Veterans Services

 by Eric Katz: Senior leaders at federal agencies cannot serve in acting capacities at positions to which they have been nominated by the president to serve permanently, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.  Read more here: http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2017/03/supreme-court-puts-limit-who-presidents-can-appoint-temporarily-lead-agenci

By Nikki Wentling: Lawmakers outlined proposed reforms under the new Deborah Sampson Act, which is named for a woman who disguised herself as a man to join the Continental Army during the American Revolution. In part, the law would require every VA facility to maintain one primary care provider on staff who specializes in women’s health. It also calls for $20 million to be spent on retrofitting VA medical centers to provide more privacy for women veterans who are treated there.

By Leo Shane, III: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said his department will start offering mental health services for veterans with other-than-honorable dismissals as soon as possible, saying the issue is too important to wait for congressional intervention. Read more here:  http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/bad-paper-va-extending-mental-health-services
 

By Eric Katz: The House will take another crack at expediting the disciplinary process for employees at the Veterans Affairs Department.  The bill -- sponsored by House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn. -- would give the VA secretary expedited removal authority, meaning any employee fired by the secretary would be out of a job and off the department’s rolls that day.

New Jersey Senate Bill 307 will be voted on Monday and it involves implementing a Veterans Criminal Diversion Program (VCDP).  Tomorrow, March 8th, at the Capitol, Room 209, at 11:00 a.m., there will be a press conference with a question/answer session.  A VCDP  is a specialized court that operates within the existing New Jersey Court System.

The VA has issued a report concerning sleep problems in Veterans with PTSD. Beyond being a symptom of PTSD, the sleep problems usually evolve into independent disorders that are also associated with significant distress and impairment, including an increased risk for suicidality.  Read more here:  http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/V27N4.pdf

By Charlie Castelluccio: Veterans Administration's new Veterans Appointment Request app helps veterans to schedule appointments with the VA care team from the convenience of their mobile phone, computer, tablet or any device with an internet connection. You can directly schedule primary care appointments, see details for all pending, confirmed and upcoming appointments, and send up to two messages to a VA scheduler about requested and booked appointments.

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