-ECHO is a viable model for providing quality specialty clinical consultation service, prompter access to care, reduced commutes and continuing education. Additionally, the use of a secured Internet-based videoconferencing system that supports connectivity to multiple (mobile devices could expand the utilization of this service.
Social Security Administration — The purpose of this agreement is for SSA to verify SSNs and other identifying information for the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA. DVA will use the information...
Department of Veterans Affairs — If you are already enrolled in VA health care, the Choice Program allows you to receive health care within your community. Using this program does NOT impact your...
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Rose, A J; Berlowitz, D R; Miller, D R; Hylek, E M; Ozonoff, A; Zhao, S; Reisman, J I; Ash, A S
Not all clinicians target the same International Normalized Ratio (INR) for patients with a guideline-recommended target range of 2-3. A patient's mean INR value suggests the INR that was actually targeted. We hypothesized that sites would vary by mean INR, and that sites of care with mean values nearest to 2.5 would achieve better anticoagulation control, as measured by per cent time in therapeutic range (TTR). To examine variations among sites in mean INR and the relationship with anticoagulation control in an integrated system of care. We studied 103,897 patients receiving oral anticoagulation with an expected INR target between 2 and 3 at 100 Veterans Health Administration (VA) sites from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2008. Key site-level variables were: proportion near 2.5 (that is, percentage of patients with mean INR between 2.3 and 2.7) and mean risk-adjusted TTR. Site mean INR ranged from 2.22 to 2.89; proportion near 2.5, from 30 to 64%. Sites' proportions of patients near 2.5, below 2.3 and above 2.7 were consistent from year to year. A 10 percentage point increase in the proportion near 2.5 predicted a 3.8 percentage point increase in risk-adjusted TTR (P < 0.001). Proportion of patients with mean INR near 2.5 is a site-level 'signature' of care and an implicit measure of targeted INR. This proportion varies by site and is strongly associated with site-level TTR. Our study suggests that sites wishing to improve TTR, and thereby improve patient outcomes, should avoid the explicit or implicit pursuit of non-standard INR targets. © 2012 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-21), this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA...-0782.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran...
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV... U.S.C. 3501-21), this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Department... INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV) Pilot Surveys. a...
Martinson, Brian C.; Nelson, David; Hagel-Campbell, Emily; Mohr, David; Charns, Martin P.; Bangerter, Ann; Thrush, Carol R.; Ghilardi, Joseph R.; Bloomfield, Hanna; Owen, Richard; Wells, James A.
Background In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe) is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool. Methods We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations) believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys. Results We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of
Martinson, Brian C; Nelson, David; Hagel-Campbell, Emily; Mohr, David; Charns, Martin P; Bangerter, Ann; Thrush, Carol R; Ghilardi, Joseph R; Bloomfield, Hanna; Owen, Richard; Wells, James A
In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe) is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool. We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations) believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys. We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of results that have been
David E Capo-Ramos
Full Text Available Mood disorders may affect lung cancer risk. We evaluated this hypothesis in two large studies.We examined 1,939 lung cancer cases and 2,102 controls from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE case-control study conducted in Italy (2002-2005, and 82,945 inpatients with a lung cancer diagnosis and 3,586,299 person-years without a lung cancer diagnosis in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Inpatient Cohort (VA study, composed of veterans with a VA hospital admission (1969-1996. In EAGLE, we calculated odds ratios (ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI, with extensive adjustment for tobacco smoking and multiple lifestyle factors. In the VA study, we estimated lung cancer relative risks (RRs and 95% CIs with time-dependent Poisson regression, adjusting for attained age, calendar year, hospital visits, time within the study, and related previous medical diagnoses. In EAGLE, we found decreased lung cancer risk in subjects with a personal history of mood disorders (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.44-0.79, based on 121 lung cancer incident cases and 192 controls and family history of mood disorders (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.50-0.77, based on 223 lung cancer cases and 345 controls. The VA study analyses yielded similar results (RR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.71-0.77, based on 2,304 incident lung cancer cases and 177,267 non-cancer person-years in men with discharge diagnoses for mood disorders. History of mood disorders was associated with nicotine dependence, alcohol and substance use and psychometric scales of depressive and anxiety symptoms in controls for these studies.The consistent finding of a relationship between mood disorders and lung cancer risk across two large studies calls for further research into the complex interplay of risk factors associated with these two widespread and debilitating diseases. Although we adjusted for smoking effects in EAGLE, residual confounding of the results by smoking cannot be ruled out.
Brian C Martinson
Full Text Available In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool.We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys.We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of results that
... INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans... permanent housing facility for homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families where the lessee will give...
Dobalian, Aram; Claver, Maria; Fickel, Jacqueline J
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita exposed significant flaws in US preparedness for catastrophic events and the nation's capacity to respond to them. These flaws were especially evident in the affected disaster areas' nursing homes, which house a particularly vulnerable population of frail older adults. Although evacuation of a healthcare facility is a key preparedness activity, there is limited research on factors that lead to effective evacuation. Our review of the literature on evacuation is focused on developing a conceptual framework to study future evacuations rather than as a comprehensive assessment of prior work. This paper summarizes what is known thus far about disaster response activities of nursing homes following natural and human-caused disasters, describes a conceptual model to guide future inquiry regarding this topic, and suggests future areas of research to further understand the decision-making process of nursing home facilitators regarding evacuating nursing home residents. To demonstrate the utility of the conceptual model and to provide guidance about effective practices and procedures, this paper focuses on the responses of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nursing homes to the 2 hurricanes. Quarantelli's conceptual framework, as modified by Perry and Mushkatel, is useful in guiding the development of central hypotheses related to the decision-making that occurred in VA nursing homes and other healthcare facilities following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, we define evacuation somewhat differently to account for the fact that evacuation may, in some instances, be permanent. Thus, we propose modifying this framework to improve its applicability beyond preventive evacuation. We need to better understand how disaster plans can be adapted to meet the needs of frail elders and other residents in nursing homes. Moreover, we must address identified gaps in the scientific literature with respect to health outcomes by tracking outcomes over time
Leung, Lucinda B; Yoon, Jean; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Post, Edward P; Metzger, Maureen E; Wells, Kenneth B; Sugar, Catherine A; Escarce, José J
Aiming to foster timely, high-quality mental health care for Veterans, VA's Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) embeds mental health specialists in primary care and promotes care management for depression. PC-MHI and patient-centered medical home providers work together to provide the bulk of mental health care for primary care patients with low-to-moderate-complexity mental health conditions. This study examines whether increasing primary care clinic engagement in PC-MHI services is associated with changes in patient health care utilization and costs. We performed a retrospective longitudinal cohort study of primary care patients with identified mental health needs in 29 Southern California VA clinics from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2013, using electronic administrative data (n = 66,638). We calculated clinic PC-MHI engagement as the proportion of patients receiving PC-MHI services among all primary care clinic patients in each year. Capitalizing on variation in PC-MHI engagement across clinics, our multivariable regression models predicted annual patient use of 1) non-primary care based mental health specialty (MHS) visits, 2) total mental health visits (ie, the sum of MHS and PC-MHI visits), and 3) health care utilization and costs. We controlled for year- and clinic-fixed effects, other clinic interventions, and patient characteristics. Median clinic PC-MHI engagement increased by 8.2 percentage points over 5 years. At any given year, patients treated at a clinic with 1 percentage-point higher PC-MHI engagement was associated with 0.5% more total mental health visits (CI, 0.18% to 0.90%; P = .003) and 1.0% fewer MHS visits (CI, -1.6% to -0.3%; P = .002); this is a substitution rate, at the mean, of 1.5 PC-MHI visits for each MHS visit. There was no PC-MHI effect on other health care utilization and costs. As intended, greater clinic engagement in PC-MHI services seems to increase realized accessibility to mental health care for primary care
..., National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, Event Registration Applications); Comment Request AGENCY: Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (NVSP...
Khuri, Shukri F; Henderson, William G; Daley, Jennifer; Jonasson, Olga; Jones, R Scott; Campbell, Darrell A; Fink, Aaron S; Mentzer, Robert M; Neumayer, Leigh; Hammermeister, Karl; Mosca, Cecilia; Healey, Nancy
The Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) has been associated with significant reductions in postoperative morbidity and mortality. We sought to determine if NSQIP methods and risk models were applicable to private sector (PS) hospitals and if implementation of the NSQIP in the PS would be associated with reductions in adverse postoperative outcomes. Data from patients (n = 184,843) undergoing major general or vascular surgery between October 1, 2001, and September 30, 2004, in 128 VA hospitals and 14 academic PS hospitals were used to develop prediction models based on VA patients only, PS patients only, and VA plus PS patients using logistic regression modeling, with measures of patient-related risk as the independent variables and 30-day postoperative morbidity or mortality as the dependent variable. Nine of the top 10 predictors of postoperative mortality and 7 of the top 10 for postoperative morbidity were the same in the VA and PS models. The ratios of observed to expected mortality and morbidity in the PS hospitals based on a model using PS data only versus VA + PS data were nearly identical (correlation coefficient = 0.98). Outlier status of PS hospitals was concordant in 26 of 28 comparisons. Implementation of the NSQIP in PS hospitals was associated with statistically significant reductions in overall postoperative morbidity (8.7%, P = 0.002), surgical site infections (9.1%, P = 0.02), and renal complications (23.7%, P = 0.004). The VA NSQIP methods and risk models in general and vascular surgery were fully applicable to PS hospitals. Thirty-day postoperative morbidity in PS hospitals was reduced with the implementation of the NSQIP.
Leeman, J; Kilpatrick, K
This study describes the costs and and value added to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) through their affiliations with medical schools. The study also creates a conceptual framework for evaluating the critical dimensions across which these affiliations vary. Case studies of seven VAMCs' affiliations with medical schools, ranging from two highly affiliated VAMCs to one with only one funded residency position, were conducted in 1997 and 1998 using a survey and in-depth interviews with 78 key individuals at the institutions. The qualitative data were then used to develop a conceptual framework for evaluating these affiliations. The results are reported in two stages. In stage one, three organizing themes emerged from the data that formed the conceptual framework for evaluating affiliations: (1) the characteristics of each VAMC and its environment, (2) the characteristics of the relationships between each VAMC and its medical school affiliates, and (3) the costs and value that medical school affiliations add to VAMCs. The affiliations that were most beneficial to VAMCs were characterized by a relationship of trust, extensively shared education and research programs, and a high degree of physician interaction. The achievement of these characteristics is influenced by the distance between the VAMCs and their affiliated medical schools, the VAMCs' levels of organizational complexity, the degree of managed care penetration, and the continuity and academic orientation of leadership at the VAMCs. In stage two, study data were used to create a conceptual framework to evaluate the characteristics of VAMCs and their affiliations with medical schools. The study supplied data to construct a conceptual framework that describes many of the relationships among the different affiliations in the study. The framework offers a tool for evaluating the dimensions across which affiliations vary and how these differences influence the costs and value of medical school affiliations
Schaffer, Andrea L; Pearson, Sallie-Anne; Dobbins, Timothy A; Er, Chuang C; Ward, Robyn L; Vajdic, Claire M
Little is known about patterns of care after a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) diagnosis. We performed a retrospective cohort study to describe and compare the treatment, health service use and survival of patients with CUP and metastatic cancer of known primary among 143,956 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients, 2004-2007. We randomly matched clients with CUP (C809; n=252) with clients with a first diagnosis of metastatic solid cancer of known primary (n=980). We ascertained health services from the month of diagnosis up to 2 months post-diagnosis for consultations, hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and up to 1 year for treatment. We compared cancer treatments using conditional logistic regression; consultation rates using negative binomial regression; and survival using stratified Cox regression. 30% of CUP patients and 70% of patients with known primary received cancer treatment and the median survival was 37 days and 310 days respectively. CUP patients received fewer cancer medicines (odds ratio (OR)=0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.89) and less cancer-related surgery (OR=0.25, 95% CI 0.15-0.41); males with CUP received more radiation therapy (OR=2.88, 95% CI 1.69-4.91). CUP patients had more primary care consultations (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.25, 95% CI 1.11-1.41), emergency department visits (IRR=1.86, 95% CI 1.50-2.31) and hospitalizations (IRR=1.18, 95% CI 1.03-1.35), and a higher risk of death within 30 days (hazard ratio=3.30, 95% CI 1.69-6.44). Patients with CUP receive less treatment but use more health services, which may reflect underlying patient and disease characteristics. Copyright © 2015 Commonwealth of Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Bellows, Brandon K; DuVall, Scott L; Kamauu, Aaron W C; Supina, Dylan; Babcock, Thomas; LaFleur, Joanne
The objective of this study was to compare the one-year healthcare costs and utilization of patients with binge-eating disorder (BED) to patients with eating disorder not otherwise specified without BED (EDNOS-only) and to matched patients without an eating disorder (NED). A natural language processing (NLP) algorithm identified adults with BED from clinical notes in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health record database from 2000 to 2011. Patients with EDNOS-only were identified using ICD-9 code (307.50) and those with NLP-identified BED were excluded. First diagnosis date defined the index date for both groups. Patients with NED were randomly matched 4:1, as available, to patients with BED on age, sex, BMI, depression diagnosis, and index month. Patients with cost data (2005-2011) were included. Total healthcare, inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs were examined. Generalized linear models were used to compare total one-year healthcare costs while adjusting for baseline patient characteristics. There were 257 BED, 743 EDNOS-only, and 823 matched NED patients identified. The mean (SD) total unadjusted one-year costs, in 2011 US dollars, were $33,716 ($38,928) for BED, $37,052 ($40,719) for EDNOS-only, and $19,548 ($35,780) for NED patients. When adjusting for patient characteristics, BED patients had one-year total healthcare costs $5,589 higher than EDNOS-only (p = 0.06) and $18,152 higher than matched NED patients (p < 0.001). This study is the first to use NLP to identify BED patients and quantify their healthcare costs and utilization. Patients with BED had similar one-year total healthcare costs to EDNOS-only patients, but significantly higher costs than patients with NED. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Koenig, Christopher J; Wenger, Matthew; Graham, Glenn D; Asch, Steven; Rongey, Catherine
Introduction Consultations are the traditional method of communication between generalist and specialist providers managing patients with specialty care needs. Traditional written consultations have limitations, including inadequate clinical information and inappropriate, or unclear consultation questions. Teleconsultations minimize these limitations through real-time communication between generalist and specialist providers to actively manage professional knowledge boundaries about specialty care problems. Methods We video-recorded 37 teleconsultation sessions, resulting in 115 consultations between generalist and specialty care providers participating in Veterans Affairs (VA) Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) liver clinics. Data were collected at two US sites across nine months to observe consultation communication among 33 primary care generalists and three liver specialists. Video recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed using theme-oriented discourse analysis to characterize consultation question content and format. Results Generalists' consultation question content addressed a range of topics, including treatment, diagnosis, interpreting results, patient communication, screening and surveillance, and care coordination. Some generalists relied on descriptive narratives rather than a specific question to convey complex patient cases. Consultation question format showed nearly even division between targeting general medical knowledge and specialty care knowledge domains, including specialty care, medical, organizational, and experiential knowledge. Discussion Timely access to specialists through teleconsultation has the potential to transform specialty care delivery. This article examines provider-to-provider interactions to understand how the communication process contributes to knowledge management during teleconsultations. Video studies of health information technology use provide a rich opportunity for analysing real
Jodie L Guest
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The Department of Defense (DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA provide comprehensive HIV treatment and care to their beneficiaries with open access and few costs to the patient. Individuals who receive HIV care in the VA have higher rates of substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment than individuals who receive HIV care in the DoD. A comparison between individuals receiving HIV treatment and care from the DoD and the VA provides an opportunity to explore the impact of individual-level characteristics on clinical outcomes within two healthcare systems that are optimized for clinic retention and medication adherence. METHODS: Data were collected on 1065 patients from the HIV Atlanta VA Cohort Study (HAVACS and 1199 patients from the US Military HIV Natural History Study (NHS. Patients were eligible if they had an HIV diagnosis and began HAART between January 1, 1996 and June 30, 2010. The analysis examined the survival from HAART initiation to all-cause mortality or an AIDS event. RESULTS: Although there was substantial between-cohort heterogeneity and the 12-year survival of participants in NHS was significantly higher than in HAVACS in crude analyses, this survival disparity was reduced from 21.5% to 1.6% (mortality only and 26.8% to 4.1% (combined mortality or AIDS when controlling for clinical and demographic variables. CONCLUSION: We assessed the clinical outcomes for individuals with HIV from two very similar government-sponsored healthcare systems that reduced or eliminated many barriers associated with accessing treatment and care. After controlling for clinical and demographic variables, both 12-year survival and AIDS-free survival rates were similar for the two study cohorts who have open access to care and medication despite dramatic differences in socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics.
Edwards, Samuel T; Helfrich, Christian D; Grembowski, David; Hulen, Elizabeth; Clinton, Walter L; Wood, Gordon B; Kim, Linda; Rose, Danielle E; Stewart, Greg
Appropriate delegation of clinical tasks from primary care providers (PCPs) to other team members may reduce employee burnout in primary care. However, (1) the extent to which delegation occurs within multidisciplinary teams, (2) factors associated with greater delegation, and (3) whether delegation is associated with burnout are all unknown. We performed a national cross-sectional survey of Veterans Affairs (VA) PCP-nurse dyads in Department of VA primary care clinics, 4 years into the VA's patient-centered medical home initiative. PCPs reported the extent to which they relied on other team members to complete 15 common primary care tasks; paired nurses reported how much they were relied on to complete the same tasks. A composite score of task delegation/reliance was developed by taking the average of the responses to the 15 questions. We performed multivariable regression to explore predictors of task delegation and burnout. Among 777 PCP-nurse dyads, PCPs reported delegating tasks less than nurses reported being relied on (PCP mean ± standard deviation composite delegation score, 2.97± 0.64 [range, 1-4]; nurse composite reliance score, 3.26 ± 0.50 [range, 1-4]). Approximately 48% of PCPs and 35% of nurses reported burnout. PCPs who reported more task delegation reported less burnout (odds ratio [OR], 0.62 per unit of delegation; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.78), whereas nurses who reported being relied on more reported more burnout (OR, 1.83 per unit of reliance; 95% CI, 1.33-2.5). Task delegation was associated with less burnout for PCPs, whereas task reliance was associated with greater burnout for nurses. Strategies to improve work life in primary care by increasing PCP task delegation must consider the impact on nurses. © Copyright 2018 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Koenig, Christopher J; Maguen, Shira; Daley, Aaron; Cohen, Greg; Seal, Karen H
Handoffs are communication processes that enact the transfer of responsibility between providers across clinical settings. Prior research on handoff communication has focused on inpatient settings between provider teams and has emphasized patient safety. This study examines handoff communication within multidisciplinary provider teams in two outpatient settings. To conduct an exploratory study that describes handoff communication among multidisciplinary providers, to develop a theory-driven descriptive framework for outpatient handoffs, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different handoff types. Qualitative, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 31 primary care, mental health, and social work providers in two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center outpatient clinics. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Grounded Practical Theory to develop a theoretical model of and a descriptive framework for handoff communication among multidisciplinary providers. Multidisciplinary providers reported that handoff decisions across settings were made spontaneously and without clear guidelines. Two situated values, clinic efficiency and patient-centeredness, shaped multidisciplinary providers' handoff decisions. Providers reported three handoff techniques along a continuum: the electronic handoff, which was the most clinically efficient; the provider-to-provider handoff, which balanced clinic efficiency and patient-centeredness; and the collaborative handoff, which was the most patient-centered. Providers described handoff choice as a practical response to manage constituent features of clinic efficiency (time, space, medium of communication) and patient-centeredness (information continuity, management continuity, relational continuity, and social interaction). We present a theoretical and descriptive framework to help providers evaluate differential handoff use, reflect on situated values guiding clinic communication, and guide
Skol, A D; Young, K A; Tsuang, D W; Faraone, S V; Haverstock, S L; Bingham, S; Prabhudesai, S; Mena, F; Menon, A S; Yu, Chang-En; Rundell, Paul; Pepple, J; Sauter, F; Baldwin, C; Weiss, D; Collins, J; Keith, T; Boehnke, M; Schellenberg, G D; Tsuang, M T
Wei and Hemmings [2000: Nat Genet 25:376-377], using 80 British parent-offspring trios, identified a number of NOTCH4 variants and haplotypes that showed statistically significant evidence of association to schizophrenia. Specifically, the 10 repeat allele of a (CTG)(n) marker and the 8 repeat allele of a (TAA)(n) marker demonstrated excess transmission to affected individuals; SNP21 and haplotypes SNP2-(CTG)(n) and SNP12-SNP2-(CTG)(n) also showed significant associations. In an attempt to replicate these findings, we tested for linkage and association between the same five markers used by Wei and Hemmings in 166 families collected from a multi-center study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Cooperative Study Program (CSP). The families include 392 affected subjects (schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, depressed) and 216 affected sibling pairs. The families represent a mix of European Americans (n = 62, 37%), African Americans (n = 60, 36%), and racially mixed or other races (n = 44, 27%). We identified moderate evidence for linkage in the pooled race sample (LOD = 1.25) and found excess transmission of the 8 (P = 0.06) and 13 (P = 0.04) repeat alleles of the (TAA)(n) marker to African American schizophrenic subjects. The 8 and 13 repeat alleles were previously identified to be positively associated with schizophrenia by Wei and Hemmings [2000: Nat Genet 25:376-377] and Sklar et al. [2001: Nat Genet 28:126-128], respectively. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Harrington, Amanda T; Black, Jennifer A; Clarridge, Jill E
Mupirocin is a topical antimicrobial used to decolonize patients who carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and the topical agent retapamulin may be a potential alternative therapy. The goal of this study was to determine the in vitro activity of retapamulin as well as a panel of 15 antimicrobial agents, including mupirocin, for 403 MRSA isolates collected longitudinally from a naive population at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. The MICs for retapamulin had a unimodal distribution, ranging from 0.008 to 0.5 μg/ml. One isolate had an MIC of >16 μg/ml, was also resistant to clindamycin and erythromycin, and was recovered from the nares of a patient undergoing hemodialysis. Twenty-four isolates (6%) and 11 isolates (3%) demonstrated low-level resistance (MICs of 8 to 64 μg/ml) and high-level resistance (MICs of ≥ 512 μg/ml), respectively, to mupirocin. Isolates were recovered from 10 patients both before and after mupirocin therapy. Of those, isolates from 2 patients demonstrated MIC changes postmupirocin therapy; in both cases, however, strain typing demonstrated that the pre- and postmupirocin strains were different. A total of 386 isolates (96%) had vancomycin MICs of ≤ 1.0 μg/ml; 340 isolates (84%) were resistant to levofloxacin, 18 isolates (4.5%) were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and 135 isolates (33%) had elevated MICs of 4 μg/ml for linezolid. The baseline levels of resistance were low for mupirocin (9%) and even lower for retapamulin (0.25%) Although the use of mupirocin is currently the standard therapy for decolonization practices, the activity of retapamulin warrants its consideration as an alternative therapy in MRSA decolonization regimens. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Department of Veterans Affairs — These quick facts use data from the 2011 Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch to compare Veteran employment in the Federal Government by agency,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2010 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) is the sixth in a series of comprehensive nationwide surveys designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan...
... the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The second Gulf... AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). ACTION...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This quick facts summarizes the Veteran new hires into the Federal government by disabled and by 30 percent and higher disabled groups for 2008 to 2015. It shows the...
Tsai, Jack; Trevisan, Louis; Huang, Minda; Pietrzak, Robert H
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is shifting its focus from ending veteran homelessness to preventing veteran suicides. With supporting data, this Open Forum argues that VA homelessness services also help address veteran suicides. Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate >5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%), and their rates of two-week suicidal ideation were 2.5 times higher (19.8% versus 7.4%). Because the majority of veterans who die by suicide are not engaged in VA care, VA services for the homeless that include outreach efforts to engage new veterans may be reaching some of these veterans. Thus continued federal support for VA homelessness services not only may help address homelessness but also may help prevent suicide of veterans.
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 66 Appendix II Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration Human Resource Training...All Employee Survey 76 Table 4: Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration Human Resource Training Programs 78 Contents...Page ii GAO-17-30 VHA Human Capital Review Figures Figure 1: Attrition for Veterans Health Administration Human Resources
Saint, Sanjay; Fowler, Karen E; Krein, Sarah L; Flanders, Scott A; Bodnar, Timothy W; Young, Eric; Moseley, Richard H
BACKGROUND Although hospitalists may improve efficiency and quality of inpatient care, their effect on healthcare-worker communication and education has been less well-studied. OBJECTIVE To test various approaches to improving healthcare-worker communication and learner education within the context of a newly designed academic hospital medicine program. DESIGN Before-and-after design with concurrent control group. SETTING A Midwestern Veterans Affairs medical center. INTERVENTION Multimodal systems redesign of 1 of 4 medical teams (Gold team) that included clinical modifications (change in rounding structure, with inclusion of nurses, a Clinical Care Coordinator, and a pharmacist) and educational interventions (providing explicit expectations of learners and providing a reading list for both learners and attending physicians). MEASUREMENTS Number of admissions, length of stay, readmissions, house officer and medical student ratings of attendings' teaching, medical student internal medicine National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination (“shelf” exam) scores, and clinical staff surveys. RESULTS Length of stay was reduced by about 0.3 days on all teams after the initiative began (P = 0.004), with no significant differences between Gold and non-Gold teams. The majority of physicians (83%) and nurses (68%) felt that including nurses during rounds improved healthcare-worker communication; significantly more nurses were satisfied with communication with the Gold team than with the other teams (71% vs 53%; P = 0.02). Gold attendings generally received higher teaching scores compared with non-Gold attendings, and third-year medical students on the Gold team scored significantly higher on the shelf exam compared with non–Gold team students (84 vs 82; P = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS Academic hospitalists working within a systems redesign intervention were able to improve healthcare-worker communication and enhance learner education without increasing
Full Text Available The 2008-09 influenza season was the time in which the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA utilized an electronic biosurveillance system for tracking and monitoring of influenza trends. The system, known as ESSENCE or Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, was monitored for the influenza season as well as for a rise in influenza cases at the start of the H1N1 2009 influenza pandemic. We also describe trends noted in influenza-like illness (ILI outpatient encounter data in VA medical centers during the 2008-09 influenza season, before and after the recognition of pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza virus.We determined prevalence of ILI coded visits using VA's ESSENCE for 2008-09 seasonal influenza (Sept. 28, 2008-April 25, 2009 corresponding to CDC 2008-2009 flu season weeks 40-16 and the early period of pandemic H1N1 2009 (April 26, 2009-July 31, 2009 corresponding to CDC 2008-2009 flu season weeks 17-30. Differences in diagnostic ICD-9-CM code frequencies were analyzed using Chi-square and odds ratios. There were 649,574 ILI encounters captured representing 633,893 patients. The prevalence of VA ILI visits mirrored the CDC's Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network (ILINet data with peaks in late December, early February, and late April/early May, mirroring the ILINet data; however, the peaks seen in the VA were smaller. Of 31 ILI codes, 6 decreased and 11 increased significantly during the early period of pandemic H1N1 2009. The ILI codes that significantly increased were more likely to be symptom codes. Although influenza with respiratory manifestation (487.1 was the most common code used among 150 confirmed pandemic H1N1 2009 cases, overall it significantly decreased since the start of the pandemic.VA ESSENCE effectively detected and tracked changing ILI trends during pandemic H1N1 2009 and represents an important temporal alerting system for monitoring health events in VA facilities.
