Home aid care reimbursement for veterans

I was talking to the coordinator who facilitate the home care aid reimbursement (home care or in a facility) for California veterans/spouse of veterans and that the family member  must reach out to us for info. Must have hired a home care aid first before the reimbursement process starts. The family member is best to coordinate since parents might have cognitive decline and must be internet savvy to go thru the needed documentation.

Connie Dello Buono


Motherhealth LLC , home care organization agency



card mother

New Blood Culture ID System Improves Care for Vets

New Blood Culture ID System Improves Care for Vets

Medical Technologist Dionne Hockett operates the new BioFire Blood Culture Identification system

Medical Technologist Dionne Hockett operates the new BioFire Blood Culture Identification system which allows doctors to detect harmful microorganisms in blood samples in just a few hours after blood cultures become positive.

By Chris Vadnais, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Public Affairs Officer
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) doctors recently rolled out a new method to detect infectious agents in Veterans’ blood.

The newly-acquired BioFire Blood Culture Identification (BCID) system allows TVHS doctors to detect harmful microorganisms in blood samples in just a few hours after blood cultures become positive. The previous method could take three days.

“By detecting infectious agents more quickly and earlier in the course of infection, the patient can be given the correct antibiotics more quickly,” said Dr. Claudio Mosse, TVHS Chief of Pathology and Lab Service. “The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics should decrease also, as more targeted therapy is utilized once the target is identified,” he said.

Positive blood cultures are automatically sent to the new BioFire BCID system and tested for the 24 most common infectious agents found in the blood of septic patients. Because a positive blood culture could still contain a less-common microorganism — one the new system doesn’t detect — Dr. Mosse said all positive blood cultures are still processed through the older system as well.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics are associated with unintended side-effects. This new system will allow TVHS to reduce this risk through more targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is also likely to be more effective, meaning patients should be severely ill for less time.

“By getting on the correct antibiotics more quickly, patients should be able to get healthy more quickly and have less exposure to drugs that they don’t need,” said Dr. Mosse.

“Patients should be able to get healthy more quickly and have less exposure to drugs they don’t need.”

All this means TVHS can deliver a quicker, better response to a Veteran suffering from a serious blood infection.

“The safety of our Veterans is our primary goal,” said Erica Johnson-Lockett, TVHS Patient Safety Manager. “Targeting specific organisms and ensuring Veterans receive the right antibiotics in a timely fashion is in line with the National Patient Safety Goal regarding medication safety.” She said. “The BioFire BCID system is a prime example of TVHS’s commitment to patient safety.”

The BioFire BCID system is in operation at TVHS’s Nashville facility.

TVHS is an integrated tertiary health care system comprised of two hospitals, the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro and the Nashville Campus, as well as more than a dozen community-based outpatient clinics located in Tennessee and Kentucky. TVHS provides ambulatory care, primary care, and secondary care in acute medicine and surgery, specialized tertiary care, transplant services, spinal cord injury outpatient care, and a full range of extended care and mental health services.

Suicide deaths of active-duty US military and omega-3 fatty-acid status

Suicide deaths of active-duty US military and omega-3 fatty-acid status: a case-control comparison.

The recent escalation of US military suicide deaths to record numbers has been a sentinel for impaired force efficacy and has accelerated the search for reversible risk factors.


To determine whether deficiencies of neuroactive, highly unsaturated omega-3 essential fatty acids (n-3 HUFAs), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are associated with increased risk of suicide death among a large random sample of active-duty US military.


In this retrospective case-control study, serum fatty acids were quantified as a percentage of total fatty acids among US military suicide deaths (n = 800) and controls (n = 800) matched for age, date of collection of sera, sex, rank, and year of incident. Participants were active-duty US military personnel (2002-2008). For cases, age at death ranged from 17-59 years (mean = 27.3 years, SD = 7.3 years). Outcome measures included death by suicide, postdeployment health assessment questionnaire (Department of Defense Form 2796), and ICD-9 mental health diagnosis data.


Risk of suicide death was 14% higher per SD of lower DHA percentage (OR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02-1.27; P < .03) in adjusted logistic regressions. Among men, risk of suicide death was 62% greater with low serum DHA status (adjusted OR = 1.62; 95% CI, 1.12-2.34; P < .01, comparing DHA below 1.75% [n = 1,389] to DHA of 1.75% and above [n = 141]). Risk of suicide death was 52% greater in those who reported having seen wounded, dead, or killed coalition personnel (OR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.11-2.09; P < .01).


