House allocates $65M for VA EHR system, but with conditions | Military studying potential healing effect of nature | VA official critical about claims of Agent Orange risks
June 14, 2017
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House allocates $65M for VA EHR system, but with conditions
The fiscal year 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill cleared by the House Appropriations Committee allocates $65 million for modernization of the VA's EHR system, but VA Secretary David Shulkin must first submit an implementation plan to House and Senate appropriators. The VA plans to replace its legacy system with Cerner's Millennium EHR, which the DOD is also using.
Health Data Management (6/14) 
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Military Health System
Military studying potential healing effect of nature
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is recruiting participants for a clinical trial at Naval Support Activity Bethesda to investigate whether exposure to nature benefits health. The trial is part of the Green Road Project, which has been underway at six sites in the US, and is recruiting service members as well as their families and caregivers.
WJZ-TV (Baltimore) (6/9) 
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Veterans Health Administration
VA official critical about claims of Agent Orange risks
VA compensation service analyst Jim Sampsel said in a meeting with a VA advisory committee in March that media "hype" and "hysteria" are behind renewed interest in Agent Orange exposure, and the VA will not be extending benefits to veterans who say their hypertension is linked to exposure, according to a transcript of the meeting. The VA said in a statement that Sampsel's quotes had been taken out of context and that it has not decided whether to add hypertension to the list of covered conditions.
ProPublica/Stars and Stripes/The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (6/12) 
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National Health Care
Congress again seeks IHS reform
Bills in the House and Senate would streamline the hiring of Indian Health Service medical staff, offer incentives to attract and retain health care providers and protect whistleblowers. Congress failed to advance similar legislation during the Obama administration, and President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 budget would cut current IHS funding by $300 million.
Voice of America (6/8) 
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Health and Medical Research
Study zeroes in on sex-dependent differences in TBI response
Hormonal differences as well as differences in brain circuitry cause men to respond differently than women to traumatic brain injury, with women more likely to develop anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting. Researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences teamed up with colleagues at Colorado State University and found TBI can disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and change stress hormones in a sex-dependent manner.
HuffPost (6/7) 
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Avatars prepare health care providers for real-life conversations
Kognito is developing role-playing simulations with human-like avatars to improve communication between health care providers and their patients. The simulations present an interactive health care scenario with a virtual human, offer coaching and feedback, and present different outcomes based on the user's interaction with the avatars.
International Business Times (6/8) 
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2017 AMSUS Award nominations
AMSUS award plaque
AMSUS acknowledges the abilities of many outstanding federal health care individuals each year through the distinguished Awards Program. So many individuals do outstanding work in their fields, yet are never recognized publicly for that work. If you know of someone who should receive recognition, please make time to submit a nomination. Nominations are open through June 30.
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Judges for AMSUS Annual Awards
AMSUS is seeking individuals who are willing to serve as judges for the Annual Awards Program. Judging is done in August, and the time commitment is short. If interested, please contact Diane Condrick. For more on the awards, please visit the AMSUS website. For more on the AMSUS Annual Meeting where Awards are distributed, please visit the Meeting site.
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