The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

July 2004
PTSD/SUBSTANCE ABUSE COMMITTEE REPORT
   
 

Nashville and Beyond

BY TOM BERGER, CHAIR


Get ready for the VVA National Leadership Conference in Nashville. The PTSD/SA Committee is sponsoring a seminar on Friday, August 7, that should be of interest to all veterans. It is entitled "Exposure to Combat, PTSD and Future Medical Problems: The Health Impact of Military Service for Vietnam Veterans." The presenter, Dr. Joe Boscarino, is one of the country’s leading PTSD researchers. He is a Vietnam veteran and epidemiologist at the New York Academy of Medicine, he has conducted hundreds of studies over the past 30 years, including 20 involving veterans’ health outcomes. It promises to be a great presentation.

The newly revised PTSD tri-fold brochure is being distributed with the assistance of VVA’s Conference of State Council Presidents and Veterans Service Officers. Additional copies of the brochure will be available at the Leadership Conference. In addition, the PTSD/SA Committee is reviewing a proposed update of the on-line "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Guide’’ that can be found under the Benefits News and Resources section on VVA’s website. The committee is also developing its own web page with assistance from the Communications Department for inclusion on the VVA web site.

As you may have heard, VA Secretary Principi recently announced his decisions to reconfigure the VA’s facilities and health care services. The PTSD/SA Committee remains very concerned about the impact of the reconfiguration on the VA’s PTSD and related mental health programs.

VVA President Tom Corey said, ``We remain particularly concerned by the lack of beds and staff to treat the psychiatric and neuropsychological wounds of war. VVA will continue to press hard until the VA performs a proper needs assessment to make VA a true veterans’ health care system that can deal with wounds, illnesses, and toxic exposures that exist on the modern battlefield.’’

Indeed, we need to monitor any and all changes to existing VA PTSD programs and services. Our lives and the lives of the veterans who follow depend on it.
 

   

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