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VA Connecticut Healthcare System

 

Press Releases


2017

State awarded VA grant to expand Middletown Veterans Cemetery - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration announced today that it has awarded the state of Connecticut a grant in the amount of nearly $5.5 million for the expansion of the Connecticut Veterans Cemetery-Central in Middletown. (09/20/2017)

Newington Campus Stormwater Management Plan - The Connecticut Healthcare System’s Newington facility has submitted a registration to the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) for a General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). (09/20/2017)

Federal agencies partner for military, veteran pain management research - Through an interagency partnership, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announce a multi-component research project focusing on nondrug approaches for pain management addressing the needs of service members and veterans. (09/20/2017)

VA Connecticut wins national VA Community Partnership Award for Suicide Prevention - The Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration (VHA) announced that VA Connecticut Healthcare System was one of three facilities to win the 2017 VHA Community Partnership Challenge. VA Connecticut was recognized for its suicide prevention efforts which is one of VA's top clinical priorities. (07/12/2017)

Next step in depression treatment? Add rather than switch. - A major new study of 1,522 patients at 35 VA medical centers shows these patients benefit more from adding an antidepressant treatment than from switching to another one, researchers report July 11 in the journal JAMA. (07/11/2017)

Stormwater Management Plan - VA Connecticut has submitted a registration with the Connecticut DEEP for a general permit for the discharge of storm water from small municipal separate storm sewer systems. (07/11/2017)

Anthony Lisi, DC named Chiropractor of the Year - West Haven, Conn. - Dr. Anthony Lisi was named "Chiropractor of the Year" by the American Chiropractic Association at its annual meeting in March. This is the association's highest award. (04/03/2017)

Fisher House Notice of Availability - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces preparation and availability of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and “Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)” for the Proposed Action to demolish Building 14 and construct and operate a Fisher House at the West Haven Medical Center, CT. (01/19/2017)

VA's rule establishes a presumption for diseases associated with Camp Lejeune water supply - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions: (01/13/2017)

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2016

New Regulation Decreases Cost of Outpatient Medication Copay for Most Veterans - Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulation on copayments for Veterans’ outpatient medications for non-service connected conditions. VA currently charges non-exempt Veterans either $8 or $9 for each 30-day or less supply of outpatient medication, and under current regulations, a calculation based on the medication of the Medical Consumer Price Index (CPI-P) would be used to determine the copayment amount in future years. (12/12/2016)

VA Connecticut statement on patient wireless Internet service - VA Connecticut Healthcare System statement on patient Internet wireless access. (10/13/2016)

VA awards $6.8 billlion for Medical Disability Examinations - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the awarding of 12 contracts between 5 firms totaling $6.8 billion to improve the Medical Disability Examination process (Compensation and Pension or Comp and Pen Examinations) for Veterans. The awards are intended to reduce Veterans’ wait times for examinations for service-connected benefits, thereby providing faster claims decisions in a more efficient and streamlined way. (09/19/2016)

Camp Lejeune Water Supply: VA to provide presumptive service connection for related diseases - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (09/09/2016)

VA Secretary statement on Commission on Care final assessment - Statement by VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald on President Obama's final assessment of the Commission on Care. (09/01/2016)

Suicide Prevention Month: Be There - September is Suicide Prevention Month. VA is calling on community leaders, supervisors, colleagues, friends, and family members to BeThere for Veterans and Service members starting with a simple act, which can play a pivotal role in preventing suicide. (09/01/2016)

VA schedules 2 million Veterans Choice program appointments - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Choice Program (VCP) has reached a key milestone in improving access to health care for Veterans. More than two million appointments have been scheduled through the program. (07/14/2016)

VA policy on smartphone recreational gaming at VA facilities, cemeteries - We encourage the public to be respectful of our Veterans receiving health care at the facility and abide by the federal access and conduct laws VA facilities have. Recreational gaming, like Pokémon Go, is not permitted at VA’s medical campuses. (07/13/2016)

VA conducts nation's largest analysis of veteran suicide - VA has undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the U.S., examining over 55 million Veteran records from 1979 to 2014 from every state in the nation. The effort extends VA’s knowledge from the previous report issued in 2010, which examined three million Veteran records from 20 states were available. Based on the data from 2010, VA estimated the number of Veteran deaths by suicide averaged 22 per day. The current analysis indicates that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide. (07/07/2016)

