At today's VA, especially in the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPIA), we focus on creative and innovative ways to connect with Vets. Sign up for email alerts, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We want to make sure that we are getting the right message to the right Veteran at the right time.
Want to find all the latest news releases, publications, forms, and other critical information related to Veterans Benefits? CONNECT WITH VBA!
Register for VBA’s Webcast Join the Under Secretary for Benefits, Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D. for VBA's upcoming webcast on July 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Dr. Lawrence will share the accomplishments and challenges from the third quarter of 2020. Register online to receive a reminder!
VAntage Point is the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Here you will find stories from around VA and the Veteran community. These stories and blogs include coverage of health care, education benefits, VA careers, homelessness, recovery, mental health and messages from the Secretary. Vantage Point is also the home of the daily #VeteranOfTheDay post, the Emmy® award-winning video series The American Veteran and the weekly Borne the Battle podcast.
Check out numerous resources that provide you and your family members with employment assistance and advice. You can also check out the VA Education and Training page.
#VetResources is a weekly newsletter for Veterans, their Families, Caregivers and Survivors. SIGN UP | VIEW/SHARE VA coronavirus updates | chatbot | app | weekly report
#LiveWholeHealth: Time to Rest One of the best things we can do for our health is to allot time to rest and relax. Regular periods of relaxation decrease our heart rate and blood pressure, improve our sleep, help maintain normal blood sugar levels, reduce stress hormones, improve our concentration and mood, and so much more. Do you have time for rest and relaxation, but instead spend that time on other things? Consider keeping a log of where you spend your time each day: write down how much time you spend working, watching television, surfing the internet, and so on. I bet you’ll find 5-10 minutes in the day when you could practice mindful breathing, visual imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, or any other restful practice that interests you.
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.
The VA National Center for Patient Safety was established in 1999 to develop and nurture a culture of safety throughout the Veterans Health Administration. We are part of the VA Office of Quality, Safety and Value. Our goal is the nationwide reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm to patients as a result of their care.
Nearly 2 million current and former members of the US military gather to discuss military life, share information, and exchange stories.
VA and our hiring partners at Amazon, Chamber of Commerce, National Veterans Small Business Coalition and The Manufacturing Institute will be answering your questions on RallyPoint
On September 1, the Defense Health Agency launched 74 new military hospital and clinic Air Force websites – an important milestone in the effort to modernize the web presence of all military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). Each website transitioned to the TRICARE domain to provide a standardized patient experience across the Military Health System.
The transition to the TRICARE.mil domain incorporates new layouts and adds helpful features to enhance the user experience and provide easier access to information about the local military hospital or clinic and the TRICARE benefit in one place.
Read the latest issue of the Agent Orange Newsletter, a yearly publication for Veterans and their families. The 2020 issue covers Blue Water Navy Veterans and benefits; a revised list of Agent Orange testing and storage locations; intergenerational effects from Agent Orange; registry exams at the El Paso VA Health Care System and more.
VA’s Exposure Ed app helps health care providers have an informed discussion with Veterans about their individual exposure-related health concerns. It contains information about a variety of exposures, potential health impacts, and VA services and benefits
Let’s talk about how we can help Veterans go from service to success. Join our events for conversation, information, and resources on VA benefits for Veterans. Click the button below for a complete list of upcoming events.
VA offers a variety of health-related mobile apps for Veterans to help them take control of their health care from the palm of their hands. Veterans with a My HealtheVet Premium account can access these apps that will either be downloaded directly to a mobile device or through a mobile-friendly website. Find some of the most popular ones visit the VA App Store for a full and detailed list.
The Military Health System (MHS) is one of America’s largest and most complex health care institutions, and the world’s preeminent military health care delivery operation.
Our MHS saves lives on the battlefield, combats infectious disease around the world, and cares for 9.5 million beneficiaries in one of the nation’s largest health benefit plans.
