veterans

Peter Biello / NHPR

The VA's oversight agency is criticizing the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. for a number of failures to follow standard hospital procedures and ensure patient safety.

In a report issued by the Office of Inspector General Tuesday, investigators say they could not gain reasonable assurance that the hospital provides safe moderate sedation or anticoagulation care. It also listed several other issues pertaining to oversight and data collection.

Michael Brindley/NHPR

The fifth and final "Welcome Home" ceremony for Vietnam Veterans will take place Saturday in Hudson. The event is hosted by the New Hampshire National Guard. 

When troops came back from fighting in Vietnam, they weren't universally welcomed. In some cases, they were actually scorned by those who opposed the war.

Now, however, Vietnam veterans are more widely recognized as having served their country honorably. More than a third of New Hampshire's veterans served during the Vietnam era.

JeffOnWire / Flickr

The Department of Veterans Affairs says a program that offers veterans private-sector health care will run out of money much sooner than expected.

VA Secretary David Shulkin made the disclosure about the Veterans Choice Program June 7th at a Senate hearing.

He cites a shortfall of more than $1 billion due to increased demand from veterans for care outside the VA, telling Senators that March, April and May have been extra busy for Choice.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Four panelists -- three of them veterans -- answered questions about their personal experiences navigating gender and sexuality issues at a public discussion at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont on Wednesday.

The event was part of a broader effort by the VA to let veterans know they can be honest about their gender and sexuality and still access medical care within the VA system.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The New Hampshire House Veterans Caucus is being revived after several years of dormancy.

Republican Rep. Sean Morrison is leading its revival, saying the state needs to take better care of its veterans.

Morrison will serve as chairman of the caucus, which counts more than 100 members, including veterans, their family members, and those concerned about veterans' issues.

Morrison says the caucus will work to educate legislators on veterans' issues and connect veterans with resources available to them.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center is getting funding to build an outpatient pain rehab program.

The grant for $378,252 is from the New England VA regional office, VISN 1, and will be used to hire a nurse practitioner, a clinical psychologist, and an RN.

In a statement, Medical Center director Danielle Ocker says veterans deserve to return home and to "the greatest extent possible enjoy a pain-free, and high-quality life."

Emily Corwin / NHPR

It took nearly thirty minutes to read all 704 veterans’ names.  These were not the few who died in service, but the many who died over the past year throughout New Hampshire.  When Jerome Forte’s name was called, Dennie Forte stood and walked to the front of the hall at Manchester’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center. There, Democratic U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan handed her a rose. The ritual would repeat itself hundreds of times that morning.  

Peter J. Booras Museum at the Cathedral of the Pines

For three years, the Peter J. Booras Museum at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge has been closed for renovation. The museum contains artifacts from the armed services and it held a grand reopening on Saturday. Don Upton is chairman of the Board of Trustees, and he says he worked hard to reopen the museum. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.  

Who was Peter J. Booras?

Ben Henry

Healthcare professionals on Friday expressed concerns to Senator Jeanne Shaheen that healthcare reform will hurt New Hampshire's veterans.

The panel of experts and veterans said the American Health Care Act would weaken support veterans receive for physical disabilities, PTSD, and substance abuse treatment. Cutting funds now will only lead to costlier treatments down the road, panelists worried. 

In light of these concerns, Shaheen said Congress shouldn’t try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but fix the parts that aren’t working.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The New Hampshire State Veterans Advisory Committee is asking Congress to permanently fund the Veterans Choice Program.

This program allows veterans to receive health care from their local hospitals. Its funding is expected to end later this year.

Veterans have complained about long waits for care, which the program was supposed to remedy, and civilian doctors have complained about not getting timely payments for care given to Veterans Choice patients.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

 

  A first-of-its-kind program aimed at connecting veterans with mental health treatment and other resources in New Hampshire is raising lots of questions, and that's just what it set out to do.

Under the state's Military Liaison Initiative, all 10 community mental health centers have a staff member each to direct veterans, military service members and their families to available services.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Officials in Nashua say homelessness among military veterans in the greater Nashua area has been effectively ended.

Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess joined Senator Maggie Hassan and other officials in making the announcement Friday in Nashua at Harbor Homes, a non-profit that has been central to the efforts of several organizations in the region working to end homelessness.

Peter Biello / NHPR

During America’s Revolutionary War, a woman named Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army. She served 17 months before being wounded and honorably discharged. Today she has become a symbol of the bravery women have shown in service to our country, and she’s now the namesake of the Deborah Sampson Act, which is legislation designed to addresses gender disparities at VA hospitals. New Hampshire democratic Senator Maggie Hassan co-introduced the legislation. She spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

It's a deceptively simple question: "Have you or a family member ever served in the military?" The state launched a program two years ago to get doctors, police officers, educators, and others to ask that question.

The aim was to identify people who qualify for veterans benefits. The results have been, for many people, surprising.

