Veterans Affairs – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 00:34:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://20thcvetsmem.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1.png Veterans Affairs – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ 32 32 Rep. Jerry Carl explains his re-election choice – The Brewton Standard https://20thcvetsmem.org/rep-jerry-carl-explains-his-re-election-choice-the-brewton-standard/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 00:34:39 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/rep-jerry-carl-explains-his-re-election-choice-the-brewton-standard/ Just a few years ago, my wife Tina and I saw our son return from active combat in Afghanistan, and we noticed he was struggling to cope with the complicated Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. . I told Tina that if ever I had the chance to improve this system and do more for our […]]]>

Just a few years ago, my wife Tina and I saw our son return from active combat in Afghanistan, and we noticed he was struggling to cope with the complicated Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. . I told Tina that if ever I had the chance to improve this system and do more for our country’s veterans, I would. Soon after, I launched my campaign for the United States Congress.

While improving the VA system was my initial motivation to run for Congress, I quickly got to work solving so many serious issues facing our district, state, and nation as a whole. The America I see today is not the America I grew up in, and that bothers me greatly. The anti-American rhetoric I see across the aisle constantly calling for police funding, refusing to enforce our country’s immigration laws, and showing complete disregard for human life makes a huge difference. long days.

I am more than frustrated with Joe Biden and the way he is ruining the country you and I love so much. With Biden in the White House, our country is moving further and further away from our American values. Worse yet, watching Nancy Pelosi and her Liberal team pull the string behind the curtain is a daily show. Pelosi’s ideas are terrible, and his policies are costing us and our families money that we simply cannot afford to spend.

Fortunately, I think our brightest days are yet to come. Everywhere I go I hear Americans who are just as frustrated as I am, and we are all ready for a change. This encourages me because I know the Republicans have a very good chance of toppling the House later this year and firing Lame Duck President Nancy Pelosi. Then and only then can we bring some common sense back to Washington and begin the hard work of getting our country back on track.

From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, I work hard to fight for Southern Alabama and push the Pelosi / Biden agenda back to Washington. It means fighting to build the wall and protect America, ensuring that armed liberals never infringe our right to keep and bear arms, and protect life. It also means stopping President Biden’s war on US energy production and his reckless spending, which drives inflation up.

I grew up in Southern Alabama, where I started several businesses, and that’s where my wife and kids love to live. Now is not the time for us to back down or give up. It’s time to pull ourselves together and fight for the country we love. I would be honored to continue serving you in Congress, and I humbly request your vote on May 24, 2022.

Jerry carl

represents Alabama’s first congressional district. He lives

in Mobile with his wife Tina.


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Amarillo VA Center Hosts Blood Drive to Help Local Blood Banks https://20thcvetsmem.org/amarillo-va-center-hosts-blood-drive-to-help-local-blood-banks/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 22:18:40 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/amarillo-va-center-hosts-blood-drive-to-help-local-blood-banks/ Expanding its commitment to serving the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo Veterans Health Care System hosted a blood drive Friday afternoon at Thomas E. Creek Medical Center. This and other blood drives across the country are part of the VA’s commitment to supporting the nation’s “Fourth Mission” needs. The need for blood supply is a constant […]]]>

Expanding its commitment to serving the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo Veterans Health Care System hosted a blood drive Friday afternoon at Thomas E. Creek Medical Center.

This and other blood drives across the country are part of the VA’s commitment to supporting the nation’s “Fourth Mission” needs. The need for blood supply is a constant problem, as donated blood can only be stored for about 60 days.

According to its website, the VA’s “fourth mission” is to improve the country’s preparedness for war, terrorism, national emergencies and natural disasters by developing plans and taking action to ensure continuity of services. veterans, as well as to support federal authorities, national and local emergency management, public health, security and homeland security efforts.

Russel Sims, a 17-year-old Air Force veteran, explained that he wanted to help others by donating blood at every opportunity.

“I feel like with the great need for blood, with all the natural disasters and just the normal everyday accidents, I just want to do my part, Sims said.

Michael Quicksall stands by as he prepares to draw blood at Thomas E. Creek Medical Center on Friday afternoon.

Michael Quicksall, a five-year veteran who works with Veterans Affairs, also spoke about the benefit of donating blood.

“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” Quicksall said. “I give whenever they ask.”

Mark Rielo, associate director of VA Amarillo Health Care, leads by example at the VA blood drive at Thomas E. Creek Medical Center Friday afternoon.

Amarillo VA Healthcare Associate Director Mark Rielo advocated that with all the precautions in place, people should not be shy about donating blood and it is still an indispensable resource.

“This is the first time I’ve donated blood since coming from California, and now that I’m fully immunized I feel very confident in the process,” Rielo said. “With the pandemic still going on, this is the only other thing I can do to try and help those in need. I know it will go to someone else and maybe save a life. . With the shortages going, we should do what we can do to help. “


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Nonprofits Ready to Tackle Various Problems in 2022 https://20thcvetsmem.org/nonprofits-ready-to-tackle-various-problems-in-2022/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 07:00:57 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/nonprofits-ready-to-tackle-various-problems-in-2022/ Editor’s Note: This is the fifth story in a series that looks at what’s coming up for Flathead County in 2022. The valley’s nonprofits spend their time trying to solve some of Flathead’s most daunting problems, from housing and food insecurity to water quality and land conservation. Here’s a look at what a few organizations […]]]>

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth story in a series that looks at what’s coming up for Flathead County in 2022.