Here you will find online publications released by the Military Health System. You can search for a specific publication by either scrolling down the page or entering a keyword in the search box.
No matter who you are or how big or small the problem may seem, there are accessible resources available to help maintain your mental health. Familiarize yourself with these resources and bookmark them so that you can quickly get support for yourself or someone you know when needed.
Want self-help support?
Self-help materials can provide valuable education and support for Veterans who may be facing mental health challenges, their friends, and family members. GET MATERIALS
Want in-person support?
No matter what you are experiencing, there is support available. Use the tools below to find the Veteran resources closest to you. LOCAL SUPPORT
Get help from the Veterans Crisis Line.
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. GET HELP
Want to help others get support?
Being there is one of the best ways you can support the mental health of others. For more tools, tips and resources, explore our toolkit. MORE TOOLS
If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for confidential support 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.?
VA continues outreach to Prevent Suicide
The goal of REACH, which was established by the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS), is to change the conversation around suicide by urging people to recognize their own risk and protective factors - as well as the risk and protective factors of their loved ones.
"The REACH campaign will inspire and educate all Americans - encouraging them to share their own struggles and to reach out to those who are hurting. It will engage our Veterans to help lead the way as we change how we think about, talk about and address suicide," said PREVENTS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. "I urge everyone to go to wearewithinreach.net and take the PREVENTS Pledge to REACH and be part of the solution. Together, we will prevent suicide."
To that end, the REACH campaign website, we are within reach, provides information to help people recognize risk factors for suicide, including financial stress, chronic illness or pain, isolation and mental illness, in themselves and in their loved ones. Campaign messages and imagery using the hashtag #REACHNow will be evident on a wide range of digital platforms immediately after the launch. Media covering this issue can download VA's Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.?
Veterans and service members, including National Guard and Reserve, who need immediate help should call the 1-800 number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line, chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat or text 838255.
Coaching Into Care is fully operational again after a brief reduction in hours due to COVID-19. Currently, all staff are working remotely and taking calls between the hours of 8AM and 8PM Monday through Friday Eastern Daylight Time. We continue to serve Veterans and their family members and friends with education and support during these trying times.
If you know a Veteran who needs help, call us at (888) 823-7458. For resources on coping with the stress of COVID-19, click here
Myth: Veterans can never recover from PTSD.
Fact: Treatment for PTSD is effective, and Veterans do recover and lead full lives. Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don't get the help they need. Getting help early can significantly improve your symptoms, but it’s never too late to get help. PTSD can recur, but treatment can make you feel in control and give you tools to cope.
What you can do: Share with your Veteran the Treatment Decision Aid when they’re ready to think about getting help. You also can share videos of Veterans talking about treatment on sites like Make the Connection and About Face. Call CIC for help in having this conversation at (888) 823-7458 or find us at Coaching Into Care.
What you can do: Pay attention to your Veteran's body language and other nonverbal cues. Avoid giving advice; sometimes you just need to listen nonjudgmentally and with empathy.
For tips on listening and communication with your Veteran, please call Coaching Into Care at (888) 823-7458 Monday through Friday 8 am to 8 pm EDT.
Many factors affect your health. Some you cannot control, such as your genetic makeup or your age. But you can make changes to your lifestyle. By taking steps toward healthy living, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and other serious diseases:
- Get the screening tests you need
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, and limit calories and saturated fat
- Don't smoke
- Protect yourself from too much sun
- Drink alcohol in moderation, or don't drink at all
Get enough sleep every day
- Work on improving your mental health, for example by practicing mediation, relaxation techniques, or gratitude
As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) lead advocate for rural Veterans, the Office of Rural Health (ORH) works to see that America's Veterans thrive in rural communities. To support the health and well-being of rural Veterans, ORH establishes and disseminates Enterprise-Wide Initiatives that increase access to care for the nearly three million rural Veterans enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system. Key focus areas include programs that address workforce shortages, transportation, primary care, mental health, telehealth and specialty care.
