Posts

Military Connection: VA Nurse’s Deed Disproves Media Stereotype

VA Nurse

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had a lot of negative press lately, and bad news seem to spread like wildfire. Stories about long wait times, corruption and rude and unsympathetic VA employees are commonplace. That’s why it is important when a story like this one comes along, it should be given the same coverage.

In November 2014, Nurse Chuck Maulden was working a shift in the Emergency Department of the Salisbury VA Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. A homeless Veteran came in, seeking treatment for large, painful blisters on his feet.

Maulden took the Veteran out of the waiting room into the examination area to triage his complaintMaulden couldn’t help but notice that the Veteran was wearing dirty compression stockings that clung to the wounds.

A VA physician examined the Veteran and instructed Maulden to give him a fresh pair of compression stockings.

Maulden could have just handed the homeless man a new pair of socks and sent him on his way. But instead, this VA nurse went above and beyond to provide care for the Veteran.

Maulden washed the man’s feet with soap and water and then treated them with non-stick dressing so that the man would have a better chance of having his feet heal. Then Maulden obtained a few extra pairs of compression stockings for the Veteran to take with him.

Again, Maulden could have stopped there and sent the man on his way; after all, he had already gone above and beyond to care for this Veteran.

But as the man prepared to leave, Maulden saw that the Veteran’s shoes were worn out and in no shape to provide for proper protection. Maulden asked the Veteran what size shoes he wore. The man answered with the exact same size that Maulden wears. Without a word, Maulden took his shoes off and placed them on the Veteran’s feetMaulden wore medical shoe covers over his socks for the remainder of his shift.

This story is not intended to suggest that every VA employee needs to give away their possessions to the Veterans that they treat. But with all of the negative publicity about the VA and its employees, Mr. Maulden’s tremendous act of humanity and attentiveness to a patient’s needs are at the core of the VA’s purpose and values.

We at MilitaryConnection.com applaud Mr. Maulden and his noble deed. Thank you and all of the employees at the VA for the work you do, for caring for our nation’s Veterans.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Nurse’s Deed Disproves Media Stereotype: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: VA Officials Make Select List: By Debbie Gregory

Dr Clancy

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proud to announce that their interim Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, was ranked number 19 on Modern Healthcare Magazine’s 2014 list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

The annual list is compiled by the magazine, and nominations come from readers and healthcare professionals. There were more than 15,000 nominees, with editors and staff members reducing the list to the top 300. More than 155,000 votes were cast to determine the top 100.

Dr. Clancy’s responsibilities as Interim Under Secretary for Health include overseeing the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VHA is a division of the VA that administers medical, dental, and mental healthcare for millions of Veterans and their dependents at 1,700 facilities. The VHA is considered the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system.

Dr. Clancy joined the VA in August, 2013, as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health in Quality, Safety and Value, where her responsibilities were to serve as the Chief Quality Management Officer for the VHA.

Dr. Clancy and VA Secretary Robert McDonald recently collaborated to launch the VA’s Blueprint for Excellence. The memorandum outlines the steps that the VA will be taking to improve the quality of care, promote a positive culture of service, advance healthcare innovation for Veterans, and increase access to care and accountability.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Clancy’s expertise, knowledge, judgment and informed approach to developing and implementing new initiatives here at VA,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald.  “As anyone who knows and works with Dr. Clancy can attest, she is a person of enormous integrity, tireless work ethic and a deep love and respect for Veterans. As VA undergoes a transformation focused on delivering the best outcomes for patients, Dr. Clancy brings a dedication to quality and safety that is exemplary.”

This year marked the eleventh straight year that Dr. Clancy has appeared on the publication’s notable list. Joining Dr. Clancy on the list is President Obama, who nabbed the top spot. VA Secretary Robert McDonald ranked number 47.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Officials Make Select List: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Choice Act in Effect: By Debbie Gregory

VA fires directorThis has been a very distressing and eventful year for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as the Veterans it serves. The year began with allegations of scandal, corruption and improper care from the VA and its healthcare component, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Claims of long wait times for VA care contributing to the deaths of more than 40 Veterans got the nation’s attention. Next came the follow-up accusations that VA employees deliberately altered records in order to appear to be in compliance with VA regulations. The substantiation of some of these accusations led to the resignation of Gen. Eric Shinseki as the secretary of the department. These events also led to Americans calling for VA reform.

The public outcry led to the August, 2014 passing of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, commonly referred to as the “Choice Act.”  Now in effect, the act is providing better care for Veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system through the hiring of more doctors and staff at VA facilities. It also has a provision to allow Veterans to seek private care if a VA facility cannot grant them an appointment within a reasonable amount of time.

Among other benefits, the Choice Act increases the VA secretary’s authority to fire senior executives. This measure is an attempt to end corruption and misconduct,  while increasing effectiveness among VA employees at all levels.

On October 29, 2014, the VA removed the Director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHCS) from federal service. The decision was made following an investigation by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR) in which allegations of neglect of duty were substantiated.

This removal was done in accordance with provisions made under the Choice Act, and underscores the VA’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and get Veterans the care they need.  The OAR reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and assists VA facilities in accelerating leadership accountability actions, while ensuring that such actions are applied consistently across the department.

While there is still a long road ahead, this dismissal shows that VA reform is taking place, and that VA Secretary Robert McDonald is working to improve the department and provide Veterans with the care they deserve.

The Veterans Health Administration will begin recruiting for a new director for CAVHCS.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Choice Act in Effect: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: VA Calls for More Town Halls: By Debbie Gregory

VA town hallWe seem to have become a very acronym-heavy country, especially as it pertains to the government. In an effort to make things more clear, VA stands for Veterans Administration,  and is the U.S. department whose secretary, Robert McDonald, reports to the president regarding programs and benefits for Veterans. Under the umbrella of this department, there are three divisions:

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) This division provides all of the healthcare and medical needs. The VHA is the entity that staffs and operates the medical facilities.

There is also the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) that processes and manages all benefits, including applications for claims and administering benefits payments.

The third is the National Cemetery Administration, responsible for the maintenance of VA cemeteries, as well as funeral and memorial benefits.

Veterans should know that these three administrations don’t always communicate very well with one another. This is why VA hospitals don’t always know when benefits have changed, or why, even though the VHA knows that you changed your address, your benefit check didn’t reach you at your new residence.

These and other communication issues have plagued Veterans and the VA. But it appears that the lines of communication are opening up.

On Wednesday, October 08, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that VA Secretary Robert McDonald has directed all VHA and VBA facilities to continue to hold quarterly town-hall events. Mr. McDonald’s order is an attempt to improve service throughout all divisions of the VA, and to hear directly from Veterans nationwide.

“Every one of our medical centers and regional benefits offices held town hall meetings around the country in August and September, but we have more listening to do to better serve Veterans and their families,” Secretary McDonald said. “As part of our Road to Veterans Day, VA is taking a hard look at everything we do in order to reorganize the Department around the needs of Veterans. Direct feedback from Veterans, employees and stakeholders is an important component of that Roadmap, and key to improving our services and operations,” Secretary McDonald added.

Details of town hall events at each location will be made through each individual local facility.  Veterans are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings to ensure that each division of the VA knows what they need to do in order to better serve you!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Calls for More Town Halls: By Debbie Gregory