This US military population had a very low and narrow range of n-3 HUFA status. Although these data suggest that low serum DHA may be a risk factor for suicide, well-designed intervention trials are needed to evaluate causality.

6 Transferable Skills That Veterans Bring to Your Company

From The Training Associates

6 Transferable Skills That Veterans Bring to Your Company

November 11 is Veterans Day, and The Training Associates wants to recognize and thank the brave women and men who have selflessly served our country!
Professionally, we are attuned to the type of skills that help our client organizations succeed, and veterans can readily contribute to your organization’s success with these transferable skills that they have honed in the military.
Hiring veterans is smart business for corporations looking for talent with a deep well of various skills – spanning the range from technical to supply chain management, to procurement, to IT, to executive leadership, and the list goes on.
All civilian organizations will benefit from:

The Discipline of Veterans

Veterans are used to a ‘mission critical’ mindset and are very disciplined, with an
astute focus on quality, safety and detail. This task-oriented work style, built on a
trained maturity and responsibility to solve problems and follow through until the job
is done, will benefit any role whether based on hard skills or soft skills.
Veterans are true self-starters that know how to analyze and resolve difficult and complex problems without constant guidance from supervisors.

The Teamwork of Veterans

Camaraderie is core within the military, and is one of the most important soft skills a
veteran can bring to an organization. They spend months, if not years, collaborating
with and trusting their team members to stay safe and complete important tasks.
Regardless of being the team leader or a team member, veterans understand how
genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues and how diverse
people can work together towards a goal.
Veterans are good at collaboration, because that’s what they have to do in the field, and often under duress.

The Adaptability of Veterans

Exactly like in the business arena, military campaigns require a great deal of
planning. However, what the military keenly emphasizes is the adaptability to
change direction on demand and reacting to ever-shifting conditions. Nowhere is
adaptability more needed than in the military, where soldiers have very little choice
but to be flexible.
This “adjust and adapt” flexibility is highly desired in the business world, predominantly for the high-tech industry where priorities change rapidly. Given the pace of modern life, adaptability should be embraced by all organizations, from start-ups to blue-chip conglomerates.

A New Opportunity for Veterans to Continue Serving

A New Opportunity to Continue Serving

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the sacrifices of the men and women who proudly serve our country. We are committed to helping you secure today and tomorrow. The ending of your military career can be the beginning of a rewarding one in public service.

SSA offers you the opportunity to continue serving the American people after your transition from military to civilian life. You selflessly served your country, and now we want you as part of SSA’s family. Our agency offers several career options in many diverse fields. Of all the employees we hired in fiscal year 2017, 25 percent were veterans.

We will help you prepare for your new career with SSA. Through our Veterans Employment Initiative, we provide tools, training, and information on all the employee benefits and services available to you as a new hire. You will have access to veteran-related training, reasonable accommodations, and regular contact with other veteran employees.

Veteran’s Preference is available to certain veterans who were discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions. In accordance with the Veterans’ Preference law, you may be eligible for priority placement over other eligible applicants.  In addition, you may be eligible for non-competitive selection through special hiring authorities for veterans.

Through a partnership with our agency and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veteran employees may be eligible to participate in the VA’s GI Bill On-the-Job Training program that provides a stipend, in addition to their salary, while completing on-the-job training.  Eligible disabled veterans can also gain valuable work experience to help them transition to the civilian work environment through the VA’s Nonpaid Work Experience Internship Program.

Our Veterans and Military Affairs Advisory Council serves as an advisory body to the Commissioner of Social Security, executives, and managers on veteran issues.  The council also supports our veteran employees with mentorship, support, and other services.

I invite you to consider joining our SSA family. We will welcome you with open arms and the honor and respect you deserve. For more information, please visit our Opportunities for Veterans webpage designed just for you.

Concussion Leaves The Brain Vulnerable To PTSD

There’s growing evidence that a physical injury to the brain can make people susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Studies of troops who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have found that service members who have suffered a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury are far more likely to develop PTSD, a condition that can cause flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety for years after a traumatic event.

And research on both people and animals suggests the reason is that a brain injury can disrupt circuits that normally dampen the response to a frightening event. The result is like “driving a car and the brake’s not fully functioning,” says Mingxiong Huang, a biomedical physicist at the University of California, San Diego.