Schirmer, Patricia; Lucero, Cynthia; Oda, Gina; Lopez, Jessica; Holodniy, Mark
The 2008-09 influenza season was the time in which the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) utilized an electronic biosurveillance system for tracking and monitoring of influenza trends. The system, known as ESSENCE or Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, was monitored for the influenza season as well as for a rise in influenza cases at the start of the H1N1 2009 influenza pandemic. We also describe trends noted in influenza-like illness (ILI) outpatient encounter data in VA medical centers during the 2008-09 influenza season, before and after the recognition of pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza virus. We determined prevalence of ILI coded visits using VA's ESSENCE for 2008-09 seasonal influenza (Sept. 28, 2008-April 25, 2009 corresponding to CDC 2008-2009 flu season weeks 40-16) and the early period of pandemic H1N1 2009 (April 26, 2009-July 31, 2009 corresponding to CDC 2008-2009 flu season weeks 17-30). Differences in diagnostic ICD-9-CM code frequencies were analyzed using Chi-square and odds ratios. There were 649,574 ILI encounters captured representing 633,893 patients. The prevalence of VA ILI visits mirrored the CDC's Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network (ILINet) data with peaks in late December, early February, and late April/early May, mirroring the ILINet data; however, the peaks seen in the VA were smaller. Of 31 ILI codes, 6 decreased and 11 increased significantly during the early period of pandemic H1N1 2009. The ILI codes that significantly increased were more likely to be symptom codes. Although influenza with respiratory manifestation (487.1) was the most common code used among 150 confirmed pandemic H1N1 2009 cases, overall it significantly decreased since the start of the pandemic. VA ESSENCE effectively detected and tracked changing ILI trends during pandemic H1N1 2009 and represents an important temporal alerting system for monitoring health events in VA facilities.
Gardetto, Nancy J; Greaney, Karen; Arai, Lisa; Brenner, April; Carroll, Karen C; Howerton, Nancy M; Lee, Melinda; Pada, Laureen; Tseng, Marilynne; Maisel, Alan S
Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is a major public health problem and leading cause for hospitalization in people 65 years and older. Admission rates for ADHF, accounted for more than 1 million heart failure (HF) hospitalizations in 2004, and more than 6.5 million inpatient hospital days. Despite significant advances in HF management, including pharmacotherapy and devices; and extensive collaborative efforts of the American College of Cardiology, and American Heart Association to disseminate evidence-based practice guidelines for management of chronic HF in adults; 3 patients continue to present to the emergency departments in ADHF. The hospital treatment of HF frequently does not follow published guidelines, potentially contributing to the high morbidity, mortality, and economic cost of this disorder. This highlights an ongoing need for development of quality improvement programs that focus on delivering reliable, evidence-based care for patients with ADHF. Consequently, the development of clinical pathways has the potential to reduce the current variability in care, enhance guideline adherence, and improve outcomes for patients. The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHCS) formed a multidisciplinary HF performance improvement team. The team set forth on the task of developing standard order sets for patients with ADHF. After analyzing local care processes, reviewing evidence of best care practices, and defining appropriate goals to satisfy the multidimensional needs of HF patient; the team developed a computerized pathway in a user-friendly format that is simple, yet comprehensive; and focuses on early stages of HF evaluation and treatment for patients presenting to the emergency department. Successful strategies to improve care for HF patients need to assist health care providers with rapid recognition and early aggressive treatment, while creating a reliable process that ensures continuity of care. This critical pathway for management of
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Miller, Edward Alan; Gidmark, Stefanie; Gadbois, Emily; Rudolph, James L; Intrator, Orna
Veterans enter nursing homes (NHs) for short-term postacute, rehabilitation, respite, or end-of-life care. They also enter NHs on a long-term basis due to frailty, disability, functional deficits, and cognitive impairment. Little is known about how a particular NH is chosen once the decision to enter a NH has been made. This study identified VA staff perceptions of the key factors influencing the search and selection of NHs within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Data derived from 35 semistructured interviews with discharge planning and contracting staff from 12 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). VA staff placed a premium on Veteran and family preferences in the NH selection process, though VA staff knowledge and familiarity with placement options established the general parameters within which NH placement decisions were made. Geographic proximity to Veterans' homes and families was a major factor in NH choice. Other key considerations included Veterans' specialty care needs (psychiatric, postacute, ventilator) and Veteran/facility demographics (age, race/ethnicity, Veteran status). VA staff tried to remain neutral in NH selection, thus instructing families to visit facilities and review publicly available quality data. VA staff report that amenities (private rooms, activities, smoking) and aesthetics (cleanliness, smell, layout, décor) often outweighed objective quality indicators in Veteran and family decision making. Findings suggest that VAMCs facilitate Veteran and family decision making around NH selection. They also suggest that VAMCs endeavor to identify and recruit a broader array of higher quality NHs to better match the specific needs of Veterans and families to the choice set available. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veterans disability pension. 3.454 Section 3.454 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Apportionments § 3.454 Veterans...
Murdoch, Maureen; Polusny, Melissa A; Street, Amy; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Simon, Alisha B; Bangerter, Ann; Grill, Joseph; Voller, Emily
To estimate the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during the time of Gulf War I among male Gulf War I Veterans who later applied for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) post-traumatic stress disorder disability benefits and to identify potential risk and protective factors for sexual assault within the population. Mailed, national, cross-sectional survey supplemented with VA administrative and clinical data. Of 2,415 Veterans sampled, 1,700 (70%) responded. After adjusting for nonignorable missing data, the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during Gulf War I in this population ranged from 18% [95% confidence intervals (CI): 5.0%-51.9%] to 21% (95% CI: 20.0-22.0). Deployment was not associated with sexual assault [Odds Ratio (OR), 0.96; 95% CI: 0.75-1.23], but combat exposure was (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10). Other correlates of sexual assault within the population included working in a unit with greater tolerance of sexual harassment (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10) and being exposed to more sexual identity challenges (OR, 1.76; 95% CI: 1.55-2.00). The 9-month cumulative incidence of sexual assault in this particular population exceeded the lifetime cumulative incidence of sexual assault in U.S. civilian women. Although Persian Gulf deployment was not associated with sexual assault in this population, combat exposure was. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Byrne, Thomas H
As women emerge as a significant segment of the Veteran population, there is a need to understand how they enter the homeless system, the impact of homelessness on healthcare, and how this varies by gender. This study provides a gender-based comparison of Veterans' utilization of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health and behavioral health services following the onset of a homeless episode and assesses the relationship between services utilization and Veterans' entry into the homeless system. Male and female veterans were equally as likely to use mainstream and VA homeless services. There were few differences between genders in inpatient services use following a homeless episode. Men used more substance abuse outpatient treatment and emergency services whereas women used outpatient medical treatment. Veterans who sought non-VA homeless services were less likely to use outpatient services but more likely to access emergency services. Veterans experiencing homelessness who do not use VA homeless assistance services are less engaged with preventative VA health and behavioral healthcare. Veterans who are homeless but not identified as such by VA, particularly women, need additional engagement. Ongoing study of gender-based differences in services utilization among homeless and at-risk Veterans is needed. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Wadia, Roxanne J; Yao, Xiaopan; Deng, Yanhong; Li, Jia; Maron, Steven; Connery, Donna; Gunduz-Bruce, Handan; Rose, Michal G
There are limited data on the impact of mental health comorbidities (MHC) on stage at diagnosis and timeliness of cancer care. Axis I MHC affect approximately 30% of Veterans receiving care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The purpose of this study was to compare stage at diagnosis and timeliness of care of solid tumor malignancies among Veterans with and without MHC. We performed a retrospective analysis of 408 charts of Veterans with colorectal, urothelial, and head/neck cancer diagnosed and treated at VA Connecticut Health Care System (VACHS) between 2008 and 2011. We collected demographic data, stage at diagnosis, medical and mental health co-morbidities, treatments received, key time intervals, and number of appointments missed. The study was powered to assess for stage migration of 15–20% from Stage I/II to Stage III/IV. There was no significant change in stage distribution for patients with and without MHC in the entire study group (p = 0.9442) and in each individual tumor type. There were no significant differences in the time intervals from onset of symptoms to initiation of treatment between patients with and without MHC (p = 0.1135, 0.2042 and 0.2352, respectively). We conclude that at VACHS, stage at diagnosis for patients with colorectal, urothelial and head and neck cancers did not differ significantly between patients with and without MHC. Patients with MHC did not experience significant delays in care. Our study indicates that in a medical system in which mental health is integrated into routine care, patients with Axis I MHC do not experience delays in cancer care
Department of Veterans Affairs — This service is used to create, read, delete and update additional information captured during the EVSS Disability Compensation interview in an effort to align with...
Coker, Kendell L; Rosenheck, Robert
Cross sectional studies have addressed the incarceration of Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but no studies have examined changes in incarceration as they age. This study examines patterns of incarceration among Vietnam veterans treated in specialized veterans affairs (VA) intensive PTSD programs over time. Data was drawn from admission data from the initial episode of treatment of Caucasian and African American Vietnam veterans entering VA specialized intensive PTSD programs between 1993 and 2011 (N = 31,707). Bivariate correlations and logistic regression were used to examine associations among race and incarceration over time and the potentially confounding influence of demographic and clinical covariates on this relationship. Rates of reported incarceration declined from 63 to 43%. Over time, African American veterans were 34% more likely than Caucasian veterans to have a lifetime history of incarceration while interaction analysis showed steeper declines for Caucasians than African Americans. Rates of incarceration among these Vietnam veterans declined as they aged. Furthermore, African American veterans were substantially more likely than Caucasian veterans to have been incarcerated and showed less decline as the cohort aged. While reduced, needs for clinical PTSD services remain among aging combat veterans.
Webb, Risa M; Denton, Carmelita; Spruill, Emily; Henson, Gay; Bruce, Lisa; Woods, Gail L; Swiatlo, Andrea; Walker, Erica D; Peel, Chere; Sullivan, Donna
A multiclonal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak with 91 infections occurred in our Veterans Affairs (VA) community living center over 46 months. Both similar and unique strains were shown by repetitive polymerase chain reaction to contribute to the outbreak, including 1 strain causing infections over a 33-month period. Most infections were soft tissue infections (67%). For 21 months after the initiation of the VA MRSA bundle, no infections were identified, and low rates of infection have been sustained an additional 4 years. The average annual rate of MRSA infection decreased by 62% (P < .001) from 0.6 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years prior to the bundle implementation to 0.09 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years after the bundle implementation. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment... solicits comments for information needed to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry); Comment Request AGENCY... information needed to maintain Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance accounts. DATES: Written comments and... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance...
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Conversion From Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans' Group Life Insurance); Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of... Evaluation of the Conversion Privilege from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to Veterans' Group...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Conversion from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans' Group Life Insurance); Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans... members, especially service members with disabilities are informed about their life insurance option...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This comprehensive report chronicles the history of women in the military and as Veterans, profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2009, illustrates how...
..., Office of Health Equity, and a special panel discussion with Center for Women Veterans, Center for Faith... (VBA), Center for Minority Veterans, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Veterans Health...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This chart summarizes Veteran employment in the federal government using data from the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) report, Employment of Veterans in the...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans... facilities for returning Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families.... Title: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10...
... contracts in order to arrange for the provision of care through the pilot program. See Public Law 110- 387... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in... Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing Sec. 403 of Public Law (Pub. L.) 110-387, ``Veterans' Mental Health...
... adoption, or marriage. (3) The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance or Veterans' Group Life Insurance... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AN40 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance--Slayer's Rule Exclusion AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs...
... that greatly affect today's business climate and put an unnecessary burden on certain business owners... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 74 RIN 2900-AM78 VA Veteran-Owned Small Business... Veterans Affairs (VA) to verify ownership and control of veteran-owned small businesses, including service...
Schinka, John A; Curtiss, Glenn; Leventhal, Katherine; Bossarte, Robert M; Lapcevic, William; Casey, Roger
In this analysis of a cohort of older homeless veterans, we examined psychosocial, health, housing, and employment characteristics to identify predictors of mortality. Our sample of 3,620 older veterans entered Veteran Affairs homeless programs in years 2000-2003. Fifteen variables from a structured interview described this sample and served as predictors. National Death Index data for years 2000-2011 were used to ascertain death. Survival table analyses were conducted to estimate and plot cumulative survival functions. To determine predictors and estimate hazard functions, Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was conducted. Five variables (presence of a serious health issue, hospitalization for alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency, unemployment for 3 years, and age 60+) were associated with increased risk of death; three (non-White, drug dependency, and dental problems) were associated with reduced risk. A risk score, based on total unit-weighted risk for all eight predictors, was used to identify three groups that were found to differ significantly in mortality. These analyses underline the jeopardy faced by older homeless veterans in terms of early death. We were able to identify several variables associated with mortality; more importantly, we were able to show that a risk score based on status for these variables was significantly related to survival. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Ku, Tse-Sun; Kane, Christopher J; Sen, Saunak; Henderson, William G; Dudley, R Adams; Cason, Brian A
In this retrospective cohort study we used data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program of the Veterans Health Administration to examine the effect of case volume and resident participation on radical retropubic prostatectomy outcomes. The study population included 5,736 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy in Veterans Administration hospitals between October 1, 2001 and September 30, 2004. Resource related outcomes included operative times and length of stay. Clinical outcomes included blood transfusion, complications, readmissions and reoperations. Hierarchical multivariate regression models were developed to predict outcomes. Risk adjustment was performed using patient chronic health factors and results of preoperative laboratory testing. A total of 5,070 radical retropubic prostatectomy surgeries met inclusion criteria. After adjustment for case mix, academic training institutions had longer operative times (3.2 vs 2.4 hours, p <0.01) but shorter length of stay (3.4 vs 4.2 days, p <0.01). Surgery at academic institutions was not associated with greater risk of transfusion (p = 0.36), reoperation (p = 0.93), complications (p = 0.53) or readmissions (p = 0.97). However, among the academic institutions low vs high hospital radical retropubic prostatectomy volume was associated with longer length of stay (3.7 vs 3.1 days, p = 0.02) and higher transfusion rate (29.6% vs 18.2%, p = 0.02). Substantial clustering of outcomes at the hospital level was observed. Within the Veterans Administration system academic training institutions have longer operative times for radical retropubic prostatectomy, but shorter length of stay. Among the same institutions, high volume hospitals tend to have lower transfusion rates and shorter length of stay. Clustering of outcomes at the hospital level suggests that unmeasured institutional factors are key determinants of clinical and resource related outcomes.
... Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business and Veteran-owned Small Business Concerns... Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business and Veteran-owned Small Business Concerns... INFORMATION CONTACT: Crystal Rennie, Enterprise Records Service (005R1B), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810...
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism A1298C (Glu429Ala) predicts decline in renal function over time in the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial and Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC).
Fung, Maple M; Salem, Rany M; Lipkowitz, Michael S; Bhatnagar, Vibha; Pandey, Braj; Schork, Nicholas J; O'Connor, Daniel T
Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased venous thrombosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mutations in the human methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene have been associated with increased homocysteine levels and risks of CVD in various populations including those with kidney disease. Here, we evaluated the influence of MTHFR variants on progressive loss of kidney function. We analyzed 821 subjects with hypertensive nephrosclerosis from the longitudinal National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial to determine whether decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) over ∼4.2 years was predicted by common genetic variation within MTHFR at non-synonymous positions C677T (Ala222Val) and A1298C (Glu429Ala) or by MTHFR haplotypes. The effect on GFR decline was then supported by a study of 1333 subjects from the San Diego Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC), followed over ∼4.5 years. Linear effect models were utilized to determine both genotype [single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] and genotype (SNP)-by-time interactions. In AASK, the polymorphism at A1298C predicted the rate of GFR decline: A1298/A1298 major allele homozygosity resulted in a less pronounced decline of GFR, with a significant SNP-by-time interaction. An independent follow-up study in the San Diego VAHC subjects supports that A1298/A1298 homozygotes have the greatest estimated GFR throughout the study. Haplotype analysis with C677T yielded concurring results. We conclude that the MTHFR-coding polymorphism at A1298C is associated with renal decline in African-Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis and is supported by a veteran cohort with a primary care diagnosis of hypertension. Further investigation is needed to confirm such findings and to determine what molecular mechanism may contribute to this association.
Perceptions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and hand hygiene provider training and patient education: results of a mixed method study of health care providers in Department of Veterans Affairs spinal cord injury and disorder units.
Hill, Jennifer N; Hogan, Timothy P; Cameron, Kenzie A; Guihan, Marylou; Goldstein, Barry; Evans, Martin E; Evans, Charlesnika T
The goal of this study was to assess current practices for training of spinal cord injury and disorder (SCI/D) health care workers and education of veterans with SCI/D in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spinal cord injury (SCI) centers on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention. Mixed methods. A Web-based survey was distributed to 673 VA SCI/D providers across 24 SCI centers; 21 acute care and 1 long-term care facility participated. There were 295 that responded, 228 had complete data and were included in this analysis. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 30 SCI/D providers across 9 SCI centers. Nurses, physicians, and therapists represent most respondents (92.1%, n = 210); over half (56.6%, n = 129) were nurses. Of providers, 75.9% (n = 173) reported receiving excellent or good training on how to educate patients about MRSA. However, nurses were more likely to report having excellent or good training for how to educate patients about MRSA (P = .005). Despite this, only 63.6% (n = 82) of nurses perceived the education they provide patients on how MRSA is transmitted as excellent or good. Despite health care workers reporting receiving excellent or good training on MRSA-related topics, this did not translate to excellent or good education for patients, suggesting that health care workers need additional training for educating patients. Population-specific MRSA prevention educational materials may also assist providers in educating patients about MRSA prevention for individuals with SCI/D. Published by Mosby, Inc.
An examination of the moderating effect of treatment with anti-depressants on the association of heart disease with depression in males with type 2 diabetes attending a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Higgins, Thomas S; Ritchie, Christine S; Stetson, Barbara A; Burke, John D; Looney, Stephen W
To examine the association of heart disease with depression and the impact of treatment with anti-depressants on this association in older males with type 2 diabetes. In this cross-sectional study, data were collected from the electronic medical record system of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in a large mid-western city in the United States. Subjects were 8185 males older than 40, with a history of type 2 diabetes, who had visited the VAMC within the previous 6 years. Odds ratios were used to measure bivariate associations; multivariate logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounding factors. After adjustments for confounding variables, significant associations were found between depression and any adverse heart event (OR=1.34, p=0.001), coronary artery disease (OR=1.23, p=0.039), myocardial infarction (MI; OR=1.77, pdepression and anti-depressant prescription status indicated that, except for MI, these associations were no longer significant among those who had been prescribed anti-depressants, but remained significant and were increased in magnitude among those who had not been prescribed anti-depressants. These findings support the premise that co-morbid depression in diabetics is associated with the occurrence of adverse heart events, and further suggest that treatment of depression with anti-depressants moderates this association.
Chen, Jessica A; Owens, Mandy D; Browne, Kendall C; Williams, Emily C
Unhealthy alcohol use and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur. Patients with both conditions have poorer functioning and worse treatment adherence compared to those with either condition alone. Therefore, it is possible that PTSD, when co-occurring with unhealthy alcohol use, may influence receipt of evidence-based alcohol-related care and mental health care. We evaluated receipt of interventions for unhealthy alcohol use and receipt of mental health follow-up care among patients screening positive for unhealthy alcohol use with and without PTSD in a national sample from the Veterans Health Administration (VA). National clinical and administrative data from VA's electronic medical record were used to identify all patients who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use (AUDIT-C score≥5) between 10/1/09-5/30/13. Unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression models were fit to estimate the relative rate and prevalence of receipt of: brief interventions (advice to reduce or abstain from drinking≤14days after positive screening), specialty addictions treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD; documented visit≤365days after positive screening), pharmacotherapy for AUD (filled prescription≤365days after positive screening), and mental health care ≤14days after positive screening for patients with and without PTSD (documented with ICD-9 CM codes). In secondary analyses, we tested effect modification by both severity of unhealthy alcohol use and age. Among 830,825 patients who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use, 140,388 (16.9%) had documented PTSD. Of the full sample, 71.6% received brief interventions, 10.3% received specialty AUD treatment, 3.1% received pharmacotherapy for AUD, and 24.0% received mental health care. PTSD was associated with increased likelihood of receiving all types of care. Adjusted relative rates were 1.04 (95% CI 1.03-1.05) for brief interventions, 1.06 (1.05-1.08) for specialty AUD treatment, 1.35 (1.31-1.39) for
Difference in Composite End Point of Readmission and Death Between Malnourished and Nonmalnourished Veterans Assessed Using Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Characteristics.
Hiller, Lynn D; Shaw, Robert F; Fabri, Peter J
Previous studies have demonstrated an association between malnutrition and poor outcomes. The primary objective of this study was to explore the difference in the composite end point of readmission rate or mortality rate between hospitalized veterans with and without malnutrition. This was a retrospective chart review comparing veterans with malnutrition based on a modified version of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition consensus characteristics that used 5 of the 6 clinical characteristics to a matched control group of nonmalnourished veterans based on age, admitting service, and date of admission who were admitted between August 1, 2012, and December 1, 2014. Data were extracted from the medical record. Multivariate analysis was used to identify predictors of outcomes. In total, 404 patients were included in the final analysis. All end points were found to be statistically significant. The malnourished group was more likely to meet the composite end point (odds ratio [OR], 5.3), more likely to be readmitted within 30 days (OR, 3.4), more likely to die within 90 days of discharge (OR, 5.5), and more likely to have a length of stay >7 days (OR, 4.3) compared with the nonmalnourished group. Length of stay was significantly longer in the malnourished group, 9.80 (11.5) vs 4.38 (4.5) days. Malnutrition was an independent risk factor for readmission within 30 days or death within 90 days of discharge. Malnourished patients had higher rates of readmission, higher mortality rates, and longer lengths of stay and were more likely to be discharged to nursing homes.
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... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will conduct a site visit on July 27-30, 2010, in the fourth floor auditorium at the...
... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will be held on March 30-April 1, 2010, at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street...
... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will be held on February 9-11, 2010, in Room 230 at VA Central Office, 810...
... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will meet October 25-27, 2011, in room 930 at VA Central Office, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW...
... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will meet on August 20-24, 2012, in the Dennis Auditorium, 2B-137, at the VA Maryland...
... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act) that the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans will meet October 26-28, 2010, at the Hilton Garden Inn, in the Georgetown Ballroom, 815...
... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO24 Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension... Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing eligibility for Veterans' Group Life Insurance... indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO24--Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No...
Gonzalez, Gabriella C.; Miller, Laura L.; Buryk, Peter; Wenger, Jennie W.
This testimony was presented before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on March 17, 2015. To inform the Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Veterans Affairs' administration of its education programs, and the educational and training needs of post-9/11 veterans, the presenters offered the statement in…
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Harbor View Room at the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, Florida...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Lafayette Park Room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC. On February...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Social security numbers... Affairs Records § 1.575 Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters. (a) Except as provided in... because of refusal to disclose to the Department of Veterans Affairs a social security number. (b) VA...
Gentry, Chris A; Williams, Riley J
Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important pathogen, increasingly notorious for its ability to become resistant to antimicrobial agents. This study sought to characterize trends in antimicrobial susceptibility rates for K. pneumoniae causing bacteremias across the United States (U.S.) Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) from 2007 through 2013 utilizing a national clinical database. K. pneumoniae grew in 9,235 blood cultures from 8,414 patients. Nationally, ampicillin-sulbactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, ertapenem, fluoroquinolones, and amikacin demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases against K. pneumoniae in the 2010-2013 period versus the 2007-2009 period. No antimicrobial agent had a statistically significant nationwide susceptibility rate decrease. Of the 126 antibiotic-organism pairs tested among 9 U.S. regions, 18 demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases while 6 demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate decreases. The East North Central (eight agents), Mid-Atlantic (five agents), and South Atlantic (four agents) regions demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases for multiple antimicrobial agents. Of the 70 antibiotic-organism pairs tested among 5 different medical center complexity levels, 11 antibiotics demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases and 1 demonstrated a statistically significant rate decrease. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase production did not significantly change over the study period across an available nationwide representation of 31 facilities (10.6% in 2007-2009 vs. 9.21% in 2010-2013, p=0.17). The South Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic regions had the highest prevalence of extended-spectrum ß-lactamase production in the two periods, respectively. The recent trend of generally increasing susceptibility rates for K. pneumoniae bloodstream isolates in this nationwide U.S. VHA study contrasts from other U.S. health system reports
Tsai, Jack; Kasprow, Wesley J; Rosenheck, Robert A
This study examines the prevalence of alcohol and drug disorders among homeless veterans entering the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program and its association with both housing and clinical outcomes. A total of 29,143 homeless veterans were categorized as either having: no substance use disorder, only an alcohol use disorder, only a drug use disorder, or both alcohol and drug use disorders. Veterans were compared on housing and clinical status prior to admission to HUD-VASH and a smaller sample of 14,086 HUD-VASH clients were compared on their outcomes 6 months after program entry. Prior to HUD-VASH, 60% of program entrants had a substance use disorder and 54% of those with a substance use disorder had both alcohol and drug use disorders. Homeless veterans with both alcohol and drug use disorders had more extensive homeless histories than others, and those with any substance use disorder stayed more nights in transitional housing or residential treatment in the previous month. After six months in HUD-VASH, clients with substance use disorders continued to report more problems with substance use, even after adjusting for baseline differences, but there were no differences in housing outcomes. These findings suggest that despite strong associations between substance use disorders and homelessness, the HUD-VASH program is able to successfully house homeless veterans with substance use disorders although additional services may be needed to address their substance abuse after they become housed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Service-disabled veteran... System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SOCIOECONOMIC PROGRAMS SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Acquisition Program 819.7005 Service-disabled veteran-owned...
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Health service utilisation and investigations before diagnosis of cancer of unknown primary (CUP): A population-based nested case-control study in Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients.