This issue of "The Rural Connection" is focused on ORH's continued efforts to connect rural Veterans with care during the coronavirus pandemic as well as resources for rural women Veterans.
To view all issues: Click Here!
VETERANS IN TODAY’S VFW ARE #STILLSERVING
Every day, men and women who have bravely defended our freedom continue to serve in ways outside of the military. America’s veterans and service members are actively involved in their communities. They’re helping others, and they exemplify the best of the American spirit.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to count many of these men and women among our membership. The #StillServing campaign is a way to showcase and honor the ongoing commitment and service of our nation’s best and brightest. The VFW encourages veterans and service members to share stories on social media with #StillServing to show how they continue to answer the call to serve in their communities. In addition, family and friends can use the hashtag in social media posts to honor a veteran in their lives who continues to serve. Let’s use #StillServing to bring their continued efforts to the forefront.
Under the CARES Act, if you have eligible federal student loans, the Department of Education has automatically placed your loans into “administrative forbearance.” That means you can stop making payments on those loans right away, up through September 30, 2020. If your payments automatically come out of your bank account, check if any payments have been processed since March 13. If they have, you may be able to get a refund as part of administrative forbearance.
Contact your federal loan servicer online or by phone to find out if your loans are eligible. (Some federal loans don’t qualify.)
Check out Federal Student Aid’s Coronavirus page to see if forbearance makes sense for you. You don’t need to hire a company to help you get this student loan payment relief. Watch this video to learn about debt relief scams: https://youtu.be/7TjSI4Q6ztQ
With the enactment of the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, (Public Law 116-140) the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been granted the authority to extend eligibility periods (i.e. delimiting dates) for students who had been pursuing a course or program of education and received GI Bill education benefits when their school temporarily closed/temporarily suspended a program of education on or after March 1, 2020.
If you have questions about your GI Bill benefits, please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday or you may use the following link: https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/ through the “Submit a Question”.
Respectfully, Education Service US Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration 1800 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Visit us on the web at https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/Call us at 1-888-442-4551 TDD: 711
Follow us on Social Media
According to the VA, a record 1.2 million homes were bought with VA loans in 2020. That's roughly 3,200 loans per day.
Our experts recently published an in-depth article about the VA loans industry, and we thought you might be interested in reading what we found (https://money.com/va-loan-tips/).
Feel free to share these within your organization and the public. You can always reach out to me with any questions you may have.
Columns and Features in the July 2021 edition:
Columns & Features
I hope you find these monthly articles informative and helpful.
**To Request A Speaker for your organization directly from the Social Security Administration don’t hesitate to contact me. To view SSA’s calendar of webinars/events regularly check out SSA’s official event’s page: https://www.ssa.gov/phila/community.htm.
Due to the pandemic, Social Security offices are not open at this time for in-person service. Many transactions can be completed online at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices. Our representatives remain available by phone. If you need to call your local office, you can find the phone number using our online office locator. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9am-4pm.
The Social Security Administration continues our outreach efforts to the community throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel free to contact me to learn more what we can offer to your group or organization.
Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Administration
With you through life’s journey…create your online account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount
Stay Connected with Social Security:
Please contact us first before going to any VA location. Contacting us first helps us keep you safe.
For the latest coronavirus information, visit the CDC website.
In this PSA, Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., reminds everyone to do their part to stay healthy by following a few simple instructions that will in turn, help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Follow federal, state and local guidelines; Take extra precautions if you are at higher risk for severe illness:
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; and Stay six feet away from others when you can, and wear a face covering in public when you cannot social distance.
These steps are critical for everyone to take, because although everyone is not at equal risk for a severe case of COVID-19, everyone risks being infected with the virus that causes the disease and then spreading it to others. VIEW PSA
Veterans continue to serve their country by leading on masking during COVID-19
Read the full blog post in VAntage Point from Dr. Richard Stone, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration.
