VA Stories of Note: Nov. 14 – Nov. 20


Tampa Bay Times (Saint Petersburg, Fla.), Nov. 18: Tampa VA hospital seeks volunteers for coronavirus vaccine trial

The James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital began clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine last week and continues to seek volunteers, including those who are not military veterans, according to a spokesperson. On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that more than 50 VA medical centers are participating in trials to test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.


Nextgov, Nov. 18: VA Plans for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

If and when an authorized COVID-19 vaccine arrives, the Veterans Affairs Department aims to be ready to distribute it. VA announced Tuesday that it will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners to ensure the prompt development of a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.


KAIT (ABC-9)(Jonesboro, Ark.), Nov. 18: John J. Pershing VA Medical Center honors Cape Girardeau nurse

Kelly Birk, a nurse with the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center’s Cape Girardeau clinic, has been honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.


WCIV (ABC-4) (Mount Pleasant, S.C.), Nov. 18: Charleston VA hospital distributing free Thanksgiving dinner meal kits to veterans

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center wants to make sure the Lowcountry's heroes are fed this Thanksgiving. The hospital is distributing pre-packaged Thanksgiving dinner meal kits to veterans in need this year.


Federal News Network, Nov. 17: VA shares recipes for success with new customer experience ‘cookbook’ for agencies

With nearly five years of experience under its belt, the Department of Veterans Affairs has some practice with the art of prepping, mixing and baking customer experience into its organization. It published a new CX “cookbook” Tuesday, which details the key ingredients and recipes that might help agencies embed customer experience within their organizations, as well as a new report summarizing VA’s own CX journey.


KWTX (CBS-10) (Waco, Texas), Nov. 17: VA’s “Solid Start” program flourishes in first year

The new VA “Solid Start” program is helping veterans transition more smoothly into civilian life. The program has the VA reach out to new veterans multiple times in their first year after leaving the service. Margarita Devlin, the principal deputy under secretary for the VA, says COVID-19 has left veterans struggling to find work and mental health resources.


GovernmentCIO, Nov. 16: Data Strategy is Essential for VA's Ongoing Modernization

The Department of Veterans Affairs is developing an agency-encompassing data strategy that will be used to guide both its health IT and patient care reforms. Speaking at the FCW Data Analytics and Smart Strategies Workshop, VA Chief Data Officer Kshemendra Paul outlined both the focus of VA’s data strategy, as well as its foundational importance in guiding VA modernization going forward.


The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, Colo.), Nov. 16: Suicide prevention a top priority for VA

“I’ve lost more friends to suicide than combat,” Nathan Rudolph, peer support specialist for Veterans Affairs, said at a town hall for suicide prevention awareness in Grand Junction last week. Rudolph spoke to the struggles he’s had returning home from the military, not just personally, but also among the men and women with whom he served.


Veterans News Report, Nov. 15: Veterans “tapping” away PTSD, stress, anxiety

To combat PTSD, tension, trauma, anxiety, and stress (especially with Covid and a nation in the grips of a racial reckoning), veterans have turned to The Tapping Solution app approved by the VA.

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