Voters in many New Hampshire communities will decide during next Tuesday’s Town Meeting whether to expand a property tax credit offered to veterans.

A state law passed last year gives communities the option of offering a tax credit of up to five hundred dollars to all veterans with at least ninety days of active service.

Previously, only veterans who served during wartime were eligible.

Margaret Byrnes is a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Municipal Association, and says expanding the tax credit would mean a drop in revenue for town budgets.

Scott Webb / Unsplash

The Nashua Board of Alderman is looking at a proposed ordinance that would give veterans in the city a $500 property tax credit. 

Under this ordinance, veterans who had served at least 90 days of active service would be eligible. A previous tax credit in the city was limited to veterans who served only in certain wars or conflicts. 

It's unclear how many veterans in Nashua would be eligible. The city estimates the credit would cost $670,000. Nashua Alderman Ben Clemmons says he supports the proposal. 

Courtesy of Debbie Delorey

Nearly five years ago, a veteran in New Hampshire’s North Country died while waiting for an appointment through the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The hospital says “no significant delay” contributed to his death, but the man’s widow disagrees, and questions remain about the process the hospital used to hold itself accountable.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Congresswoman Annie Kuster says the government hasn't been able to keep its promise to provide military veterans with their health care under all circumstances.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion in Berlin Friday, Kuster says the U.S. should keep that promise, but its not realistic to have Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in every location.

Her comments came in response to a complaint about the VA's closing of two part-time clinics in Berlin and Colebrook.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is asking the state's military veterans to present to legislators a clear vision of how to address the problems they face in New Hampshire.

At a meeting of the State Veterans Advisory Committee Tuesday night, Sununu said if veterans have an issue they'd like the legislature to address, they should write a short, clear statement for legislators to read.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to scrap its current electronic health record system and adopt a commercial system.

Right now the VA uses a system called VistA, which the VA developed for itself. The VA has been trying for years to make it work seamlessly with the system used by the Department of Defense. That effort so far has failed. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. experienced one of the worst budget deficits among New England VA hospitals last year.

The hospital needed an additional $8.5 million to meet expenses at the end of the last fiscal year,  roughly four percent of its total budget. The VA regional office in Massachusetts, known as VISN 1, provided that funding.

The White River Junction, Vt. VA hospital serves more than 26,000 veterans in Coos, Grafton, Sullivan and Cheshire Counties in New Hampshire as well as the entire state of Vermont.

All members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation have signed on to a letter to President Trump demanding that he exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs from his executive order freezing federal hiring.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, all Democrats, say a hiring freeze at the VA will delay veterans’ access to health care and resolution of their disability claims.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury have become the signature ailments among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New Hampshire Legislative Commission on PTSD and TBI released a report in 2014 that looked at how many veterans in the state had these injuries and whether they felt they were getting the help they needed.

ronmerk / Morguefile

Veterans in New Hampshire are being encouraged to apply for one of 60 entry level positions on the Seacoast.

TE Subcom in Newington is encouraging veterans, as well as women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, to apply for the jobs.

The workers would help manufacture cable that would be embedded on the ocean floor. No experience is necessary and training would be provided. Pay is expected to be more than $14 an hour.

The White River Junction, Vermont VA Medical Center is getting a Fisher House.

A Fisher House is a place families and caregivers of veterans can stay while veterans and active duty military members receive treatment at the hospital.

The hospital in White River Junction is one of 14 new VA facilities to receive a Fisher House to help care for veterans, their family members and caregivers.

The White River Junction house will be built on the White River Junction VA Medical Center campus within walking distance of the medical center. 

Image from the NH Humanities Troy to Baghdad program

This show originally aired on November 22, 2016.

Peter Biello / NHPR

For military veterans living in northern New Hampshire, accessing medical care from the Veterans Health Administration can be a challenge. Veterans, many of them elderly, often travel long distances to get to VA clinics scattered throughout Coos and Grafton Counties. And it’s an even longer drive to White River Junction, Vermont, which is the only full-service VA hospital nearby.

VA officials from White River Junction hosted two town hall meetings in the North Country Monday to discuss a new proposal that attempts to provide care for veterans closer to home.

Courtesy / Veterans Administration

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. has scheduled two town hall meetings next week in New Hampshire’s North Country to discuss the closing of facilities in Colebrook and Berlin that offer primary care and lab services to veterans.

Ginger Munson of Bedford has a rare perspective on being part of a military family. She is a veteran herself and her husband, George, serves in the N.H. Army National Guard. They met when they were both serving in Korea. She spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about life in a military family.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Dominiq Russell is a former airman from Milford, New Hampshire. He’s twenty six years old. And his story begins when he was twenty-one, in Las Vegas.

"I was the back seat passenger in a Honda Civic that was struck by an F-150 going 60 miles per hour," he says.

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