Access COVID-19 guidance for Veterans of color, older Veterans, and pregnant Veterans; national and VISN information briefs; and screening tools on the OHE Sharepoint. (VA network only)
Veterans experiencing or at risk for homelessness are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of limited access to health care, pre-existing conditions, and lack of access to basic infection prevention and control methods. VA is committed to taking every possible precaution to protect the health and safety of these Veterans and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to develop and implement strategies to help prevent them from getting COVID-19.
To protect both Veterans and VA staff from COVID-19, VA personnel and grantees assigned to homelessness programs have implemented aggressive infection prevention techniques and response plans at all locations. Staff employ the following preventive methods based on guidance from CDC
Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness are strongly encouraged to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838) for assistance. If Veterans do not have access to a phone or the internet, only then are they to visit their closest VA medical center without calling in advance. VA also urges Veterans who are not homeless or at risk of homelessness to contact their VA medical center before visiting for any reason. These steps are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Government imposters take advantage during COVID-19During the COVID-19 emergency, scammers may pretend to be affiliated with the government to con you out of your cash. Know that the government will never call, text, or contact you on social media saying you owe money, or to offer help getting your Economic Impact Payment(EIP) faster. If you get a message from someone claiming to be from a government agency through social media, it’s a scam. Don’t click on links in an email or text message. Say NO to anyone claiming to be from a government agency asking for cash, gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or personal and financial information, whether they contact you by phone, text, email, or by showing up in person. Don’t share your Social Security, Medicare ID, driver’s license, bank account, or credit card numbers. Visit government websites directly for trustworthy information. https://youtu.be/WZlkpN8Xgq4
The ongoing COVID-19 emergency has meant a stop movement order preventing PCS moves – and it’s probably ruined vacation and other travel plans you had, too. You may be figuring out how to deal with rebooking, cancelling, or getting a refund for a trip.
Your best option is usually to directly contact the company you booked with to see if you can resolve a problem.
First, review the travel provider’s refund policies and the terms of your reservations. Check their sites to see if they’ve posted information about refunds or rebooking options.
Did you buy travel insurance? Review your policy – it may refund your cancelled trip. Learn more about cancelling your reservations for flights, train rides, cruises, and hotel stays. https://go.usa.gov/xfx6G
HHS has been making progress on COVID-19 treatment, testing, and vaccine development. HHS has developed partnership and collaboration opportunities with both federal and non-federal entities to provide treatment and other resources on COVID-19.
Operation Warp Speed is an unprecedented partnership between HHS and the Department of Defense, which will give us the capability to break records in delivering a safe and effective vaccine by simultaneously working on development, manufacturing, and distribution.
On June 29 HHS announced an agreement to secure large supplies of the drug remdesivir, from Gilead Sciences, as a treatment for COVID-19. The agreement allows American hospitals to purchase the drug in amounts allocated by HHS and state health departments.
Convalescent plasma (blood donated by recovered COVID-19 patients that contains antibodies for the virus) is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19. HHS is working with the Mayo Clinic to provide nationwide access to this potential treatment and examine the results. If you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19, learn more about plasma donation here.
HHS is extending its partnership with national pharmacy and grocery retail chains CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Quest (through services at Walmart), and eTrueNorth (through services at Kroger, Health Mart, and Walmart) to provide Americans convenient access to COVID-19 testing. Find a testing location near you!
In support of VA homeless program staff, the Center has created an educational series promoting self-care and wellness. As a follow up to the National Educational Series webinar titled “Self-Care in the Time of COVID-19: Ways You can Cope with Coronavirus Stress, Anxiety and Isolation, a podcast series was created to offer staff continued support in an ongoing and more informal manner. The podcast series title “Self-care for VA Homeless Program Staff,” includes seven different podcasts. Dr. Roger Casey, Director, Education & Dissemination, talks with experts from across the VHA on balancing personal and professional life through wellness and self-care especially during these recent times of uncertainty.