Vajdic, Claire M; Schaffer, Andrea L; Dobbins, Timothy A; Ward, Robyn L; Er, Chuang C; Pearson, Sallie-Anne
Population-based data on the use of health services and diagnostic investigations for patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) is scarce. It is uncertain whether the pathways to diagnosis are different for CUP compared to other cancers. We performed a population-based nested matched case-control study using linked routinely collected records for Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients, 2004-2007. We compared health care consultations, hospitalisations, emergency department visits, and diagnostic procedures in the three months prior and the month of diagnosis for 281 clients registered with a diagnosis of CUP (C809) and 1102 controls randomly selected from clients registered with a first diagnosis of metastatic cancer of known primary. Overall, the median age at cancer diagnosis was 83 years. CUP patients were slightly older and had significantly more comorbidities prior to diagnosis than those with known primary. Compared to known primary, a diagnosis of CUP was significantly more likely after an emergency department visit, less specialist input, fewer invasive diagnostic procedures such as resection or endoscopy, and more non-invasive procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging. There were no differences in primary care or allied health consultations and hospitalisations. This health care pathway suggests delayed recognition of cancer and scope for improvement in the medical management of high-risk individuals presenting to primary care. The pattern of diagnostic investigations reveals under-investigation in some CUP patients but this is likely to reflect recognition of limited treatment options and poor prognosis and is consistent with clinical guidelines. Copyright © 2015 Commonwealth of Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Preliminary Data from the Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) Program: A Care Coordination Program for Home-Based Dementia Care and Caregiver Support in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
D'Souza, Maria F; Davagnino, Judith; Hastings, S Nicole; Sloane, Richard; Kamholz, Barbara; Twersky, Jack
Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) is an innovative care coordination program of the Durham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, that provides home-based dementia care and caregiver support for individuals with dementia and their family caregivers, including attention to behavioral symptoms, functional impairment, and home safety, on a consultation basis. The objectives of this study were to describe the COACH program in its first 2 years of operation, assess alignment of program components with quality measures, report characteristics of program participants, and compare rates of placement outside the home with those of a nontreatment comparison group using a retrospective cohort design. Participants were community-dwelling individuals with dementia aged 65 and older who received primary care in the medical center's outpatient clinics and their family caregivers, who were enrolled as dyads (n = 133), and a control group of dyads who were referred to the program and met clinical eligibility criteria but did not enroll (n = 29). Measures included alignment with Dementia Management Quality Measures and time to placement outside the home during 12 months of follow-up after referral to COACH. Results of the evaluation demonstrated that COACH aligns with nine of 10 clinical process measures identified using quality measures and that COACH delivers several other valuable services to enhance care. Mean time to placement outside the home was 29.6 ± 14.3 weeks for both groups (P = .99). The present study demonstrates the successful implementation of a home-based care coordination intervention for persons with dementia and their family caregivers that is strongly aligned with quality measures. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.
Facility-Level Variation in Hospitalization, Mortality, and Costs in the 30 Days After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights on Short-Term Healthcare Value From the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System (VA CART) Program.
Bradley, Steven M; O'Donnell, Colin I; Grunwald, Gary K; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Hebert, Paul L; Maddox, Thomas M; Jesse, Robert L; Fihn, Stephan D; Rumsfeld, John S; Ho, P Michael
Policies to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are intended to improve healthcare value by reducing costs while maintaining patient outcomes. Whether facility-level hospitalization rates after PCI are associated with cost of care is unknown. We studied 32,080 patients who received PCI at any 1 of 62 Veterans Affairs hospitals from 2008 to 2011. We identified facility outliers for 30-day risk-standardized hospitalization, mortality, and cost. Compared with the risk-standardized average, 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a lower-than-expected hospitalization rate, and 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a higher-than-expected hospitalization rate. We observed no statistically significant variation in facility-level risk-standardized mortality. The facility-level unadjusted median per patient 30-day total cost was $23,820 (interquartile range, $19,604-$29,958). Compared with the risk-standardized average, 17 hospitals (27.4%) had lower-than-expected costs, and 14 hospitals (22.6%) had higher-than-expected costs. At the facility level, the index PCI accounted for 83.1% of the total cost (range, 60.3%-92.2%), whereas hospitalization after PCI accounted for only 5.8% (range, 2.0%-12.7%) of the 30-day total cost. Facilities with higher hospitalization rates were not more expensive (Spearman ρ=0.16; 95% confidence interval, -0.09 to 0.39; P=0.21). In this national study, hospitalizations in the 30 day after PCI accounted for only 5.8% of 30-day cost, and facility-level cost was not correlated with hospitalization rates. This challenges the focus on reducing hospitalizations after PCI as an effective means of improving healthcare value. Opportunities remain to improve PCI value by reducing the variation in total cost of PCI without compromising patient outcomes. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
Faraone, S V; Skol, A D; Tsuang, D W; Young, K A; Haverstock, S L; Prabhudesai, S; Mena, F; Menon, A S; Leong, L; Sautter, F; Baldwin, C; Bingham, S; Weiss, D; Collins, J; Keith, T; Vanden Eng, J L; Boehnke, M; Tsuang, M T; Schellenberg, G D
Genome-wide linkage analyses of schizophrenia have identified several regions that may harbor schizophrenia susceptibility genes but, given the complex etiology of the disorder, it is unlikely that all susceptibility regions have been detected. We report results from a genome scan of 166 schizophrenia families collected through the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program. Our definition of affection status included schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, depressed type and we defined families as European American (EA) and African American (AA) based on the probands' and parents' races based on data collected by interviewing the probands. We also assessed evidence for racial heterogeneity in the regions most suggestive of linkage. The maximum LOD score across the genome was 2.96 for chromosome 18, at 0.5 cM in the combined race sample. Both racial groups showed LOD scores greater than 1.0 for chromosome 18. The empirical P-value associated with that LOD score is 0.04 assuming a single genome scan for the combined sample with race narrowly defined, and 0.06 for the combined sample allowing for broad and narrow definitions of race. The empirical P-value of observing a LOD score as large as 2.96 in the combined sample, and of at least 1.0 in each racial group, allowing for narrow and broad racial definitions, is 0.04. Evidence for the second and third largest linkage signals come solely from the AA sample on chromosomes 6 (LOD = 2.11 at 33.2 cM) and 14 (LOD = 2.13 at 51.0). The linkage evidence differed between the AA and EA samples (chromosome 6 P-value = 0.007 and chromosome 14 P-value = 0.004). (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This file shows the number of Veterans in each state who used each of 7 VA benefits during fiscal year 2016. It also shows the unique count of users across all VA...
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0212.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance... collection. Abstract: Veterans complete VA Form 29-8636 to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veterans compensation or service pension or retirement pay. 3.453 Section 3.453 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension rates-Veterans and surviving spouses. 3.23 Section 3.23 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation General § 3...
... complete VA Form 29-0812 to apply for a waiver of their Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance policy premiums... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0700] Agency Information Collection (Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance--Waiver of Premiums) Activities: Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Board of Veterans.... Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey, VA Form 0745. OMB Control...
... of Certain Woman Veterans AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: The... 2010, which authorized VA to provide certain health care services to a newborn child of a woman veteran... newborn child of a woman veteran who is receiving maternity care furnished by [VA] for not more than seven...
Tejani, N; Rosenheck, R; Tsai, J; Kasprow, W; McGuire, J F
There is increasing concern that adults with a past history of incarceration are at particular disadvantage in exiting homelessness. Supported housing with case management has emerged as the leading service model for assisting homeless adults; however there has been limited examination of the success of adults with past history of incarceration in obtaining housing within this paradigm. Data were examined on 14,557 veterans who entered a national supported housing program for homeless veterans, the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH) during 2008 and 2009, to identify characteristics associated with a history of incarceration and to evaluate whether those with a history of incarceration are less likely to obtain housing and/or more likely to experience delays in the housing attainment process. Veterans who reported no past incarceration were compared with veterans with short incarceration histories (≤ 1 year) and those with long incarceration histories (>1 year). A majority of participants reported history of incarceration; 43 % reported short incarceration histories and 22 % reported long incarceration histories. After adjusting for baseline characteristics and site, history of incarceration did not appear to impede therapeutic alliance, progression through the housing process or obtaining housing. Within a national supported housing program, veterans with a history of incarceration were just as successful at obtaining housing in similar time frames when compared to veterans without any past incarceration. Supported housing programs, like HUD-VASH, appear to be able to overcome impediments faced by formerly incarcerated homeless veterans and therefore should be considered a a good model for housing assistance programs.
Chase G. Bennett, MD
Full Text Available Total joint arthroplasty (TJA in a homeless patient is generally considered contraindicated. Here, we report our known medical and social (housing and employment results of homeless veterans who had TJA. Thirty-seven TJAs were performed on 33 homeless patients (31 men at our hospital between November 2000 and March 2014. This was 1.2% of all TJAs. Average age was 54 years. Average hospital stay was 4.1 days. There were no major inpatient complications. Thirty-four cases had at least 1-year follow-up in any clinic within the Veterans Affairs health care system. There were no known surgery-related reoperations or readmissions. At final follow-up, 24 patients had stable housing and 9 were employed. The extensive and coordinated medical and social services that were provided to veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs contributed to our positive results. Keywords: Homeless, Veteran, Joint replacement, Total hip, Total knee, Employment
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report describes the number of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) registry Veterans in VHA care in 2015 based on serologic evidence of HCV infection status (HCV Positive)...
Turvey, Carolyn L; Zulman, Donna M; Nazi, Kim M; Wakefield, Bonnie J; Woods, Susan S; Hogan, Timothy P; Weaver, Frances M; McInnes, Keith
Personal health records provide patients with ownership of their health information and allow them to share information with multiple healthcare providers. However, the usefulness of these records relies on patients understanding and using their records appropriately. My HealtheVet is a Web-based patient portal containing a personal health record administered by the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of this study was to explore veterans' interest and use of My HealtheVet to transfer and share information as well as to identify opportunities to increase veteran use of the My HealtheVet functions. Two waves of data were collected in 2010 through an American Customer Satisfaction Index Web-based survey. A random sample of veterans using My HealtheVet was invited to participate in the survey conducted on the My HealtheVet portal through a Web-based pop-up browser window. Wave One results (n=25,898) found that 41% of veterans reported printing information, 21% reported saving information electronically, and only 4% ever sent information from My HealtheVet to another person. In Wave Two (n=18,471), 30% reported self-entering medication information, with 18% sharing this information with their Veterans Affairs (VA) provider and 9.6% sharing with their non-VA provider. Although veterans are transferring important medical information from their personal health records, increased education and awareness are needed to increase use. Personal health records have the potential to improve continuity of care. However, more research is needed on both the barriers to adoption as well as the actual impact on patient health outcomes and well-being.
Patient-Centered Pain Care Using Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Health Tools: Protocol for a Randomized Study Funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Program.
Piette, John D; Krein, Sarah L; Striplin, Dana; Marinec, Nicolle; Kerns, Robert D; Farris, Karen B; Singh, Satinder; An, Lawrence; Heapy, Alicia A
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for chronic low back pain. However, only half of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients have access to trained CBT therapists, and program expansion is costly. CBT typically consists of 10 weekly hour-long sessions. However, some patients improve after the first few sessions while others need more extensive contact. We are applying principles from "reinforcement learning" (a field of artificial intelligence or AI) to develop an evidence-based, personalized CBT pain management service that automatically adapts to each patient's unique and changing needs (AI-CBT). AI-CBT uses feedback from patients about their progress in pain-related functioning measured daily via pedometer step counts to automatically personalize the intensity and type of patient support. The specific aims of the study are to (1) demonstrate that AI-CBT has pain-related outcomes equivalent to standard telephone CBT, (2) document that AI-CBT achieves these outcomes with more efficient use of clinician resources, and (3) demonstrate the intervention's impact on proximal outcomes associated with treatment response, including program engagement, pain management skill acquisition, and patients' likelihood of dropout. In total, 320 patients with chronic low back pain will be recruited from 2 VA healthcare systems and randomized to a standard 10 sessions of telephone CBT versus AI-CBT. All patients will begin with weekly hour-long telephone counseling, but for patients in the AI-CBT group, those who demonstrate a significant treatment response will be stepped down through less resource-intensive alternatives including: (1) 15-minute contacts with a therapist, and (2) CBT clinician feedback provided via interactive voice response calls (IVR). The AI engine will learn what works best in terms of patients' personally tailored treatment plans based on daily feedback via IVR about their pedometer-measured step counts, CBT skill
H.R. 3236 and H.R. 4458, bills affecting veterans exposed to ionizing radiation in military service. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Compensation, Pension and Insurance of the Committee on Veteran's Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, Second Session, May 27, 1992
The hearing addresses H.R. 3236 and H.R. 4458 bills affecting veterans exposed to ionizing radiation in military service. The bills authorized treatment and provide benefits to military veterans who have been adversely affected by exposure to radioactive materials. Statements of government and industry officials are included along with documents submitted for the record
Osborne, Lauren K.
Unemployment continues to be a growing concern among both civilian and veteran populations. As 14% of the veteran population currently identify as disabled because of service, this population's need for specialized vocational rehabilitation is increasing. Specifically in Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) where holistic…
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review... INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry, VA Form 29-0543. OMB Control Number: 2900-0501... insured under Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) completes VA Form 29-0543 to report any recent...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment... solicits comments for information needed to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written...: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement, VA Form 29-8636. OMB Control Number: 2900-0212. Type of Review...
... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance-- Change of Address Statement.... 2900-0503.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address... continued ownership of property issued under Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance when an address change for the...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The..., that the Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on January 14-15, 2014, in Room 1G12, Building 1, at the George E. Whalen VA Medical Center (VAMC), 500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey Card) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY... information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey Card, VA...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Claim by guardian of... AFFAIRS ADJUSTED COMPENSATION Adjusted Compensation; General § 10.43 Claim by guardian of child of veteran. A claim made by a legal guardian on behalf of his or her ward, a child of a veteran, shall be...
Pensions HVAC House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs IAVA Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America MILCON-VA Military Construction and Veterans...and Pensions ; Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (note: this listing is not...alongside U.S.- Mexico border issues, the stagnant economy, and concerns over Internal Revenue Service 103 Leo Shane III, “Senate Blocks Huge Vets
Rühl, A; Nasser, Y; Sharkey, K A
The enteric nervous system is composed of both enteric neurones and enteric glia. Enteric glial cells were first described by Dogiel and are now known to outnumber neurones approximately 4 : 1. In the past, these cells were assumed to subserve a largely supportive role; however, recent evidence indicates that enteric glial cells may play a more active role in the control of gut function. In transgenic mouse models, where enteric glial cells are selectively ablated, the loss of glia results in intestinal inflammation and disruption of the epithelial barrier. Enteric glia are activated specifically by inflammatory insults and may contribute actively to inflammatory pathology via antigen presentation and cytokine synthesis. Enteric glia also express receptors for neurotransmitters and so may serve as intermediaries in enteric neurotransmission. Thus, enteric glia may serve as a link between the nervous and immune systems of the gut and may also have an important role in maintaining the integrity of the mucosal barrier and in other aspects of intestinal homeostasis.
Oversight on the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30). Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education, Training, Employment and Housing of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Second Session.
Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
This congressional report contains the testimony, prepared statements, and supplementary materials presented at a hearing convened to review the Montgomery GI Bill and entertain suggestions regarding how to increase the buying power of veterans education benefits. The following are among the agencies and organizations whose representatives…
Dropouts Can Enter Underenrolled Departments Editorial on Education System Change. FOREIGN RELATIONS Daily Editorial on President Chon’s ’Vision...than 521,000 million won from "old politicians," "minister and vice-ministers of the government," "high-ranking officials" and big entrepreneurs to...revision of the controversial college gradua- tion system, while the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees are for the recent defection of a Chinese
Malte, Carol A; Cox, Koriann; Saxon, Andrew J
This study sought to determine whether homeless veterans entering Veterans Affairs (VA) substance use treatment randomized to intensive addiction/housing case management (AHCM) had improved housing, substance use, mental health, and functional outcomes and lower acute health care utilization, compared to a housing support group (HSG) control. Homeless veterans (n = 181) entering outpatient VA substance use treatment were randomized to AHCM and HSG and received treatment for 12 months. AHCM provided individualized housing, substance use and mental health case management, life skills training, and community outreach. The control condition was a weekly drop-in housing support group. Adjusted longitudinal analyses compared groups on baseline to month 12 change in percentage of days housed and functional status, substance use, and mental health outcomes (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey; Addiction Severity Index [ASI]). Negative binomial regression models compared groups on health care utilization. Both conditions significantly increased percentage of days housed, with no differences detected between conditions. In total, 74 (81.3%) AHCM and 64 (71.1%) HSG participants entered long-term housing (odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval [0.9, 4.0], p = .088). HSG participants experienced a greater decrease in emergency department visits than AHCM (p = .037), whereas AHCM participants remained in substance use treatment 52.7 days longer (p = .005) and had greater study treatment participation (p housing and substance use care. For those veterans not entering or losing long-term housing, different approaches to outreach and ongoing intervention are required. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
.... This report contains articles from China dealing with Economic Affairs. The Topics include National Affairs and Policy, Foreign Trade and Investment, Economic Zones, Finance and Banking, and Agriculture.
Sørensen, Birgitte Refslund
experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran......For Danish soldiers, returning from the battlefields and army camps of international operations to the tranquility of everyday life at home can be a challenging and unsettling experience. Homecoming is often particularly daunting for veterans who leave the army and are compelled to develop a new...... social identity and find a meaningful life in the civilian world. When doing so, they need to navigate an ambiguous political environment and emergent public imaginaries of the veteran while also wrestling with their own military socialization and personal experiences of war. The certainty previously...
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Fargo, Jamison D; Byrne, Thomas H; Kane, Vincent R; Culhane, Dennis P
We examined data for all veterans who completed the Veterans Health Administration's national homelessness screening instrument between October 1, 2012, and January 10, 2013. Among veterans who were not engaged with the US Department of Veterans Affairs homeless system and presented for primary care services, the prevalence of recent housing instability or homelessness was 0.9% and homelessness risk was 1.2%. Future research will refine outreach strategies, targeting of prevention resources, and development of novel interventions.
Marek S. Kopacz
Full Text Available In recent years, identifying ways to mitigate the risk of suicidal behavior in Veteran populations has become a major public health challenge of special significance. This has included identifying support options that can be used by Veterans in times of distress or crisis. For example, Veterans at increased risk of suicide will sometimes voice complaints indicative of a need for spiritual and pastoral care support. At U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, such support is provided to Veterans by clinical chaplains. This discussion paper aims to present the contextual framework in which chaplaincy services are provided to Veterans at increased risk of suicide, better conceptualize the spiritual and pastoral care needs of at-risk Veterans who request chaplaincy services, and offer practical suggestions for framing the provision of spiritual and pastoral care services.
Michael Vicente Stanton
Full Text Available Despite substantial evidence for their effectiveness in treating disordered eating and obesity, mindfulness-based treatments have not been broadly implemented among Veterans. A number of reviews have reported mindfulness to be beneficial in promoting healthy eating behaviors and weight loss among non-Veteran samples. We discuss this approach in the context of the Veterans Affairs system, the largest integrated healthcare provider in the United States and in the context of Veterans, among whom obesity is at epidemic proportions. In this article, we discuss what is known about treating obesity using a mindfulness approach, mindfulness interventions for Veterans, a new pilot mindfulness-based weight loss program designed for Veterans, and future directions for this type of obesity treatment in Veterans. We conclude that this population may be uniquely poised to benefit from mindfulness-based treatments.
Stanton, Michael V; Matsuura, Justin; Fairchild, Jennifer Kaci; Lohnberg, Jessica A; Bayley, Peter J
Despite substantial evidence for their effectiveness in treating disordered eating and obesity, mindfulness-based treatments have not been broadly implemented among Veterans. A number of reviews have reported mindfulness to be beneficial in promoting healthy eating behaviors and weight loss among non-Veteran samples. We discuss this approach in the context of the Veterans Affairs system, the largest integrated healthcare provider in the U.S. and in the context of Veterans, among whom obesity is at epidemic proportions. In this article, we discuss what is known about treating obesity using a mindfulness approach, mindfulness interventions for Veterans, a new pilot mindfulness-based weight loss program designed for Veterans, and future directions for this type of obesity treatment in Veterans. We conclude that this population may be uniquely poised to benefit from mindfulness-based treatments.
Radiation enteropathy; Radiation-induced small bowel injury; Post-radiation enteritis ... Radiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays, particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells. The therapy ...
Schinka, John A; Leventhal, Katherine C; Lapcevic, William A; Casey, Roger
Increased mortality has been documented in older homeless veterans. This retrospective study examined mortality and cause of death in a cohort of young and middle-aged homeless veterans. We examined US Department of Veterans Affairs records on homelessness and health care for 2000-2003 and identified 23 898 homeless living veterans and 65 198 non-homeless living veterans aged 30-54. We used National Death Index records to determine survival status. We compared survival rates and causes of death for the 2 groups during a 10-year follow-up period. A greater percentage of homeless veterans (3905/23 898, 16.3%) than non-homeless veterans (4143/65 198, 6.1%) died during the follow-up period, with a hazard ratio for risk of death of 2.9. The mean age at death (52.3 years) for homeless veterans was approximately 1 year younger than that of non-homeless veterans (53.2 years). Most deaths among homeless veterans (3431/3905, 87.9%) and non-homeless veterans (3725/4143, 89.9%) were attributed to 7 cause-of-death categories in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (cardiovascular system; neoplasm; external cause; digestive system; respiratory system; infectious disease; and endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases). Death by violence was rare but was associated with a significantly higher risk among homeless veterans than among non-homeless veterans (suicide hazard ratio = 2.7; homicide hazard ratio = 7.6). Younger and middle-aged homeless veterans had higher mortality rates than those of their non-homeless veteran peers. Our results indicate that homelessness substantially increases mortality risk in veterans throughout the adult age range. Health assessment would be valuable for assessing the mortality risk among homeless veterans regardless of age.
Metraux, Stephen; Cusack, Meagan; Byrne, Thomas H; Hunt-Johnson, Nora; True, Gala
Despite the scale of veteran homelessness and government-community initiatives to end homelessness among veterans, few studies have featured individual veteran accounts of experiencing homelessness. Here we track veterans' trajectories from military service to homelessness through qualitative, semistructured interviews with 17 post-9/11-era veterans. Our objective was to examine how veterans become homeless-including the role of military and postmilitary experiences-and how they negotiate and attempt to resolve episodes of homelessness. We identify and report results in 5 key thematic areas: transitioning from military service to civilian life, relationships and employment, mental and behavioral health, lifetime poverty and adverse events, and use of veteran-specific services. We found that veterans predominantly see their homelessness as rooted in nonmilitary, situational factors such as unemployment and the breakup of relationships, despite very tangible ties between homelessness and combat sequelae that manifest themselves in clinical diagnoses such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, although assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community-based organizations offer a powerful means for getting veterans rehoused, veterans also recount numerous difficulties in accessing and obtaining VA services and assistance. Based on this, we offer specific recommendations for more systematic and efficient measures to help engage veterans with VA services that can prevent or attenuate their homelessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Murillo, Rose L.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine how Southern California community colleges have implemented best practices based on the 8 Keys to Veterans' Success as identified by the U.S. Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to effectively support and retain military and veteran students in higher education programs. The…
... service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. 819.7007 Section 819.7007 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SOCIOECONOMIC PROGRAMS SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS Service... service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. (a) A contracting officer may award contracts to...
contamination at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Basra, Iraq, from April through September 2003, among other known exposures. Recommendations 2B...irradiation and paraquat was compared to wild type mice and transgenic mice that overexpress catalase. 01/07/00 01/07/05 VA- 065D 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17...peroxidation, specifically paraquat and ionizing radiation; (2) Develop a mouse model with a targeted deletion of the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase
Cully, Jeffrey A; Jameson, John P; Phillips, Laura L; Kunik, Mark E; Fortney, John C
To examine whether differences exist between rural and urban veterans in terms of initiation of psychotherapy, delay in time from diagnosis to treatment, and dose of psychotherapy sessions. Using a longitudinal cohort of veterans obtained from national Veterans Affairs databases (October 2003 through September 2004), we extracted veterans with a new diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (n = 410,923). Veterans were classified as rural (categories 6-9; n = 65,044) or urban (category 1; n = 149,747), using the US Department of Agriculture Rural-Urban Continuum Codes. Psychotherapy encounters were identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes for the 12 months following patients' initial diagnosis. Newly diagnosed rural veterans were significantly less likely (P Urban veterans were roughly twice as likely as rural veterans to receive 4 or more (9.46% vs 5.08%) and 8 or more (5.59% vs 2.35%) psychotherapy sessions (P Rural veterans are significantly less likely to receive psychotherapy services, and the dose of the psychotherapy services provided for rural veterans is limited relative to their urban counterparts. Focused efforts are needed to increase access to psychotherapy services provided to rural veterans with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This brief uses data from the 2009 and 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Reports (AHAR) to Congress. The reports were sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban...
Fravell, Michael D
...) makes it difficult to share clinical information within the DoD and, limited interoperability with Department of Veterans Affairs electronic medical record system prevents much of this critical data...
... Combat Veterans & their Families Readjustment Counseling (Vet Centers) War Related Illness & Injury Study Center Homeless Veterans Returning ... Advocating for health promotion, disease prevention, and health education for our nation’s Veterans Fisher House A "home ...
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final rule to affirm its adjudication regulations regarding compensation for disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses suffered by veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War. This amendment is necessary to extend the period during which disabilities associated with undiagnosed illnesses and medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses must become manifest in order for a Veteran to be eligible for compensation. The intended effect of this amendment is to provide consistency in VA adjudication policy, preserve certain rights afforded to Persian Gulf War (GW) veterans, and ensure fairness for current and future GW veterans.
... grantees in developing relevant expertise in the provision of transportation services to a particular area... with regards to accessibility, because many of these areas do not have well-developed transportation... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AO01 Grants for Transportation of Veterans...
... Insurance Information Access AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The...-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access... operation, also has the right to full access to records held by the insurer or on behalf of the insurer from...
... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AN40 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life...' Group Life Insurance (``SGLI'') and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (``VGLI'') to prohibit payment of insurance proceeds payable because of the death of a person whose life was insured under SGLI or VGLI...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address Statement... Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the proposed collection of... information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address Statement, VA Form 29-0563...
... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO24 Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension... Life Insurance (VGLI) to extend to 240 days the current 120-day ``no-health'' period during which... insurability is needed, known as the Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) ``no- health'' period, from 120 days...
... overview briefings from the Atlanta VA Medical Center leadership and the VA Southeast Network (Veterans... briefings on RO business lines and services for women Veterans. A briefing from local Memorial Affairs leadership will also be presented. On August 23, the Committee will convene an open session at the Courtyard...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION, FIDUCIARY ACTIVITIES § 13.71 Payment of cost... domiciliary care in an institution operated by a political subdivision of the United States may be authorized... responsible official of the institution or political subdivision will agree not to assert against Department...
... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0728.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10-21091. OMB Control Number: 2900-0728. Type of...
Brenner, Lisa A.; Betthauser, Lisa M.; Homaifar, Beeta Y.; Villarreal, Edgar; Harwood, Jeri E. F.; Staves, Pamela J.; Huggins, Joseph A.
History of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been found to increase risk of suicidal behavior. The association between suicide attempt history among veterans with PTSD and/or TBI was explored. Cases (N = 81) and 2:1 matched controls (N = 160) were randomly selected from a Veterans Affairs Medical Center…
Elhai, Jon D.; Palmieri, Patrick A.; Biehn, Tracey L.; Frueh, B. Christopher; Magruder, Kathryn M.
We examined possible differences in the factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the basis of whether frequency or intensity symptom response formats were used to assess PTSD. Participants included 669 veterans recruited from an epidemiological study of four Veterans Affairs Medical Centers' primary care clinics in the…
... CLAUSES Texts of Provisions and Clauses 852.219-10 VA Notice of total service-disabled veteran-owned small... Affairs, “Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern”: (1) Means a small business concern: (i) Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of...