Statement regarding traffic issues at West Haven campus - The long-term solution to traffic and parking issues at the West Haven campus is the construction of a multi-level parking garage with an enclosed elevated pedestrian walkway. This would alleviate pedestrian traffic to/from the main parking lot. VA Connecticut has made funding requests to construct this project as we recognize that this is one of our highest priority needs. The project is currently awaiting approval at the national level. (06/10/2016)

VA to review 24,000 brain injury diagnosis - WASHINGTON - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) medical examinations conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015. (06/01/2016)

Fisher House Public Notice - The Connecticut Healthcare System has been selected by the Fisher House Foundation to receive a Fisher House at the West Haven Campus at 950 Campbell Avenue. Fisher Houses provide a “home away from home” for the family members and caregivers of hospitalized veterans and active duty service members. (04/01/2016)

Combat Veterans Get Telephonic Health Care Application Option - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has amended its enrollment regulations to allow Veterans to complete applications for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application. The change is effective immediately for Combat Veterans and will be effective July 5, 2016, for all Veterans. (03/16/2016)

VA expands Hepatitis C Drug Treatment - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it is now able to fund care for all Veterans with hepatitis C for Fiscal Year 2016 regardless of the stage of the patient’s liver disease. The move follows increased funding from Congress along with reduced drug prices. (03/09/2016)

VA Connecticut to host 50th Vietnam War Commemoration events - VA Connecticut will host Vietnam War 50th Commemoration events on March 15 (West Haven) and March 23 (Newington). Activities will include the artwork, music and spoken word of Vietnam War veterans. All Vietnam veterans attending will receive a special commemoration pin. Events are open to the public. (03/01/2016)

VA improves timeliness of provider payments - WASHINGTON – To enhance Veterans’ access to care and eliminate delays in Choice provider payment, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating administrative burdens placed on VA community providers. Previously, payments to Choice providers were not allowed until a copy of the Veteran’s medical record was submitted. Now, community providers, under the Choice program, will no longer be required to submit medical records prior to payment being made. To facilitate the change, VA has modified the Choice Program contract, making it easier for Health Net and TriWest to promptly pay providers. (03/01/2016)

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2015

Community Veterans Engagement Board to host Public Forum - The Connecticut Community Veterans Engagement Board will host a public forum on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 6-9pm at the Camp Niantic auditorium, 38 Smith Street, Niantic, open to all veterans, family members, caregivers, veteran service organizations and members of the public. Media outlets are welcome to attend. (11/18/2015)

Celebration of Veteran Artists - New Haven, Conn. - The Veteran Artist Program will host a "Celebration of Veteran Artists" on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4:30pm at the Main Stage Theater and Gallery, 177 College Street, New Haven. The celebration will feature professional artworks, theater and dance performances. (10/28/2015)

VA funds new studies using Million Veteran Program data - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced four new studies that will use genetic and other data from VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) to answer key questions on heart disease, kidney disease, and substance use—high-priority conditions affecting veterans. VA Connecticut clinicians will study multi-substance use. (07/06/2015)

"Summer of Service" Open House - VA Connecticut to host open houses on July 1 A new nationwide VA initiative – a “Summer of Service” – seeks the help of citizens in Connecticut to create and build partnerships to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving veterans here. (06/24/2015)

VA begins "Summer of Service" - WASHINGTON, DC—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a new nationwide initiative designed to build upon its existing partnerships to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving Veterans in their communities. The Department is renewing its commitment to Veterans and embarking upon a “Summer of Service” that seeks the help of citizens across the country to honor that commitment. (05/26/2015)

VA, HUD to help more than 9,000 homeless veterans find permanent homes - WASHINGTON – In the ongoing effort to end veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced nearly $65 million to help more than 9,300 homeless veterans find a permanent place to call home. Connecticut will receive $700,000 in funding to help combat veteran homelessness. (04/22/2015)

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center wins national VA award - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) and the Errera Community Care Center for national recognition for their groundbreaking legal-medical partnership. CVLC provides free legal services for homeless military veterans at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System Errera Community Care Center located in West Haven. (04/22/2015)

VA works to expand Choice Program eligibility - Washington -- 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). (03/24/2015)

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor - Washington – 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. (03/17/2015)

Veterans Town Hall Forum set for March 27 - West Haven - VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the VA Hartford Regional Office will co-host a town hall forum on Friday, March 27 at 5pm at the VA Connecticut West Haven campus Donaldson Education Center, 950 Campbell Avenue. This forum is open to the public. (03/10/2015)

