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Soon, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF, Task Force) will post for public comment a draft research plan on interventions to prevent opioid use disorder on our Web site. You are receiving this email because you and members of your organization may wish to provide feedback on this draft research plan and receive updates on this topic. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to sign up for the USPSTF email list to get alerts on public comment opportunities on this and other Task Force topics. Alerts will also be sent when final materials are posted or published, including the release of final recommendation statements. Signing up for the USPSTF email list ensures that you never miss a Task Force topic update.
Task Force recommendations are improved when groups who are knowledgeable about particular topics share their expertise. We solicit outside input to ensure that final recommendations are relevant and useful to health professionals, patients, and family members.

To learn more about the Task Force, visit the About the USPSTF page of our Web site. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/about-the-uspstf

Together, we can work to improve the health of all Americans.

Sincerely,
Sue Curry, Ph.D.
Chair, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Soon, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF, Task Force) will post for public comment a draft research plan on interventions to prevent opioid use disorder on our Web site. You are receiving this email because you and members of your organization may wish to provide feedback on this draft research plan and receive updates on this topic. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to sign up for the USPSTF email list to get alerts on public comment opportunities on this and other Task Force topics. Alerts will also be sent when final materials are posted or published, including the release of final recommendation statements. Signing up for the USPSTF email list ensures that you never miss a Task Force topic update.
Task Force recommendations are improved when groups who are knowledgeable about particular topics share their expertise. We solicit outside input to ensure that final recommendations are relevant and useful to health professionals, patients, and family members.

To learn more about the Task Force, visit the About the USPSTF page of our Web site. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/about-the-uspstf

Together, we can work to improve the health of all Americans.

Sincerely,
Sue Curry, Ph.D.
Chair, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

A new change contained in the 2019 defense bill now allows 100 percent disabled veterans to travel Space-Available aboard military and military-contract flights within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories. According to an article in Military.com, the disabled veterans must possess a Defense Department ID Card (DD Form 2765) in order to not only fly Space-A but to access military installations. The rule change halfway accomplishes Resolution 419 from the 112th VFW National Convention; only halfway because dependents are not eligible to accompany them. The article also states disabled vets have limited destinations, whereas other Category 6 travelers (military retirees) have worldwide eligibility. That discrepancy will be addressed.

The VFW has worked with congressional leadership in the House and Senate to reintroduce and work toward quick passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which would restore benefits to Blue Water Navy veterans and expand benefits for Korean DMZ and Thailand veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange. Stay tuned to the VFW Action Corps Weekly for updates on this important bill.

Read House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano’s statement on reintroduction.
Chairman Takano Introduces Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019
Jan 8, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019:
“The 116th Congress has officially been sworn-in, and thousands of veterans are still waiting for their government to deliver on its promise and grant them the benefits they have earned. The fact that politics got in the way of our duty to care for veterans affected by toxic exposure is a disservice to the 90,000 Navy veterans who served in the coastal waters of Vietnam, and an insult to all veterans who served with the expectation that their country would care for them if they were wounded while serving.

“We must get to work and finally secure the benefits our Blue Water Navy veterans earned over 40 years ago. As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to ensure this remains a top priority for this new Congress. It is time we right this wrong.
“It is up to Congress to ensure that we repay our debt to the veterans of this country by upholding our responsibility to provide treatment and care for injuries and illnesses sustained while they served.”

Read Ranking Member Phil Roe’s statement.
Ranking Member Roe Introduces the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019

Washington, January 3, 2019 | Molly Jenkins (202-225-3527)
Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, H.R. 203.
“The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 would ensure that our Vietnam Veterans receive the benefits they deserve. This bill mirrors the language of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018, which passed the House 382 - 0 during the 115th Congress. One of my final acts as Chairman in 2018 was holding a bipartisan press conference to urge the Senate to pass H.R 299. Needless to say, despite the endless efforts of Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Tester, the Senate never passed the legislation. This is why I have introduced this bill that mirrors the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018 and I encourage my colleagues in the House to once again swiftly pass this bipartisan piece of legislation.

"Currently, Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans are unable to receive the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange because VA’s presumption policy extends only to those who served on land in Vietnam or in Vietnam’s inland waterways. This legislation would extend the presumption of exposure of Agent Orange to our Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans. I hope that my colleagues in the House and Senate waste no time in passing this bill and sending it to President Trump so we can ensure that Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans receive the benefits they deserve.”
Background:
Agent Orange is a herbicide used during the Vietnam era that has been known to be associated with certain health issues in people who have been exposed to the chemical. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 said that if a veteran served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 and has a disease that has been associated with exposure to Agent Orange, they are automatically presumed to have a been exposed to it and therefore qualify for disability compensation. The Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019 would extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to veterans who served in the Blue Water Navy

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will speak on the state of VA, community resources for Veterans, department priorities, and address questions from the last community town hall.
The online town hall will broadcast live on January 17, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.
The Secretary will be joined by a panel of VA leaders, including:
Dr. Richard Stone – Veterans Health Administration
Dr. Paul Lawrence – Veterans Benefits Administration
Randy Reeves – National Cemetery Administration
Cheryl Mason – Board of Veterans Appeals
Dr. Lynda Davis – Veterans Experience Office
Dr. Kameron Matthews – Community Care
Dr. Keita Franklin – Suicide Prevention
The Secretary and panelists will discuss how VA is focused on becoming the leader in customer experience and improving services to our nation’s Veterans. In addition, the Secretary and panelists will address questions submitted by the more than 150 Community Veterans Engagement Boards around the country.
If you have questions, compliments, or concerns about VA benefits and services, please call the White House VA Hotline at 855-948-2311.