1611 Virginia Ave., Ste 212, Box 406, North Bend , Oregon 97459 Hours: M-F 9:30am-4pm sovo4vets@gmail.com 541-756-8718 (Office) 541-756-8758 (Fax)

Bandon to be designated ‘Medal of Honor City’

George Trott, District 3 commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has made another step in making Bandon the only city in Oregon to be designated a “Medal of Honor City” according to a report published in the Bandon Western World. For more click the link.

Veterans Hear From New VA Roseburg Director At Town Hall

reported by Rachael McDonald for KLCC

The new interim Director of the Roseburg Veterans Administration Health Care system held a town hall this week on the Medical Center campus. This comes as the VA Office of the Medical Inspector prepares to release a full report on its investigation into complaints of bullying and a “toxic culture” at the facility.

About 100 people filled the auditorium at the Roseburg VA as interim Director David Whitmer outlined his agenda and took questions. Whitmer was brought in last month to replace Doug Paxton.

For more of the story, click here.

Veterans can now use My HealtheVet credentials to access benefits tools on Vets.gov

reprinted from the USDOVA Blog

More than four million Veterans can now use their My HealtheVet credentials to access services from across VA on Vets.gov. This means that Veterans can now log in one time, in one place, to refill a prescription, check their claim and apply for benefits that help them pay for college and training programs.

This is the first time that Veterans with a My HealtheVet patient portal account can use those credentials to access benefits tools such as checking the status of a claim ,an appeal or GI Bill benefit, in addition to a variety of health care tools.

Allowing Veterans to use their VA-approved credential of choice to access all of VA’s online services is a key milestone in VA’s digital modernization strategy. Previously, Veterans were only able to use their DS Logon accounts or ID.me accounts to log in to Vets.gov. This created an unnecessary roadblock for Veterans trying to use their preferred credential to access other VA services online and this new functionality will remove that roadblock.

How it works
Users can visit Vets.gov and sign in with their their My HealtheVet credential. Veterans will be asked to enter their email address and then they will be given the option to secure their account using multi-factor authentication (e.i. phone, text, code generator). From there, users can access all of the services Vets.gov provides. Learn more about how it works.

Premium My HealtheVet account holders will not need to re-verify their identity and will immediately gain access to send a secure message to their health care team, download their health records, track their claims and appeals and much more. My HealtheVet users who have not gone through an identity-proofing process will be offered the chance to complete an online identity-proofing process powered by ID.me if they wish to access features that require that extra personal security such as the staus of claims and appeals.

About the author: Natalie Moore is a product manager with the Digital Service at VA, an agency team of the U.S. Digital Service, that transforms critical, Veteran-facing digital services by applying modern technology best practices.

Seeking 2018 Oregon Woman Veteran of the Year

Do you know an inspirational Oregon woman veteran?

The Oregon Woman Veteran of the Year Award recognizes a woman veteran who has compiled a record of exemplary service as a veteran and an outstanding member of the community.
This award is part of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs ongoing effort and commitment to respond to women veterans’ issues where women veterans live, work, and enjoy the freedoms of our great country, and to encourage greater participation in the semi-annual women veterans’ conferences.
The selection criteria focuses on the nominee’s achievements as a veteran, in support of veterans, and her commitment to women veterans’ issues, and as a citizen in service of her hometown, the State of Oregon, and the United States of America.
We encourage submissions from veterans, Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s), County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO’s), and other veterans groups.
The nomination form must be submitted in writing by March 30. The award will be presented and recognized at the 2018 Oregon Women Veterans Conference, April 26 – 28 in Sunriver, Oregon.
Nomination forms are available to download or by calling (503) 373-2264 to request the form be emailed, faxed or mailed to you. Forms may be requested by mail at:
Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Women Veterans Coordinator
700 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301

 

First 2018 meeting of the Oregon Veterans’ Advisory Committee will be held in Corvallis

The first 2018 meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon March 7 at 4 Spirits Distillery, 3405 S.W. Deschutes St. in Corvallis. The public is invited to attend and participate.
The committee is made up of veterans appointed by the governor to provide counsel on veteran issues and represent veteran concerns across Oregon. Its nine members serve in a vital advisory role to the director and staff of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The advisory committee’s meetings are held throughout the state on the first Wednesday in March, June, September and December. Registration is encouraged, but not required. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here.
More information can be found on ODVA’s website. To contact the Advisory Committee, please email vaac@odva.state.or.us.

Oregon veteran who secured first military headstone for same-sex spouse dies at 71

It’s been five years since retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell buried the ashes of her wife, Nancy Lynchild, at Willamette National Cemetery just southeast of Portland.
It was just after the military dropped the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy” that prohibited its gay, lesbian and bisexual members from serving openly but before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.

And it was the first time a U.S. veteran had secured a burial plot for her same-sex spouse at a military cemetery.
Soon, Linda will join Lynchild in the plot she lobbied the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to grant her partner of 22 years. The Air Force veteran has died at 71, according to a Campbell family release.  Read more at OregonLive

 

VA Partners with Cohen Veterans Network to Increase Access to Mental Health Resources