Lee, Haoyu; Iglewicz, Alana; Golshan, Shah; Zisook, Sidney
The relationship between homelessness among veterans and mental illness and suicidality has not been clearly defined. To further examine this relationship, we compared rates of mental illness and suicidality among homeless and domiciled veterans seeking urgent psychiatric care at a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. Information was collected by survey from 482 consecutive veterans seeking care at the Psychiatric Emergency Clinic (PEC) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. A total of 73 homeless veterans were designated the homeless group and 73 domiciled veterans were randomly selected as the domiciled group. Suicidality and mental illnesses were assessed by self-assessment questionnaires and chart review of diagnoses. The homeless group had significantly higher rates of past suicide attempts (47% vs 27%) and recent reckless or self-harming behavior (33% vs 18%) compared with the domiciled group but significantly lower rates of depressive disorder (25% vs 44%), as diagnosed by a PEC physician. There were no differences between groups on the questionnaires for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or alcohol abuse. Nor were there differences in diagnoses of bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, or alcohol abuse. Veterans seeking help from a VA-based urgent psychiatric care clinic often are burdened by substantial depression, alcohol use disorders, PTSD, and both past and present suicide risk.
O'Connell, Maria J; Kasprow, Wesley J; Rosenheck, Robert A
This study examined social network structure and function among a sample of 460 homeless veterans who participated in an experimental trial of the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Participants were randomly assigned to HUD-VASH (housing subsidies and case management), case management only, or standard care. Mixed-model longitudinal analysis was used to compare treatment groups on social network outcomes over 18 months. Veterans in HUD-VASH reported significantly greater increases in social support than veterans in the two other groups, as well as greater frequency of contacts, availability of tangible and emotional support, and satisfaction with nonkin relationships over time. These gains largely involved relationships with providers and other veterans encountered in treatment. Supported housing may play a pivotal role in fostering constructive new relationships with persons associated with service programs but may have a more limited impact on natural support networks.
Varadarajulu, Shyam; Banerjee, Subhas; Barth, Bradley; Desilets, David; Kaul, Vivek; Kethu, Sripathi; Pedrosa, Marcos; Pfau, Patrick; Tokar, Jeffrey; Wang, Amy; Song, Louis-Michel Wong Kee; Rodriguez, Sarah
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Technology Committee provides reviews of existing, new, or emerging endoscopic technologies that have an impact on the practice of GI endoscopy. Evidence-based methodology is used, with a MEDLINE literature search to identify pertinent clinical studies on the topic and a MAUDE (U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health) database search to identify the reported complications of a given technology. Both are supplemented by accessing the "related articles" feature of PubMed and by scrutinizing pertinent references cited by the identified studies. Controlled clinical trials are emphasized, but in many cases, data from randomized, controlled trials are lacking. In such cases, large case series, preliminary clinical studies, and expert opinions are used. Technical data are gathered from traditional and Web-based publications, proprietary publications, and informal communications with pertinent vendors. Technology Status Evaluation Reports are drafted by 1 or 2 members of the ASGE Technology Committee, reviewed and edited by the committee as a whole, and approved by the Governing Board of the ASGE. When financial guidance is indicated, the most recent coding data and list prices at the time of publication are provided. For this review, the MEDLINE database was searched through August 2010 for articles related to enteral, esophageal, duodenal, and colonic stents. Technology Status Evaluation Reports are scientific reviews provided solely for educational and informational purposes. Technology Status Evaluation Reports are not rules and should not be construed as establishing a legal standard of care or as encouraging, advocating, requiring, or discouraging any particular treatment or payment for such treatment. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Finlay, Andrea K; Stimmel, Matthew; Blue-Howells, Jessica; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, Jim; Binswanger, Ingrid; Smelson, David; Harris, Alex H S; Frayne, Susan M; Bowe, Tom; Timko, Christine
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.
Tsai, Jack; Ramaswamy, Sriram; Bhatia, Subhash C; Rosenheck, Robert A
This study explored differences between homeless male veterans in metropolitan and micropolitan cities in Nebraska on sociodemographic, housing, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics as well as health service use. A convenience sample of 151 homeless male veterans (112 metropolitan, 39 micropolitan) were recruited from Veterans Affairs facilities and area shelters in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Hastings in Nebraska. Research staff conducted structured interviews with homeless veterans. Results showed that compared to homeless veterans in metropolitans, those in micropolitans were more likely to be White, unmarried, living in transitional settings, and were far more transient but reported greater social support and housing satisfaction. Veterans in micropolitans also reported more medical problems, diagnoses of anxiety and personality disorders, and unexpectedly, were more likely to report using various health services and less travel time for services. Together, these findings suggest access to homeless and health services for veterans in micropolitan areas may be facilitated through Veterans Affairs facilities and community providers that work in close proximity to one another. Many homeless veterans in these areas are transient, making them a difficult population to study and serve. Innovative ways to provide outreach to homeless veterans in micropolitan and more rural areas are needed.
Kuhn, Eric; Drescher, Kent; Ruzek, Josef; Rosen, Craig
Aggressive and unsafe driving was examined in 474 male veterans receiving Veterans Affairs residential treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specifically, the authors evaluated if PTSD was associated with aggressive and unsafe driving and if Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans were at higher risk than other war veterans. Approximately two thirds of the sample reported lifetime aggressive driving and one third reported current aggressive driving. Posttraumatic stress disorder severity was associated with aggressive driving, but not other forms of unsafe driving. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans endorsed higher rates of and more frequent aggressive driving than did other veterans. After accounting for PTSD severity, age, income, and marital status being an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran predicted aggressive driving frequency and infrequent seatbelt use.
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Sorrentino, Anneliese E; Cusack, Meagan C; Bellamy, Scarlett L; Medvedeva, Elina; Roberts, Christopher B; Dichter, Melissa E
Women Veterans are at increased risk of both housing instability and intimate partner violence compared with their non-Veteran counterparts. The objectives of the present study were (1) to assess the relationship between women Veterans' experience of intimate partner violence and various indicators of housing instability, and (2) to assess what correlates help to explain experiences of housing instability among women Veterans who experienced past-year intimate partner violence. Data were collected from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs electronic medical records for 8,427 women Veterans who were screened for past-year intimate partner violence between April 2014 and April 2016 at 13 Veterans Affairs' facilities. Logistic regressions performed during 2017 assessed the relationship between past-year intimate partner violence and housing instability. A total of 8.4% of the sample screened positive for intimate partner violence and 11.3% for housing instability. Controlling for age and race, a positive intimate partner violence screen increased odds of housing instability by a factor of 3. Women Veterans with past-year intimate partner violence were more likely to have an indicator of housing instability if they identified as African American, had screened positive for military sexual trauma, or had a substance use disorder; receiving compensation for a disability incurred during military service and being married were protective. For women Veterans, intimate partner violence interventions should assess for both physical and psychological housing needs, and housing interventions should coordinate with intimate partner violence programs to address common barriers to resources. Published by Elsevier Inc.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final rule that amends the regulations governing eligibility for Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) to extend to 240 days the current 120-day "no-health" period during which veterans can apply for VGLI without proving that they are in good health for insurance purposes. The purpose of this rule is to increase the opportunities for disabled veterans to enroll in VGLI, some of whom would not qualify for VGLI coverage under existing provisions. This document adopts as a final rule, without change, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2012.
Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani
There is considerable concern about the emergence of significant substance abuse among younger veterans of war in the Middle East, especially among those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but little information exists on the magnitude of this problem. Using national administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (n = 1,001,996), we examined rates of diagnosed substance use disorders in Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD compared to other psychiatric disorders; and compared rates among veterans of other service eras. Of VA patients with a selected mental disorder, 21.0% had a comorbid substance diagnosis. Veterans who served in the post-Vietnam era (VET) (1973-1991) had the highest rates of comorbidity. Logistic regression models indicated that veterans with each selected psychiatric diagnosis were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed in comparison to veterans with PTSD; post-Vietnam veterans were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed than veterans from other eras. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are most strongly associated with dual diagnosis in OEF/OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom) veterans. There are high rates of substance use disorders among veterans with mental illness. The highest rates of comorbidity occur among those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; and in post-VET veterans. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
Fargo, Jamison; Metraux, Stephen; Byrne, Thomas; Munley, Ellen; Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Jones, Harlan; Sheldon, George; Kane, Vincent; Culhane, Dennis
Understanding the prevalence of and risk for homelessness among veterans is prerequisite to preventing and ending homelessness among this population. Homeless veterans are at higher risk for chronic disease; understanding the dynamics of homelessness among veterans can contribute to our understanding of their health needs. We obtained data on demographic characteristics and veteran status for 130,554 homeless people from 7 jurisdictions that provide homelessness services, and for the population living in poverty and the general population from the American Community Survey for those same jurisdictions. We calculated prevalence of veterans in the homeless, poverty, and general populations, and risk ratios (RR) for veteran status in these populations. Risk for homelessness, as a function of demographic characteristics and veteran status, was estimated by using multivariate regression models. Veterans were overrepresented in the homeless population, compared with both the general and poverty populations, among both men (RR, 1.3 and 2.1, respectively) and women (RR, 2.1 and 3.0, respectively). Veteran status and black race significantly increased the risk for homelessness for both men and women. Men in the 45- to 54-year-old age group and women in the 18- to 29-year-old age group were at higher risk compared with other ages. Our findings confirm previous research associating veteran status with higher risk for homelessness and imply that there will be specific health needs among the aging homeless population. This study is a basis for understanding variation in rates of, and risks for, homelessness in general population groups, and inclusion of health data from US Department of Veterans Affairs records can extend these results to identifying links between homelessness and health risks.
.... This report from China contains the topics: NATIONAL POLICY AND ISSUES, PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ZONES, ECONOMIC PLANNING, ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT, FINANCE AND BANKING, INDUSTRY, SMALL- SCALE ENTERPRISES, CONSTRUCTION, DOMESTIC...
Phillips, Glenn A.; Lincoln, Yvonna S.
Research on student veterans is in an infant state. As veterans continue to enroll in institutions of higher education, researchers must explore new ways of "knowing" student veterans. It is not enough to only describe and model this growing demographic, researchers must also have a tool for criticism and question. The next in an…
The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Public Affairs Plan is to establish goals for the fiscal year (FY) 1996 UMTRA Project public affairs program and to identify specific activities to be conducted during the year. It describes the roles of various agencies involved in the public affairs program and defines the functions of the UMTRA Project Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) Public Affairs Department. It replaces the FY 1995 Public Affairs Plan (DOE/AL/62350-154). The plan also describes the US Department of Energy's (DOE) plans to keep stakeholders and other members of the public informed about UMTRA Project policies, plans, and activities, and provide opportunities for stakeholders and interested segments of the public to participate in UMTRA Project decision-making processes. The plan applies to the UMTRA Project Team; the DOE Grand Junction Projects Office (GJPO); the DOE Albuquerque Operations Office, Office of Public Affairs (OPA); the TAC; the UMTRA Project Remedial Action Contractor (RAC); and other cooperating agencies
Lisi, Anthony J; Salsbury, Stacie A; Hawk, Cheryl; Vining, Robert D; Wallace, Robert B; Branson, Richard; Long, Cynthia R; Burgo-Black, A Lucille; Goertz, Christine M
The purpose of this study was to develop an integrated care pathway for doctors of chiropractic, primary care providers, and mental health professionals who manage veterans with low back pain, with or without mental health comorbidity, within Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities. The research method used was a consensus process. A multidisciplinary investigative team reviewed clinical guidelines and Veterans Affairs pain and mental health initiatives to develop seed statements and care algorithms to guide chiropractic management and collaborative care of veterans with low back pain. A 5-member advisory committee approved initial recommendations. Veterans Affairs-based panelists (n = 58) evaluated the pathway via e-mail using a modified RAND/UCLA methodology. Consensus was defined as agreement by 80% of panelists. The modified Delphi process was conducted in July to December 2016. Most (93%) seed statements achieved consensus during the first round, with all statements reaching consensus after 2 rounds. The final care pathway addressed the topics of informed consent, clinical evaluation including history and examination, screening for red flags, documentation, diagnostic imaging, patient-reported outcomes, adverse event reporting, chiropractic treatment frequency and duration standards, tailored approaches to chiropractic care in veteran populations, and clinical presentation of common mental health conditions. Care algorithms outlined chiropractic case management and interprofessional collaboration and referrals between doctors of chiropractic and primary care and mental health providers. This study offers an integrative care pathway that includes chiropractic care for veterans with low back pain. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Kasprow, W J; Frisman, L; Rosenheck, R A
Because little is known about homeless individuals' satisfaction with mental health services or the association between satisfaction and measures of treatment outcome, the study examined those issues in a group of homeless veterans. Demographic and clinical data were obtained from intake assessments conducted before veterans' admission to residential treatment facilities under contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, a national outreach and case management program. Clients completed a satisfaction survey and the Community-Oriented Programs Environment Scale, which asks them to rate dimensions of the treatment environment. Outcome data came from discharge outcome summaries completed by VA case managers. Overall satisfaction with residential treatment services was high among the 1,048 veterans surveyed. Greater satisfaction was associated with more days of drug abuse and more days spent institutionalized in the month before intake and with an intake diagnosis of drug abuse. Regression analyses indicated that satisfaction was most strongly related to clients' perceptions of several factors in the treatment environment. Policy clarity, clients' involvement in the program, an emphasis on order, a practical orientation, and peer support were positively related to satisfaction; staff control and clients' expression of anger were negatively related. Satisfaction was significantly associated with case managers' discharge ratings of clinical improvement of drug problems and psychiatric problems. Homeless veterans are more satisfied in environments they perceive to be supportive, orderly, and focused on practical solutions. The results indicate that client satisfaction is not related to treatment outcomes strongly enough to serve as a substitute for other outcome measures.
Hughes, Jaime M; Martin, Jennifer L
Addressing sleep disturbance can help to slow functional decline, delay nursing home admission, and improve overall health among older adults; however, sleep is not widely studied in high-risk older adults such as Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) participants. Sixty-eight ADHC participants were interviewed for sleep disturbance using a 28-item screening questionnaire. More than two thirds (n = 48, 70.6%) reported one or more characteristics of poor sleep, and 38% of participants met basic criteria for insomnia. Individuals with insomnia attended ADHC less frequently, reported worse sleep quality and shorter sleep duration, and were more likely to endorse trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up too early (ps < 0.001). Research is needed to better understand perceptions, predictors, and outcomes of sleep disturbance within ADHC participants.
Williams, Emily C.; McFarland, Lynne V.; Nelson, Karin M.
Purpose: United States rural residents tend toward poorer health than urban residents. Although alcohol use is associated with multiple medical conditions and can be reduced via brief primary care-based interventions, it is unknown whether alcohol consumption differs by rurality among primary care patients. We sought to describe alcohol…
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kane, Vincent
As more women serve in the U.S. military, the proportion of females among homeless veterans is increasing. The current study compares the individual characteristics and 1-year outcomes of homeless female and male veterans in the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program nationally. Administrative data on 43,853 veterans (10.69% females; 89.31% males) referred to HUD-VASH were analyzed for gender differences at baseline and over a 1-year period. Homeless female veterans were younger, had shorter homeless and incarceration histories, and were less likely to have substance use disorders than men. However, despite being less likely to report combat exposure, female veterans were more likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder. Homeless female veterans were also much more likely to have dependent children with them and to plan to live with family members in supported housing. Once admitted to HUD-VASH, there were no gender differences in attrition or main housing outcomes. Case managers were faster to admit female veterans to the program, reported better working alliances, and provided more services related to employment and income than male veterans. These findings suggest homeless female veterans may have certain strengths, including being younger, less involved in the criminal justice system, and more adept at relating to professional and natural supports; but special attention to noncombat trauma and family-oriented services may be needed.
Kaplan, Mark S; Huguet, Nathalie; McFarland, Bentson H; Newsom, Jason T
To assess the risk of mortality from suicide among male veteran participants in a large population-based health survey. A prospective follow-up study in the US. Data were obtained from the US National Health Interview Surveys 1986-94 and linked to the Multiple Cause of Death file (1986-97) through the National Death Index. The sample comprised 320 890 men, aged >/=18 years at baseline. The participants were followed up with respect to mortality for 12 years. Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that veterans who were white, those with >/=12 years of education and those with activity limitations (after adjusting for medical and psychiatric morbidity) were at a greater risk for completing suicide. Veterans were twice as likely (adjusted hazard ratio 2.13, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.99) [corrected] to die of suicide compared with non-veterans in the general population. The risk of death from "natural" causes (diseases) and the risk of death from "external" causes did not differ between the veterans and the non-veterans. Interestingly, male veterans who were overweight had a significantly lower risk of completing suicide than those who were of normal weight. Veterans in the general US population, whether or not they are affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are at an increased risk of suicide. With a projected rise in the incidence of functional impairment and psychiatric morbidity among veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, clinical and community interventions that are directed towards patients in both VA and non-VA healthcare facilities are needed.
Kaplan, Mark S; Huguet, Nathalie; McFarland, Bentson H; Newsom, Jason T
Objectives To assess the risk of mortality from suicide among male veteran participants in a large population‐based health survey. Design and setting A prospective follow‐up study in the US. Data were obtained from the US National Health Interview Surveys 1986–94 and linked to the Multiple Cause of Death file (1986–97) through the National Death Index. Participants The sample comprised 320 890 men, aged ≥18 years at baseline. The participants were followed up with respect to mortality for 12 years. Results Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that veterans who were white, those with ≥12 years of education and those with activity limitations (after adjusting for medical and psychiatric morbidity) were at a greater risk for completing suicide. Veterans were twice as likely (adjusted hazard ratio 2.04, 95% CI 1.10 to 3.80) to die of suicide compared with non‐veterans in the general population. The risk of death from “natural” causes (diseases) and the risk of death from “external” causes did not differ between the veterans and the non‐veterans. Interestingly, male veterans who were overweight had a significantly lower risk of completing suicide than those who were of normal weight. Conclusions Veterans in the general US population, whether or not they are affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are at an increased risk of suicide. With a projected rise in the incidence of functional impairment and psychiatric morbidity among veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, clinical and community interventions that are directed towards patients in both VA and non‐VA healthcare facilities are needed. PMID:17568055
Elbogen, Eric B; Sullivan, Connor P; Wolfe, James; Wagner, Henry Ryan; Beckham, Jean C
We examined the empirical link between money mismanagement and subsequent homelessness among veterans. We used a random sample of Iraq and Afghanistan War era veterans from the National Post-Deployment Adjustment Survey in 2009-2011. Veterans were randomly selected from a roster of all US military service members in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom who were separated from active duty or in the Reserves/National Guard. Veterans (n = 1090) from 50 states and all military branches completed 2 waves of data collection 1 year apart (79% retention rate). Thirty percent reported money mismanagement (e.g., bouncing or forging a check, going over one's credit limit, falling victim to a money scam in the past year). Multivariate analysis revealed money mismanagement (odds ratio [OR] = 4.09, 95% CI = 1.87, 8.94) was associated with homelessness in the next year, as were arrest history (OR = 2.65, 95% CI = 1.33, 5.29), mental health diagnosis (OR = 2.59, 95% CI = 1.26, 5.33), and income (OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.13, 0.71). Money mismanagement, reported by a substantial number of veterans, was related to a higher rate of subsequent homelessness. The findings have implications for policymakers and clinicians, suggesting that financial education programs offered by the US Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs may be targeted to effectively address veteran homelessness.
Schinka, John A; Bossarte, Robert M; Curtiss, Glenn; Lapcevic, William A; Casey, Roger J
National Death Index data were examined to describe mortality patterns among older veterans who are homeless. Homelessness and health care records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were used to identify old (ages 55-59) and older (ages ≥60) veterans who were (N=4,475) or were not (N=20,071) homeless. Survival functions and causes of death of the two samples over an 11-year follow-up period were compared. Substantially more veterans who were homeless (34.9%) died compared with the control sample (18.2%). Veterans who were homeless were approximately 2.5 years younger at time of death compared with the control sample. Older veterans who were homeless had the lowest survival rate (58%). No disease category appeared to be critical in reducing survival time. Suicide was twice as frequent in the homeless (.4%) versus the control (.2%) sample. Older veterans who were homeless experienced excess mortality and increased suicide risk.
Weber, Jillian; Lee, Rebecca C; Martsolf, Donna
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that almost 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Homeless veterans are at greater risk of health disparities than their housed counterparts due to the multifactorial nature of their health and social needs. The Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with more than a dozen other federal agencies, has concentrated efforts to improve the health of this vulnerable population while enacting a plan to eliminate veteran homelessness within the near future. Understanding the unique health needs of veterans who are homeless allows the profession of nursing to better support these efforts. The purpose of this literature review was to provide comprehensive knowledge to nurses about the health of homeless veterans for their use in clinical practice, research, and in contributing to the positive health outcomes for this vulnerable population. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Public Affairs Plan is to establish goals for the Fiscal Year 1995 UMTRA public affairs program and identify specific activities to be conducted during the year. It also describes the roles of various agencies involved in the conduct of the public affairs program and defines the functions of the Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) Public Affairs Department. It integrates and replaces the Public Participation Plan (DOE/AL/62350-47D) and Public Information Plan (DOE/AL/623590-71). The plan describes the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) plans to keep stakeholders and other members of the public informed about project policies, plans, and activities, and provide opportunities for stakeholders and interested segments of the public to participate in project decision-making processes. The plan applies to the UMTRA Project Office; the DOE Albuquerque Operations Office, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (OIEA); the UMTRA TAC; the UMTRA Remedial Action Contractor (RAC); and other cooperating agencies.
The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Public Affairs Plan is to establish goals for the Fiscal Year 1995 UMTRA public affairs program and identify specific activities to be conducted during the year. It also describes the roles of various agencies involved in the conduct of the public affairs program and defines the functions of the Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) Public Affairs Department. It integrates and replaces the Public Participation Plan (DOE/AL/62350-47D) and Public Information Plan (DOE/AL/623590-71). The plan describes the US Department of Energy's (DOE) plans to keep stakeholders and other members of the public informed about project policies, plans, and activities, and provide opportunities for stakeholders and interested segments of the public to participate in project decision-making processes. The plan applies to the UMTRA Project Office; the DOE Albuquerque Operations Office, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (OIEA); the UMTRA TAC; the UMTRA Remedial Action Contractor (RAC); and other cooperating agencies
... entered into this docket is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.regulations.gov . FOR FURTHER... AFFAIR is: Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: ``Charter Fishing (sport) & sightseeing tours.'' Geographic...
Greenbaum, Mark A.; Rosen, Craig S.
Objective: Guidelines addressing the treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) strongly recommend a therapeutic trial of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This study examined veteran characteristics associated with receiving such first-line pharmacotherapy, as well as how being a veteran of the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq impact receipt of pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Method: This was a national study of 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatients between the ages of 18 and 69 years who had been newly diagnosed with PTSD (DSM-IV criteria: 309.81) during a VA outpatient visit between May 31, 2006, and December 7, 2007. Participants completed a mailed survey between August 11, 2006, and April 6, 2008. Veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and female veterans were intentionally oversampled. Logistic regression models were developed to predict 2 dependent variables: odds of initiating an SSRI/SNRI and, among veterans who initiated an SSRI/SNRI, odds of receiving an adequate therapeutic trial. Each dependent variable was regressed on a variety of sociodemographic and survey characteristics. Results: Of the 377 veterans prescribed a psychotropic medication, 73% (n = 276) received an SSRI/SNRI, of whom 61% (n = 168) received a therapeutic trial. Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were less likely to receive a therapeutic trial (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.27–0.75; P < .01), with presence of a comorbid depression diagnosis in the year after the index episode moderating this relationship, which further decreased the odds of completing a therapeutic trial (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09–0.95; P < .05). Conclusions: Reduced levels of receipt of first-line pharmacotherapy among recent veteran returnees parallel previous findings of less mental health treatment utilization in this population and warrant investigation. PMID:22943028
Conard, Patricia L; Armstrong, Myrna L
Today, with almost 23 million veterans in the nation, and currently only about 10 million, or less, of them seeking active services associated with the Veterans Administration (VA) health facilities, these men and women veterans will be seeking some, more, or even all of their health care over their life time in civilian-based facilities. Pertinent literary sources were reviewed to gather applicable data about the problem. Every patient that enters your health facility should be asked an essential assessment question: "Have you served in the military?" Importantly, to gain effective rapport when they present, civilian nurses will need to anticipate their health needs and provide culturally sensitive care. Specific issues of deployed women veterans are provided in a series of two articles. This article provides a snapshot of the uniquely entrenched military culture, as well as women service member experiences in wartime, including the Global War on Terror (Iraq and Afghanistan). The next article discusses the various healthcare differences (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma), difficulties (e.g., reproductive, gynecologic, urinary, employment, homelessness issues), and gender disparities (varied treatment patterns) so the civilian nurse can better advocate for women veterans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
de Vries, M; Soetekouw, P M; Van Der Meer, J W; Bleijenberg, G
In 1992 and 1993, Dutch military personnel were deployed in the peace operation UNTAC in Cambodia. Since returning, Cambodia veterans have reported health complaints which they perceive to be related to their service. Their symptoms strikingly resemble health problems reported by Gulf War veterans. Four years post-return, a cross-sectional survey on health symptoms in Cambodia veterans was initiated. Questionnaires were sent to all Cambodia veterans and four comparison groups. Forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and fatigue were the symptoms most commonly endorsed. An operational case definition was constructed using a validated fatigue severity questionnaire. Cases were not uniquely found in Cambodia veterans (17%). In Rwanda and Bosnia veterans, respectively, 28% and 11% also met our case definition. Fatigue severity level was predicted by pre-mission, during-mission and post-mission variables, of which retrospective recollection of side-effects of vaccines and causal attributions also have been shown to be relevant in studies on Gulf-related illness.
Veterans of the Vietnam era are now the largest group of United States Veterans, and are at or approaching Social Security and Medicare eligibility. As a result, it is likely that home care clinicians will be caring for many patients who are Vietnam Veterans. The purpose of this article is to increase awareness of the unique healthcare needs of Vietnam Veterans. Having an understanding of military and Veteran culture can help inform home healthcare clinicians in ways to manage the unique healthcare needs of Veterans and engage previously learned behaviors and attitudes from military service. In addition, knowing the types of exposures and health risks specific to this era could be beneficial in identifying potential problems that may have not yet been addressed.
