Combat & Casualty Care

Q1 2017

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE may still be unable to meet its own guidelines in many cases for providing prompt access to mental health care for those who request it. The costs are clear – 22 veterans a day take their own lives. These facts are unacceptable. One veteran lost to suicide is one veteran too many. Allowing the VA to hire directly without regard to civil service or classification laws will allow psychiatrists who have completed a residency at a VA facility to be hired as full time staff. Providing veterans expanded access to psychiatric treatment is a step toward providing veterans who suffer from PTSD with the care they deserve. It is my priority to ensure that veterans have access to the resources they need. C&CC: From a past to present VA hiring process perspective, how do you see the EHVTP Act as a disabler of bureaucratic "red tape" keeping veterans from the treatment they need and deserve? And in follow on, how do you see the legislation as an enabler of better VA hiring across the board? Rep Cartwright: Currently, the VA lacks the resources to support the growing number of veterans seeking help. According to the VA, almost a third of veterans within its health care system suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This bill creates a more efficient hiring process for psychiatrists so veterans are able to seek the care they need. The Expedited Hiring for VA Trained Psychiatrists Act streamlines the hiring process for trained, talented mental health professionals who can assist veterans struggling with PTSD. It also would allow any veteran, regardless of the dates of service, to be eligible for mental health care through the VA so long as the issue is service connected. We have a responsibility to do all we can to make sure the brave men and women who have served our country get the care they need and deserve when they return. It also enables the VA to hire psychiatrists directly, without regard to civil service or classification laws, who have completed residency at a VA facility. The psychiatrist would still be required to fulfill all educational requirements and obtain all necessary credentials, but creating a more efficient hiring process for psychiatrists enables the VA to provide veterans the care they need sooner. Ensuring timely access to quality mental health care for all veterans should be a priority for everyone, regardless of party. I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support of this important piece of legislation. C&CC: In terms of long term treatment of PTSD, do you see any challenges to the increased psychiatric availability to patients? Rep. Cartwright: As a member of Congress, it is my priority to ensure that veterans have access to the health care resources that they need. As such, the goal of this legislation is simply to provide those veterans seeking mental health treatments the ability to do so. With the service they've provided to our country, no veteran should be left waiting or hoping to eventually receive access to care. It is time we ensure that the veterans living in northeastern Pennsylvania and across America have the fullest access to the health care benefits they have earned. We have a responsibility to do all we can to make sure the brave men and women who served our country get the care they need and deserve when they return. As far as the ongoing treatment process, the best course of treatment is the one that the doctor and patient determine together rather than through legislation. Congressman Matt Cartwright meeting with Major Anthony Bolcavage on Memorial Day in 2016. MAJ Bolcavage is a member of Wozniak – Pavlosky Post 7963, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eynon, PA and a veteran of the U.S. 96th Infantry Division, Asiatic Pacific Theater, Second World War, regarding improvements in care and availability of care. (Photo by Brian Dowd, Congressman Matt Cartwright's Office) JUNE 13-14, 2017 ARMY AND NAVY CLUB WASHINGTON, DC An annual gathering of global leaders focused on the intersection of international trade and travel with homeland security and other transnational threats. For information on sponsorships and attendance, please visit internationalsummitonborders.com www.tacticaldefensemedia.com Spring 2017 | Combat & Casualty Care | 31

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