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VA Expanding Telehealth For Veterans With Cancer!

by | Jun 11, 2020 | Resources, VA Disability, Veteran's Benefits

VA Expanding Telehealth For Veterans With Cancer!

The Department of Veterans Affairs is using a $4.5M grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation in an effort to help and expand their telehealth abilities, which in turn would give more Veterans suffering from cancer with virtual access to care.

Sadly, there are nearly 40,000 new cases of cancer amongst the Veteran community each year, and what’s worse, is that those numbers continue to rise year over year – especially as Veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be diagnosed. Up until COVID-19, this type of care was most commonly given in person, but because of the pandemic, it has moved to telehealth.

From 2018 to 2019, the number of Veterans who accessed healthcare increased by 17% – while the ability to schedule a visit in a virtual manner through the VA’s Video Connect App jumped up by an astronomical 235%.

 

VA Video Connect | VA Mobile

(Screenshot of VA’s Video Connect App via VA Mobile – Veterans Affairs.)

First Telemedicine Clinic!

In January, the VA officially rolled out their first telemedicine-based chemotherapy clinic, which saw the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania join forces with the VA Pittsburgh Medical Center, the latter of which is nearly 100 miles away.

More Information for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans!

I Served in Afghanistan, What Risks Should I Be Looking For?

  • Burn Pits: Troops were exposed to open-air waste disposal consisting of burning chemicals, paint, medical & human waste, munititions, petroleum, plastic, rubber, wood and discarded food.
  • Cold Injuries: Being in and around the mountain regions of Afghanistan caused troops to endure harsh winters with freezing temperatures, leading to hypothermia, frostbite and other various cold-weather conditions.
  • Depleted Uranium: The United States military used depleted uranium inside of any of their armor-piercing projectiles. The element itself is far less radioactive than traditional uranium but it is unfortunately just as toxic, and serious health problems can still result from internal exposure, inhalation and/or ingestion.
  • Mefloquine: This anti-malaria drug poses serious side-effects to many, including anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, muscle fatigue, irregular heartbeat and/or lung problems.
  • Noise: Hearing loss is a direct result of loud explosions, and can also play a major role in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Occupational Hazards: Working with heavy machinery, or industrial chemical can lead to occupational illnesses.
  • Rabies: This can be contracted through animal bites or contact with saliva from an already infected animal.
  • Sand, Dust and Particulates: Afghanistan’s southern region is primarily desert terrain and the inhalation of fine particulates is clearly unavoidable in every way.
  • Toxic Embedded Fragments: Shrapnel that is contaminated with toxic embedded fragments can potentially push deadly chemicals into the bloodstream.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury/Injuries: Explosions or projectiles can produce concussive force, and can also penetrate the skull destroying brain tissue, ruining cognitive impairment.

I Served in Iraq, What Risks Should I Be Looking For?

  • Burn Pits: Troops were exposed to open-air waste disposal consisting of burning chemicals, paint, medical & human waste, munititions, petroleum, plastic, rubber, wood and discarded food.
  • Chemical Warfare Agents: The troops required to handle or destroy explosive ordnance may have come into contact with blister agents, which are highly potent (e.g. mustard gas) or potentially also nerve agents (e.g. sarin gas).
  • Chromium: Water treatment facilities in the Barash oil fields, (Qaramat Ali, Iraq 2003) might have potentially been exposed to dust which also contained hexavalent chromium, a well-known carcinogen.
  • Depleted Uranium: The United States military used depleted uranium inside of any of their armor-piercing projectiles. The element itself is far less radioactive than traditional uranium but it is unfortunately just as toxic, and serious health problems can still result from internal exposure, inhalation and/or ingestion.
  • Heat Stroke and/or Dehydration: Actively working in the Iraqi desert under numerous layers of gear and equipment can make one prone to heat stroke and severe dehydration.
  • Mefloquine: This anti-malaria drug poses serious side-effects to many, including anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, muscle fatigue, irregular heartbeat and/or lung problems.
  • Noise: Hearing loss is a direct result of loud explosions, and can also play a major role in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Occupational Hazards: Working with heavy machinery, or industrial chemical can lead to occupational illnesses.
  • Rabies: This can be contracted through animal bites or contact with saliva any animal that is already fallen victim to this incredibly deadly disease.
  • Sand, Dust and Particulates: Desert terrain and the inhalation of fine particulates is clearly unavoidable in every way.
  • Sulfur Fire: Mishraq State Sulfur Mine Plant, located near Mosul, Iraq caught fire, burning for almost a month (June, 2003) and as a result, sulfur dioxide was exposed to individuals, risking their health and life.
  • Toxic Embedded Fragments: Shrapnel that is contaminated with toxic embedded fragments and is located with IED’s (improvised explosive devices) can cause severe harm.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury/Injuries: Explosions or projectiles can produce concussive force, and can also penetrate the skull destroying brain tissue, ruining cognitive impairment.

Claim Denied? We Can Help! Schedule a Free Consultation Below!

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban is prepared to help veterans with benefits issues and to also pursue substantial relief for victims of various debilitating diseases or injuries, all of which are directly related to prior military service.

If you or a loved one is in need of help, please call us today at (866) 866-VETS or contact us online for a free consultation.

We take pride in being able to assist veterans all across the United States of America.

 

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