Ellenburg, Joseph T; Lieberman, Jay A; Pattanaik, Debendra
Although allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is effective and safe, nonadherence is common. Limited data exist regarding adherence to AIT, factors that affect adherence, and systemic reactions associated with AIT among veteran populations. To evaluate adherence to AIT and the prevalence of reactions secondary to AIT among patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee. A retrospective chart review was performed of veterans who received AIT at a single Veterans Affairs facility. Age, race, sex, the total number of shots, travel distance, a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the number of severe adverse reactions were compared between the veterans who were adherent and veterans who were nonadherent. The overall adherence rate was 60.9%. Factors associated with adherence were a chart diagnosis of PTSD (29.3% [adherent group] versus 13.6% [nonadherent group]; p = 0.03) and home residence being a further distance from the facility (21.9 miles / 35.2 kilometers [adherent group] versus 18.0 miles / 28.9 kilometers [nonadherent group]; p = 0.03). Patients who were adherent received an average of more total injections compared with patients who were nonadherent. Age, sex, race, and history of systemic reactions during AIT displayed no statistically significant differences between the groups. There were a total of 20 systemic reactions, and the systemic reaction rate was 0.2% per AIT encounter and 0.1% per injection. AIT adherence and systemic reaction rates among veterans at our facility was comparable with similar studies. Adherence was associated with a chart diagnosis of PTSD and home residence that was further away from the clinic.
Averill, Lynnette A.; Fleming, CJ Eubanks; Holens, Pamela L.; Larsen, Sadie E.
Background: A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict) (OEF/OIF) military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination.Objective: Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA) servic...
Lauren M. Denneson, PhD; Kathryn Corson, PhD; Steven K. Dobscha, MD
We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users ...
... Continues Support of National Campaign to End Veteran Homelessness Nov. 14, 2017 This Veterans Day, Harbor Freight ... support of the national campaign to end veteran homelessness through generous contributions to the National Coalition for ...
... violence (IPV) and women veterans More information on women veterans and mental health Recent research shows that about 25to 30 percent of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan report symptoms of a mental disorder. Untreated mental ...
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Chen, Joyce H; Rosenheck, Robert A; Greenberg, Greg A; Seibyl, Catherine
Public support payments may facilitate exit from homelessness for persons with mental illness. We examined data from 10,641 homeless veterans contacted from October 1, 1995 to September 30, 2002 in a collaborative outreach program designed to facilitate access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. Those who were awarded benefits (22% of contacted veterans) were more likely to report disability, poor to fair self-rated health, and were more likely to have used VA services in the past. Thus, this program achieved only modest success and was most successful with veterans who were already receiving VA services and who might have received benefits even without the outreach effort.
Hayden, Seth; Ledwith, Kathy; Dong, Shengli; Buzzetta, Mary
Student veterans often encounter unique challenges related to career development. The significant number of student veterans entering postsecondary environments requires career-development professionals addressing the needs of this population to decide upon appropriate career intervention topics. This study utilized a career-needs assessment…
Griffin, Kimberly A.; Gilbert, Claire K.
Scholssberg's transition theory is used to frame qualitative analysis of narratives from veterans, administrators, and student affairs professionals, examining whether and how institutions can influence veterans' transitions to higher education. Findings suggest how institutional structures assist students in developing navigational…
high rates of dropout and student loan defaults at for-profit colleges . Because education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the... students we spoke with in for-profit colleges , because their colleges were setting veterans’ tuition rates to match allowable GI Bill benefits in...credits and adapting to life on campus. Our study included focus groups at 13 college campuses and included a total of 105 students . The campuses were
Hutt, Evelyn; Albright, Karen; Dischinger, Hannah; Weber, Mary; Jones, Jacqueline; O'Toole, Thomas P
Veterans who nearing the end of life (EOL) in unstable housing are not adequately served by current palliative care or homeless programs. Multidisciplinary focus groups, interviews with community and Veterans Affairs (VA) leaders and with 29 homeless veterans were conducted in five cities. A forum of national palliative and homelessness care leaders (n=5) and representatives from each focus group (n=10), then convened. The forum used Nominal Group Process to suggest improvements in EOL care for veterans without homes. Modified Delphi Process was used to consolidate and prioritize recommendations during two subsequent tele-video conferences. Qualitative content analysis drew on meeting transcripts and field notes. The Forum developed 12 recommendations to address the following barriers: (1) Declining health often makes independent living or plans to abstain impossible, but housing programs usually require functional independence and sobriety. (2) Managing symptoms within the homelessness context is challenging. (3) Discontinuities within and between systems restrict care. (4) VA regulations challenge collaboration with community providers. (5) Veterans with unstable housing who are at EOL and those who care for them must compete nationally for prioritization of their care. Care of veterans at EOL without homes may be substantially improved through policy changes to facilitate access to appropriate housing and care; better dissemination of existing policy; cross-discipline and cross-system education; facilitated communication among VA, community, homeless and EOL providers; and pilot testing of VA group homes or palliative care facilities that employ harm reduction strategies.
Erickson, Megan; Braun, Katie; List, Riesa; Utech, Anne; Moore, Carolyn; White, Donna L; Garcia, Jose M
Evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition education interventions for diabetes prevention. Retrospective cohort design. Tertiary-care US Veterans' Hospital, July 2007 to July 2012, using pre-existing database. Prediabetic, adult veterans (n = 372), mostly men (94.4%, n = 351). Visits with existing nutrition education classes were collected. diabetes status; predictors: visits/encounters, age, body mass index, weight change, and hemoglobin A1c. Cox proportional hazards method, χ(2) test, and logistic regression. In this sample, prediabetic veterans who received nutrition education were less likely to develop diabetes when compared with prediabetic veterans who did not receive nutrition education (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.92; P Nutrition education was significantly associated with preventing the progression from prediabetes to diabetes in US Veterans participating in a nutrition education intervention at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. All rights reserved.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its medical regulations concerning eligibility for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program. The HCHV program provides per diem payments to non-VA community-based facilities that provide housing, outreach services, case management services, and rehabilitative services, and may provide care and/or treatment to homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule modifies VA's HCHV regulations to conform to changes enacted in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Specifically, the rule removes the requirement that homeless veterans be diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder to qualify for the HCHV program. This change makes the program available to all homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule also updates the definition of homeless to match in part the one used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The rule further clarifies that the services provided by the HCHV program through non-VA community-based providers must include case management services, including non-clinical case management, as appropriate.
One in three veterans has arthritis. This podcast provides information on how veterans can improve their quality of life with physical activity and other arthritis management strategies. Created: 11/9/2015 by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). Date Released: 11/9/2015.
to repeal the laws prohibiting interracial marriages and extramarital relations—the most odious laws in South Africa, as Minister of Home Affairs F...rapprochement of their economies and formation of the modern, highly effective economic structures being consciously regulated by the CMEA member...favourable condi- tions are created for the more effective use of the countries’ resources and wider application of the achievements of scientific and
In 1990 the French Commissariat a l'energie atomique (CEA) had to deal with a series of issues concerning depositories of radioactive substances of very low activity, culminating, in October 1990, with the discovery of small amounts of plutonium in a depository. These were important issues for the following reasons: they highlighted the question o low activity wastes and their treatment, that is not yet resolved; they drew attention to the sensitivity of the concerned organisations, elected representatives and the public to the problems of radioactivity however low its level; they made the CEA aware of the gap that existed between the nuclear industry's practices, language and perception of risks and the perception of the French public. This paper outlines the different 'affairs', shows their common bases, and analyses the consequences for the CEA and the nuclear industry in general. These 'affairs' illustrate the absolute obligation for all producers of wastes to know, and to make known in the smallest detail, the way in which the wastes are treated and the places where they are stored and kept. Waste management has not always been as a noble task. These 'affairs' have shown that the reputation of the CEA was measured as much by the quality of its waste management as by the success of its research programme, with a budget that has doubled in the last few years. (author)
Schaffer, Bradley J
The prominence and incidence of intimate partner violence (IPV) with male military veterans vary, but generally there is consensus that screening and intervention does help reduce IPV. Intervention is generally provided in the community via Batterer Intervention Programs. However, at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) intervention is provided via the Domestic Relations Clinic. Nationally the VA has limited treatment for male IPV. An aggregate sample (n = 178) of participants was assessed using the Domestic Violence/Abuse Screen to measure covariate pre-test and post-test outcomes, program failure, and recidivism. The treatment approach is psycho-educationally based to meet the challenging and unique needs of the military veteran population. The results contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of IPV and highlight the need for more intervention and prevention approaches.
Gros, Daniel F
Considerable attention has focused on the growing need for evidence-based psychotherapy for veterans with affective disorders within the Department of Veteran Affairs. Despite, and possibly due to, the large number of evidence-based protocols available, several obstacles remain in their widespread delivery within Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. In part as an effort to address these concerns, newer transdiagnostic approaches to psychotherapy have been developed to provide a single treatment that is capable of addressing several, related disorders. The goal of the present investigation was to develop and evaluate a transdiagnostic psychotherapy, Transdiagnostic Behavior Therapy (TBT), in veterans with affective disorders. Study 1 provided initial support for transdiagnostic presentation of evidence-based psychotherapy components in veterans with principal diagnoses of affective disorders (n=15). These findings were used to inform the development of the TBT protocol. In Study 2, an initial evaluation of TBT was completed in a second sample of veterans with principal diagnoses of affective disorders (n=29). The findings of Study 2 demonstrated significant improvements in symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, posttraumatic stress, and related impairment across participants with various principal diagnoses. Together, the investigation provided preliminary support for effectiveness of TBT in veterans with affective disorders. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
... collected on VA Form 21-4193 is used to determine whether a beneficiary's VA compensation or pension rate... Secretary. Denise McLamb, Program Analyst, Enterprise Records Service. BILLING CODE 8320-01-P ...
McGuire, James; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kasprow, Wesley J
This study compared client characteristics, service use, and health care costs of two groups of veterans who were contacted by outreach workers: a group of veterans who were contacted while incarcerated at the Los Angeles jail and a group of homeless veterans who were contacted in community settings. Between May 1, 1997, and October 1, 1999, a total of 1,676 veterans who were in jail and 6,560 community homeless veterans were assessed through a structured intake procedure that documented their demographic, clinical, and social adjustment characteristics. Data on the use and costs of health services during the year after outreach contact were obtained from national databases of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Chi square and t tests were used for statistical comparisons. The veterans who were contacted in jail obtained higher scores on several measures of social stability (marital status and homelessness status) but had higher rates of unemployment. They had fewer medical problems but higher levels of psychiatric and substance use problems, although the rate of current substance use was lower among these veterans than among the community homeless veterans. One-year service access for the jailed veterans was half that of the community homeless veterans. No differences were observed in the intensity of use of mental health services among those who used services, but the jailed outreach clients used fewer residential, medical, and surgical services. Total health care expenditures for the veterans who received outreach contact in jail were $2,318 less, or 30 percent less, than for those who were contacted through community outreach. Specialized outreach services appear to be modestly effective in linking veterans who become incarcerated with VA health care services. Although it is clinically challenging to link this group with services, the fact that the rate of current substance use is lower during incarceration may provide a window of opportunity for
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
There has long been concern that public support payments are used to support addictive behaviors. This study examined the amount of money homeless veterans spend on alcohol and drugs and the association between public support income, including VA disability compensation, and expenditures on alcohol and drugs. Data were from 1,160 veterans from 19 sites on entry into the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric analyses were conducted. About 33% of veterans reported spending money on alcohol and 22% reported spending money on drugs in the past month. No significant association was found between public support income, VA disability compensation, and money spent on alcohol and drugs. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans spend some income on alcohol and drugs, but disability income, including VA compensation, does not seem to be related to substance use or money spent on addictive substances.
Hutt, Evelyn; Whitfield, Emily; Min, Sung-Joon; Jones, Jacqueline; Weber, Mary; Albright, Karen; Levy, Cari; O'Toole, Thomas
To describe challenges of caring for homeless veterans at end of life (EOL) as perceived by Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) homeless and EOL care staff. E-mail survey. Homelessness and EOL programs at VAMCs. Programs and their ratings of personal, structural, and clinical care challenges were described statistically. Homelessness and EOL program responses were compared in unadjusted analyses and using multivariable models. Of 152 VAMCs, 50 (33%) completed the survey. The VAMCs treated an average of 6.5 homeless veterans at EOL annually. Lack of appropriate housing was the most critical challenge. The EOL programs expressed somewhat more concern about lack of appropriate care site and care coordination than did homelessness programs. Personal, clinical, and structural challenges face care providers for veterans who are homeless at EOL. Deeper understanding of these challenges will require qualitative study of homeless veterans and care providers. © The Author(s) 2015.
Sucha, R.; Lichvarova, I.; Duchon, R.; Dolnik, J.; Pindak, D.
Enteral feeding provides physiologic, metabolic, safety, and cost benefits over parenteral nutrition. There are various ways enteral nutritional is administered and scheduled. The method of administration must be individualized to each patient's specific needs. Enteral nutrition is not only the supply of exogenous substrates and to prevent depletion of endogenous sources. Today the enteral nutrition becomes part of a therapeutic strategy to influence the severity of the disease to affect the function of GIT, and to modulate immune responses of the gut and the whole organism. Early enteral nutrition in the postoperative period reduces the risk of infectious complications. (author)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revises its medical regulations that implement section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (hereafter referred to as "the Choice Act"), which requires VA to establish a program to furnish hospital care and medical services through eligible non-VA health care providers to eligible veterans who either cannot be seen within the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or who qualify based on their place of residence (hereafter referred to as the "Veterans Choice Program" or the "Program"). These regulatory revisions are required by the most recent amendments to the Choice Act made by the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act of 2014, and by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. The Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act of 2014 amended the Choice Act to define additional criteria that VA may use to determine that a veteran's travel to a VA medical facility is an "unusual or excessive burden," and the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 amended the Choice Act to cover all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system, remove the 60-day limit on an episode of care, modify the wait-time and 40-mile distance eligibility criteria, and expand provider eligibility based on criteria as determined by VA. This interim final rule revises VA regulations consistent with the changes made to the Choice Act as described above.
Kendall, Caroline J; Rosenheck, Robert
This study examined whether veterans disabled by auditory disorders face barriers to receipt of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health services. We compared use of VA mental health services by veterans disabled by auditory disorders with use of such services by veterans disabled by four other chronic illnesses. We hypothesized that disabled veterans with auditory disorders, including tinnitus and/or hearing loss, would be less likely to use VA mental health services than other disabled veterans because of communication difficulties. The study sample was based on national VA administrative data for veterans with a diagnosed mental health disorder who were not receiving VA compensation for that disorder but who were receiving VA compensation for another disorder, either physical or auditory, at the end of fiscal year 2005. After controlling for potentially confounding factors, we unexpectedly found that veterans disabled by auditory disorders were more likely than other disabled veterans to use VA mental health services at least once. Among users, however, those with auditory disorders accessed slightly fewer visits than those disabled by other conditions, although the reasons for the difference remain unclear.
Bachhuber, Marcus A; Roberts, Christopher B; Metraux, Stephen; Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth
To determine the prevalence of homelessness and risk for homelessness among veterans with opioid use disorder initiating treatment. Addiction treatment programs operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). All veterans initiating treatment with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid use disorder between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 (n = 2,699) who were administered the VA's national homelessness screener. Self-reported homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness. The prevalence of homelessness was 10.2 percent and 5.3 percent were at risk for homelessness. Compared to male veterans, women veterans were less likely to report homelessness (8.9 percent vs 10.3 percent) but more likely to be at risk (11.8 percent vs 4.9 percent). By age group, veterans aged 18-34 and 45-54 years most frequently reported homelessness (12.0 and 11.7 percent, respectively) and veterans aged 45-54 and 55-64 years most frequently reported risk for homelessness (6.5 and 6.8 percent, respectively). The prevalence of homelessness in this population is approximately 10 times that of the general veteran population accessing care at VA. Screening identified a substantial number of veterans who could benefit from VA housing assistance and had not received it recently. Programs to address veteran homelessness should engage with veterans seeking addiction treatment. Integration of homelessness services into addiction treatment settings may, in turn, improve outcomes.
Brooks, Matthew S; Laditka, Sarah B; Laditka, James N
Comparing outcomes of veterans who served in Vietnam and those who served elsewhere, we examined treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment of other mental health conditions, psychiatric treatment location, and six mental health well-being measures. The analytic sample consisted of nationally representative data from the 2001 National Survey of Veterans. Analyses included multivariate logistic regression that controlled for sociodemographic characteristics. Of Vietnam War-era veterans in the National Survey of Veterans (N = 7,914), 3,937 served in Vietnam and 3,977 served elsewhere. These veterans were stratified into or = 60 years of age (N = 1,766). Veterans who served in Vietnam had notably poorer mental health than did those who served elsewhere. There were striking mental health differences between younger and older veterans; younger veterans had substantially worse measures of mental health. These results suggest greater resource needs among younger Vietnam War veterans. Clinicians and the Department of Veterans Affairs should focus on mental health services for younger veterans.
... Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... the Onondaga 3 Room at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 6646 Old Collamer Road South, East Syracuse, NY, from... patient privacy to conduct a site visit at the Donald J. Mitchell VA Outpatient Clinic, Griffiss Business...
... during the Vietnam War. After careful review of the IOM report, the Secretary determines that the... served in deep-water naval vessels off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War are referred to as... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Presumption of Exposure to Herbicides for Blue Water Navy Vietnam...
O'Donnell, Lolita; Begg, Lisa; Lipson, Linda; Elvander, Erika
This article summarizes the findings from the Second Annual Trauma Spectrum Disorders Conference, which was held in December 2009 and was sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. The conference…
The detection of nuclear or radioactive materials for homeland or national security purposes is inherently difficult. This is one reason detection efforts must be seen as just one part of an overall nuclear defense strategy which includes, inter alia, material security, detection, interdiction, consequence management and recovery. Nevertheless, one could argue that there has been a revolution in detection affairs in the past several decades as the innovative application of new technology has changed the character and conduct of detection operations. This revolution will likely be most effectively reinforced in the coming decades with the networking of detectors and innovative application of anomaly detection algorithms.
The AGU Public Affairs Committee will create an ad hoc committee to consider possible AGU position statements concerning the effects of nuclear war.The action was taken at the May 31, 1983, meeting of the Committee at the AGU Spring Meeting in Baltimore. Present were Carroll Ann Hodges, Chairman, and members Thomas J. Ahrens, David Cauffman, Jared Cohon, Stamatios Krimigis, Robert Murphy, Raymond Roble, and George Shaw. Also attending were the current Congressional Fellow Arthur Weissman and SPR—Cosmic Rays Section Secretary Miriam Forman.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kasprow, Wesley J; Kane, Vincent
The study examined the number of homeless veterans with minor children in their custody ("children in custody"), compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics among homeless veterans with and without children in custody, and observed differences in referral and admission patterns among veterans with and without children in custody for a variety of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs for homeless veterans. Data were obtained from the VA Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System for 89,142 literally homeless and unstably housed veterans. Sociodemographic, housing, health, and psychosocial characteristics of veterans were analyzed. Among literally homeless veterans, 9% of men and 30% of women had children in custody; among unstably housed veterans, 18% of men and 45% of women had children in custody. Both male and female veterans with children in custody were younger and less likely to have chronic general medical conditions and psychiatric disorders compared with other veterans, but, notably, 11% of homeless veterans with children in custody had psychotic disorders. Veterans with children in custody were more likely than other veterans to be referred and admitted to the VA's permanent supported housing program, and women were more likely than men to be admitted to the program. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans served by the VA have severe mental illness and children in custody, which raises concerns about the parenting environment for their children. Particular focus should be directed at VA's supported-housing program, and the practical and ethical implications of serving homeless parents and their children need to be considered.
Koenig, Christopher J; Abraham, Traci; Zamora, Kara A; Hill, Coleen; Kelly, P Adam; Uddo, Madeline; Hamilton, Michelle; Pyne, Jeffrey M; Seal, Karen H
Telephone motivational coaching has been shown to increase urban veteran mental health treatment initiation. However, no studies have tested telephone motivational coaching delivered by veteran peers to facilitate mental health treatment initiation and engagement. This study describes pre-implementation strategies with 8 Veterans Affairs (VA) community-based outpatient clinics in the West and Mid-South United States to adapt and implement a multisite pragmatic randomized controlled trial of telephone peer motivational coaching for rural veterans. We used 2 pre-implementation strategies, Formative Evaluation (FE) research and Evidence-Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) meetings to adapt the intervention to stakeholders' needs and cultural contexts. FE data were qualitative, semi-structured interviews with rural veterans and VA clinic staff. Results were rapidly analyzed and presented to stakeholders during EBQI meetings to optimize the intervention implementation. FE research results showed that VA clinic providers felt overwhelmed by veterans' mental health needs and acknowledged limited mental health services at VA clinics. Rural veteran interviews indicated geographical, logistical, and cultural barriers to VA mental health treatment initiation and a preference for self-care to cope with mental health symptoms. EBQI meetings resulted in several intervention adaptations, including veteran study recruitment, peer veteran coach training, and an expanded definition of mental health care outcomes. As the VA moves to cultivate community partnerships in order to personalize and expand access to care for rural veterans, pre-implementation processes with engaged stakeholders, such as those described here, can help guide other researchers and clinicians to achieve proactive and veteran-centered health care services. © 2016 National Rural Health Association.
Wieland, D; Rubenstein, L Z; Hedrick, S C; Reuben, D B; Buchner, D M
Research suggests that inpatient geriatric evaluation and management units (GEMs), which undertake interdisciplinary diagnosis to improve the health of frail elderly patients, are effective. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helped pioneer U.S. GEMs and mandates that every facility shall have a GEM by 1996. We conducted a population survey of VA GEMs in 1991 to assess their dissemination. Various organizational and performance characteristics of GEMs were entered in a data base derived from a piloted questionnaire and administrative records. Basic criteria from consensus reports were used to classify and compare "standard" and "nonstandard" GEMs. The criteria covered performance of assessment, team structure, patient selection, GEM location, and treatment functions. We analyzed the effect of GEM type and other factors on length of stay and placement. Reasons for closure of GEMs inactive in 1991 were recovered, and GEMs active in 1991 but later closed are described. As of 1991, 41 of 73 GEMs were classified as standard, and 32 nonstandard. Standard compared to nonstandard GEMs had shorter stays (25.4 vs 69.9 days; p home discharge rates (63.4% vs 40%; p nursing home placement rates (19.1% vs 40.3%; p closure. Additional work is needed to monitor GEM proliferation, implementation, and performance in and out of the VA system.
... immediately upon signature and shall remain in effect until revoked, or until an Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs is appointed and enters on duty, whichever occurs first. Nothing in this...
Lee, Jenny J.; Helm, Matthew
This study explores student affairs capitalism as the alteration of professional practice towards the financial interests of institutions. Student affairs capitalism has the potential to create dynamics in which the interests of students become secondary to the institution's economic needs. This study examined this phenomenon from the perspectives…
Kasprow, W J; Rosenheck, R
This study directly compared mortality risk in homeless and nonhomeless mentally ill veterans and compared mortality rates in these groups with the general U.S. population. The study used a retrospective cohort design to assess mortality over a 9-year period in homeless (N = 6,714) and nonhomeless (N = 1,715) male veterans who were treated by Department of Veterans Affairs specialized mental health programs. The study showed that mortality rates in all homeless members of the cohort were significantly higher than the general U.S. population. Relative to nonhomeless cohort members, significant increases in mortality risk were observed in cohort members who at baseline were age 45 to 54 and had been homeless 1 year or less (RR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.02, 2.36) and those age 55 and older who had been homeless 1 year or less (RR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.33, 2.52). Similar, but nonsignificant trends were observed in cohort members who had been homeless more than 1 year at baseline. Additionally, medical problems at baseline and history of prior hospitalization for alcohol problems elevated mortality risk. Employment at baseline and minority group membership reduced mortality risk. The study suggests that mentally ill veterans served by specialized VA mental health programs are at elevated risk of mortality, relative to the general population. Homelessness increases this risk, particularly in older veterans, and this difference does not abate after entry into a health care system.
Full Text Available Nutritional support of surgical patients is a necessary part of the treatment. It alone cannot cure the disease but it significantly affects the recovery of patients and supports surgical interventions. Patients in malnutrition have shown to have significantly more postoperative infectious and non-infectious complications. This significantly prolongs treatment time and increases costs. However, there is one fact that cannot be expressed in money, which is the patient's impression of the surgical intervention. Adequate preoperative patient support, based on the intake of liquid nutritive solutions, reduces preoperative stress and deflects the metabolic response. Now, it is recommended for adults and children older than one year to drink clear liquid up to 2 hours before induction in anesthesia. Appropriate enteral nutrition has a significant place in the postoperative recovery of patients. Enteral nutrition is reducing complications, mainly infectious complications because the function of the digestive system as one large immune system is preserved. Perioperative enteral nutrition is a necessary part of the modern treatment of surgical patients. In addition to the significant effect on the occurrence of postoperative complications, it is also important that this type of diet improves the psychological status of patients.
The African Journal of International Affairs (AJIA) is a bi-annual publication of CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal. It offers a platform for analyses on contemporary issues in African International Affairs in relation to global developments as they affect Africa. AJIA welcomes contributions in English and in French from both African ...
Ford, James H; Krahn, Dean; Wise, Meg; Oliver, Karen Anderson
To examine how attributes affecting sustainability differ across Veterans Health Administration organizational components and by staff characteristics. Surveys of 870 change team members and 50 staff interviews within the Veterans Affairs' Mental Health System Redesign initiative. A 1-way ANOVA with a Tukey post hoc test examined differences in sustainability by Veteran Integrated Service Networks, job classification, and tenure from staff survey data of the Sustainability Index. Qualitative interviews used an iterative process to identify "a priori" and "in vivo" themes. A simple stepwise linear regression explored predictors of sustainability. Sustainability differed across Veteran Integrated Service Networks and staff tenure. Job classification differences existed for the following: (1) benefits and credibility of the change and (2) staff involvement and attitudes toward change. Sustainability barriers were staff and institutional resistance and nonsupportive leadership. Facilitators were commitment to veterans, strong leadership, and use of quality improvement tools. Sustainability predictors were outcomes tracking, regular reporting, and use of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust cycles. Creating homogeneous implementation and sustainability processes across a national health system is difficult. Despite the Veterans Affairs' best evidence-based implementation efforts, there was significant variance. Locally tailored interventions might better support sustainability than "one-size-fits-all" approaches. Further research is needed to understand how participation in a quality improvement collaborative affects sustainability.
education through conferences, organisations and publications, student affairs professionals ... assessment, student affairs, best practices, higher education. ..... on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Boston, MA: Pearson. International Association of Student Affairs and Services (n.d.). History.
