Tuesday, December 11, 2018

White House VA "Advisor" had nothing to do?

‘There were times I didn’t have a lot to do.’ Trump loyalist at VA forced out after collecting pay but doing little work

Washington Post
By Lisa Rein and
Josh Dawsey
December 11, 2018

The Trump administration has forced out a senior White House political appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs who spent months on the federal payroll doing little to no work.
Peter O'Rourke, who served as VA’s acting secretary for several months this year, was asked to resign from the administration last week. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Peter O’Rourke’s departure marks an unceremonious fall for a Trump loyalist once seen as a rising star at VA where he nonetheless had a rocky tenure, first leading a high-profile office handling whistleblower complaints, next as chief of staff and then, for two months, as the agency’s acting secretary.

Since August he has held the nebulous role of senior adviser, with an uncertain portfolio and senior executive salary as high as $161,000. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie asked for his resignation Friday.

O’Rourke said in an interview that he remains “very supportive of the president and the agenda of the Trump administration” and would like to rejoin the administration.
read more here

Still think that the VA is bad for veterans?

Still think that the VA is bad for veterans?

For all the people who say that sending veterans into the civilian healthcare system is a good idea, remember this sample of what you do not read about as much as you complaints against the VA.

Oh, by the way, since when is it OK to forget that veterans pre-paid for their healthcare WHEN THEY DECIDED TO DIE IF NECESSARY FOR THIS COUNTRY?

10 latest healthcare industry lawsuits, settlements
Becker's Hospital Review
Written by Ayla Ellison
December 10, 2018

From hospitals suing HHS for finalizing a site-neutral payment policy to a nurse pleading guilty in a telemedicine fraud scheme, here are the latest healthcare industry lawsuits and settlements making headlines.

1. Hospitals sue HHS over site-neutral payment policy
The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges and three hospitals sued HHS Dec. 4 for finalizing a policy that will cut Medicare payments for hospital outpatient clinic visits.

2. BCBS of Texas beats physician lawsuit alleging ER underpayments
A lawsuit filed by 49 physician groups against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas was dismissed Dec. 3.

3. Walmart, 3 pharma companies sued over impure drugs
Four companies — Walmart, Aurobindo Pharma, ScieGen Pharmaceuticals and Westminster Pharmaceuticals — were hit with a lawsuit alleging they contributed to the sale and production of impure drugs.

4. Medtronic resolves medical device probes for $50.9M: 5 things to know
Medtronic will pay $50.9 million to resolve three U.S. Justice Department probes. The payments settle allegations that companies it now owns conducted improper medical device marketing, paid illegal kickbacks to hospitals and participated in other physician-engagement practices.

5. Tennessee nurse pleads guilty in $65.7M telemedicine fraud scheme
A nurse practitioner pleaded guilty Nov. 27 to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for her role in a $65.7 million scheme that involved prescribing expensive compounded medications to Tricare beneficiaries.

6. Indiana medical company hit with first multistate HIPAA lawsuit: 7 things to know
Attorneys general from 12 states united to sue an Indiana medical company over a 2015 data breach.

7. 7 New York hospitals reach settlement, agree to stop improper billing of rape survivors
Seven New York hospitals agreed to pay restitution to rape survivors and revise billing procedures as part of a legal settlement.

8. Chicago physician convicted of billing fraud
A Chicago physician was convicted of billing insurance companies for nonexistent chiropractic manipulations.

9. Bristol-Myers Squibb must answer lawsuit claiming it knowingly underpaid Medicaid
A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that Bristol-Myers Squibb must face a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging the drugmaker knowingly underpaid rebates it owed to state Medicaid programs.

10. Scientologist physician sues North Dakota hospital over religious discrimination
A former Grand Forks, N.D.-based Altru Health System physician filed a lawsuit against the hospital Nov. 20, claiming the hospital system discriminated against him because he is a Scientologist.
read more here

U.S. veterans' hospitals often better than nearby alternatives

By Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) - - U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals may provide better quality care than other hospitals in many American communities, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers looked at 121 regional health care markets with at least one VA hospital and one non-VA facility. Altogether they assessed 135 VA hospitals and 2,988 non-VA hospitals using Hospital Compare, a public database that ranks hospitals on quality measures like mortality rates for common diseases and preventable complications.

"...they held hands. He raised a gun to his chest and killed himself."

"Meredith said she and her husband went to their primary care physician and asked for a referral to another pain clinic. They were told it would take a minimum of six weeks."

"That was too much for Lawrence. In March, on the day of his next medical appointment, when his painkiller dosage was to be reduced again, he instead went to a nearby park with his wife. And on the very spot where they renewed their wedding vows just two years earlier, they held hands. He raised a gun to his chest and killed himself."

