department of veterans affairs | Texas Public Radio

department of veterans affairs

Octavia Harris visits the Texas Public Radio studio.
Carson Frame / TPR News

There are over 2.2 million women veterans in the U.S., and about 37,000 in San Antonio alone. Many seek care through the VA Health System. In January, a local veteran named Octavia Harris was tapped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs' Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. She'll have the ear of VA Secretary David Shulkin for the next two years, and be able to offer input on policies that affect healthcare for women veterans nationwide.  

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that Octavia Harris, a San Antonio-area veteran, is the new chairwoman of the National Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, a panel that advises the VA secretary on issues important to women veterans, their families and their caregivers.

The new veterans ID cards were mandated by a 2015 law. But some veterans groups are raising questions about the possibility that the cards will include corporate branding.

Carson Frame / TPR News

At a rally in front of the Kerrville VA Medical Center Wednesday, veterans, community members, and VA employees gathered to demand that the VA fill thousands of job vacancies nationwide. They argued that current staffing levels create risks to patient safety and hazardous work environments.

A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

The ten-part documentary by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is at times graphic, and people who work with veterans say it may trigger traumatic memories for those who fought in Vietnam.

Pixabay

The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking steps to remedy the problem of suicide in the veteran community.


Flickr / Shehan Peruma

The Veterans Administration is trying to streamline its disability claims process by involving outside organizations. 

On September 8th, the VA unveiled its Decision Ready Claims program, which promises a decision for upgrading disability compensation within 30 days of filing. That reduced wait time could be a plus for many vets. 

A growing number of veterans are acquiring service dogs to help cope with PTSD. But the VA won’t pay for them and says their effectiveness hasn’t been scientifically proven.

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