Are you making yourself a priority? Discusses giving yourself the soothing gift of self-care, through the use of personal acknowledgement and informed tips associated with Acceptance Commitment Therapy.
Caring for yourself: Why it’s important? A discussion on the importance of caring for yourself during times of uncertainty and offers specific tools for individual use.
Finding camaraderie when working virtual: Discussion includes tools to assist with finding a relaxing, calm state when faced with isolation, grief, and uncertainty.
Informed sleep tips to promote self-care: The discussion includes specific tools as well as informed tips associated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.
Helping staff help themselves: A discussion of virtual team-building activities to assist staff with feeling connected during uncertain times.
Mindfulness practices: A discussion: This includes the efficacy of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and mindfulness practices on health and wellness.
Self-care: Recognition of emotions: The discussion focuses on impactful tools with recognition of reactions and associated emotions.
DoD launches effort to collect convalescent
Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may hold treatment in their veins that could help others who are critically ill ...
It’s now clear that nearly everyone who recovers from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) produces antibodies that specifically target SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the infection. Yet many critical questions remain. A major one is: just how well do those particular antibodies neutralize the virus to fight off the infection... Read More ...
This service is provided to you by the National Institutes of Health. NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®
Are you in need of helpful ideas for coping and self-care? Listen to the VA Caregiver Support Line Telephone Education Group of the Month. Click here for this month’s featured group: https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support-line/handouts.asp
We Serve All Who Serve:
Recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Veterans, and their Caregivers
LGBT people have suffered from a long history of prejudice. This group focuses on the unique struggles of LGBT Veterans and their LGBT Caregivers. We will discuss the harmful effects of prejudice and the strengths developed as a result of coping with these struggles. We will provide information and resources to support you. We will discuss the rights and benefits that you are due and how the VA can help.
Would you like to attend the VA caregiver telephone groups each month? If you are a caregiver of a Veteran enrolled in the VA, you can register. Call us at 1-855-260-3274 to register!
Building Better Caregivers (BBC) is a free 6-week online workshop developed by Stanford University to support caregivers of Veterans of all eras. Caregivers can join a community of caregivers who share similar challenges, such as dealing with stress and finding time for themselves.
Trained facilitators guide caregivers in learning new ways to manage stress and improve communication skills with their Care Partner. Caregivers get access to:
· 24/7 access to self-guided lessons and resources
· Safe, secure & anonymous environment
· Ongoing support from other caregivers during and after the program
If you are a caregiver, click here to learn more about BBC and see if you are eligible.
If you are an organization interested in referring caregivers to BBC, click here for a flyer you can share with your caregivers.
Are you in need of helpful ideas for coping and self-care? Listen to the VA Caregiver Support Line Telephone Education Group of the Month at: https://www.caregiver.va.gov/support-line/presentations.asp
Empowering Caregivers: Your Health Belongs to You
Who is looking out for the caregiver’s health? Caregivers tend to put aside their own health needs when caring for another. They have a higher risk of health problems due to self-neglect and caregiver strain. This group will inspire caregivers to turn their focus on themselves. You will learn skills that support your whole health and wellbeing.
Would you like to attend the VA caregiver telephone groups each month? If you are a caregiver of a Veteran enrolled in the VA, you can register. Call us at 1-855-260-3274 to register.Need help?
Visit www.caregiver.va.gov or call us at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center.
VA's Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you're in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed social workers who answer the support line can:
Provide you with information about assistance available from VA. Help you access services. Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you. Just listen, if that's what you need right now. If you're just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 is a great first step to learn more about the support that is available to you.
VA has released the Safe Firearm Storage Toolkit, which was developed in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry. The toolkit guides communities through the process of building coalitions to raise awareness about safe storage and its connection to suicide prevention.
