WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a new partnership to increase access to lung screening for Veterans.
Sponsored by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the project brings together experts from within and outside VA to develop the VA-PALS Implementation Network (VA-Partnership to increase Access to Lung Screening). Its goal is to develop early-detection programs for lung cancer, a malignancy with an 80 percent cure rate when caught early.
This new project will launch lung-screening services at the Phoenix VA Health Care System by December 2017, and then extend these services to nine additional VA medical facilities starting in 2018. Once fully implemented, the project has the potential to become even more widely available throughout VA.
“This partnership is another example of VA’s work to improve Veterans health and well-being,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The VA-PALS lung screening initiative demonstrates our priority to work together with outside organizations to provide more efficient care aimed at addressing serious health concerns.”
The VA-PALS initiative builds upon lessons learned from currently available screening programs, including those of VA’s Office of Rural Health, which is supporting the project’s goal to reach Veterans living in rural areas. It also adds to a portfolio of other major VA lung cancer initiatives, which include the VALOR Trial (Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer Or Stereotactic Radiotherapy) and the APOLLO Network (Applied Proteogenomics OrganizationaL Learning and Outcomes).
“Research shows that with comprehensive lung screening programs, early identification of lung cancer leads to more effective treatments and, ultimately, saves lives,” said John Damonti, president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is proud to partner with the VA-PALS Implementation Network in this important step to increase access to state-of-the-art screening for Veterans at risk of lung cancer.”
The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has featured the staff and facilities of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that examines how well the heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel leading to the heart. The results of the procedure tell doctors if patients have diseases of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries.
Wilkes-Barre’s team of cardiologists, nurses, and technologists is skilled in all aspects of catheterization care. They understand procedures involving the heart can be particularly stressful, and do all they can to address and alleviate Veterans’ concerns.
Read more here.
Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the two-month pilot phase of the new White House VA Hotline that began in June has demonstrated that Veterans calling the hotline respond best when their calls are answered by fellow Veterans and others with first-hand experience on their issues. As a result, VA announced that it will target highly qualified Veterans to staff the hotline going forward, instead of contracting the service to a third-party vendor, and is hiring additional VA personnel to complete the planned move to a 24-hour operation.
“The message we’ve heard loud and clear is Veterans want to talk to other Veterans to help them solve problems and get VA services,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “We’re taking steps to answer that call.”
This decision will delay the full-time stand-up of the 24-hour service by two months, to no later than October 15, in order to ensure the hiring and training processes are complete.
Until that time, the hotline’s current pilot program service is available to receive calls from Veterans from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.