Go here to read the rest of this story...then maybe you'll understand how taking away pain medicine can be hazardous to our lives.

As doctors taper or end opioid prescriptions, many patients driven to despair, suicide

I have not had to take pain medicine for a long time, since the shots into my spine worked, but I remember what life was like in that kind of pain and no hope of it going away. The only thing that allowed me to keep going to work, was the medication to take some of the pain away.

If you take a knee to National Anthem, you may want to think again

Children of fallen service members were sent off with a crowd at the airport singing the National Anthem. Yet we still have people in this country who think protesting during the anthem is OK and sends a message. Did they ever wonder what kind of message they were delivering?

"But when they announced them over the loud speaker and they lined up to board the plane the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute. Most every person standing around, myself included was bawling at the sight of these kids and spouses who have paid so great a price for our country. To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling. 
The vacations for the Gold Star families were coordinated by the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express Program. According to a press release provided by the organization, the foundation will "host a five-day experience for 1,722 children of the fallen and their surviving parent or guardian. This therapeutic retreat will offer fun and inspiring programs, encouraging critical peer-to-peer support for these families." read more here from FOX
These children remember the flag that was placed over their parent's coffin. The one that folded and placed into their other parent's hands and then held tightly in their arms. They remember the flag that is on display in a case next to the picture of the parent they will never be held by again.

Much like all the following, the message they receive from the protestors is not as harmless as the protestors claim.

Boy from iconic wartime photo pays it forward at Christmas

'Taps' for Canadensis soldier: Military funeral honors Monroe's first death in Afghanistan war - News - poconorecord.com - Stroudsburg, PA

Danielle Huggins, widow of Army Staff Sgt. Jamie L. Huggins 

You can search for more images in case you are still wondering what the flag means to them...because if you take a knee the next time during the Anthem, they'll know what it means to you.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Heritage Foundation experts missed spiritual experts and a lot more

Considering the "experts" could not even get this right... not hard to guess why they did not know that groups like Point Man International Ministries had been doing exactly this work since 1984!

Glickstein highlighted the way government efforts have failed—and offered a possible solution. He said that in the last 10 years, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have together run 1,100 different programs addressing PTSD and veteran suicide, at enormous expense. During that time, the average of 21 veteran suicides per day has not changed.
Point Man International Ministries proved this worked back in 1984 and has been doing it ever since. So what else did these "experts" miss?

What Faith-Based Efforts Can Do to Help Prevent Veteran Suicide

The Daily Signal
Steven Bucci
December 10, 2018

I don’t often quote sources from The New York Times, but in mid-November, David Brooks wrote a piece called “Fighting the Spiritual Void.” He stated without equivocation that “[t]rauma is a moral and spiritual issue as much as a psychological or chemical one.”

He could not be more correct.

The Heritage Foundation convened a panel to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder and veteran suicide from the faith angle. The panel was chaired by myself, a 30-year veteran of the Army Special Forces, and the members included Richard Glickstein, an advocate working to move the government to appropriately address the crisis; Dr. David LeMay, a medical doctor who specializes in rehabilitation; and Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, an active-duty Air Force special operator, who also leads a veterans service organization called Shield of Faith Missions.

The panel laid out quite a story.
read more here

Spiritual Health and Military Suicide Prevention

First Responder trying to respond to themselves in battle against PTSD

First responders and PTSD: Stressed into silence

Author: WHAS Staff
December 10, 2018
Our first responders answer the calls on our worst days. Over time, their exposure to the stresses of the job and traumatic events can take a toll on their mental health. But few will openly talk about it. There's a stigma that comes with this discussion and we're trying to break it.

One of the biggest dangers our first responders face today is Post Traumatic Stress, more often referred to as PTSD.
First responders are often ignored and under-appreciated and for many who struggle - they struggle in silence. They'll tell you there is a fear that asking for help is a sign of 'weakness.' It's not.
Join us next week (December 17th - 21st) as we investigate and attempt to break that stigma. We look to uncover institutional problems and show innovative solutions to help those suffering from PTSD.

Be sure to watch our Battle After the Blaze coverage where we looked into firefighters across Kentuckiana that were facing a health threat that surfaced years after fighting fires and saving lives.
read more here

Veteran with PTSD Service Dog Needs Good Lawyer!

PTSD veteran claims unfair job termination

Bob Hallmark
December 9, 2018
"They had asked for proof that Ace was a service dog which we provided and provided again. Then I got an email saying I was terminated. No explanation," Jennifer says.

An East Texas woman, an army veteran who suffers PTSD, continues to struggle in a battle against what she says was an unfair termination from the company she worked for.

