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Veterans Helping Veterans, US Vets Infromation and Benefits,

Month: March 2018

Preparation Key for Unites States Veterans with Chronic Condition

Nicole Bundas, Army Vet and human resources staffer at the Ann Arbor Vets Affairs, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was training at Fort Dix for a deployment to Iraq. (Photo by Brian Hayes)By Mike Richman , Writer-Editor, VA.Gov Research Communications
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
For Army Vets Nicole Bundas, life is a constant game of anticipation.
As someone with Crohn’s disease who has frequent bouts of diarrhea, she always has to plan where she is in relation to a restroom. The number of her trips to the restroom depends on whether she’s experiencing intestinal inflammation, or a flare. If that’s the case, she says, it could be more than five per day.
VA.Gov researchers are active in studying Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bundas praises her colleagues at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and her family for being supportive.

“It’s really been a struggle for me, especially at work, having to realize that this disease changes your life,” says Bundas, a former member of the Michigan National Guard. “Most people can just get up and go, kind of, `I can just go on a trip.’ Nobody wants to go to the…

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National Vets Golden Age Games

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games
March 23, 2018, 01:59:00 PM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1] Albuquerque, New Mexico, event kicks off Aug. 3
Unites States — The U.S. Department of Government Vets Affairs (Vets Affairs) will begin accepting applications on April 2 from Unites States US Vets interested in competing in the 2018 National Washington Veterans Golden Age Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 3-8.
Government Veteran ages 55 and older who are available for Vet Affairs health care benefits may complete applications online through May 2 at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov[3].
“The Golden Age Games empower our nation’s Senior US Vets to lead active, healthy lives,” said Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. “After more than a week of competition, many participants have boasted of an overall improvement to their quality of life and a rejuvenation to stay active and fit.”      
Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-sport competition for Elder Government Veterans. The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs.
Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, basketball, boccia, bowling, cycling, blind disc golf, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, pickleball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track and field. Exhibition events…

US VA.Gov and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help USA Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals

Vets Affairs and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Unites States Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals
March 23, 2018, 09:58:00 AM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1]
Washington — This day the U.S. Dept. of Vets Affairs (US Vets Affairs) and the U.S Digital Service[3] announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status[4] tool to increase transparency and enable Unites States Veterans to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.
“It’s important that our Veteran have the opportunity to track their appeals process in a timely and efficient manner,” said US Vets Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. “For the first time ever, US Vets can see their place on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket, including the number of appeals that are ahead of them.”
The tool, which went live March 21 on VA’s US Veterans.gov website[5], will allow Veteran to access detailed information about the status of their benefits appeals and will include alerts about needed actions, as well as estimates of how long each step of the process takes.
Some Government Veterans who have previewed the new tool said it had given them hope and helped them understand that the process might take longer than expected.
 ### People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases and updated fact…

Protect Yourself and Your Money Every Day

0:00 [Music]
00:02 You are in the middle of your day and you
00:04 receive an email. A company or
00:06 organization asking you to go to a
00:08 website to enter your personal
00:10 information to verify your account. 
00:13 It seems legitimate, but you wonder… is it a
00:15 scam? While some scams seem obvious
00:18 others can be confusing to anyone
00:20 without the proper information. Having
00:23 that trusted official information on the
00:25 latest scams and how to report them is
00:27 one of the best ways to protect your
00:29 hard-earned money and safeguard your
00:31 private information. The Consumer Action
00:34 Handbook is a completely free guide that provides
00:37 general tips resources and advice to
00:40 protect your consumer rights. The
00:42 handbook has information to help you
00:44 file a complaint about a purchase and
00:46 even includes a sample complaint letter
00:48 among many other resources. Order or
00:53 download a completely free copy for yourself, a
00:55 family member or a local organization at
00:58 USA.gov forward slash handbook
01:00  You can also subscribe to us a USAGov completely free
01:03 email alerts to stay informed on the
01:05 latest consumer information scams
01:08 product recalls and more at connect
01:11 USA.gov forward slash subscribe …

A Healthy Prescription For a Healthy Home

Not feeling well, but can’t figure out what is wrong? Some people have health issues and may not realize their personal wellness and the health of their home are interconnected.
By giving your home a health check-up, you may be preventing diseases and other hazards from hurting you and your family. Poor indoor air quality, mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and lead paint are just a few of the home health issues that could potentially trigger asthma, possibly cause lung cancer or lead poisoning.
You may already use smoke detectors as one safety measure, but there are other ways to improve the wellbeing of your living space without breaking the bank.
USAGov recommends giving your home a yearly health check-up. Check out other “prescriptions” to fix your home’s health such as:

Ordering a radon test kit[1] to see if you need to install a radon mitigation system

Using a carbon monoxide device to detect CO gas

Checking to make sure air vents go outside and are not clogged

Sealing cracks to prevent bugs and animals from entering

Personal health and home health go hand in hand. By identifying the weaknesses in your home’s health as outlined in this video[2], you can address the problems to make it safe and…

This Valentine’s Day Help Someone Experiencing Abuse

The greeting card aisle crams with shoppers, struggling to find the right sentiment. Buyers line up at the register with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and keep florists busy juggling orders for beautiful bouquets. It’s all part of the excitement and romance of Valentine’s Day. But for someone who’s recovering from sexual assault or living with domestic violence, all of the cards and roses in the worldwide can’t make up for the pain.
If you want to support a friend in this difficult situation, or if you need support yourself, USAGov[1] has gathered these resources to help:
When your friend needs you
“You really don’t know unless you’ve been there.” From the outside, it can be hard to understand why people hesitate to report a sexual assault or stay in abusive relationships[2]. But there are a lot of reasons: fear that no one would believe them–especially if the attacker is respected in the community; concern for their own or their children’s safety; financial instability; or feeling–because of the abuser’s mind games–that they deserve the abuse. Learn how to help your friend move toward safety and healing with these suggestions from WomensHealth.gov[3].
When you’re a bystander
If you’re a college student, you might have heard about sexual assaults on your campus….