Lehmann, Lauren P; Detweiler, Jonna G; Detweiler, Mark B
To assess the experiences of a veteran initiated horticultural therapy garden during their 28-day inpatient Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP). Retrospective study. Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Salem, Virginia, USA INTERVENTIONS: Group interviews with veterans from the last SARRTP classes and individual interviews with VAMC greenhouse staff in summer of 2016. Time spent in garden, frequency of garden visits, types of passive and active garden activities, words describing the veterans' emotional reactions to utilizing the garden. In 3 summer months of 2016, 50 percent of the 56 veterans interviewed visited and interacted with the gardens during their free time. Frequency of visits generally varied from 3 times weekly to 1-2 times a day. Amount of time in the garden varied from 10min to 2h. The veterans engaged in active and/or passive gardening activities during their garden visits. The veterans reported feeling "calm", "serene", and "refreshed" during garden visitation and after leaving the garden. Although data was secured only at the end of the 2016 growing season, interviews of the inpatient veterans revealed that they used their own initiative and resources to continue the horticulture therapy program for 2 successive growing years after the original pilot project ended in 2014. These non-interventionist, therapeutic garden projects suggest the role of autonomy and patient initiative in recovery programs for veterans attending VAMC treatment programs and they also suggest the value of horticulture therapy as a meaningful evidence- based therapeutic modality for veterans. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Tsai, Jack; Link, Bruce; Rosenheck, Robert A; Pietrzak, Robert H
To examine the prevalence of lifetime homelessness among veterans and use of Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless services, as well as their association with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. A nationally representative sample of 1533 US veterans was surveyed July-August 2015. Among all veterans, 8.5 % reported any lifetime homelessness in their adult life, but only 17.2 % of those reported using VA homeless services. Prevalence of homelessness and VA homeless service use did not significantly differ by gender. Being low income, aged 35-44, and having poor mental and physical health were each independently associated with lifetime homelessness. Veterans who were White or lived in rural areas were significantly less likely to have used VA homeless services. Homelessness remains a substantial problem across different generations of veterans. The low reported uptake of VA homeless services suggests there are barriers to care in this population, especially for veterans who live in rural areas. Governmental resources dedicated to veteran homelessness should be supported, and obtaining accurate prevalence estimates are important to tracking progress over time.
Reuter, Chuck; Caldwell, Barbara; Basehore, Heather
A reduction in total cholesterol may alter the microviscosity of the brain-cell-membrane, reducing serotonin receptor exposure. The resulting imbalance between serotonin and dopamine may lead to an increased risk for suicidality. The objective of this research was to evaluate total cholesterol as a biological marker for suicidality in a sample of US military veterans. The study population consisted of veterans who received care at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and were included in the Suicide Prevention Coordinator's database for having suicidal ideation with evidence of escalating intent, a documented suicide attempt, or committed suicide between 2009 and 2015. The veterans' medical data were obtained from the facility's computerized patient record system. The final sample was 188 observations from 128 unique veterans. Veterans with total cholesterol levels below 168 mg/dl appeared to have a higher suicide risk than those with higher levels. The cholesterol levels of veterans reporting suicidal ideation or attempt were significantly lower than the group reporting neither [F(2, 185) = 30.19, p cholesterol levels from an earlier visit in which they did not report suicidality. A latent class analysis revealed that among other differences, suicidal veterans were younger, leaner, and had more anxiety, sleep problems, and higher education than those being seen for an issue unrelated to suicidality. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Kaplan, Mark S; McFarland, Bentson H; Huguet, Nathalie
Military veterans are particularly vulnerable to suicide compared with their civilian peers. Scant attention has been devoted to the problem of firearm suicide among veterans, particularly women. The purpose of this study was to examine the rate, prevalence, and relative odds of firearm use among veteran suicide decedents in the general population. The analyses are based on data derived from 28,534 suicide decedents from the 2003 to 2006 National Violent Death Reporting System. Across the age groups, male and female veterans had higher firearm suicide rates than nonveterans. Among males and females, younger veterans (18-34 years) had the highest firearm and total suicide rates. The male and female veteran suicide decedents were, respectively, 1.3 and 1.6 times more likely to use firearms relative to nonveterans after adjusting for age, marital status, race, and region of residence. Although violent death and the use of firearms are generally associated with men, the results reported here suggest that firearms among female veterans deserve particular attention among health professionals within and outside the veterans affairs system. In addition, the focus should not be exclusively on the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom military cohort but also on men and women who served in earlier combat theaters, including the Gulf war, Vietnam Era, Korean Conflict, and World War II.
Camilleri, M; Cowen, T; Koch, T R
The objective of this article is to review the clinical presentation and neurobiology of degeneration of the enteric nervous system with emphasis on human data where available. Constipation, incontinence and evacuation disorders are frequently encountered in the ageing population. Healthy lower gastrointestinal function is essential for successful ageing as it is critical to maintaining independence and autonomy to pursue further activity. One clinical expression of enteric neurodegeneration is constipation. However, the aetiology may be multifactorial as disturbances of epithelial, muscle or neural function may all result from neurodegeneration. There is evidence of loss of excitatory (e.g. cholinergic) enteric neurons and interstitial cells of Cajal, whereas inhibitory (including nitrergic) neurons appear unaffected. Understanding neurodegeneration in the enteric nervous system is key to developing treatments to reverse it. Neurotrophins have been shown to accelerate colonic transit and relieve constipation in the medium term; they are also implicated in maintenance programmes in adult enteric neurons through a role in antioxidant defence. However, their effects in ageing colon require further study. There is evidence that 5-HT(2) and 5-HT(4) mechanisms are involved in development, maintenance and survival of enteric neurons. Further research is needed to understand and potentially reverse enteric neurodegeneration.
Beyeler, Walter E; DeMenno, Mercy B.; Finley, Patrick D.
As with other large healthcare organizations, medical adverse events at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities can expose patients to unforeseen negative risks. VHA leadership recognizes that properly handled disclosure of adverse events can minimize potential harm to patients and negative consequences for the effective functioning of the organization. The work documented here seeks to help improve the disclosure process by situating it within the broader theoretical framework of issues management, and to identify opportunities for process improvement through modeling disclosure and reactions to disclosure. The computational model will allow a variety of disclosure actions to be tested across a range of incident scenarios. Our conceptual model will be refined in collaboration with domain experts, especially by continuing to draw on insights from VA Study of the Communication of Adverse Large-Scale Events (SCALE) project researchers.
Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Callegari, Lisa S; Borrero, Sonya
We compared rates of induced abortion among women veterans receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare to rates in the general US population, as current policy prohibits VA provision of abortion counseling or services even when pregnancy endangers a veteran's life. We analyzed data from 2298 women veterans younger than 45 years who completed a telephone-based, cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled English-speaking women from across the United States who had received VA healthcare. We compared lifetime, last-5-year and last-year rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion among participants to age-matched data from the National Survey of Family Growth. As few abortions were reported in the last year, we used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between abortion in the last 5 years and age, race/ethnicity, income, education, religion, marital status, parity, geography, deployment history, housing instability, and past medical and mental health among VA patients. Women veterans were more likely than matched US women to report ever having an abortion [17.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 16.1%-19.3% vs. 15.2% of US women]. In the last 5 years, unintended pregnancy and abortion were reported by veterans at rates similar to US women. In multivariable models, VA patients were more likely to report abortion in the last 5 years if their annual income was less than $40,000 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.95, 95% CI 1.30-6.70), they had experienced homelessness or housing instability (adjusted OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.01-3.62), they were single (adj. OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.23-4.91) and/or they had given birth (adjusted OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.19-4.40). Women veterans face unintended pregnancy and seek abortion as often as the larger US population. The Veterans Health Care Act, which prohibits provision of abortion services, increases vulnerable veterans' out-of-pocket healthcare costs and limits veterans' reproductive freedom. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Sumer. Fantasies have now given way to practical deeds. We have entered the space era and are taking the first steps to conquer solar space. Space...the possibility of intelligent life on the planets of the solar system are not finding confirmation. Attempts to detect extraterrestrial civilizations...Conservative members of parliament want to reduce the pressure in their own social pressure cooker with the help of an escape valve. The move toward the
Brooks, Elizabeth; Dailey, Nancy; Bair, Byron; Shore, Jay
While many women choose to live in rural areas after retiring from active military duty, a paucity of studies examine rural women veterans' health care needs. This report is the first of its kind to describe the population demographics and health care utilization of rural female veteran patients enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Using the National Patient Care Datasets (n = 327,785), we ran adjusted regression analyses to examine service utilization between (1) urban and rural and (2) urban and highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were older and more likely to be married than their urban counterparts. Diagnostic rates were generally similar between groups for several mental health disorders, hypertension, and diabetes, with the exception of nonposttraumatic stress anxiety that was significantly lower for highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were less likely to present to the VA for women's specific care than urban women veterans; highly rural women veterans were less likely to present for mental health care compared to urban women veterans. Among the users of primary care, mental health, women's specific, and all outpatient services, patients' annual utilization rates were similar. Improved service options for women's specific care and mental health visits may help rural women veterans access care. Telehealth technologies and increased outreach, perhaps peer-based, should be considered. Other recommendations for VA policy and planning include increasing caregiver support options, providing consistency for mental health services, and revising medical encounter coding procedures. © 2013 National Rural Health Association.
Jia, Huanguang; Pei, Qinglin; Sullivan, Charles T; Cowper Ripley, Diane C; Wu, Samuel S; Vogel, W Bruce; Wang, Xinping; Bidelspach, Douglas E; Hale-Gallardo, Jennifer L; Bates, Barbara E
Effective post-acute multidisciplinary rehabilitation therapy improves stroke survivors' functional recovery and daily living activities. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) places veterans needing post-acute institutional care in private community nursing homes (CNHs). These placements are made under the same rules and regulations across the VA health care system and through individual per diem contracts between local VA facilities and CNHs. However, there is limited information about utilization of these veterans' health services as well as the geographic variation of the service utilization. The aims of this study were to determine rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care utilization by veterans with stroke in VA-contracted CNHs and to assess risk-adjusted regional variations in the utilization of rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care. This retrospective study included all veterans diagnosed with stroke residing in VA-contracted CNHs between 2006 and 2009. Minimum Dataset (a health status assessment tool for CNH residents) for the study CNHs was linked with veterans' inpatient and outpatient data within the VA health care system. CNHs were grouped into five VA-defined geographic regions: the North Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Continental, and Pacific regions. A two-part model was applied estimating risk-adjusted utilization probability and average weekly utilization days. Two dependent variables were rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care utilization by veterans during their CNH stays. The study comprised 6,206 veterans at 2,511 CNHs. Rates for utilization of rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care were 75.7% and 30.1%, respectively. Veterans in North Atlantic and Southeast CNHs were significantly ( p nursing care compared with veterans in all other regions, before and after risk adjustment. The majority of veterans with stroke received rehabilitation therapy, and about one-third had restorative nursing
Ferruolo, David M
Nearly half of all combat veterans suffer from serious psychological disorders and reintegration issues. Veterans shy away from typical talk therapy and are seeking alternative treatments. Equine-facilitated mental health therapy has shown promise in treating veterans with depressive and anxiety disorders and reintegration issues. This article reports on an institutional review board-approved pilot program designed to address the mental health needs of veterans. Furthermore, this article discusses future directions for evolving development of equine treatment programming.
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Luz M. Semeah
Full Text Available In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA set a goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Since then there has been a 36% reduction in homelessness due, in part, to the VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH program. These services include the receipt of home-based services to the veterans’ home. However, safety concerns and the threat of violence toward health care workers remain problematic in non-institutional care settings. This article discusses the concept of access to care and how safety concerns act as a barrier to services and optimal patient outcomes. Our study provides information on the prevalence of patient violence toward health care workers in the HUD-VASH program in a large veterans’ health system. Results suggest 70% of home-based service providers were exposed to violence and aggression. Providing services to veterans outside of institutional care settings, and the goal of eradicating homelessness among veterans, warrants further examination of access barriers.
King, Deborah A; O'Riley, Alisa A; Thompson, Caitlin; Conwell, Yeates; He, Hua; Kemp, Janet
In July 2007, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) to create the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) in order to meet the unique needs of Veterans in distress. The current study utilized a mixed methods design to examine characteristics of male callers to the VCL. Results from qualitative analyses demonstrated that the majority of callers between April 1 and August 31, 2008 contacted the VCL with concerns related to mental health issues, suicide ideation, and substance abuse issues. Quantitative analyses demonstrated age differences associated with concerns presented by callers such that middle-aged and older callers were more likely to present with loneliness and younger callers were more likely to present with mental health concerns. The results of this study will help to inform future research designed to optimize the effectiveness of the VCL for suicide prevention in Veterans.
Full Text Available Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD stands out as a major mental illness; however, little is known about effective policies for mitigating the problem. The importance and complexity of PTSD raise critical questions: What are the trends in the population of PTSD patients among military personnel and veterans in the postwar era? What policies can help mitigate PTSD? To address these questions, we developed a system dynamics simulation model of the population of military personnel and veterans affected by PTSD. The model includes both military personnel and veterans in a "system of systems." This is a novel aspect of our model, since many policies implemented at the military level will potentially influence (and may have side effects on veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The model is first validated by replicating the historical data on PTSD prevalence among military personnel and veterans from 2000 to 2014 (datasets from the Department of Defense, the Institute of Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other sources. The model is then used for health policy analysis. Our results show that, in an optimistic scenario based on the status quo of deployment to intense/combat zones, estimated PTSD prevalence among veterans will be at least 10% during the next decade. The model postulates that during wars, resiliency-related policies are the most effective for decreasing PTSD. In a postwar period, current health policy interventions (e.g., screening and treatment have marginal effects on mitigating the problem of PTSD, that is, the current screening and treatment policies must be revolutionized to have any noticeable effect. Furthermore, the simulation results show that it takes a long time, on the order of 40 years, to mitigate the psychiatric consequences of a war. Policy and financial implications of the findings are discussed.
Full Text Available Shelley B Bhattacharya,1–3 Michelle I Rossi,1,2 Jennifer M Mentz11Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC, Veteran's Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 3Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program, Pittsburgh, PA, USAIntroduction: Interprofessional patient care is a well-recognized path that health care systems are striving toward. The Veteran's Affairs (VA system initiated interprofessional practice (IPP models with their Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM programs. GEM programs incorporate a range of specialties, including but not limited to, medicine, nursing, social work, physical therapy and pharmacy, to collaboratively evaluate veterans. Despite being a valuable resource, they are now faced with significant cut-backs, including closures. The primary goal of this project was to assess how the GEM model could be optimized at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania VA to allow for the sustainability of this important IPP assessment. Part 1 of the study evaluated the IPP process using program, patient, and family surveys. Part 2 examined how well the geriatrician matched patients to specialists in the GEM model. This paper describes Part 1 of our study.Methods: Three strategies were used: 1 a national GEM program survey; 2 a veteran/family satisfaction survey; and 3 an absentee assessment.Results: Twenty-six of 92 programs responded to the GEM IPP survey. Six strategies were shared to optimize IPP models throughout the country. Of the 34 satisfaction surveys, 80% stated the GEM clinic was beneficial, 79% stated their concerns were addressed, and 100% would recommend GEM to their friends. Of the 24 absentee assessments, the top three reasons for missing the appointments were transportation, medical illnesses, and not knowing/remembering about the appointment. Absentee rate diminished from 41% to 19% after instituting a reminder phone call policy.Discussion: Maintaining the
Bass, David M; Judge, Katherine S; Snow, A Lynn; Wilson, Nancy L; Looman, Wendy J; McCarthy, Catherine; Morgan, Robert; Ablorh-Odjidja, Clair; Kunik, Mark E
: This investigation was guided by the stress process model and had two objectives: first, to describe the extent of negative caregiving effects for family caregivers of veterans with dementia, and second, to identify salient predictors of negative caregiving effects. : Data were obtained from baseline, structured telephone interviews with family caregivers of veterans enrolled in "Partners in Dementia Care," a clinical trial testing a care coordination intervention. : The study included 486 family caregivers of veterans with dementia who received primary care from the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system and lived at home. : Six negative caregiving effects were described as follows: unmet needs, four role and intrapsychic strains, and depression. Predictive factors included the following: cognitive impairment, behavior problems, personal care dependency, number of chronic conditions, and characteristics of the caregiving context. : Sizeable portions of caregivers experienced negative caregiving effects; most common were unmet needs, social isolation, and depression. Cognitive, behavioral, and functional symptoms of dementia and other coexisting chronic conditions explained significant variation in all negative caregiving effects. Caregiving context had little impact. Behavior problems were the most consistent predictor; personal care dependency and other chronic conditions were also important. : Family caregivers, the foundation of long-term care for veterans with dementia who live at home, experience a variety of negative caregiving effects. Negative effects are greater when veterans exhibit behavior problems, require extensive assistance with personal care, and have a greater number of coexisting chronic conditions. Negative caregiving effects are an important target for interventions that support family caregivers and promote continued care at home.
Adi V Gundlapalli
Full Text Available We describe the rates and predictors of initiation of treatment for chronic hepatitis C (HCV infection in a large cohort of HCV positive Veterans seen in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA facilities between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2009. In addition, we identify the relationship between homelessness among these Veterans and treatment initiation. Univariate and multivariable Cox Proportional Hazards regression models with time-varying covariates were used to identify predictors of initiation of treatment with pegylated interferon alpha plus ribavirin. Of the 101,444 HCV treatment-naïve Veterans during the study period, rates of initiation of treatment among homeless and non-homeless Veterans with HCV were low and clinically similar (6.2% vs. 7.4%, p<0.0001. For all U.S. Veterans, being diagnosed with genotype 2 or 3, black or other/unknown race, having Medicare or other insurance increased the risk of treatment. Veterans with age ≥50 years, drug abuse, diabetes, and hemoglobin < 10 g/dL showed lower rates of treatment. Initiation of treatment for HCV in homeless Veterans is low; similar factors predicted initiation of treatment. Additionally, exposure to treatment with medications for diabetes predicted lower rates of treatment. As newer therapies become available for HCV, these results may inform further studies and guide strategies to increase treatment rates in all U.S. Veterans and those who experience homelessness.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Suicide is a global public health problem. Recently in the U.S., much attention has been given to preventing suicide and other premature mortality in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A strong predictor of suicide is a past suicide attempt, and suicide attempters have multiple physical and mental comorbidities that put them at risk for additional causes of death. We examined mortality among U.S. military veterans after hospitalization for attempted suicide. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted with all military veterans receiving inpatient treatment during 1993-1998 at United States Veterans Affairs (VA medical facilities following a suicide attempt. Deaths occurring during 1993-2002, the most recent available year at the time, were identified through VA Beneficiary and Records Locator System data and National Death Index data. Mortality data for the general U.S. adult population were also obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics. Comparisons within the veteran cohort, between genders, and against the U.S. population were conducted with descriptive statistics and standardized mortality ratios. The actuarial method was used estimate the proportion of veterans in the cohort we expect would have survived through 2002 had they experienced the same rate of death that occurred over the study period in the U.S. population having the age and sex characteristics. Results During 1993-1998, 10,163 veterans were treated and discharged at a VA medical center after a suicide attempt (mean age = 44 years; 91% male. There was a high prevalence of diagnosed alcohol disorder or abuse (31.8%, drug dependence or abuse (21.8%, psychoses (21.2%, depression (18.5%, and hypertension (14.2%. A total of 1,836 (18.1% veterans died during follow up (2,941.4/100,000 person years. The cumulative survival probability after 10 years was 78.0% (95% CI = 72.9, 83.1. Hence the 10-year cumulative mortality risk was 22
Benda, Brent B; Rodell, Daniel E; Rodell, Luci
This was a study of crime among 188 homeless persons who were in a Veterans' Affairs Medical Center program for substance abusers. The purpose of the study was to find out: (a) what proportion committed crimes, and (b) what other problems, relational factors, and personal attributes predict crime. Data indicate 27% of these homeless veterans committed nuisance offenses, and 41% have committed crimes in the past year. Logistic regression procedures indicated that alcohol and other drug abuse, less education, lack of employment, psychiatric problems, and living with a substance abuser increased the odds of committing crimes. This study also finds that physical and sexual abuse before 18 years of age increases the odds of committing crimes, whereas self-efficacy, ego integrity, and resilience decrease these odds. These latter factors have received scant attention in the literature on homeless substance abusers, and yet they are among the strongest predictors of crime. Implications for psychiatric rehabilitation are discussed.
Pugh, Mary Jo; Finley, Erin P; Wang, Chen-Pin; Copeland, Laurel A; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Swan, Alicia A; Elnitsky, Christine A; Leykum, Luci K; Mortensen, Eric M; Eapen, Blessen A; Noel, Polly H; Pugh, Jacqueline A
To identify and validate trajectories of comorbidity associated with traumatic brain injury in male and female Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans (IAV). Derivation and validation cohorts were compiled of IAV who entered the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and received 3 years of VA care between 2002-2011. Chronic disease and comorbidities associated with deployment including TBI were identified using diagnosis codes. A latent class analysis (LCA) of longitudinal comorbidity data was used to identify trajectories of comorbidity. LCA revealed five trajectories that were similar for women and men: (1) Healthy, (2) Chronic Disease, (3) Mental Health, (4) Pain and (5) Polytrauma Clinical Triad (PCT: pain, mental health and TBI). Two additional classes found in men were 6) Minor Chronic and 7) PCT with chronic disease. Among these gender-stratified trajectories, it was found that women were more likely to experience headache (Pain trajectory) and depression (Mental Health trajectory), while men were more likely to experience lower back pain (Pain trajectory) and substance use disorder (Mental Health trajectory). The probability of TBI was highest in the PCT-related trajectories, with significantly lower probabilities in other trajectories. It was found that TBI was most common in PCT-related trajectories, indicating that TBI is commonly comorbid with pain and mental health conditions for both men and women. The relatively young age of this cohort raises important questions regarding how disease burden, including the possibility of neurodegenerative sequelae, will accrue alongside normal age-related decline in individuals with TBI. Additional 'big data' methods and a longer observation period may allow the development of predictive models to identify individuals with TBI that are at-risk for adverse outcomes.
Kasprow, W J; Rosenheck, R; Frisman, L; DiLella, D
This study compared two types of residential programs that treat dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Programs specializing in the treatment of substance abuse disorders (SA) and those programs addressing both psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems within the same setting (DDX) were compared on (1) program characteristics, (2) clients' perceived environment, and (3) outcomes of treatment. The study was based on surveys and discharge reports from residential treatment facilities that were under contract to the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, a national outreach and case management program operating at 71 sites across the nation. Program characteristics surveys were completed by program administrators, perceived environment surveys were completed by veterans in treatment, and discharge reports were completed by VA case managers. DDX programs were characterized by lower expectations for functioning, more acceptance of problem behavior, and more accommodation for choice and privacy, relative to SA programs after adjusting for baseline differences. Dually diagnosed veterans in DDX programs perceived these programs as less controlling than SA programs, but also as having lower involvement and less practical and personal problem orientations. At discharge, a lower percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs left without staff consultation. A higher percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs were discharged to community housing rather than to further institutional treatment. Program effects were not different for psychotic and non-psychotic veterans. Although differences were modest, integration of substance abuse and psychiatric treatment may promote a faster return to community living for dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Such integration did not differentially benefit dually diagnosed veterans whose psychiatric problems included a psychotic disorder.
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Fargo, Jamison D; Kane, Vincent; Culhane, Dennis P
Veterans are overrepresented within the homeless population compared with their non-veteran counterparts, particularly when controlling for poverty. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to prevent new episodes of homelessness by targeting households at greatest risk; however, there are no instruments that systematically assess veterans' risk of homelessness. We developed and tested a brief screening instrument to identify imminent risk of homelessness among veterans accessing VA health care. The study team developed initial assessment items, conducted cognitive interviews with veterans experiencing homelessness, refined pilot items based on veterans' and experts' feedback and results of psychometric analyses, and assigned weights to items in the final instrument to indicate a measure of homelessness risk. One-third of veterans who responded to the field instrument reported imminent risk of homelessness (i.e., housing instability in the previous 90 days or expected in the next 90 days). The reliability coefficient for the instrument was 0.85, indicating good internal consistency. Veterans who had a recent change in income, had unpaid housing expenses, were living temporarily with family and friends, needed help to get or keep housing, and had poor rental and credit histories were more likely to report a risk of homelessness than those who did not. This study provides the field with an instrument to identify individuals and households at risk of or experiencing homelessness, which is necessary to prevent and end homelessness. In addition, it supports VA's investment in homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing services for veterans who are experiencing or are at risk for homelessness.
Hosain, G M Monawar; Latini, David M; Kauth, Michael; Goltz, Heather Honoré; Helmer, Drew A
Sexual dysfunction (SD) is not well described in the Iraq/Afghanistan veteran population despite high prevalence of multiple risk factors for this issue. To estimate the prevalence and examine the association of various sociodemographic, mental health, comorbid conditions and life style factors with sexual dysfunction in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. This exploratory cross-sectional study was conducted using data from the VA administrative database. A total of 4,755 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were identified who sought treatment from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center inpatient and outpatient clinic between September 2007 and August 2009. Sexual dysfunction was determined by ICD9-CM codes related to sexual health issues and/or by specific medications, primarily phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i), prescribed for erectile dysfunction. The overall prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 5.5% (N = 265). By age category, it was 3.6% (N = 145) for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans aged 18-40 years and 15.7% (N = 120) for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans aged > 40 years, respectively. A multivariate logistic-regression model revealed that annual income, marital status, post-traumatic stress disorder, and hypertension were significant risk factors of SD (all P Afghanistan veterans, whereas among the older Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, being African American and having PTSD and hypertension were significant risk factors of SD (all P Afghanistan veterans have SD and that the risk factors differ between younger and older veterans. Our findings also suggest that SD is likely under-coded. To better identify the scope of the problem, systematic screening for sexual dysfunction may be appropriate perhaps as part of an initial post-deployment health evaluation. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.
Fargo, Jamison D.; Kane, Vincent; Culhane, Dennis P.
Objectives Veterans are overrepresented within the homeless population compared with their non-veteran counterparts, particularly when controlling for poverty. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to prevent new episodes of homelessness by targeting households at greatest risk; however, there are no instruments that systematically assess veterans' risk of homelessness. We developed and tested a brief screening instrument to identify imminent risk of homelessness among veterans accessing VA health care. Methods The study team developed initial assessment items, conducted cognitive interviews with veterans experiencing homelessness, refined pilot items based on veterans' and experts' feedback and results of psychometric analyses, and assigned weights to items in the final instrument to indicate a measure of homelessness risk. Results One-third of veterans who responded to the field instrument reported imminent risk of homelessness (i.e., housing instability in the previous 90 days or expected in the next 90 days). The reliability coefficient for the instrument was 0.85, indicating good internal consistency. Veterans who had a recent change in income, had unpaid housing expenses, were living temporarily with family and friends, needed help to get or keep housing, and had poor rental and credit histories were more likely to report a risk of homelessness than those who did not. Conclusion This study provides the field with an instrument to identify individuals and households at risk of or experiencing homelessness, which is necessary to prevent and end homelessness. In addition, it supports VA's investment in homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing services for veterans who are experiencing or are at risk for homelessness. PMID:25177054
Whiting, Seth W; Potenza, Marc N; Park, Crystal L; McKee, Sherry A; Mazure, Carolyn M; Hoff, Rani A
Background and aims Gambling disorder and its comorbid diagnoses are observed at higher rates in military veterans than in the general population. A significant research gap exists regarding the relationships of veterans' life and service experiences to problematic gambling. The present study explored pre-, peri-, and post-deployment factors associated with problem gambling in veterans. Methods Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (n = 738; 463 males, and 275 females) completed questionnaires via structured telephone interview. We conducted bivariate and multinomial logistic regression analyses exploring associations among problem-gambling severity and socio-demographic variables, psychiatric comorbidities, and 10 scales of the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory measuring experiences pre-, peri-, and post-deployment. Results Approximately 4.2% of veterans indicated at-risk or probable pathological gambling (ARPG) post-deployment (two or more DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling). Bivariate analyses found more severe gambling in males, higher frequencies of post-traumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, traumatic brain injury, panic disorder, and depression in veterans with ARPG, and higher general harassment during deployment, and lower social support and more stressful life events post-deployment in those with ARPG. In multivariable models, both post-deployment factors remained significantly associated with ARPG. Discussion The study suggests that problem gambling among veterans is related to service experiences, and particularly to life experiences post-deployment. Conclusions Adverse service and life experiences and lack of social support may contribute to the risk of problem gambling in military veterans. Investigation of how Veterans Affairs clinical settings may serve veterans following deployment to prevent behavioral addictions is warranted.
