Shulkin's VA nomination advances | Military to strengthen anti-gambling efforts in response to GAO report | App connects Navy, Marine personnel, families to health and medical resources
February 8, 2017
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Shulkin's VA nomination advances
David Shulkin's nomination as veterans affairs secretary is moving forward for a full Senate vote. The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee voted 15-0 on Tuesday to advance the nomination.
Politico (2/7) 
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Military Health System
Military to strengthen anti-gambling efforts in response to GAO report
Less than 0.03% of military service members were diagnosed with a gambling disorder or were treated for problem gambling through the Military Health System from 2011 to 2015, but a Government Accountability Office report says the military should screen for the disorder as it does for other addictive disorders. The Defense Department said it would do more to promote awareness and education but said broad screening is impractical for such a low-prevalence disorder.
The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (2/6) 
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App connects Navy, Marine personnel, families to health and medical resources
A new app connects sailors, Marines and their family members to military treatment facilities, Defense Department hotlines, leadership information and Navy Medicine social media resources.
The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (2/7) 
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Veterans Health Administration
VA to transition to commercial EHR system, senior IT official says
Rob Thomas, acting assistant secretary for information and technology and acting CIO for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Information and Technology, said during a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing that the VA will shift to a commercial EHR system. "My goal, my charge, is that we go commercial to the greatest extent possible," Thomas said.
Healthcare Informatics online (2/7) 
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National Health Care
Senators ask Trump to reverse hiring freeze for IHS
Seven Democrats on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to reverse a freeze on hiring personnel to serve Native Americans, including at the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education. "Even before the hiring freeze was announced, Federal agencies that provide these services were struggling to recruit and retain a qualified workforce, with personnel vacancies consistently cited by the Government Accountability Office and agency inspectors general as a major factor in the lack of available essential and basic services for Native peoples," the senators wrote.
Billings Gazette (Mont.) (2/2),  The Santa Fe New Mexican (tiered subscription model) (2/4) 
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Health and Medical Research
Scenario-planning training helps surgeons communicate with patients
Surgeons who completed a two-hour training session were better able to explain best- and worst-case treatment risks to frail, elderly patients than surgeons who did not complete the training, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery. The training included exercises designed to help surgeons consider alternative treatments or no treatment as options to meet patients' goals.
Reuters (2/7) 
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January/February edition of Military Medicine
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