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VA to Study Vietnam Vets’ Risk of Parasite-Related Liver Cancer

The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a large-scale epidemiologic study to determine whether Vietnam-era veterans stationed in Southeast Asia are more likely to develop an aggressive liver cancer linked to common parasites from the area. The study follows a small pilot program by researchers at the Northport VA Medical Center, which tested 50 local Read More

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U.S. Dept. of Labor Judge Rules Military Burn Pits in Iraq Caused Civilian Contractor’s Illness

In a case that could prove helpful to U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars, a judge in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Workers’ Compensation Programs found that open-air burn pits could have caused a military contractor’s illness, and therefore her employer and its insurance company are liable for her medical bills. Read More

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Study Raises Doubts About Blood Pressure Drug’s Helpfulness for Vets with PTSD

A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine calls into question the usefulness of a blood pressure medication that about one in six veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder currently takes to control nightmares. The drug, prazosin, did not help the subjects sleep better. It did reduce distressing dreams, but on that point, Read More

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Is “Sexist” VA Motto a Barrier to Treatment for Female Vets?

In May of last year, the executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America wrote an essay in the Washington Post charging “The Department of Veterans Affairs has a woman problem,” and citing its motto as “evidence.” Allison Jaslow, who states she deployed twice to Iraq and “was in combat,” writes, “to swiftly Read More

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New North Carolina Law to Assess Effects on State Economy of Veteran-Owned Businesses

A new state law, which could potentially affect an estimated 770,000 veterans living in North Carolina, went into effect on January 1. Starting this year, the Secretary of State is required to compile annual information about the number of veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small business and share the information with the state’s Department Read More

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VA Secretary Shulkin Preserves $460M Program for Homeless Vets

A storm of protest in December prompted Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to reverse course and continue a joint program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides housing for homeless veterans. According to the website Politico.com, Shulkin had planned to end one of two major VA programs benefiting homeless veterans and Read More

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Inspectors Find VA Regional Office in Roanoke Manipulated Appeals Data to Achieve Performance Goals

Acting on an anonymous allegation that staff members at the Roanoke VA Regional Office were falsifying data to meet production goals, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation in 2016. On December 5, 2017, the OIG released its report, confirming that staff had manipulated records to give the false impression they were Read More

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New Generation of Veterans Sickened by Toxic Burn Pits

What Agent Orange was to the Vietnam War generation, toxic burn pits might be to Gulf War–era service members. The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that “nearly 120,000 people…have registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs because of health problems they blame on their exposure to burn pits.” In remote areas of Iraq and Afghanistan, Read More

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VA Fails to Protect Public from Potentially Dangerous Doctors

The Government Accountability Office has reported that five unnamed VA hospitals failed to fulfill requirements to report potentially dangerous healthcare providers to a national database and to state licensing authorities. That means doctors and dentists whose substandard care harmed patients were able to leave and cross state lines without their new employers or new patients Read More

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VA Exposed for Knowingly Hiring Doctors with Histories of Malpractice and Discipline

USA Today recently published an account of its own investigation into hiring practices at Veterans Affairs facilities throughout the country that revealed a pattern of hiring doctors who had been sanctioned for malpractice and ethics violations. Some of the hirings were in fact illegal, because federal law prohibits the VA from hiring physicians whose licenses Read More

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