Action Corps Weekly

 January 22, 2016

In This Issue:

1. Senate Hearing on MyVA Transformation Plan

2. Authorization to Build Medical Facilities

3. TRICARE Nurse Advice Line

4. Are You Registered To Vote?

5. Two Korean War MIAs Identified

Senate Hearing on MyVA Transformation Plan: On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to discuss Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald’s plan to transform VA into a high performance organization. In his testimony, Secretary McDonald outlined 12 breakthrough priorities for 2016, which focus on improving veteran experience, improving employee experience, improving support services, establishing a culture of continuous improvement, and enhancing strategic partnership. Senior Legislative Associate Carlos Fuentes submitted testimony offering the VFW’s support for many of the MyVA programs, and provided suggestions to improve others. To read the VFW’s testimony or view a video of the hearing, visit: http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings/vas-transformation-strategy-examining-the-plan-to-modernize-va.

Authorization to Build Medical Facilities: On Thursday, the Senate passed the “Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs Seismic Safety and Construction Authorization Act.” This bill will allow VA to begin several major construction projects that were funded in the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.” Here is a list of the projects that were authorized:

-- Seismic corrections to buildings in San Francisco, Ca.;

-- Seismic corrections to facilities at the medical center in West Los Angeles, Ca.;

-- Seismic corrections to the mental health and community living center in Long Beach,

   Ca.;

-- Construction of an outpatient clinic, administrative space, cemetery, and columbarium in        

   Alameda, Ca.;

-- Realignment of medical facilities in Livermore, Ca.;

-- Construction of a medical center in Louisville, Ky.;

-- Construction of a replacement community living center in Perry Point, Md.; and

-- Seismic corrections and other renovations to several buildings and construction of a specialty    

   care building in American Lake,Wa.

We encourage the House to quickly pass this legislation so VA can begin closing these access and safety gaps for veterans to receive care more quickly and in a safe environment.

3. TRICARE Nurse Advice Line: TRICARE has established a Nurse Advice Line (NAL) that is available at no cost to TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. The NAL is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The NAL has health care professionals on staff ready and able to answer urgent care questions, give health care advice, provide assistance locating a doctor, and schedule next-day appointments at military hospitals and clinics. More than half of the calls to the NAL are related to pediatric health concerns, which are routed to the NAL’s experienced team of pediatric registered nurses. The NAL may also answer questions about high fevers, allergic reactions, rashes, and/or accidents, and advise you on the clinically appropriate level of care you should seek for your child. To learn more about the NAL, visit: http://www.tricare.mil/ContactUs/CallUs/NAL.aspx.

4. Are You Registered To Vote? Every election is important, but many people may not be properly registered to vote. If you have moved, changed your name, changed party affiliation or never registered before, you could be blocked from voting on the day of your primary, caucus or the general election. For more information on registering to vote, visit: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote.

5. Two Korean War MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of two soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Returning home for burial with full military honors on a date and location to be determined are:

-- Army Pfc. Roy A. Henderson, 18, of Newark, Ohio, was declared MIA in North Korea on July 27, 1950. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

-- Army Cpl. Kenneth R. Stuck, 24, of Hummelstown, Pa., was declared MIA in North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. He was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.

To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

As always, we want to hear your advocacy stories. To share your stories or photos with us, simply email them directly to vfwac@vfw.org.