The controversy swirls around whether she was able to bring her service dog to work with her.

Jennifer Mcatee Willis of Henderson has been out of work for a month now.

In November after Willis had come back from her honeymoon, and informed her employer where she had worked for 3 years that she would start bringing her service dog 'Ace' to work with her. But that's when she says the trouble started.

"It's disturbed me in a lot of ways, the stress has gotten worse and I have nightmares almost every night," she says.

In a strange sequence, Jennifer was first notified by the company she worked for that if she brought 'Ace' to work with her, she would be terminated. After our initial story aired, she was notified she was still and employee.
read more here

Police Officer saved suicidal woman by restoring hope

'There's hope for tomorrow,' DNR officer tells woman contemplating suicide on MacArthur Bridge

Jennifer Wilson
December 9, 2018
"There's hope for tomorrow," he assured the woman. "It might be bad right now, but there's hope for tomorrow to be better."

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A DNR conservation officer is a hero after saving a young woman's life on Friday. It happened on the MacArthur Bridge, which connects Detroit to Belle Isle.

A 25-year-old woman in distress was saved by an officer who was there when she needed him the most.

Between the parties and the presents, we often focus on the joy and fun of the holidays, but there are a lot of people who really struggle this time of year.

Everywhere you look, messages of good cheer and hope abound but what you see doesn't always reflect what you feel.

"Holiday seasons are hard," says Ben Lasher, a conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources. "A lot of people have strong feelings, good or bad, and this young lady was having a hard time. And I was able to be in the right place at the right time."
read more here

If you wake up and don't want to smileIf it takes just a little whileOpen your eyes and look at the dayYou'll see things in a different wayDon't stop thinking about tomorrowDon't stop, it'll soon be hereIt'll be, better than beforeYesterday's gone, yesterday's goneWhy not think about times to come?And not about the things that you've doneIf your life was bad to youJust think what tomorrow will doDon't stop thinking about tomorrowDon't stop, it'll soon be hereIt'll be, better than before,Yesterday's gone, yesterday's goneAll I want is to see you smileIf it takes just a little whileI know you don't believe that it's trueI never meant any harm to youDon't stop thinking about tomorrowDon't stop, it'll soon be hereIt'll be, better than before,Yesterday's gone, yesterday's goneDon't stop thinking about tomorrowDon't stop, it'll soon be hereIt'll be, better than beforeYesterday's gone, yesterday's goneOoh, don't you look backOoh, don't you look backOoh, don't you look backOoh, don't you look backSongwriters: Christine McVieDon't Stop lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Last Man Planned to Survive

The Last Man

Hayden Christensen in Trailer for Sci-Fi Action Thriller 'The Last Man'
by Alex Billington
December 9, 2018

Kurt Matheson (Hayden Christensen) is a war veteran with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) who perceives that the end of the world is coming. After establishing a relationship with a dubious Messiah (Harvey Keitel), he leaves his normal life and begins the construction of a shelter underground, training himself, in an extreme way, at the cost of losing everything and making people believe he is insane. When he also believes it, something extraordinary happens.

The Last Man is directed by filmmaker Rodrigo H. Vila, making his feature directorial debut after many docs and TV shows previously, including The Hero of Two Sisters Mountain, Boca Juniors 3D: The Movie, and Tango in Paris, Memories of Astor Piazzolla. The screenplay is written by Rodrigo H. Vila and Gustavo Lencina, with collaboration from Dan Bush. This hasn't premiered at any film festivals before this release as far as we know. Lionsgate will debut Vila's The Last Man in select US theaters + on VOD starting January 18th, 2019 early next year. Is anyone interested? The official trailer for The Last Man, a new sci-fi/action film starring Hayden Christensen and Harvey Keitel.

Jacksonville Marine share God's love one cup at a time

Jacksonville Marine opens coffee shop catered to veterans transitioning home

Action News
By: Bridgette Matter
December 8, 2018
Kelloway’s faith in God set him on a path of purpose, he began serving coffee to homeless on a Jacksonville street corner. He then set out on a mission, to start his own coffee shop, and help other veterans struggling just like he had.

A local veteran is giving back to the community by helping transition other veterans into civilian life.

Jason Kelloway is the owner of Social Grounds Coffee Company in Springfield at 1712 Main St. N., Jacksonville, Florida 32206

Before pouring his heart into the business, Kelloway had to rebuild himself.

The Marine Corps veteran found himself in a downward spiral after his time in the service.

“There was one point in my life, I didn’t think I could even take care of myself, I had nothing, I lost everything, I really had to work on me.”

At one point, homeless in Jacksonville for two years, living out of his car, he even attempted suicide.
read more here