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2014

VA to host Town Hall Meeting Dec. 12 - VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the VA Hartford Regional Office will co-host a public forum on Friday, Dec. 12 at 5pm in Dimick Hall located on the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London. Event is open to all veterans, family members, media outlets and the general public. (12/01/2014)

7th Annual Veterans Day 5k Race/Walk - VA Connecticut Healthcare System invites the community to show your support of the men and women who served our nation in uniform by joining us for the 7th Annual Veterans Day 5k Walk/Run on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at our West Haven campus, 950 Campbell Avenue. Race starts at 10am, rain or shine. Entry fee is $20 through Oct. 31 and $25 starting Nov. 1. (09/23/2014)

Linda Schwartz confirmed as VA Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning - WASHINGTON - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald welcomed the confirmation of Connecticut Veterans Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Policy and Planning. (09/16/2014)

VA takes next step to modernize scheduling system - WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System; the next step in a series of actions VA has taken to replace its antiquated legacy scheduling system. (08/26/2014)

Town Hall Meeting set for Sept. 5 - NEWINGTON, Conn. - VA Connecticut Healthcare System and the VA Hartford Regional Office will co-host a town hall meeting at 6pm on Friday, Sept. 5 at the Newington Town Hall auditorium, 100 Garfield Street. (08/26/2014)

Three Conn. agencies recieve VA homeless prevention grants - WEST HAVEN, Conn. - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced the award of $19 million in homeless prevention grants throughout New England. Three Connecticut agencies will received a combined $3.3 million. The agencies include the Community Renewal team, Inc. of Hartford; The Workplace, Inc. of Bridgeport; and Columbus House, Inc. of New Haven. (08/11/2014)

VA OIG releases findings of potential CJD exposure - The VA OIG concluded that the facility took appropriate steps to address potential patient exposure to CJD. Managers were proactive in seeking counsel from subject matter experts within the VA and other Government agencies to ensure that proper patient follow-up and notification occurred in a timely manner. Facility providers notified and met with the involved patients and/or their family members to discuss the potential exposure to CJD, the risks of CJD transmission, and answer questions or concerns. Providers documented clinical disclosures in the patients’ electronic health records. (07/02/2014)

Independent 2013 Survey Shows Veterans Highly Satisfied with VA Care - WASHINGTON -- The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent customer service survey, ranks the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer satisfaction among Veteran patients among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals. (04/16/2014)

Veterans Benefits Symposium April 10 - WEST HAVEN - The New Haven Vet Center and Housatonic Community College Veterans Club will sponsor a “Veterans Benefits Symposium” on Thursday, April 10 from 4-8pm at the Beacon Hall Event Center, 900 Lafayette Blvd., in Bridgeport on the Housatonic Community College campus. (03/26/2014)

Annual income reporting requirement eliminated - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating the annual requirement for most Veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system to report income information beginning in March 2014. (03/26/2014)

Specially adapted housing grant eligibility automatic for those with ALS - WASHINGTON- Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are now presumed medically eligible for grants up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced. (03/19/2014)

Supporting the mental health of veterans, families - A free online training series debuts March 20th for community and VA health care professionals, to assist them in providing mental health care to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families. (03/17/2014)

Veterans Outreach Event at NCC - Norwalk Community College will present a special program for Veterans on “Veterans’ Education: Moving Forward at Norwalk Community College” from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 12. Open to the public, this free event celebrates NCC’s extensive services for veterans and the unique partnership between the college and VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Event will include a resource fair for veterans from 11am -2pm in the East Campus atrium along with keynote speaker Luis Carlos Montalvan at 10am in the Pepsico Theater. Luis is author of "Until Tuesday." (03/11/2014)

Care and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $164 Billion VA Budget - WASHINGTON – Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for healthcare, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs – mostly disability compensation and pensions for Veterans. (03/07/2014)

Rollout of Secure Veteran Health Identification Cards (VHIC) - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. (02/24/2014)

Statement on VA OIG Report - OR Environment of Care - We are committed to providing veterans with the highest quality care in the best patient care environment. We will continue to work with our team to make improvements to the environment and processes based on the IG recommendations and VA standards. (02/19/2014)

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2013

VA to Expand Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injury - Adds five illnesses related to service-connected TBI WASHINGTON – Some Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are diagnosed with any of five other ailments will have an easier path to receive additional disability pay under new regulations developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (12/16/2013)

Veterans' homelessness reduced 24 percent - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that a new national report shows a 24 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans since 2010. (11/21/2013)