The valley’s nonprofits spend their time trying to solve some of Flathead’s most daunting problems, from housing and food insecurity to water quality and land conservation. Here’s a look at what a few organizations have planned for 2022.

Whitefish Lake Institute

The Whitefish Lake Institute is hoping that its biggest project for this year will bring public attention to a growing problem in Whitefish Lake. The organization is teaming up with researchers at Cornell University to conduct a pilot study that will track septic leaching using new synthetic DNA technology. Executive Director Mike Koopal said the aging septic systems around the lake are part of an ever-growing problem of human waste pathogens infiltrating the crystal-clear waters of the lake. He said a study on the lake in 2011/2012 confirmed this.

“This documented septic leaching along the shore of Whitefish Lake and it shouldn’t have been surprising to anyone, as it corroborated data going back to the 1980s from the Flathead Lake Biological Station,” Koopal said. “So we documented the leaching into the lake, but there was no tool for source tracking, so we are limited in our ability to determine where the contamination is coming from. ”

Koopal said that’s one of the reasons this study is exciting – they’ll be able to figure out where the worst leaching is happening. The synthetic DNA pairs locked in a nanoparticle will have a unique signature so that researchers can track it as it moves through the lake. Koopal said researchers at Cornell University will take the DNA and run it through their polymerase chain reaction machine, a very efficient tool used to amplify small segments of DNA or RNA. He said that this will be able to tell them where the nanoparticle came from, showing its way to leaching.

This is a pilot project that will test the effectiveness of this tracking technology, which has already been successfully tested in streams and rivers. Koopal said that means they are only looking at specific areas of Whitefish Lake and Lake Mary Ronan, and if that proves successful, maybe they could scale it up in the future.

While solving these issues can be complicated and expensive, Koopal said it’s worth talking about now because the problem will only get worse as septic tanks age. He said a GSI risk assessment study conducted by the Flathead Basin Commission shows time is running out.

“We are at a critical point in the life of a typical septic tank in Flathead County, so preliminary data tells us that about half of the septic tanks in the landscape are 30 years old or older, and of course the Septic tanks have an average life expectancy of 25 to 30 years under good site conditions, ”he said.

The field portion of the study will begin in the spring and they hope to see results by the fall. He said they are also hosting a septic leachate summit in May at the Flathead Lake Biological Station in conjunction with the National Science Foundation. Experts from across the country will be invited to share information and develop solution strategies.

Samaritan House

Housing insecurity in the valley is an urgent problem as affordable housing is out of reach for many people. Samaritan House said its plans for 2022 include expanding its low-income apartments. Executive Director Chris Krager said they serve 1,450 people in their low-barrier shelter and transitional housing each year. Data surveys conducted over the past two years have identified two gaps in housing and services for the region. Samaritan House is seeking to fill these gaps by building “super affordable” two- to three-bedroom apartments for a total of 16 units and creating single-family accommodation for veterans.

“Kalipsell could be the largest city in Montana without dedicated veteran housing, Krager said. “We are therefore going to build 15 units that will be dedicated and contracted out to Veterans Affairs for homeless veterans.”

Krager said there are several reasons homelessness in Flathead is complicated.

“Roaming here at certain times of the year can be fatal – it’s cold outside. The other complicating factor is the lack of housing for people, affordable or not. We hear this term ‘affordable housing’ a lot… but it takes on a more specific face when you look at a single mom who has to live with her family in the shelter because she can’t find a place to rent, ”he said. . noted.

Krager said the mission of the Samaritan House is not only to temporarily house people, but also to address the issue of what made them homeless in the first place. With the help of their case management staff, they are able to research ways to increase a person’s income, broaden their search for housing, qualify, and apply for support through other social service groups.

“If we don’t work with our case management team to resolve the issue then we really haven’t resolved anything… so we are tracking the results and aiming for the goal of reducing homelessness in Flathead Valley,” Krager said.

Flathead Youth House

Providing resources to people struggling with mental health issues is another issue that many valley nonprofits are dedicated to tackling, especially among children and adolescents. As Flathead Youth Home strives to provide short-term residential care and long-term group care for children aged 10-18, development coordinator Hannah Plumb said they see a growing need. to provide in-house mental health services. Program director Lori Madden said she believed Covid-19 had exacerbated many mental health issues in children and adolescents who were already going through difficult times before the pandemic began.

“A lot of kids have a hard time disconnecting with others and I think maybe because they were alone so long that now that they’re coming back it’s like ‘wow I’m in school all. during the day, I have to be respectful to adults, I have to be respectful to my peers. ‘ So I think those mental health issues were there already, but now with Covid we are seeing them more and more, ”Madden said.