A pilot toolkit was introduced in six states and the District of Columbia, and feedback from the pilot sites was incorporated into the version we are sharing with you today. Participating communities were encouraged to use the guide to develop a community action plan and spread the word through community programming.Last week the importance of storing firearms & lethal means safety was discussed on a webcast hosted by the United States Concealed Carry Association titled Protecting Mental Health and Preventing Suicide During COVID-19, which highlights our VA Suicide Prevention Director, Dr. Miller and leaders from AFSP & NSSF.
VA, AFSP, and NSSF invite you to download the toolkit and share the webcast encouraging everyone to take action to prevent suicide by promoting safe storage. You can help by:
Sharing these resources with influential groups, organizations, and individuals in your networks. Safe storage messaging is most effective when it comes from members of the community.
Posting the toolkit and webcast on your social media to start the conversation with your followers.
Talking to Veterans about the importance of lethal means safety to prevent injury for themselves and those in their household.Thank you for your continued support to end Veteran suicide.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the only national organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era Veterans and their families. VVA has a national membership of over 85,000, with over 650 chapters that offer Veterans claims assistance, financial advising, job placement, and advocates on behalf of Veterans through legislative initiatives. Find out how VVA is supporting military communities across the country.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), is a nonprofit 501c3 veterans organization founded by Paul Rieckhoff, an American writer, social entrepreneur, advocate, activist and veteran of the United States Army and the Iraq War. He served as an Army First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq from 2003 through 2004.
Countdown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace runs August 4 to November 11, 2020
Announcing Bells of Peace, A World War I Remembrance, November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I. Join us for a “100-Day Countdown” to November 11, 2020 on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “100-Day Countdown” features stories commemorating the 100-day offensive on the Western Front leading up to WWI Armistice, November 11, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the bells tolled on the Western Front, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here to read more about the Countdown, and learn how you, your family and friends, your organizations, and your communities can toll the “Bells of Peace” and remember this pivotal moment in our Nation’s history and all those who served in World War I.
The free WWI Virtual Explorer App was produced by the Doughboy Foundation. The Doughboy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of “Keeping Faith with the Doughboys.” More information about the Foundation is available here: https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/about/the-foundation.html .
It’s Military Consumer Month 2020 by Andrew Smith, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection Military Consumer Month is here! In these unprecedented and challenging times, we’re focusing on consumer issues related to COVID-19. As of June 30, consumers have submitted more than 115,000 reports of fraud related to COVID-19, resulting in reported losses of more than $74 million. Scammers follow the headlines to take advantage of current events. They’re doing the same now, exploiting people’s concerns about the virus, as well as ripping off those who are affected by the pandemic’s financial implications. Read More>
Fighting Coronavirus scams: Taking stock by Andrew Smith, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the FTC has released dozens of warning letters against people trying to make an illegal buck off the Coronavirus. More than a month in, it seems like a good time to look back at what’s happened. If you follow this blog, you’ll know these have been busy weeks – with advice about spotting the many scams we’re all facing, news of the warning letters sent on a wide range of scams, and some enforcement actions filed. Read More>
This VA OSDBU Quarterly Newsletter highlights VOSBs and SDVOSBs with inspiring stories of Vets helping Vets. It is full of helpful information from our office and the U.S. Small Business Administration of how to make the most of the current situation and how businesses can best navigate the challenges ahead.
From high levels of the toxic metal arsenic in some brands of bottled water to unequal access to clean drinking sources, consumers are facing challenges securing safe, affordable water.
Consumer Reports’ latest investigation into the safety of our water supply has found that bottled water manufactured by Whole Foods contains potentially harmful levels of arsenic.
Starkey Spring Water — sold in most Whole Foods stores and on Amazon — had concerning levels of arsenic, ranging from 9.49 to 9.56 parts per billion (ppb). Federal law limits arsenic in bottled water at 10 ppb.
