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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


News Releases

Graphic saying New Group of Respected Medical Experts to Advise VA on Health Care for 9 Million Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a new 11-member Special Medical Advisory Group (SMAG) composed of leading medical experts to assist the Department in delivering health care to the 9 million Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration. (4/24/15)

Graphic saying New VA Expands Choice Program Eligibility, Effective Immediately - In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will determine eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the nearest VA medical facility using driving distance rather than straight-line distance. This change has been published in the Federal Register and is effective immediately. (4/24/15)

Graphic saying New VA Extends Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the award of 20 contracts for the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI). Originally slated to end in 2014, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“VACAA”) extended this program through October 2017. (4/13/15)

New Members Appointed to VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans - Four new members have been appointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises the Secretary on issues and programs affecting women Veterans. Established in 1983, the Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary for administrative and legislative changes.  (4/2/15)

VA Announces New Grants to Help End Veteran Homelessness - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced the award of nearly $93 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) 3-year grants that will help approximately 45,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants will be distributed to 24 non-profit agencies in 15 communities, with $30 million in awards being distributed to the Los Angeles area.  (3/31/15)

VA Makes Gains in Faster Disability Claims Processing - The federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans has crossed a major milestone in its final sprint to eliminate the backlog of Veterans’ benefits claims.  (3/30/15)

Hundreds of Disabled Veterans to Attend Winter Sports Clinic - More than 300 disabled Veterans are hitting the slopes this week at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The Clinic, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Disabled American Veterans, is the largest adaptive event of its kind in the world and will take place from March 29 through April 3.  (3/27/15)

VA Makes $8 Million in Grants Available for Adaptive Sports for Disabled Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a Notice of Funding Availability for up to $8 million in grants for fiscal year 2015 to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces throughout fiscal year 2016. (3/27/15)

Requirement of Standardized Claim, Appeal Forms - With the goal of making the application process easier and more efficient for our Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now requires Veterans seeking disability benefits to use standardized claim and appeal forms. These standardized forms guide Veterans to clearly state the symptoms or conditions for which they are seeking benefits and provide the information necessary for VA to start processing their claims and appeals.  (3/25/15)

VA Works to Expand Choice Program Eligibility - In order to expand eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it will change the calculation used to determine the distance between a Veteran’s residence and the nearest VA medical facility from a straight line distance to driving distance. The policy change will be made through regulatory action in the coming weeks. The Veterans Choice Program was authorized by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA). (3/24/15)

Groundbreaking Device Being Tested By VA May Put End to Pressure Ulcers - Pressure ulcers (commonly known as bed sores) are one of the most troublesome and painful complications for patients during a long hospital stay, but a joint project between the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation and General Electric Global Research may one day make pressure ulcers a thing of the past. (3/19/15)

Applications Accepted for 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is currently accepting applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Applications can be completed online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, and will be accepted through May 15. Veterans ages 55 and older who are enrolled for VA care are eligible to participate. (3/18/15)

VA Eliminates Net Worth as Health Care Eligibility Factor - The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve.  (3/17/15)

VA Establishes MyVA Advisory Committee - The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee. The Committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of Veterans. This Committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus on improving customer service, Veteran outcomes and setting the course for long-term reform and excellence. (3/13/15)

VA Releases Key Findings of Clinical Review of Opioid Practices in Tomah - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released key findings and recommendations of its initial clinical review into opioid prescription practices at the Tomah VA Medical Center (VAMC).  (3/10/15)



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