Monday, February 26, 2007

16 yrs later Operation Desert Storm Post Deployment


27 Feb 1991 should mean something.
Where is the unique medical care we earned 16 years?
after the Gulf War.

16 years later troops / veterans are still being exposed
to Southwest Asian endemic diseases. Has it improved
in finding and treating illnesses such as Leishmaniasis.

Where are the Specialized Clinicians in the VAMC's ?

The battlefield was an industrial contaminated wasteland;
in the disorder, inappropriate items were spilled along
the streets - us troops had to walk or climb over?

Sure today the VA has staff to review and collect
data of our adverse environmental exposure.
Yet, how many VAMC's have Environmental Medicine
Doctors see patients in a clinic?? How may VAMC's
have a Environmental Medicine Doctor on staff today.

Can find them 16 years later???
(excluding the WRIISC Facilities)

There are 5 major Departments in the VA that impact
the ill gulf war veteran.
[1] VAEA – the Office of Environmental Agents
[2] VHA – the Office of Health Care (doctors, PA and Nurses)
[3] VBA – the Office which regulates, grants benefits to the vet
[4] VAR&D the Office of Research and Development that
participates in clinical studies and trails.
[5] VAPA – the pubic affairs office that create communication documents, training aids, staff and patient guides, kiosk, displays in hospital lobbies.

Why 16 years later -
[1] VA EA – Environmental Agents (department)
This office created Clinical guidelines to educate the doctors and nurses.
In 1996 this booklet was 160 pages long.
Today the booklet is on 50 pages long.
Why is MORE medical information being left out today?
We are made to believe over the years that more medical data
on post deployment illnesses have not been gathered?
A C&P / EA office is supposed to have a copy of the VHA handbook around for both them and the vet.
Walk the 155 VAMC's and see how difficult it to access this information.

Why 16 years later -
[2] VHA - you can find a doctor who specializes in
Environmental Medicine or Endemic Infectious
or Travel Medicine (155 VAMC's) today - maybe 10 doctors.
So today in rare if a vet can be evaluated for these complaints. -
Therefore it is Rare a diagnoses of theses illnesses given.
Jagmedic has quoted on many situations of "Don’t Look, Don’t Find".

Why 16 years later -
[3] VA C&P – adjudicators trained to Rate
(1) GW of gulf war illness;
(2) Undiagnosed multi sympthom; illnesses.
1997 there were 4 Regional Offices which focus on these (claims) today they are gone. Is the Staff being discourage from acknowledge these ISSUES, Jagmedic asks? Of course, the wait for adjudication of a claim will be 2 years long or more.

Why 16 years later -
[4] VA Research –
Studies at VAMC's yet the information is difficult for the patient / veteran to get, to volunteer for participation.
This information is not posted in the Clinics themselves anymore.
Why doesn’t the VA Secretary act on ANY of the VA-RAC's many study recommendations every year?

[5] Why 16 years later,
VA Office of Public Affairs has created NO
Graphic Information in the FRONT lobbies of all VAMC's -
It fails to Enforce posting the VA-RAC-GWI information;
It fails to Enforce posting a list the few GW studies ongoing around America.

Why must a vet ask at least 3 VAMC staff members or go 3 floors up
In the rear of the facility to access the above information.
Hidden – isn’t it?

This is why 16 years later ill Gulf War and other era vets returning from Middle East deployments are disappointed TODAY.

Yes, 27 Feb 1991 is the end of Operations of Desert Storm and yet is the beginning of the fight for our appropriate and unique services from the Department of Veterans Affairs. We earned our benefits, and as combat veterans we shouldn’t have to fight twice for them.

Venus Hammack

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Veteran participation in Clinical Trails

I have used clinical trails as my advantage;
get documentation for my issues/symptoms
of my undiagnosed illnesses.

As of this date I have been part of 3 study/trials.
I took the data from these studies (lab tests, mri, xrays)
Which are unusual procedures (expensive)
done by civilian universities and sometimes-in
partnership with VA or DOD funding to ask some
Medical question. To win my VA C&P and SSDI claim.

Yet while being examined in the STUDY I could
Demonstration how my complaints/ symptoms
adversely impact my life.

It was not easy for me to got to these STUDIES,
often it was far from my home And transportation
fees were not included. So I had to ask VA headquarters
or VSO's or go to local media to get me to the
STUDY once accepted.

There are other issues, which held me back for
a while from seeking this kind of medical help.
There is a book I had to read before and educate
my self, to handle my fears.
See Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical
Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial
Times to the Present 512p. illus. (0-385-50993-0).

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive
history of medical experimentation on African Americans.
Starting with the earliest encounters between black
Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist
pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both
slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments
conducted without their knowledge—a tradition
that continues today within some black populations.

It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to
grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and
dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it
shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social
Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation
and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the
view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed,
and unfit for adult responsibilities.

Shocking new details about the government's notorious
Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar,
less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the
government, the armed forces, prisons, and private

FEAR is false information appearing real.
This is what I conquered... what I did
battle with, I hope this information can give you strength.

Can get feedback others who took part in a STUDY.
Venus Hammack of PGEV