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Cohen Veterans Network, Inc., (CVN) announced a new partnership to increase Veterans’ access to mental health resources to reduce Veteran suicides.
The partnership will allow VA and CVN to work together to advance and improve Veterans’ mental health and well-being and expand and promote community collaboration to increase Veterans’ access to mental health resources.
“VA and CVN have a shared goal to improve Veterans’ health and access to mental health services to reduce Veteran suicide,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “With 14 out of the 20 Veterans who take their own lives per day not engaging VA care, partnerships such as this help those Veterans, as well as their families, receive care where they live.”
As part of the collaboration, VA and CVN will:
Work together on potential mental health education initiatives, consumer marketing and public health messaging
Discuss potential locations for Cohen Clinics in regions believed to have underserved Veterans in need of mental health care services
Collaborate to share publicly available, VA-developed educational resources for health care providers, such as military culture training and suicide prevention training with CVN staff and clinic employees.
“This partnership will help us save lives by getting care to Veterans faster and, therefore, preventing suicides,” said Dr. Anthony Hassan, president and CEO of CVN. “We are excited about partnering with VA and advancing the field through innovative clinician training initiatives and public messaging. This partnership adds another layer of depth and quality to our robust network of Cohen Military Family Clinics.”
For more information about VA mental health services, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov. Information about the Cohen Veterans Network may be found at: https://www.cohenveteransnetwork.org.
Veterans in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Veteran in crisis — should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.

Calling all Oregon women veterans!

Join us in Sunriver April 26-28, 2018

A message from ODVA

This year we celebrate not just your 10th Conference, but the immense strength of generations of phenomenal women who chose to serve in the military. You are women who have been the first, the groundbreakers, and the change makers. You are a small segment of the American population who did what other women did not or could not do by saying “I can do that,” often meeting with and rising above adversity and challenges other women will never know or experience.
For many, those challenges and that adversity continued even after you left the military and still, you rise. For 20 years it has been the distinct pleasure of Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to offer this event as a safe space where women veterans can learn, gather, make new friends, and reconnect with old friends, and our goal is to make this the best year yet.
This year, as we considered the conference, we knew that we owed more to the women veterans of Oregon – that we too had to rise in order to do better for all women veterans. We wanted to honor the fact that there are women veterans throughout the state, so we chose Central Oregon to make it easier for so many of you to attend.
We wanted to honor and recognize that the population of women veterans is diverse and include women who are LGBTQ, women of color, tribal women, immigrant women, women with disabilities, young women, and elderly women, so you’ll see our workshops, panels, and speakers reflect that diversity. We choose to honor that women veterans are strong even in the broken places, and that is what makes us different from virtually every other woman out there.
With your 2018 Oregon Women Veterans Conference, we seek to thank you for being you, tell you we see you, and celebrate that fact that both individually and as one, we rise.

VA Announces Leadership Changes at Roseburg (Oregon) Medical Center

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the Director of the Roseburg VA Health Care System, Doug Paxton, has stepped down and an interim replacement has been named. This is a step aimed at improving care for Veterans served by Roseburg, which remains one of VA’s 15 lowest performing facilities.

Mr. Paxton has accepted reassignment as Assistant Director at the Huntington VAMC in West Virginia.

Mr. Paxton is being replaced by Mr. David L. Whitmer who will serve as the as interim Director at Roseburg. A proven leader with twenty years of federal service in clinical and administrative settings within VA and the Department of Health and Human Services, Whitmer currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Sunshine Health Network, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Both appointments are effective February 4, 2018.

“This action was necessary as a step to improve care for Veterans at Roseburg. There are times that facility leadership needs to change in order to usher in a new approach that will demonstrate we are committed to delivering results for Veterans and taxpayers,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration.

“Mr. Whitmer is an experienced leader who brings to Roseburg a background of developing operational strategies, planning enterprise-wide business requirements, evaluating program effectiveness, and improving business operations into actions that transform the delivery of healthcare services to veterans. We are looking forward to his leadership as we recruit a permanent director for Roseburg,” Clancy said.

Specific areas targeted for rapid improvement at Roseburg include:

a. Access to care

b. Performance measures

c. Patient experience

d. Employee satisfaction

e. Mortality

Whitmer Background

Whitmer began his VA career in 2014. During that time he has served two long-term assignments as acting Chief Operating Officer at two large, complex Florida hospitals (Tampa and West Palm Beach). In this role he was responsible for overseeing all hospital operations, including environment of care and quality management oversight for two Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) reviews.

Prior to joining VA, Whitmer served at the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health (NIH), in various leadership and supervisory roles from 1999 to 2014.

Mr. Whitmer received a Masters of Political Science, Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He is a graduate of the NIH Senior Leadership Program, University of Maryland University College, OPM’s Executive Development Program, and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank collaborates with PINK Concussions Group

Women Veterans urged   to donate brains for research

Today, VA announced a collaboration between its National Center for PTSD and the nonprofit organization PINK Concussions, encouraging women to donate their brains for the purpose of research of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“In the past, the focus of TBI and PTSD brain research has primarily been based on male brains — without any active recruitment for women,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, executive in charge of VA’s Veterans Health Administration. “We have a lot to learn about how the female brain deals with TBI and PTSD, which makes this effort long overdue.”
Katherine Snedaker, founder and executive director of PINK Concussions and a brain injury survivor, also applauded the collaboration.
“We are so grateful to partner with VA to launch the first active recruitment of female Veterans, as well as active-duty members and civilian women to be a part of brain injury and PTSD research,” Snedaker said. “VA continues year after year to be one of our most valued partners in our ongoing mission to improve pre-injury education and post-injury care for women with brain injury.”
While there is postmortem brain tissue available for study of injury in men, there has been almost none for women. There is also a lack of research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, in women. In all published literature on CTE, only two peer-reviewed journal articles (both published in the early 1990s) have focused on women.
Women Veterans interested in participating in the brain bank may take the PINK Concussions pledge. Though tissue donation may occur many years or decades from now, enrollment will allow researchers to learn as much as possible about the health of an enrolled female participant and how things may change over the years.
For more information about the effort, visit www.pinkconcussions.com/. For more information about the VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank, visit this website or call 800-762-6609.