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September/october 2008

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Veterans Health Care COMMITTEE REPORT
Hep C At The LC

BY PAT BESSIGANO, CHAIR
At the 2007 National Convention, VVA members requested more information on hepatitis C from the Health Care Committee. As a result of this request, we had two presenters at the 2008 National Leadership Conference speak on hepatitis C and their proposal for a health management HIV outreach campaign in VA. Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the Chief Public Health and Environmental Hazards Officer, and Dr. David Ross, the Director of the Clinical Public Health Programs, work at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Deyton and Dr. Ross discussed an introductory guide to hepatitis C that is given to patients who participate in the VA Hepatitis C Resource Center Program. The guide provides information on what it means to have hepatitis C, how the virus can spread, and treatment options, along with other vital information.

The full text of the guide can be found and downloaded at www.hepatitis.va.gov It is not copyrighted and anyone may print it and distribute as many copies as they’d like.

A second Health Care Committee session at the Leadership Conference on Traumatic Brain Injury was led by Karyn George, the Manager of the Office of Care Coordination Center at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center/Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Also, speaking was VVA’s Tom Berger. He provided information about the relationship between TBI and post-traumatic stress
disorder.

Both VVA members and members of Veterans of Modern Warfare attended the session. George presented material about the different types of traumatic brain injury, the current treatment of these injuries, and the long-lasting effects. Many VVA service officers were present for recredentialing, and this information will help when filing claims for the young men and women coming home today.

The Health Care Committee will have the contents of these sessions on our website for your review. Please send us your questions; we will address them in future reports.

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