Gulf War Vets – Research Volunteers Needed

Vet Affairs researchers are looking for better treatments for Unites States Unites States Veterans with Gulf War IllnessBy Christina Rumage Miller, Education Specialist – NJ WRIISC
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Researchers at the New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) are actively trying to develop better treatments for Gulf War Vets with Gulf War Illness (GWI).
GWI is a term that refers to a group of unexplained or ill-defined chronic symptoms found in about one third of Vet deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield (1990-1991).
Despite much research, the cause of GWI remains unclear and symptoms vary. Symptoms might include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cognitive difficulty, and headaches.
One such potential treatment being investigated by VA researchers is concord grape juice. The juice has high concentrations of dietary polyphenols that are believed to have a variety of health benefits, including improving brain function.
One current study is investigating the role of daily concord grape juice consumption in treating symptoms of Gulf War Illness.
“Although grape juice is high in sugars, many people like the taste. It is also available on the grocery store shelf and relatively easy for most Vets to incorporate into their diet,” said Dr. Drew Helmer,…

Veteran Affairs Open Application Programming Interface Pledge Gains Momentum to Shape a New Direction for Health Care

Vet Affairs Open Application Programming Interface Pledge Gains Momentum to Shape a New Direction for Health Care
March 19, 2018, 01:38:00 PM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1]
Unites States — This day the U.S. Department of US VA.Gov (Veterans Affairs.Gov) announced that to further accelerate the benefits of the US Vets Affairs Open Application Programming Interface (API) pledge[3], Secretary of the Department of VA.Gov  David Shulkin has asked Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, to lead the initiative.
“I am excited to see this vision become a reality, and am actively seeking other health-care systems to join our pledge[4], and ask developers to take part in our Lighthouse Lab[5], so we can shape a new direction for health care together,” Shulkin said.   
Shulkin announced[6] the pledge March 9 at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society  Conference[7] in Las Vegas, where 11 health-care providers[8] initially signed up to partner with Veterans Affairs. To date, several additional institutions have expressed interest in joining the pledge.
The API pledge encourages health-care providers to commit to work collaboratively with Vets Affairs to increase the mapping pace of health data to industry standards, including the current and future versions of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources…

VA.Gov Leader Receives Blue Star Families Caregiving Award for VA.Gov Support

Vets Affairs Leader Receives Blue Star Families Caregiving Award for VA.Gov Support
March 15, 2018, 11:45:00 AM
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USA — Today the U.S. Department of US Vets Affairs (US VA.Gov) announced that Dr. Lynda Davis, chief Vet experience officer, accepted the 2018 Blue Star Families[3] — United Health Foundation Blue Star Award during the annual Blue Star Neighbors Celebration on March 13 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in USA, D.C.
Davis, a U.S. Army Veterans and US Veterans caregiver who leads the department’s efforts on improving the US Vets Experience[4], as well as initiatives affecting Vets caregivers, accepted the award in recognition of VA’s leadership in supporting military and Washington Veterans caregivers through initiatives such as the Veterans’ Family, Caregiver and Survivor Advisory Committee and Choose Home.
“VA has long recognized the essential role caregivers play every day in the health and well-being of our nation’s Veteran,” said Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. “We look forward to guiding the national conversation on how best to partner with the family and friends who provide dedicated care to those who have ‘borne the battle.’”
Vets Affairs estimates there are more than 5.5 million military and Veterans caregivers. In an effort to continually improve Veteran Affairs…

US Veterans Affairs Awards More Than $496,000 to Improve IT Infrastructure as Part of ‘Buy vs. Build' Initiative

VA Awards More Than $496,000 to Improve IT Infrastructure as Part of ‘Buy vs. Build’ Initiative
March 14, 2018, 11:07:00 AM
Printable VersionNeed Viewer Software?[2][1]
Unites States — Today the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (Veteran Affairs) announced the award of a $496,405.35 task order to Favor TechConsulting (FTC) LLC to provide Identity and Access Management (IAM) services to improve and maximize cost savings to VA’s current information technology (IT) infrastructure.
The task order, which was awarded Feb. 1, enables VA’s “Buy vs. Build” initiative, the result of a challenge from US VA.Gov Secretary David Shulkin to work with private industry to find creative contracting approaches to save money by purchasing commercially available IT products for less money, versus having VA develop its own. 
“This award is representative of the innovative contracting approaches USA Veterans Affairs needs to achieve our goal of Buy vs. Build,” Shulkin said. “As we continue VA’s transformation, we will look for managed service offerings from which Veterans Affairs can benefit. This allows Vets Affairs.Gov to focus its attention and resources on providing health care and benefits to Vet.”
Veterans Affairs determined that FTC’s proposal to implement Okta Inc.’s Identification as a Service (IDaaS) IAM solution, an alternative to its current IAM…

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