The arsenic levels in Starkey Spring Water were at least three times the other brands of bottled water we tested, with none of those registering higher than 3 ppb, an arsenic limit Consumer Reports believes should be the standard for bottled water.
To ensure consumer safety, Consumer Reports is calling on Whole Foods and its parent company Amazon to stop selling this water immediately! Help us ramp up the pressure by sending your own message to Whole Foods and Amazon now!
Click title for videos, handouts, audio, and transcripts.
Addressing the Housing Needs of Homeless VeteransThe Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program and research to reduce homelessness Social Risks for Adverse Health Outcomes Among Veterans
A formal evaluation, a national survey, and a point of clinical care program related to disparities and social determinants of health Opioid Use Disorder and Employment Disparities in Justice-Involved Veterans
Current opioid use disorder (OUD) and employment disparities for justice-involved Veterans.
View all sessions in the OHE Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar Series
I want to share a personal message to you as we reflect on what would have been our opening month. We continue to wait patiently for the environment to allow us to finish preparations to open the mighty doors of the Museum to the public for the first time. It’s important to us that the Foundation and the Museum team stay in touch and connected with you, especially during this time.
I’m pleased to inform you that construction progress continues. Veterans’ Hall and the Medal of Honor Garden are almost complete and simply magnificent, and most exhibit installations are nearly complete, just adding some final touches. The parade field has been sodded and the grass is as green, and coming in as strong … as our Army is today!
Folks, this Museum is real — it’s happening — because of you — our loyal supporters and donors. We cannot thank you enough for making this dream become a reality … an incredible tribute to all American Soldiers and their hard work and sacrifices over the past 245 years. And let’s not forget the family members – whose love and support – makes us who we are today.
As a special thank you for your continued support, we have curated some of our latest photos into a special National Army Museum Photo Book for you to enjoy.
Thank you all again. Your support means the world to your Army … America’s Army.
LTG Roger Schultz (USA-Ret.)
The Army Historical Foundation
Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army
I was made aware of this program offered by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services called the Virginia Veteran and Family Support Justice Involved Services program known as the VVFS JIS. I wanted to provide you with this information for your situational awareness in the event you did not receive it.
The VVFS JIS provides resource connections, care coordination, and support to Virginia Veterans and service members involved in the criminal justice system.
Like others who have been involved with the criminal justice system, veterans have significant reentry barriers due to their criminal history, medical and/or behavioral health needs, and lack of financial resources. Many community resources have limited funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so connecting providers to individuals being released from incarceration can be particularly challenging right now.
The JIS program is designed to meet the unique needs of justice-involved veterans throughout the Commonwealth by connecting them to supportive services. The JIS program offers assistance to those veterans and service members involved in veteran and/or problem solving treatment dockets, local jails and state prisons, and on probation and/or parole supervision in Virginia. The JIS Program connects these veterans to housing, treatment, employment, and other community resources. There are Veteran Justice Specialists (VJS) within VDVS. Their focus is to provide support and resources to justice involved veterans wherever they may be in the criminal justice system.
For more information about the Justice Involved Services (JIS) program, please see the below links to the brochure and referral form. You can also contact the Justice Involved Services mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Donna Harrison, Criminal Justice Director, at email@example.com or 804-225-4734.
VVFS JIS Virginia Sheriffs' Letter
JIS Program Services
JIS Service Request
With Best Regards,
Robert P. Mosier
Fauquier County Sheriff's Office
78 West Lee Street, Suite 200
Warrenton, Va. 20186
Desk: (540) 422-8600
Fax: (540) 422-8605
04/28/2020 08:00 PM EDT
Guaranteed Rate Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $15.06 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) by knowingly violating material program requirements when it originated and underwrote mortgages insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Justice announced today. Guaranteed Rate is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with branches across the United States.
These additional locations in Virginia are now open and serving right here in their dining rooms:
All safety guidelines are in place, we’re clear to go. Plus, now you can also join us at Noon again for our daily salute to Our National Anthem.