Dobalian, Aram; Stein, Judith A; Heslin, Kevin C; Riopelle, Deborah; Venkatesh, Brinda; Lanto, Andrew B; Simon, Barbara; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rubenstein, Lisa V
limitations, and a greater number of health conditions. Because many veterans use non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care providers for at least some of their health needs, future disaster planning for both VA and non-VA providers should incorporate interventions targeted at these groups.
Syme, Maggie L; Delaney, Eileen; Wachen, Jennifer Schuster; Gosian, Jeffrey; Moye, Jennifer
Little is known about the sexual well-being of male Veteran cancer survivors, or the relationship of sexual concerns to psychosocial adaptation postcancer. This study examined the association between sexual self-esteem and psychosocial concerns in male Veteran cancer survivors. Forty-one male survivors were recruited from a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital to participate in a pilot study addressing cancer survivorship care for Veterans. Sixty- to 90-minute interviews were conducted, assessing sociodemographic, medical, stress/burden (cancer-related posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression), and resource (social support, post-traumatic growth) variables. Twenty-one (51.2%) Veteran cancer survivors reported lowered sexual self-esteem as a result of cancer, which corresponded to significantly higher levels of depression and cancer-related PTSD. The lowered sexual self-esteem group also indicated significantly lower social support. Veteran cancer survivors with lowered sexual self-esteem tend to have higher levels of stress and lower levels of resources, putting them at risk for lowered quality of life. This increased risk highlights the importance of addressing sexual well-being in the survivorship care of Veterans.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
Although criminal justice involvement and incarceration are common problems for homeless veterans, few studies have examined childhood risk factors for criminal justice involvement among veterans. This study examined the association between three types of childhood problems, family instability, conduct disorder behaviors, and childhood abuse, and criminal justice involvement and incarceration in adulthood. Data from 1,161 homeless veterans across 19 sites participating in the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program were examined. After controlling for sociodemographics and mental health diagnoses, veterans who reported more conduct disorder behaviors during childhood tended to report more criminal charges of all types, more convictions, and longer periods of incarceration during adulthood. However, the variance explained in criminal behavior by childhood was not large, suggesting that there are other factors that affect the trajectory by which homeless veterans become involved in the criminal justice system. Further research is needed to intervene in the pathway to the criminal justice system and guide efforts to prevent incarceration among veterans. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Dichter, Melissa E; Thomasson, Arwin M; Fu, Xiaoying; Roberts, Christopher B
This study explored demographic influences on veterans' reports of homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness with a particular focus on gender. We analyzed data for a cohort of veterans who responded to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) universal screener for homelessness and risk during a 3-month period. Multinomial mixed effects models-stratified by gender-predicted veterans' reports of homelessness or risk based on age, race, marital status, and receipt of VA compensation. The proportion of positive screens-homelessness or risk-was 2.7% for females and 1.7% for males. Women more likely to report being at risk of homelessness were aged 35 to 54 years, Black, and unmarried; those more likely to experience homelessness were Black and unmarried. Among male veterans, the greatest predictors of both homelessness and risk were Black race and unmarried status. Among both genders, receiving VA disability compensation was associated with lesser odds of being homeless or at risk. The findings describe the current population of veterans using VHA health care services who may benefit from homelessness prevention or intervention services, identify racial differences in housing stability, and distinguish subpopulations who may be in particular need of intervention. Interventions to address these needs are described. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Champlin, Barbara E; Kunkel, Dorcas Elisabeth
In a baccalaureate nursing curriculum, students focused on the unique health care needs of veterans and their families. The learning experiences aimed to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) to provide holistic relation-centered care to veterans and their families. The clinical course integrated the findings of several veteran-centered publications and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing veteran-centered resources. Formative and summative anecdotal information was gathered in the learning experience during weekly postclinical discussions, course assignments, and a seminar after completion of the experience. Three noteworthy themes stand out: Increased Descriptions of Resources and Services Available to Veterans and Their Families, Increased Expressions of the Complex Health Care Needs of Veterans, and Increasing Recognition of the Autonomous Nature of the Community Health Nursing Role. Early indicators are that this community health field work experience will be sustainable into the future. The academic institution and clinical partner remain committed to working together to provide meaningful learning opportunities to students. Students completed the experience with increased KSAs and a beginning orientation to the Veterans Affairs Health Care System. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(3):186-190.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.
Hoffmire, Claire A; Bossarte, Robert M
The relationship between veteran status and firearm suicide has been evaluated previously, but multiple sources of bias limit conclusions. This study aimed to clarify the relationship between a history of military service and firearm suicide. Data obtained from suicide death certificates from nine states (1999-2009) were analysed. History of military service was validated using data obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Modified Poisson Regression with robust SEs was used to compute adjusted prevalence ratios for the common outcome of firearm use among suicide decedents. Male veteran suicide decedents were 6% more likely to use firearms, and female veteran suicide decedents were 18% more likely to use firearms compared with their non-veteran peers. Prior estimates based on logistic regression and death certificate reporting of veteran status may have overestimated the relationship between veteran status and firearm use among suicide decedents. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Misra-Hebert, Anita D; Santurri, Laura; DeChant, Richard; Watts, Brook; Rothberg, Michael; Sehgal, Ashwini R; Aron, David C
Access to care at Veterans Affairs facilities may be limited by long wait times; however, additional barriers may prevent US military veterans from seeking help at all. We sought to understand the health needs of veterans in the community to identify possible barriers to health-seeking behavior. Focus groups were conducted with veteran students at a community college until thematic saturation was reached. Qualitative data analysis involved both an inductive content analysis approach and deductive elements. A total of 17 veteran students participated in 6 separate focus groups. Health needs affecting health-seeking behavior were identified. Themes included lack of motivation to improve health, concern about social exclusion and stigma, social interactions and behavior, limited access to affordable and convenient health care, unmet basic needs for self and family, and academics competing with health needs. Veterans face a range of personal, societal, and logistical barriers to accessing care. In addition to decreasing wait times for appointments, efforts to improve the transition to civilian life; reduce stigma; and offer assistance related to work, housing, and convenient access to health care may improve health in veteran students.
Richardson, J Don; Long, Mary E; Pedlar, David; Elhai, Jon D
To examine the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in deployed Canadian Forces peacekeeping veterans, addressing associations with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression severity. Participants (n = 125) were consecutive male veterans who were referred for a psychiatric assessment. Instruments administered included the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, Short-Form-36 Health Survey, and sociodemographic characteristics. Mental HRQOL was significantly lower for peacekeepers with, than without, PTSD. Using univariate analyses, PTSD and depression severity were each significantly negatively related to mental HRQOL. In sequential regression analyses controlling for age, we found that PTSD and depression severity significantly predicted both mental and physical HRQOL. Veterans with PTSD have significant impairments in mental and physical HRQOL. This information is useful for clinicians and Veterans Affairs administrators working with the newer generation of veterans, as it stresses the importance of including measures of quality of life in the psychiatric evaluation of veterans to better address their rehabilitation needs.
Giannitrapani, Karleen; McCaa, Matthew; Haverfield, Marie; Kerns, Robert D; Timko, Christine; Dobscha, Steven; Lorenz, Karl
Pain is a longstanding and growing concern among US military veterans. Although many individuals rely on medications, a growing body of literature supports the use of complementary non-pharmacologic approaches when treating pain. Our objective is to characterize veteran experiences with and barriers to accessing alternatives to medication (e.g., non-pharmacologic treatments or non-pharmacologic approaches) for pain in primary care. Data for this qualitative analysis were collected as part of the Effective Screening for Pain (ESP) study (2012-2017), a national randomized controlled trial of pain screening and assessment methods. This study was approved by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Central IRB and veteran participants signed written informed consent. We recruited a convenience sample of US military veterans in four primary care clinics and conducted semi-structured interviews (25-65 min) elucidating veteran experiences with assessment and management of pain in VA Healthcare Systems. We completed interviews with 36 veterans, including 7 females and 29 males, from three VA health care systems. They ranged in age from 28 to 94 yr and had pain intensity ratings ranging from 0 to 9 on the "pain now" numeric rating scale at the time of the interviews. We analyzed interview transcripts using constant comparison and produced mutually agreed upon themes. Veteran experiences with and barriers to accessing complementary non-pharmacologic approaches for pain clustered into five main themes: communication with provider about complementary approaches ("one of the best things the VA has ever given me was pain education and it was through my occupational therapist"), care coordination ("I have friends that go to small clinic in [area A] and I still see them down in [facility in area B] and they're going through headaches upon headaches in trying to get their information to their primary care docs"), veteran expectations about pain experience ("I think as a society we have shifted
Rosenberger, Patricia H; Ning, Yuming; Brandt, Cynthia; Allore, Heather; Haskell, Sally
The study sought to determine BMI trajectories in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans over 6 years and to examine sociodemographic factors associated with BMI trajectory membership. Our study sample included 16,656 veterans post-deployment and entering the Veteran Healthcare Administration (VHA) healthcare system. We used national VHA administrative sociodemographic data, tracked veteran BMI for 6 years, and used trajectory modeling to identify BMI trajectories and sociodemographic characteristics associated with trajectory membership. Five trajectory groups determined in the full sample were primarily differentiated by their post-deployment initial BMI: "healthy" (14.1%), "overweight" (36.3%), "borderline obese" (27.9%), "obese" (15.7%), and "severely obese" (6.0). Being female, younger, and white were associated with lower initial BMI trajectory group membership (p'seducation and white female Veterans were associated with the lowest initial BMI group (p'sEducation level and racial status are differentially related to BMI trajectory by gender. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Cupler, Zachary A; Anderson, Michael T; Stancik, Thomas J
The purpose of this case study was to describe the differential diagnosis of a thoracic epidural abscess in a Navy veteran who presented to a chiropractic clinic for evaluation and management with acupuncture within a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. An afebrile 59-year-old man with acute thoracic spine pain and chronic low back pain presented to the chiropractic clinic at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center for consideration for acupuncture treatment. The veteran elected to trial acupuncture once per week for 4 weeks. A routine thoracic magnetic resonance imaging scan without gadolinium detected a space-occupying lesion after the patient failed to attain 50% reduction of pain within 2 weeks with conservative care. The patient was diagnosed with a multilevel thoracic spondylodiscitis epidural abscess and was treated same day with emergency debridement and laminectomy of T7-8 with a T6-9 fusion. The patient had complete recovery without neurological compromise and completed an antibiotic regimen for 6 weeks. A Navy veteran with acute thoracic spine and chronic low back pain appeared to respond initially but failed to achieve clinically meaningful outcomes. Follow-up advanced imaging detected a thoracic spondylodiscitis epidural abscess. Early diagnosis and immediate intervention are important to preserving neurological function and limiting morbidity in cases of spondylodiscitis epidural abscess.
... Members of the Armed Forces With Severe Burn Injuries for Financial Assistance in the Purchase of an... ``severe burn injury (as determined pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary)'' as one of the... severe burn injuries, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs explained that, ``[d]ue...
... Department of Veterans Affairs sponsored patients will be mentally and physically capable of leaving the... disabilities. (a) Contracts for treatment services authorized under § 17.80 may be awarded in accordance with...) Comply with the requirements of the “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records” (42 CFR...
Boscarino, Joseph A; Sitarik, Alexandra; Gordon, Stuart C; Rupp, Loralee B; Nerenz, David R; Vijayadeva, Vinutha; Schmidt, Mark A; Henkle, Emily; Lu, Mei
Research suggests that Vietnam era veterans have a higher prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than other veterans and nonveterans. However, the reasons for this are unclear, since this research has been conducted among Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients and most veterans do not use the VA. The current study compares HCV risk factors between the Vietnam era veterans and nonveterans seen in 4 large non-VA systems to explain this disparity. A total of 4,636 HCV patients completed surveys in 2011-2012. Vietnam era veterans were defined as those who served in the military any time between 1964 and 1975. Bivariate tests followed by logistic regressions, and multivariable modeling were conducted to study risk factors among Vietnam era veterans and nonveterans. Since few veterans were female (~2 %), they were excluded. Among male respondents (N = 2,638), 22.5 % were classified as Vietnam era veterans. Compared to nonveterans, these patients were older (p risk factor differences for HCV infection by veteran status suggested that while injection drug use approached statistical significance (nonveterans = 46.1 % vs. Vietnam era veterans = 41.4 %, p = 0.06), only reported sex with men was significant (nonveterans = 2.4 % vs. Vietnam era veterans = 0.6 %, p = 0.013). In multivariate logistic regression controlling for age, education, country of birth, marital status and study site, no HCV risk factor was associated with Vietnam era veteran status. However, veterans were more likely to report "other" exposures were the source of infection than nonveterans (p Vietnam era veterans seen in non-VA facilities do not report a higher prevalence of common HCV risk factors, such as injection drug use, they are more likely to report "other" exposures, typically associated with military service, as the source of HCV infection.
Nelson, Karin M.; McFarland, Lynne; Reiber, Gayle
Specific Aim Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant organizational changes to improve diabetes care, diabetes self-management has received limited attention. The purpose of this study is to assess factors influencing diabetes self-management among veterans with poorly controlled diabetes. Methods Surveys were mailed to patients with type 2 diabetes and a HbA1c of 8% or greater who attended 1 of 2 VA Medical Centers in Washington State (n?=?1,286). Validated surv...
This rule adopts as final a proposed rule of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to amend its regulations concerning the provision of health care to birth children of Vietnam veterans and veterans of covered service in Korea diagnosed with spina bifida, except for spina bifida occulta, and certain other birth defects. In the proposed rule published on May 15, 2015, VA proposed changes to more clearly define the types of health care VA provides, including day health care and health-related services, which we defined as homemaker or home health aide services that provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living that have therapeutic value. We also proposed changes to the list of health care services that require preauthorization by VA. This final rule addresses comments received from the public and adopts as final the proposed rule, without change.
provide veteran benefits without sharing information or tying benefits usage to employment success. The VA does not provide benefits usage ...1965-1976) and Millennials (born 1977- 1994), the two generations heavily affected by rising unemployment, derive their information from print...second only to the internet .68 Mrs. Obama announced at the Chamber of Commerce event of December 2011 that the International Franchising Association
Full Text Available While the Western world – with Brexit, Trump, Festung Europa, and so forth – seems to be increasingly retreating into narrow nationalism, the Journal of Student Affairs in Africa is connecting African academics, executives and administrators and is becoming an evermore accessed international, African platform for publishing research on higher education and Student Affairs in Africa. In this issue, we do not only publish several commentaries on the recent Global Summit of Student Affairs and Services held in October 2016 at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. We also publish contributions from Ethiopia alongside articles from Australia, the USA, and universities in South Africa (University of the Free State, University of Johannesburg.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulation regarding certificates of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment. The amendment authorizes automatic issuance of a certificate of eligibility for financial assistance in the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance and adaptive equipment to all veterans with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty with ALS.
Barth, Shannon K; Kimerling, Rachel E; Pavao, Joanne; McCutcheon, Susan J; Batten, Sonja V; Dursa, Erin; Peterson, Michael R; Schneiderman, Aaron I
Military sexual trauma (MST) includes sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs during military service and is of increasing public health concern. The population prevalence of MST among female and male veterans who served during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) has not been estimated to our knowledge. The purpose of this study is to assess the population prevalence and identify military correlates of MST, sexual harassment, and sexual assault among OEF/OIF veterans. MST was assessed in the 2009-2011 National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans, a survey of 60,000 veterans who served during the OEF/OIF eras (response rate, 34%, n=20,563). Weighted prevalence estimates and AORs of MST, sexual harassment, and sexual assault among women and men were calculated. Gender-stratified logistic regression models controlled for military and demographic characteristics. Data analyses were conducted in 2013-2014. Approximately 41% of women and 4% of men reported experiencing MST. Deployed men had lower risk for MST compared with non-deployed men, though no difference was found among women. However, veterans reporting combat exposure during deployment had increased risk for MST compared with those without, while controlling for OEF/OIF deployment. Among women, Marines and Navy veterans had increased risk for MST compared with Air Force veterans. MST was significantly higher among veterans who reported using Veterans Affairs healthcare services. These prevalence estimates underscore the importance of public awareness and continued investigation of the public health impact of MST. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Lapham, Gwen T; Hawkins, Eric J; Chavez, Laura J; Achtmeyer, Carol E; Williams, Emily C; Thomas, Rachel M; Ludman, Evette J; Kypri, Kypros; Hunt, Stephen C; Bradley, Katharine A
Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) are at increased risk for alcohol misuse, and innovative methods are needed to improve their access to alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBI). This study adapted an electronic SBI (e-SBI) website shown to be efficacious in college students for OEF/OIF veterans and reported findings from interviews with OEF/OIF veterans about their impressions of the e-SBI. Outpatient veterans of OEF/OIF who drank ≥3 days in the past week were recruited from a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Deployment Health Clinic waiting room. Veterans privately pretested the anonymous e-SBI then completed individual semistructured audio-recorded interviews. Their responses were analyzed using template analysis to explore domains identified a priori as well as emergent domains. During interviews, all nine OEF/OIF veterans (1 woman and 8 men) indicated they had received feedback for risky alcohol consumption. Participants generally liked the standard-drinks image, alcohol-related caloric and monetary feedback, and the website's brevity and anonymity (a priori domains). They also experienced challenges with portions of the e-SBI assessment and viewed feedback regarding alcohol risk and normative drinking as problematic, but described potential benefits derived from the e-SBI (emergent domains). The most appealing e-SBIs would ensure anonymity and provide personalized transparent feedback about alcohol-related risk, consideration of the context for drinking, strategies to reduce drinking, and additional resources for veterans with more severe alcohol misuse. Results of this qualitative exploratory study suggest e-SBI may be an acceptable strategy for increasing OEF/OIF veteran access to evidenced-based alcohol SBI.
Population Survey (CPS), the difference between veteran and non-veteran youth unemployment increased substantially between 2008 and 2011, but then...the veteran youth unemployment rate averaged 10.7 percent compared to 8.0 percent among non-veteran youth. But the unemployment rates of older...one cannot reject at the 95-percent confidence level the hypothesis that the veteran and non-veteran youth unemployment rates are identical
Full Text Available ... About About the Veterans Crisis Line FAQs Veteran Suicide Spread the Word Videos Homeless Resources Additional Information ... About About the Veterans Crisis Line FAQs Veteran Suicide The Veterans Crisis Line text-messaging service does ...
Full Text Available ... videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see more videos from Veterans Health ... videos from Veterans Health Administration Talking About It Matters see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Stand ...
Griffin, Joan M; Malcolm, Cari; Wright, Pamela; Hagel Campbell, Emily; Kabat, Margaret; Bangerter, Ann K; Sayer, Nina A
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the national Caregiver Support Line (CSL) in February 2011. The CSL is operated by licensed master's degree social workers who provide caregivers of veterans with information about caregiver benefits and services, counseling, and referrals to a caregiver support coordinator at the nearest VA medical center. The authors compared differences in veteran health care utilization patterns in the six months before and after a caregiver call to the CSL, hypothesizing that veterans with caregivers using the CSL had improved access to health care services and improved access increased utilization of health care. A pre- and posttest design was used. CSL calls that resulted in referrals to VA health care services or to local VA caregiver support coordinators were included in the sample. Data were extracted from the CSL database and matched to veteran care utilization data using veteran medical record data. Veteran inpatient stays for general medicine, hospice, respite, and long-term care significantly increased after the CSL call, but other inpatient stays (surgery, neurology) did not. Outpatient services for home health, respite, and mental health all significantly increased. Caregivers' use of the national CSL may help facilitate access for veterans to needed care services. © 2017 National Association of Social Workers.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert
We examined the number and clinical needs of uninsured veterans, including those who will be eligible for the Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges in 2014. We analyzed weighted data for 8710 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, classifying it by veterans' age, income, household size, and insurance status. Of 22 million veterans, about 7%, or more than 1.5 million, were uninsured and will need to obtain coverage by enrolling in US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care or the Medicaid expansion or by participating in the health insurance exchanges. Of those uninsured, 55%, or more than 800 000, are likely eligible for the Medicaid expansion if states implement it. Compared with veterans with any health coverage, those who were uninsured were younger and more likely to be single, Black, and low income and to have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is likely to have a considerable impact on uninsured veterans, which may have implications for the VA, the Medicaid expansion, and the health insurance exchanges.
Bourgault, Claire; Johnson, Erin E.; Redihan, Stephen G.; Borgia, Matthew; Aiello, Riccardo; Kane, Vincent
Objectives. We compared service use among homeless and nonhomeless veterans newly enrolled in a medical home model and identified patterns of use among homeless veterans associated with reductions in emergency department (ED) use. Methods. We used case–control matching with a nested cohort analysis to measure 6-month health services use, new diagnoses, and care use patterns in veterans at the Providence, Rhode Island, Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2008 to 2011. Results. We followed 127 homeless and 106 nonhomeless veterans. Both groups had similar rates of chronic medical and mental health diagnoses; 25.4% of the homeless and 18.1% of the nonhomeless group reported active substance abuse. Homeless veterans used significantly more primary, mental health, substance abuse, and ED care during the first 6 months. Homeless veterans who accessed primary care at higher rates (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 1.92) or who used specialty and primary care (RRR = 10.95; 95% CI = 1.58, 75.78) had reduced ED usage. Homeless veterans in transitional housing or doubled-up at baseline (RRR = 3.41; 95% CI = 1.24, 9.42) had similar reductions in ED usage. Conclusions. Homeless adults had substantial health needs when presenting for care. High-intensity primary care and access to specialty care services could reduce ED use. PMID:24148042
McMillan, Libba Reed; Crumbley, David; Freeman, Julie; Rhodes, Marilyn; Kane, Michele; Napper, Joy
In the United States, one in every 15 persons is a Veteran (U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016; U. S. News & World Report, 2017). An estimated 27% of these Veterans receive healthcare through the Veteran's Health Administration (VHA), leaving 73% to seek care in civilian hospitals (Bagalman, 2014). Realistically, most nurses in the United States will care for military members, Veterans or family members in a variety of healthcare systems and settings. Nurse educators are positioned to lead efforts in providing nursing students with the knowledge necessary to provide competent care and serve as advocates for our nation's heroes. Recent military deployments and news about the VHA have increased awareness of this population. This article describes competency development resulting from an academic-practice partnership experience between two baccalaureate programs and a national military medical center. Project SERVE, Students' Education Related to the Veteran Experience, utilizes a didactic-experiential model consisting of activities designed to teach students core concepts, including understanding military culture, poly-trauma, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and issues facing families and care-givers. This article includes competencies, delineating the Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, and resources for the provision of care to the Veteran population. The authors offer strategies to integrate care of Veterans, and military/family members content into nursing programs and replicate similar experiences. Opportunities for future development, challenges, faculty resources for curricular inclusion, and student reflections of the experience are presented. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Alexa M. Smith-Osborne
Full Text Available The Post 9/11 GI Bill is leading an increasing proportion of wounded warriors to enter universities. This paper describes the design and development of an adapted supported education intervention for veterans. The intervention trial was one of two projects which grew out of a participatory action research process aimed at supporting reintegration of returning veterans into the civilian community. This intervention is being tested in a foundation-funded randomized controlled trial in a large southwestern university, with participation now extended to student-veterans at colleges around the country. Some protective mechanisms which were found in theory and in prior research were also supported in early results. SEd intervention was associated with the protective mechanisms of support network density, higher mood, and resilience. Practitioners may benefit from the lessons learned in the development of this supported education intervention trial when considering implementation of this complementary intervention for veterans reintegrating into civilian life
As a first-of-a-kind facility, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) presents a unique perspective on the value of designing a public affairs program that grown with and complements a project's evolution from construction to operations. Like the project itself, the public affairs programs progressed through several stages to its present scope. During the construction phase, foundations were laid in the community. Then, in this past year as the project entered a preoperational status, emphasis shifted to broaden the positive image that had been created locally. In this stage, public affairs presented the project's positive elements to the various state agencies, government officials, and federal organizations involved in our country's radioactive waste management program. Most recently, and continuing until receipt of the first shipment of waste in October 1988, an even broader, more aggressive public affairs program is planned
Rosenfeld, Elian A.; Miller, Elizabeth; Zhao, Xinhua; Sileanu, Florentina E.; Mor, Maria K.; Borrero, Sonya
Background Male partner reproductive coercion is defined as male partners' attempts to promote pregnancy through interference with women’s contraceptive behaviors and reproductive decision making. Male partners may try to promote pregnancy through birth control sabotage such as taking away or destroying their partners' contraceptives, refusing to wear condoms, and/or verbally pressuring their partners to abstain from contraceptive use. Reproductive coercion is associated with an elevated risk for unintended pregnancy. Women experiencing intimate partner violence, racial/ethnic minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status, are more likely to experience reproductive coercion. Women veterans who use Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care may be particularly vulnerable to reproductive coercion as they are disproportionally from racial/ethnic minority groups and experience high rates of intimate partner violence. Objectives We sought to examine the prevalence, correlates, and impact of reproductive coercion among women veterans served by the VA healthcare system. Study Design We analyzed data from a national telephone survey of women veterans aged 18–44, with no history of sterilization or hysterectomy, who had received care within VA in the prior 12 months. Participants who had sex with men in the last year were asked if they experienced male partner reproductive coercion. Adjusted logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between participant characteristics and male partner reproductive coercion and the relationship between reproductive coercion and the outcomes of contraceptive method used at last sex, and pregnancy and unintended pregnancy in the last year. Results Among the 1,241 women veterans in our study cohort, 11% reported experiencing male partner reproductive coercion in the past year. Black women, younger women, and single women were more likely to report reproductive coercion than their white, older, and married counterparts. Women
Henderson, Claire; Bainbridge, Jay; Keaton, Kim; Kenton, Martha; Guz, Meghan; Kanis, Becky
Operation Home is an agreement between the City of New York and the US Department of Veterans Affairs to design a new service system to help end veteran homelessness in New York City. The authors' task was to obtain data to inform the design of this new system. A variety of methods were used. The group reviewed relevant literature and data from street homeless survey samples, analyzed shelter data, and consulted with VA homeless program staff on the findings. We then surveyed case managers at a veterans' shelter regarding their clients and determined their housing eligibility using a standardized logic model, and led two focus groups of veterans at this shelter regarding their views of the current shelter system and services for homeless veterans and how these might be improved. Among those resident in shelters during 2006, 37.2% of self-identified veterans compared to 0.9% of others reported their prior residence as supported housing, suggesting the need for more intensive case management at veterans' supported housing sites to help them sustain their tenure. The lack of interconnectedness among the various information systems made it more difficult to collect and analyze pertinent data. To begin to address this, a data match was undertaken to estimate the proportion of veterans resident in the veterans' shelter who were not in receipt of VA benefits to which they may be entitled. The data obtained through collaboration between staff from NYC's Department of Homelessness Services, US Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in the New York/New Jersey region and Common Ground Community led to information that informed the evaluation design of the new system. The identification of gaps in available data on homeless veterans will lead to projects both to improve and share data.
