Quil Lawrence http://nhpr.org en Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders http://nhpr.org/post/veterans-kick-prescription-pill-habit-against-doctors-orders For many people with post-traumatic stress disorder, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/16/144672190/ending-nightmares-caused-by-ptsd">sleeping can return you to the worst place</a> you've ever been, at the worst possible moment.<p>"I always see his face," says Will, who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army. "And in my dreams it's the same thing. ... I always walk over to him, and instead of this Afghani kid that's laying there, it's my little brother."<p>The memory that triggers Will's nightmare happened during his tour in Afghanistan. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:29:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 51793 at http://nhpr.org Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers http://nhpr.org/post/growing-number-veterans-struggles-quit-powerful-painkillers There are antlers everywhere on the walls of Bryan and Mike McDonel's place near Pine Bluff, Ark. The house is hardly big enough for all their hunting trophies. Both are good shots with their hunting bows; Bryan and Mike, his father, served in the Arkansas National Guard and deployed together to Iraq, twice.<p>The McDonel family has served in the military for generations. But Bryan, 35, is out of the service now. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:33:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 51710 at http://nhpr.org A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers Obama To Nominate Ex-Procter & Gamble Chief To Head VA http://nhpr.org/post/obama-nominate-ex-procter-gamble-chief-head-va Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And let's hear more about that nomination that Cokie just mentioned. Bob McDonald was CEO of Procter & Gamble, and now if confirmed by the Senate, he'll be running the Department of Veterans Affairs. The White House says that agency is under-resourced and is suffering from a, quote, "corrosive culture that led staff to fake their reports about how long veterans are waiting to get health care." Here to talk to us about that more, NPR veterans correspondent Quil Lawrence. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:06:51 +0000 Quil Lawrence 51064 at http://nhpr.org To Treat PTSD, Veterans Have A Vast Array Of Ineffective Solutions http://nhpr.org/post/treat-ptsd-veterans-have-vast-array-ineffective-solutions Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A new study raises questions about the effectiveness of mental health care for veterans. Researchers found that neither the VA nor the Pentagon tracks the success of treatment for PTSD. The Pentagon sponsored this study, which was conducted by the Institute of Medicine. The results follow the scandal over waiting times at VA hospitals and they add a new layer to concerns about veterans' health care. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 50592 at http://nhpr.org Overburdened VA Shelves Ad Campaign To Attract More Veterans http://nhpr.org/post/overburdened-va-shelves-ad-campaign-attract-more-veterans Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>A recent poll shows only one in five Americans has confidence in the care veterans get in the VA - not surprising given the recent scandals about how long veterans have to wait for a doctors appointment. Turns out, that combination of delay in an overloaded system and the scandal surrounding it has caused the department to change the message it's sending to veterans which has left one expensive ad campaign sitting on the shelf at the VA. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 50345 at http://nhpr.org Senate Version Adds Costs To VA Overhaul Measure http://nhpr.org/post/senate-version-adds-costs-va-overhaul-measure The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. The measure is close enough to a version already passed by the House that it could reach the president's desk soon. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:12:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 50089 at http://nhpr.org In A Rare Act Of Bipartisan Speed, Senate Passes VA Reforms http://nhpr.org/post/rare-act-bipartisan-speed-senate-passes-va-reforms The Senate has passed a bill to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. Like a similar bill in the House, the Senate bill gives veterans the option of seeking private care if the VA takes too long and makes it easier to fire VA employees. But the Senate version also spends a lot more money on doctors and hospitals than the House version. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 50079 at http://nhpr.org Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues http://nhpr.org/post/audit-reveals-vast-scale-va-waitlist-issues Before former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down, he ordered an audit of the VA system, hoping to find how many hospitals were lying about wait times. The audit found that approximately 100,000 veterans are waiting too long for care at the VA. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49932 at http://nhpr.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape http://nhpr.org/post/va-health-cares-chronic-ailments-long-waits-and-red-tape More than 2.5 million veterans served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they qualify for health care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:36:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49699 at http://nhpr.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In http://nhpr.org/post/can-civilian-health-care-help-fix-va-congress-weighs Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/05/30/317372486/embattled-veterans-affairs-secretary-eric-shinseki-resigns">resignation</a> of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.<p>Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49648 at http://nhpr.org Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service http://nhpr.org/post/shinsekis-apology-punctuates-long-career-service Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for lengthy waits at VA facilities, saying he's ousting the leaders of a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after stories about delays in care there. Shinseki's decision to resign marks a muddy end to an illustrious career, which began when he joined the Army nearly five decades ago. Fri, 30 May 2014 20:47:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49468 at http://nhpr.org Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns http://nhpr.org/post/embattled-veterans-affairs-secretary-eric-shinseki-resigns Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Good morning, let's hear more now about the resignation of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President Obama says he accepted that resignation a short time ago at the White House. He had just finished making a statement after the two men held a short private meeting. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:57:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49437 at http://nhpr.org VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays http://nhpr.org/post/va-secretary-apologizes-indefensible-treatment-delays Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Eric Shinseki, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, meets this hour with President Obama at the White House. Now, earlier today, Shinseki spoke at a conference on homeless veterans, and addressed what he called the elephant in the room. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:18:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49435 at http://nhpr.org Report Finds Systemic Problems With VA Wait Lists http://nhpr.org/post/report-finds-systemic-problems-va-wait-lists Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>A systemic problem nationwide - that's how the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs has described the problem of falsified wait times at VA medical centers. At one facility in Phoenix, veterans waited on average 115 days for an appointment.<p>Today's report confirms some of the allegations that have led many to call for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. Here to tell us more about this initial report is NPR's Quil Lawrence. And, Quil, 115 days, that's a very long time to wait for an appointment. Wed, 28 May 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 49323 at http://nhpr.org VA's Health System: Some Love It, Some Hate It http://nhpr.org/post/vas-health-system-some-love-it-some-hate-it Nearly 30 VA facilities are accused of falsifying statistics on how long veterans must wait for care. President Obama said the problems go back decades, but most veterans are satisfied with the care. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 48938 at http://nhpr.org