RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Archive for the 'Veterans Health Care' Category

INFECTIONS IN SENIORS August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

The next time your parent complains of feeling “out of sorts” or gives you a vague list of minor problems, don’t dismiss it as normal grumpiness. There’s a good chance your parent could have an infection. When the human body is under stress or exposed to bacteria and viruses, it triggers a healing chain of events that, in most cases, results in the prevention of infection or illness. However, when the amount of bacteria is too great an infection occurs. At that point, the immune system kicks in doubly hard, releasing a flood of chemicals to attack the infection and promote recovery. Diagnosing the elderly with an infection can be difficult. Seniors are less likely to have classic symptoms such as fever, chills, and vomiting. Instead they might have atypical symptoms such as subnormal temperature, confusion, fatigue, and decreased appetite. In many cases, these subtle signs can be attributed to the normal aging process — or ignored until the late stages of the infection. Seniors are more susceptible to infection because multiple chronic illnesses that occur with age put extra stress on the body, and the medications for these conditions can block the immune system. In addition, the immune system naturally weakens as we grow older.

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VA RURAL ACCESS UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is rolling out four new mobile health clinics outfitted to bring primary care and mental health services closer to veterans in 24 predominately rural counties, where patients must travel long distances to visit their nearest VA medical center or outpatient clinic. The pilot project is called Rural Mobile Health Care Clinics. It features a recreational-type vehicle equipped to be a rolling primary care and mental health clinic. VA is currently in the process of procuring and outfitting the vehicles, and officials expect the mobile clinics to be operational by early 2009. Rural areas in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming will share a single mobile van, while Maine, Washington state and West Virginia will each have a VA mobile van. The clinics are planned to serve:

* Colorado: Larimer, Jackson, Logan, and Weld counties;

* Maine: Franklin, Somerset and Piscataquis counties;

* Nebraska: Cheyenne, Kimball, and Scottsbluff counties;

* Washington state: Greys Harbor, Mason, and Lewis;

* West Virginia: Preston, Randolph, Upshur, Wetzel, Roane, and Taylor counties; and,

* Wyoming: Albany, Carbon, Goshen, and Platte counties.

Factors considered in the selection of the participating sites included a need for improved access in the area, the degree to which clinics will expand services and collaborations with communities the clinics serve. [Source: VA News Release 27 Aug 08 ++]

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CONTACT INFO FOR VETS UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

The following subject listing identifies respective office and/or website/telephone data for conducting veteran related business:

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MACULAR DEGENERATION UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

A recent study conducted across seven European countries and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that eating fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids once a week can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and help keep your vision sharp. AMD is an eye disease that destroys central vision by damaging the macula, a thin layer of nerve cells that lines most of the inside of your eyeball and is part of the retina. Nerve cells in the retina detect light and send signals to the brain of what your eye sees. The macula is near the center of the retina at the back of the eyeball and provides the clear, sharp, central vision that you use for focusing on what is in front of you. Because AMD does not affect side vision, it does not lead to total blindness. However it will cause central vision loss, the most important part of your vision. Here is a useful shopping list to help you stock up on Omega-3 acids at the grocery store.

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PTSD UPDATE August 15, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th August 2008

In response to the growing number of veterans denied the mental health treatment needed to address their post traumatic stress who end up in legal trouble after self-medicating to suppress their anxieties, Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)on 1 AUG introduced the Services, Education, and Rehabilitation for Veterans (SERV) Act to create veteran drug treatment courts to support veterans combat the cycle of alcohol or drug addiction. A similar program is operational in Buffalo, NY and has already seen great success. The SERV Act would authorize funds to go to the Office of National Drug Control Policy for the development and implementation of veteran’s treatment courts or to enhance operational drug courts to serve veterans.

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PROSTATE PROBLEMS UPDATE August 15, 2006

Posted by Service Officer on 14th August 2008

In a move that could lead to significant changes in medical care for older men, a national task force in the United States recommended that doctors stop screening men ages 75 and older for prostate cancer because the search for the disease in this group is causing more harm than good. The new guidelines, issued 4 AUG by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, represent an abrupt policy change by an influential panel that had withheld any advice regarding screening for prostate cancer, citing a lack of reliable evidence.

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VA MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT UPDATE August 15, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th August 2008

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill that—among other things—would increase the mileage compensation paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by nearly 50% to help vets who have to drive long distances to receive medical care. The increase in mileage compensation—to 41.5 cents per mile—was included in the Fiscal Year 2009 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which must still be considered by the Senate and approved by President Bush, said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI). The spending bill—which passed 409 to 4—would provide $336 million above Bush’s FY 2009 budget request for servicemember quality-of-life projects to improve living conditions and health care delivery. Projects include the modernization of training facilities, as well as the building of child care centers, barracks and housing, Obey said. The bill also would address the backlog in maintenance at VA medical facilities; improve access to health care for vets in areas where VA does not offer services; increase availability of new generation prosthetics; substantially increase funding for research into trauma, mental health and other critical areas; and provide additional case workers and medical services for homeless vets. [Source: Rep. Dave Obey press release 1 Aug 08 ++]

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AO & PROSTRATE CANCER UPDATE August 15, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th August 2008

Veterans exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange are twice as likely to get prostate cancer as other veterans, UC Davis researchers found in a study published online by the journal Cancer. Prostate cancer in those men also comes on earlier and is more aggressive, said Dr. Karim Chaime, chief resident in urology at UC Davis and the study’s lead author. The findings are a clear signal that men who worked with Agent Orange should be cared for differently, getting earlier biopsies and more aggressive treatment, he said. “This is a high-risk group.” Chaime described the study of more than 13,000 Northern California veterans over eight years as “the biggest study ever done” on Agent Orange effects. It will be published in the 15 SEP print edition of Cancer, after online publication last week, and Chaime hopes it soon could lead to new Department of Veterans’ Affairs treatment standards.

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VA INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM UPDATE 1 August 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 31st July 2008

A House subcommittee was told 17 July that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Independent Living Program is failing to adequately address the needs of severely disabled veterans.

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MEDICARE PRESCRIPTIONS 1 August 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 31st July 2008

U.S. health officials said 21 JUL that starting in 2009 doctors can earn additional money from Medicare if they use electronic prescribing systems. The bonus program, which will continue for four years, is designed to streamline the prescription process and cut down on errors. In 2009 and 2010, Medicare will give doctors an additional 2% bonus on top of their fee for “e-prescribing.”

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