McConnell, Eleanor S; Lee, Kyung Hee; Galkowski, Lorraine; Downey, Christine; Spainhour, Mary Victoria; Horwitz, Reginaldo
Oral hygiene care is neglected in long-term care (LTC) due to patient-, staff-, and systems-level barriers. A dementia-specific oral hygiene program, implemented and evaluated in a Department of Veterans Affairs LTC unit, addressed barriers to oral care at multiple levels. Improved staff competency, access to oral care supplies, and standardized documentation systems were accompanied by reduced oral plaque and gingivitis, demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of direct care staff providing improved oral hygiene in LTC.
Miake-Lye, Isomi M; Amulis, Angel; Saliba, Debra; Shekelle, Paul G; Volkman, Linda K; Ganz, David A
Abstract Background Fall prevention interventions for community-dwelling older adults have been found to reduce falls in some research studies. However, wider implementation of fall prevention activities in routine care has yielded mixed results. We implemented a theory-driven program to improve care for falls at our Veterans Affairs healthcare facility. The first project arising from this program used a nurse advice telephone line to identify patients' risk factors for falls and to triage pa...
Bukowski, Leigh A; Blosnich, John; Shipherd, Jillian C; Kauth, Michael R; Brown, George R; Gordon, Adam J
Research shows transgender individuals experience pronounced health disparities compared with their nontransgender peers. Yet, there remains insufficient research about health differences within transgender populations. This study seeks to fill this gap by exploring how current urban/rural status is associated with lifetime diagnosis of mood disorder, alcohol dependence disorder, illicit drug abuse disorder, tobacco use, posttraumatic stress disorder, human immunodeficiency virus, and suicidal ideation or attempt among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. This study used a retrospective review of The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data for transgender patients who received VA care from 1997 through 2014. Transgender patients were defined as individuals that had a lifetime diagnosis of any of 4 International Classification of Diseases-9 diagnosis codes associated with transgender status. Independent multivariable logistic regression models were used to explore associations of rural status with medical conditions. Veterans with transgender-related diagnoses residing in small/isolated rural towns had increased odds of tobacco use disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.39; 95% confidence intervals, 1.09-1.78) and posttraumatic stress disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.33; 95% confidence intervals, 1.03-1.71) compared with their urban transgender peers. Urban/rural status was not significantly associated with other medical conditions of interest. This study contributes the first empirical investigations of how place of residence is associated with medical diagnoses among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. The importance of place as a determinant of health is increasingly clear, but for veterans with transgender-related diagnoses this line of research is currently limited. The addition of self-reported sex identity data within VA electronic health records is one way to advance this line of research.
Kerr, Kathleen G.; Hart-Steffes, Jeanne S.
Colleges and universities are developing both the next generation of leaders as well as state-of-the-art technology that allow climate reduction aspirations and triple bottom-line outcomes to become realities. Divisions of student affairs play a crucial role in the sustainability movement in colleges and universities. The technology-savvy,…
Johnson, Sharon L.; Hamrick, Florence A.
Offers recommendations to assist in introducing or expanding computer assistance in student affairs. Describes need for automation and considers areas of choosing hardware and software, funding and competitive bidding, installation and training, and system management. Cites greater efficiency in handling tasks and data and increased levels of…
Affairs Team CIM Civil Information Management CCDR Combatant Commander CF Conventional Forces CLT Civil Liaison Team CME Civil Military...this strategy from the 1930s to 1940s against the Japanese invaders in China in World War II and then against the Chinese ruling party, the
Ginn, Martha H.; Hammond, Augustine
This exploratory study provides an overview of the current landscape of online education in the fields of Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy (MPA/MPP) utilizing a dataset compiled from content analysis of MPA/MPP programs' websites and survey of 96 National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration…
Denneson, Lauren M; Corson, Kathryn; Dobscha, Steven K
We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users were compared with nonusers on demographic characteristics, pain-related clinical characteristics, disease burden, and treatment satisfaction. A majority of veterans ( n = 327, 82%) reported prior use of at least one CAM modality, and nearly all (n = 399, 99%) were willing to try CAM treatment for pain. Chiropractic care was the least preferred option, whereas massage therapy was the most preferred (75% and 96%, respectively). CAM users were less likely to have service-connection disabilities (54% vs 68%; chi square = 4.64, p = 0.03) and reported having spent a larger percentage of their lives in pain (26% vs 20%; Z = 1.40, p = 0.04) than nonusers. We detected few differences between veterans who had tried CAM and those who had not, suggesting that CAM may have broad appeal among veterans with chronic pain. Implications for VA policy and practice and for clinicians treating veterans with chronic pain are discussed.
Gaddy, Melinda A
A 4-week interdisciplinary integrative medicine program was recently added to the core treatment offerings for veterans participating in the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The new integrative medicine program teaches veterans about using meditative practices, nutrition, creative expression, tai chi, hatha yoga, sensory and breathing techniques, and lifestyle changes to enhance well-being. The groups are run by professionals from a variety of disciplines including recreation therapy, art therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, and nutrition. For the first 42 veterans to complete the program, the Short Form 12-item Health Survey was administered before and after participation in the integrative medicine program to assess the potential effectiveness of the program in enhancing physical and psychological well-being. In addition, a brief semistructured interview was used to assess veteran opinions about the program. Results suggest that the program was well received and that both physical and mental health scores improved from before to after treatment in this sample of veterans with complex behavioral health concerns. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
CIRRPC (Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination) scientific review of the proposal: VA (Veterans Administration) assessment of veterans with military service at sites of temporarily augmented ionizing radiation
Public Law 98-160 requires the Administrator of Veterans Affairs with the Director, Office of Technology Assessment, to determine the feasibility of conducting a scientifically valid study of the long-term adverse health effects of exposure to low-level ionizing radiation during military service in Japan or at nuclear-weapons tests. The VA proposal indicates that 99% of exposed veterans received less than 5 rem and the average exposure of the entire group of about 250,000 veterans was 0.5 rem, a very low dose. A matched control group would be questioned, as would the exposed veterans, in Phase I and a selected portion would receive physical and psychological examinations in Phase II. Studies of possible effects on the rate and causes of death and on hereditary defects would be included
Full Text Available Abstract Background More than half of veterans who use Veterans Health Administration (VA care are also eligible for Medicare via disability or age, but no prior studies have examined variation in use of outpatient services by Medicare-eligible veterans across health system, type of care or time. Objectives To examine differences in use of VA and Medicare outpatient services by disability-eligible or age-eligible veterans among veterans who used VA primary care services and were also eligible for Medicare. Methods A retrospective cohort study of 4,704 disability- and 10,816 age-eligible veterans who used VA primary care services in fiscal year (FY 2000. We tracked their outpatient utilization from FY2001 to FY2004 using VA administrative and Medicare claims data. We examined utilization differences for primary care, specialty care, and mental health outpatient visits using generalized estimating equations. Results Among Medicare-eligible veterans who used VA primary care, disability-eligible veterans had more VA primary care visits (p p p p p p Conclusions Greater use of primary care and specialty care visits by disability-eligible veterans is most likely related to greater health needs not captured by the patient characteristics we employed and eligibility for VA care at no cost. Outpatient care patterns of disability-eligible veterans may foreshadow care patterns of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq wars, who are entering the system in growing numbers. This study provides an important baseline for future research assessing utilizations among returning veterans who use both VA and Medicare systems. Establishing effective care coordination protocols between VA and Medicare providers can help ensure efficient use of taxpayer resources and high quality care for disabled veterans.
Morey, Gary B.
A telephone survey was conducted to obtain student veterans' attitudes and awareness of services available for them through the university. Two hundred forty-two (242), or 63 percent of a random sample drawn from every tenth veteran registered at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, were contacted. Key findings of the survey include: Most…
ROGERS, WILLIAM C.
WRITTEN IN EVERYDAY ENGLISH, THIS READING BOOK PRESENTS MANY FACTS AND IDEAS ABOUT WORLD AFFAIRS. CHAPTERS COVER INTERNATIONAL LIFE, POWER IN WORLD AFFAIRS, WAR AS INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT, THE MEANS AND VARIETIES OF ARMED CONFLICT, INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT SHORT OF WAR, THE ACCOMMODATION OF CONFLICT IN WORLD AFFAIRS, AND PEACE--WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO…
Morgan, Myra F.; Policello, Sharon M.
Student affairs organizations must deal with the reality that if offering high-quality and innovative programs for students is a priority, then identifying and soliciting outside funding sources is essential. If the vice president for student affairs has decided to establish a development office in the division of student affairs in a large public…
This chapter highlights opportunities in the digital space for student affairs professionals. A blended approach, grounded in the new technology competency recently added in the ACPA and NASPA student affairs professional competencies, is proposed for student affairs professionals' digital identity development. It includes the awareness of one's…
Shiner, Brian; Leonard Westgate, Christine; Bernardy, Nancy C; Schnurr, Paula P; Watts, Bradley V
Despite long-standing interest in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid use disorder comorbidity, there is a paucity of data on the prevalence of opioid use disorder in patients with PTSD. Therefore, there is limited understanding of the use of medications for opioid use disorder in this population. We determined the prevalence of diagnosed opioid use disorder and use of medications for opioid use disorder in a large cohort of patients with PTSD. We obtained administrative and pharmacy data for veterans who initiated PTSD treatment in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between 2004 and 2013 (N = 731,520). We identified those with a comorbid opioid use disorder diagnosis (2.7%; n = 19,998) and determined whether they received a medication for opioid use disorder in the year following their initial clinical PTSD diagnosis (29.6%; n = 5,913). Using logistic regression, we determined the predictors of receipt of opioid use disorder medications. Comorbid opioid use disorder diagnoses increased from 2.5% in 2004 to 3.4% in 2013. Patients with comorbid opioid use disorder used more health services and had more comorbidities than other patients with PTSD. Among patients with PTSD and comorbid opioid use disorder, use of medications for opioid use disorder increased from 22.6% to 35.1% during the same time period. Growth in the use of buprenorphine (2.0% to 22.7%) was accompanied by relative decline in use of methadone (19.3% to 12.7%). Patients who received buprenorphine were younger and more likely to be rural, White, and married. Patients who received methadone were older, urban, unmarried, from racial and ethnic minorities, and more likely to see substance abuse specialists. While use of naltrexone increased (2.8% to 8.6%), most (87%) patients who received naltrexone also had an alcohol use disorder. Controlling for patient factors, there was a substantial increase in the use of buprenorphine, a substantial decrease in the use of methadone, and no change
Kar, Heidi Lary; O'Leary, K Daniel
Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at elevated risk for perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV). Little research exists on the link between PTSD and physical IPV in Operational Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) veterans. A sample of 110 male participants was recruited from the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Three separate models were compared to determine which best explained the relationships between PTSD, IPV, emotional intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. Constructs were assessed via a battery of standardized, self-report instruments. Thirty-three percent of veterans had clinically elevated PTSD scores, and 31% of the men reported that they engaged in physical IPV in the past year. Poor emotional intimacy mediated the association between PTSD symptoms and perpetration of physical IPV. Past predeployment IPV perpetration was shown to be a predictor for current postdeployment physical IPV perpetration.
Goodson, Jason; Helstrom, Amy; Halpern, Jacqueline M; Ferenschak, Michael P; Gillihan, Seth J; Powers, Mark B
Among U.S. veterans who have been exposed to combat-related trauma, significantly elevated rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are reported. Veterans with PTSD are treated for the disorder at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals through a variety of psychotherapeutic interventions. Given the significant impairment associated with PTSD, it is imperative to assess the typical treatment response associated with these interventions. 24 studies with a total sample size of 1742 participants were quantitatively reviewed. Overall, analyses showed a medium between-groups effect size for active treatments compared to control conditions. Thus, the average VA-treated patient fared better than 66% of patients in control conditions. VA treatments incorporating exposure-based interventions showed the highest within-group effect size. Effect sizes were not moderated by treatment dose, sample size, or publication year. Findings are encouraging for treatment seekers for combat-related PTSD in VA settings.
... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000164.htm Enteral nutrition - child - managing problems To use the sharing features ... trouble breathing, call 911. References Mcclave SA. Enteral nutrition. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil ...
Full Text Available Jenni B Teeters,1,2 Cynthia L Lancaster,1,2 Delisa G Brown,3 Sudie E Back1,2 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 2Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, USA, 3Department of Human Development and Psychoeducation, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA Abstract: Substance use disorders (SUDs are a significant problem among our nation’s military veterans. In the following overview, we provide information on the prevalence of SUDs among military veterans, clinical characteristics of SUDs, options for screening and evidence-based treatment, as well as relevant treatment challenges. Among psychotherapeutic approaches, behavioral interventions for the management of SUDs typically involve short-term, cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions. These interventions focus on the identification and modification of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors associated with increased craving, use, or relapse to substances. Additionally, client-centered motivational interviewing approaches focus on increasing motivation to engage in treatment and reduce substance use. A variety of pharmacotherapies have received some support in the management of SUDs, primarily to help with the reduction of craving or withdrawal symptoms. Currently approved medications as well as treatment challenges are discussed. Keywords: addiction, alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, treatment, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy
Gilmore, Amanda K; Brignone, Emily; Painter, Janelle M; Lehavot, Keren; Fargo, Jamison; Suo, Ying; Simpson, Tracy; Carter, Marjorie E; Blais, Rebecca K; Gundlapalli, Adi V
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive disorders (DD), and substance use disorders (SUD) are prevalent among veterans. A positive military sexual trauma (MST) screen is associated with higher likelihood of each of these disorders. The current study examined the associations between MST, gender, and co-occurring PTSD, DD, and SUD among veterans receiving services at the Department of Veterans Affairs to inform assessment and treatment. We were specifically interested in the interactions between MST and gender on co-occurring disorders. The sample included 494,822 Department of Veterans Affairs service-seeking veterans (12.5% women) deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan who recently separated from the military and were screened for MST between 2004 and 2013. Veterans with positive MST screens had higher odds than those with negative screens of individual and co-occurring PTSD, DD, and SUD. The association between positive MST screens and diagnostic outcomes, including PTSD, was stronger for women than for men, and the association between positive MST screens and some diagnostic outcomes, including DD, was stronger for men than for women. These results highlight the importance of assessing for and recognizing the potential MST and gender interactions in the clinical context among veterans with co-occurring PTSD, DD, and/or SUD. Copyright © 2016 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kwon, Richard S; Banerjee, Subhas; Desilets, David; Diehl, David L; Farraye, Francis A; Kaul, Vivek; Mamula, Petar; Pedrosa, Marcos C; Rodriguez, Sarah A; Varadarajulu, Shyam; Song, Louis-Michel Wong Kee; Tierney, William M
The ASGE Technology Committee provides reviews of existing, new, or emerging endoscopic technologies that have an impact on the practice of GI endoscopy. Evidence-based methodology is used, performing a MEDLINE literature search to identify pertinent clinical studies on the topic and a MAUDE (U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health) database search to identify the reported complications of a given technology. Both are supplemented by accessing the "related articles" feature of PubMed and by scrutinizing pertinent references cited by the identified studies. Controlled clinical trials are emphasized, but, in many cases, data from randomized, controlled trials are lacking. In such situations, large case series, preliminary clinical studies, and expert opinions are used. Technical data are gathered from traditional and Web-based publications, proprietary publications, and informal communications with pertinent vendors. Technology Status Evaluation Reports are drafted by 1 or 2 members of the ASGE Technology Committee, reviewed and edited by the committee as a whole, and approved by the ASGE Governing Board. When financial guidance is indicated, the most recent coding data and list prices at the time of publication are provided. For this review, the MEDLINE database was searched through August 2009 for articles related to endoscopy in patients requiring enteral feeding access by using the keywords "endoscopy," "percutaneous," "gastrostomy," "jejunostomy," "nasogastric," "nasoenteric," "nasojejunal," "transnasal," "feeding tube," "enteric," and "button." Technology Status Evaluation Reports are scientific reviews provided solely for educational and informational purposes. Technology Status Evaluation Reports are not rules and should not be construed as establishing a legal standard of care or as encouraging, advocating, requiring, or discouraging any particular treatment or payment for such treatment. Copyright 2010 American Society
Mileski, Michael; Scott Kruse, Clemens; Brooks, Matthew; Haynes, Christine; Collingwood, Ying; Rodriguez, Rachel
technology and preventative care. Veterans are hindered from receiving help with their dementia concerns due to most veteran's dependence on the Veterans Affairs (VA) for health services, a lack of education about possible treatments and programs, and a lack of services in rural areas. This review will prove useful to providers when evaluating the expansion of VA services and caregiver interventions. Reprint & Copyright © 2017 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Dorsey, Carrie D; Engelhardt, Susan M; Squibb, Katherine S; McDiarmid, Melissa A
As part of an ongoing medical surveillance program for U.S. veterans exposed to depleted uranium (DU), biological monitoring of urine uranium (U) concentrations is offered to any veteran of the Gulf War and those serving in more recent conflicts (post-Gulf War veterans). Since a previous report of surveillance findings in 2004, an improved methodology for determination of the isotopic ratio of U in urine ((235)U:(238)U) has been developed and allows for more definitive evaluation of DU exposure. This report updates previous findings. Veterans provide a 24-hr urine specimen and complete a DU exposure questionnaire. Specimens are sent to the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center for processing. Uranium concentration and isotopic ratio are measured using ICP-MS at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Between January 2003 and June 2008, we received 1,769 urine specimens for U analysis. The mean urine U measure was 0.009 microg U/g creatinine. Mean urine U concentrations for Gulf War and post-Gulf War veterans were 0.008 and 0.009 microg U/g creatinine, respectively. Only 3 of the 1,700 (0.01%) specimens for which we completed isotopic determination showed evidence of DU. Exposure histories confirmed that these three individuals had been involved in "friendly fire" incidents involving DU munitions or armored vehicles. No urine U measure with a "depleted" isotopic signature has been detected in U.S. veterans without a history of retained DU embedded fragments from previous injury. These findings suggest that future DU-related health harm is unlikely in veterans without DU fragments.
Schumm, Jeremiah A; Gore, Whitney L; Chard, Kathleen M; Meyer, Eric C
Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is effective for reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among military veterans. However, studies have not examined whether CPT is associated with reductions in disability severity. The current study examines the association between disability severity and PTSD and depression among U.S. veterans who are receiving CPT. Veterans completed measures at pre- and posttreatment and received CPT through a Veterans Affairs PTSD outpatient (n = 155) or residential (n = 177) program. The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) 2.0 was used to assess disability severity. The WHODAS 2.0 scores were positively correlated with clinician- and veteran-rated PTSD and veteran-rated depression at pre- and posttreatment (r = .22 to. 60). Compared with outpatients, veterans in residential treatment had worse scores on the WHODAS Mobility scale (ηp2 = .03), but on no other WHODAS 2.0 scales. Pre- to posttreatment reductions were found on all WHODAS 2.0 subscales (ηp2 = .03 to .15). Reductions in PTSD and depression were positively associated with improvements on the WHODAS 2.0 Summary scale and most subscales (r = .22 to. 52). Findings suggest that the WHODAS 2.0 is a promising disability severity measure for veterans in PTSD treatment. Findings also suggest that CPT may help veterans to achieve reductions in disability severity. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Walsh, Jessica A; Pei, Shaobo; Burningham, Zachary; Penmetsa, Gopi; Cannon, Grant W; Clegg, Daniel O; Sauer, Brian C
To evaluate the effect of access to and distance from rheumatology care on the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) in US veterans with inflammatory arthritis (IA). Provider encounters and DMARD dispensations for IA (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis) were evaluated in national Veterans Affairs (VA) datasets between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. Among 12,589 veterans with IA, 23.5% saw a rheumatology provider. In the general IA population, 25.3% and 13.6% of veterans were exposed to a synthetic DMARD (sDMARD) and biologic DMARD (bDMARD), respectively. DMARD exposure was 2.6- to 3.4-fold higher in the subpopulation using rheumatology providers, compared to the general IA population. The distance between veterans' homes and the closest VA rheumatology site was < 40 miles (Near) for 55.9%, 40-99 miles (Intermediate) for 31.7%, and ≥ 100 miles (Far) for 12.4%. Veterans in the Intermediate and Far groups were less likely to see a rheumatology provider than veterans in the Near group (RR = 0.72 and RR = 0.49, respectively). Exposure to bDMARD was 34% less frequent in the Far group than the Near group. In the subpopulation who used rheumatology care, the bDMARD exposure discrepancy did not persist between distance groups. Use of rheumatology care and DMARD was low for veterans with IA. DMARD exposure was strongly associated with rheumatology care use. Veterans in the general IA population living far from rheumatology sites accessed rheumatology care and bDMARD less frequently than veterans living close to rheumatology sites.
Jacobs, M Lindsey; Luci, Katherine; Hagemann, Lauren
The purpose of this project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a 12-session Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Older Veterans group protocol. The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) quality improvement model was the foundational process for this project. Veterans age 55 years and older participated in an ACT for Older Veterans group in an outpatient geropsychology clinic at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Study methods included analysis of participant feedback gathered in a focus group, process measures (i.e., number of sessions attended and number of early terminations), and outcome measures (i.e., depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and psychological flexibility). Seventeen participants completed an average of ten sessions. Less than 25% of participants terminated early. Depressive symptoms improved, though there were no statistically significant changes in anxiety symptoms and psychological flexibility. The focus group yielded several recommendations that were implemented in subsequent groups. The PDSA model helped in the development of a group therapy intervention that is both relevant and beneficial to older Veterans presenting with a variety of biopsychosocial issues. Results provide support for further research investigation of ACT for Older Veterans Group. ACT used in a group format is a feasible and acceptable psychotherapy for older Veterans.
Marx, Brian P; Wolf, Erika J; Cornette, Michelle M; Schnurr, Paula P; Rosen, Marc I; Friedman, Matthew J; Keane, Terence M; Speroff, Theodore
One of the major changes in DSM-5 was removal of the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). To determine whether the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) is a suitable replacement for the GAF, this study compared how well the WHODAS 2.0 and the GAF measured functional impairment and other phenomena related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans applying for financial compensation (service connection) for PTSD. Clinicians evaluating veteran claimants administered the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and the WHODAS 2.0 to 177 veterans during their evaluations. Veterans also completed the Inventory of Psychosocial Functioning (IPF), a self-report measure of functional impairment, and received a GAF rating from the examiner. Actual benefit determinations and ratings were obtained. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that the WHODAS 2.0 and the IPF were stronger indicators of a latent variable reflecting functioning compared with the GAF. In receiver operating characteristic curve analyses, the WHODAS 2.0, IPF, and GAF all displayed similar ability to identify veterans with PTSD-related impairment assessed by the CAPS. Compared with the GAF, the WHODAS 2.0 and IPF were less strongly related to PTSD symptom severity and disability ratings by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but these variables are typically influenced by GAF scores. The WHODAS 2.0 and IPF are acceptable replacements for the GAF and can be used to assess functional impairment among veterans seeking compensation for PTSD.
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The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) offers a perspective on the value of designing flexibility into a public affairs program to enable it to grow with and complement a project's evolution from construction through to operations. This paper discusses how the WIPP public affairs program progressed through several stages to its present scope. During the WIPP construction phase, the public affairs program laid a foundation for Project acceptance in the community. A speaker's bureau, a visitors program, and various community outreach and support programs emphasized the educational and socioeconomic benefits of having this controversial project in Carlsbad. Then, in this past year as the project entered a preoperational status, the public affairs program emphasis shifted to broaden the positive image that had been created locally. In this stage, the program promoted the project's positive elements with the various state agencies, government officials, and federal organizations involved in our country's radioactive waste management and transportation program. Currently, an even broader, more aggressive public affairs program is planned. During this stage public affairs will be engaged in a comprehensive institutional and outreach program, explaining and supporting WIPP's mission in each of the communities and agencies affected by the operation of the country's first geologic repository
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Kurt, Cansu; Göy, Defne Flora; Özden, Gülşah; Barutçu, Öykü; Bozer, Cüneyt
Enteric nervous system directs and regulates the breakdown, absorption and elimination of food in our digestive system. However, alongside its digestive functions, enteric nervous system has also gained importance because of the discovery of its bidirectional link with intestinal flora, which has recently started to be considered as a separate organ in addiction to its digestive functions. Enteric nervous system contains approximately 100 million nerve cells, operates both independently and i...
Zuchowski, Jessica L; Chrystal, Joya G; Hamilton, Alison B; Patton, Elizabeth W; Zephyrin, Laurie C; Yano, Elizabeth M; Cordasco, Kristina M
Veterans concurrently using both Veterans Affairs (VA) and community providers and facilities have increased coordination needs related to bridging their care across health care settings. Women Veterans commonly require a combination of VA and community care if they have women-specific specialty care needs, such as gynecologic malignancies. We assessed VA women's health providers' and administrators' perceptions of coordination challenges for Veterans' gynecologic cancer care, and potential approaches for addressing these challenges. We carried out semistructured qualitative interviews with field-based key informants (VA gynecologists, women's health medical directors, and other staff directly involved in women's health care coordination) at 15 VA facilities. Transcripts were summarized in a template to capture key points. Themes were identified and iteratively revised (inductively/deductively) via a collaborative decision-making process utilizing matrices to compare content across interviews. Key informants (n=23) noted that services for patients with gynecologic cancers are provided through a combination of VA and community care with wide variation in care arrangements by facility. Care coordination challenges included care fragmentation, lack of role clarity and care tracking, and difficulties associated with VA and community provider communication, patient communication, patient records exchange, and authorizations. Care coordination roles suggested for addressing challenges included: care tracker, provider point-of-contact, patient liaison, and records administrator. Experiences in coordinating care for women Veterans with gynecologic malignancies receiving concurrent VA and community cancer care reveal challenges inherent in delivering care across health care systems, as well as potential approaches for addressing them.
Brenner, Lisa A; Hostetter, Trisha A; Barnes, Sean M; Stearns-Yoder, Kelly A; Soberay, Kelly A; Forster, Jeri E
To explore the differences in negative psychiatric outcomes (i.e. type and number of psychiatric diagnoses, suicide risk) among Veterans with and without a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) seeking homeless services. Observational design with data collected at one time-point. Veterans seeking homeless services from two Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Centres completed study measures (n = 309; 282 with a history of TBI and 27 without a history of TBI). Veterans participated in structured clinical interviews regarding psychiatric and TBI histories. Those with a history of TBI met the criteria for significantly more psychiatric diagnoses (p = 0.0003), and were more likely to be at risk for suicide (p = 0.007) than those without a history of TBI. Even among the high-risk cohort of homeless Veterans, those with a history of TBI were found to be at even greater risk for negative psychiatric outcomes. Further research is required to determine if and how the history of TBI contributes to the inability to maintain stable housing. Moreover, the findings highlight both the importance of assessing for history of TBI among this cohort, and educating providers regarding how to address the needs related to injury sequelae.