Scientists have suspected a link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD for many years. But the evidence was murky until researchers began studying troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

What they found was a lot of service members like Charles Mayer, an Army sniper from San Diego who developed PTSD after finishing a deployment in Iraq.

In 2010, Mayer was on patrol in an Army Humvee near Baghdad when a roadside bomb went off. “I was unconscious for several minutes,” he says. So he found out what happened from the people who dragged him out.

The blast fractured Mayer’s spine. It also affected his memory and thinking. That became painfully clear when Mayer got out of the Army in 2012.

“Two weeks later, I started school,” he says. “And a simple math equation like 120 times 7, where I previously would do that in my head very easily, I all of a sudden couldn’t do that.”

And Mayer had a bigger problem. His time in Iraq had left him with an uncontrollable fear of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

“When I would walk down the street, I would walk away from trash piles because that’s often how they would hide IEDs,” he says. “I stayed away from large crowds.”

Mayer’s fear was not only disturbing, it was disabling. “I would get severe panic attacks to the point where I would have to go to the hospital,” he says. “I would feel like I’m actually having a heart attack.”

Eventually, Mayer went to a Veterans Affairs hospital for help. An exam confirmed that he had PTSD.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced thousands of Charles Mayers. First they got a concussion from a bomb blast. Then they got PTSD.

“We had people who were looking very miserable when they came back,” says Dewleen Baker, a psychiatrist at UCSD and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Baker kept asking herself: Was the PTSD just from the emotional trauma of combat? Or did a concussion alter the brain in a way that amplified fear and anxiety?

“I could easily diagnose the PTSD,” she says. “But I found it very, very difficult to tease apart the contribution of traumatic brain injury.”

Enlarge this image

Mayer in Iraq in 2010, where he served as a sniper and was injured in a roadside explosion.

Courtesy of Charles Mayer

So Baker and a team of researchers began studying more than 1,600 Marine and Navy service members from Camp Pendleton, in San Diego County, Calif. The service members had been assessed before deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan, and then again three months after returning.

“At one point we got this battalion that went to Helmand province in Afghanistan, and literally 50 percent of them were complaining of blast exposures and symptoms,” Baker says. “I got concerned.”

Baker had reason to worry. The study found that troops who experienced a traumatic brain injury were twice as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

But why? There was no easy way to answer that question in people. But several years ago some answers began to emerge from animal studies.

In one experiment, a team of scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles compared healthy rats with rats that had experienced a traumatic brain injury. All of the rats received a type of behavioral conditioning known to induce fear.

They found that fear response learned by the animals that had experienced a TBI was much greater than it normally would be, says Michael Fanselow, a psychology professor at UCLA and an author of the study.

Next, the team looked at cells in the amygdala, a part of the brain that takes sensory information and decides whether to be afraid. They found changes that would amplify the animal’s response to a frightening experience.

“And we think that that’s the way TBI has of increasing your susceptibility to post-traumatic stress,” Fanselow says.

If brain injuries really do change the brain’s fear circuitry, there should be some way to detect that change in people, says Baker.

So Baker teamed up with her colleague Mingxiong Huang, the biomedical physicist. Huang has been using a technology that measures electrical activity in the brain. It’s called magnetoencephalography,or MEG.

Huang and a team of researchers used MEG to scan the brains of 84 people who had experienced a brain injury. Some of the participants were service members, some were civilians.

Those scans found abnormal signals coming from the brains of people who’d had a concussion. And the location of those abnormal signals suggested that there was too much activity going on in the amygdala and not enough in an area that normally tempers emotional reactions.

The result is a brain that is “like a car with no brake,” Huang says.

Enlarge this image

After leaving the Army and starting school, Charles discovered he could no longer do simple math equations in his head.

Stuart Palley for NPR

To learn more about the brain circuitry involved in both TBI and PTSD, Dewleen Baker is expanding her earlier study of Marines. She plans to scan the brains of about 200 combat veterans, including some with both TBI and PTSD.

And Baker will have help from a researcher with a personal stake in the project: Charles Mayer, the former soldier whose college career was interrupted by PTSD.

After getting treatment, Mayer was able to finish his undergraduate degree in December. Then Mayer, who is now 30, started looking for a job that would let him study the problems that had affected his own brain.

“I looked up the psychiatrists that were doing research that I really cared about, and Dr. Baker was definitely up there,” he says. And Baker hired him.

Their research will focus on veterans. But the findings could also help identify civilians who’ve suffered a brain injury that could make them vulnerable to PTSD.