VA announces an additional $4.9 million to help eliminate veterans homelessness - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that 25 projects in 11 different states will share approximately $4.9 million in grants to provide enhanced services for homeless Veterans this year. This is in addition to the approximately $300 million in preventive grants awarded earlier this year through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. (11/12/2013)

Community invited to VA Veterans Day race Nov. 11 - VA Connecticut Healthcare System will host its 6th annual Veterans Day 5k Race/Walk on Monday, Nov. 11 at the West Haven campus, 950 Campbell Avenue. Race is entirely on the campus grounds and open to all ages and skill levels. The event is co-sponsored by the Reverend James McCarten Assembly 119 of the Knights of Columbus. Cost is $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit local efforts to construct a Fisher House on the grounds of the West Haven campus. Race day registration begins at 8am. (11/08/2013)

Statement on rest home payments - VA discovered in late January 2013 that it had been placing veterans in rest home level of care facilities since 2001. Rest Home level of care is not authorized under the options available to VA medical centers for placement of veterans in need of full time nursing care. (10/24/2013)

PTSD Coach Online Extends Reach of Award Winning Mobile App - With the release of PTSD Coach Online, Veterans and anyone dealing with symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can now go to their desktop or laptop computers anytime for help. (10/03/2013)

VA Connecticut to host Mental Health Summit - West Haven – VA Connecticut Healthcare System will host a Mental Health Summit on Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock Street, West Haven from 8:30am to 12:30pm. The purpose of the summit is to bring together key stakeholders in the community with the goal of enhancing access to mental health services and addressing the mental health care needs of veterans and their family members. (09/09/2013)

Statement regarding potentially contaminated medical equipment - On Aug. 29, VA Connecticut Healthcare System was notified by Medtronic that a leased Medtronic Cranial instrument tray delivered to VA Connecticut had been used at a non-VA facility in New Hampshire on a patient posthumously diagnosed with potential Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). (09/06/2013)

Patient Shuttle Week of Sept. 3 - Be advised of the following change to the inter-campus shuttle. The 11:30am shuttle departing from West Haven to Newington along with the 1:30pm Newington to West Haven shuttle will not operate Sept. 4-6. (09/03/2013)

President applauds efforts to ensure veterans' success in higher education - WASHINGTON -- As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to foster postsecondary educational opportunities and dramatically improve employment outcomes for returning service members, the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a challenge to education institutions to adopt best practices supporting educational success. (08/21/2013)

VA partners with ABA, Legal Services Corporation in program to help reduce claims backlog - WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced a new partnership and pilot program aimed at reducing the claims backlog and making it easier for unrepresented Veterans to receive assistance developing their claims for disability pay. (08/12/2013)

VA launches study to help reduce colorectal cancer risks - West Haven, Conn. – Veterans and others who are due for colorectal cancer screening may benefit from research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (08/08/2013)

VA reaches out to veterans about the health care law - The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched an awareness campaign and a new website, www.va.gov/aca, to let Veterans know what the Affordable Care Act means for them and their families. (08/06/2013)

Post-9-11 GI Bill celebrates fourth anniversary - August 1, marks the fourth anniversary of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. VA has issued approximately $30 billion in Post 9/11 GI-Bill benefit payments since its inception in August 2009 and helped nearly 1 million Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families pursue their education. (07/29/2013)

Veterans Drive closed for repaving starting July 22 - NEWINGTON, CONN. – Repaving of Veterans Drive is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 22. Work is scheduled to take approximately two weeks with the road closed weekdays from 7am-3pm until the work is completed. (07/18/2013)

Thirty percent of disability claims converted to digital files - VA converted over 30 percent of disability claims into digital files. Over 165 million pages have been scanned and uploaded to help transform paper-based claims process to digital environment. (07/18/2013)

VA grants awarded to Connecticut agencies to help end veteran homelessness - WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today the award of $3.2 million in homeless prevention grants to three Connecticut agencies. The grants will serve homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. (07/11/2013)

New Technology in Place for Electronic Submission of Veterans’ Disability Claims - WASHINGTON – A new online application from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enables disability compensation claims to be processed faster in a more end-to-end electronic environment, and VA is urging Veterans and their Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives to make full use of its capabilities to receive speedier decisions and reduce the backlog of claims. (06/19/2013)

VA Connecticut-based program receives funding to promote pain management - The Pain Research, Informatics, Medical comorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center located at the West Haven Campus has recently been awarded a five-year grant to promote veteran-centered pain managment and transformations in pain care in the primary care setting. (06/13/2013)

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