Madden said funding has been cut for many public programs that provide young people with a case manager – someone who follows them through their placement, manages health care, stays in touch with family, among others. many other responsibilities. She said staff at Flathead Youth Home have filled this gap for children who walk through their doors, and part of their plan in 2022 is to double down on this “critical behind-the-scenes work” and have staff who are focused. only on case management.

“Some of these kids come from homes where they don’t have adults to support them, they don’t even have the capacity to care for them properly, so we’re starting to look at how to do more formally manage the situation. cases for these kids and make sure they have the tools they need to be successful, ”Madden said.

She said a good case manager can make a huge difference for troubled youth, but the hard work to keep up with it often takes time for staff to build relationships with children and make a connection. Having a staff member who only works as a case manager gives other staff time to build these important relationships. This will go further with the next part of their plan, which is to bring mental health professionals to the youth home, creating a place where resources are more readily available to the children and youth they serve.

Journalist Taylor Inman can be reached at tinman@dailyinterlake.com.


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Air Force Medical Service Airmen Discuss Future Of Medicine At Annual Workshop> Air Force> Post Display https://20thcvetsmem.org/air-force-medical-service-airmen-discuss-future-of-medicine-at-annual-workshop-air-force-post-display/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 16:23:34 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/air-force-medical-service-airmen-discuss-future-of-medicine-at-annual-workshop-air-force-post-display/ CHURCH FALLS, Virginia (AFNS) – Leaders across the Air Force Medical Service recently met virtually and in person for their annual senior leadership workshop in Leesburg, sharing ideas focused on recalibrating operational readiness. Air Force Surgeon Lieutenant General Robert Miller and the Chief Staff Sgt. Dawn Kolczynski, Chief of the Enlisted Medical Force, kicked off […]]]>

Leaders across the Air Force Medical Service recently met virtually and in person for their annual senior leadership workshop in Leesburg, sharing ideas focused on recalibrating operational readiness.

Air Force Surgeon Lieutenant General Robert Miller and the Chief Staff Sgt. Dawn Kolczynski, Chief of the Enlisted Medical Force, kicked off the workshop by thanking Medical Airmen for what they have accomplished over the past year, especially continued support to civilian hospitals in regions experiencing an increase COVID-19[feminine cas, en traitant les alliés afghans, tout en prodiguant des soins aux militaires, à leurs familles et aux anciens combattants.

“Il y a un sentiment d’urgence concernant où nous en sommes aujourd’hui et où nous devons être”, a déclaré Miller. « Nous avons une machine affinée. Nous savons que le prochain grand combat ne sera probablement pas comme le dernier. Nous voulons tous nous assurer que nos médecins continuent d’être prêts à mener le combat, à aller là où nous devons aller et à prodiguer ces soins de confiance. »

Un panel de conférenciers a discuté de leurs expériences de travail avec des partenaires internationaux et de gestion des barrières linguistiques et culturelles à l’appui de l’opération Allies Refuge.

Entre l’Afghanistan, le Qatar et l’Allemagne, les médecins de l’armée de l’air se sont adaptés à un afflux étonnamment important d’évacués en peu de temps. Les équipes médicales ont veillé à fournir les dépistages, les tests et les soins médicaux d’urgence nécessaires.

“Notre rythme opérationnel était plus élevé que prévu”, a déclaré le colonel Luis Otero, commandant du 379e groupe médical expéditionnaire, “Pendant trois semaines, nous avons couru des journées de 14 à 18 heures, de manière cohérente. J’ai lancé un appel à mes collègues commandants de groupe médical pour leur dire que j’ai besoin de personnes qui peuvent fournir un soutien supplémentaire, j’ai besoin de personnes qui peuvent faire de l’obstétrique, j’ai besoin de personnes qui peuvent nous soulager. Et ils ont répondu à cet appel.

Un de histoires mises en évidence de l’opération Allies Refuge, c’est ainsi que le capitaine Leslie Green, infirmière de bord du 375e Escadron d’évacuation aéromédicale, a aidé à accoucher d’un bébé à bord d’un vol au départ de l’Afghanistan.

« Deux semaines avant ce déploiement, j’ai eu l’occasion de recevoir une formation axée sur l’obstétrique », a déclaré Green. « Toutes les expériences et la formation dans l’armée sont absolument utiles. Je attribue définitivement le succès de la naissance à toutes les personnes qui ont contribué à fournir une formation d’expert pour nous tous.

Le général de division Paul Friedrichs, chirurgien de l’état-major interarmées, a parlé de la préparation opérationnelle interarmées.

“En tant que dirigeants, nous devrions nous demander quelles sont les choses que nous devrions mettre de côté, tout en honorant l’héritage de nos prédécesseurs”, a déclaré Friedrichs. « Nous devons reconnaître que le caractère de la guerre est en train de changer, donc la façon dont nous prenons soin des victimes doit également changer. »

Les chirurgiens du commandement ont informé les dirigeants de la manière dont ils améliorent leurs capacités pour les demandes futures anticipées, allant de l’avancement des systèmes de soutien médical expéditionnaire pour qu’ils soient plus modulaires, à la résolution d’éventuels problèmes de logistique médicale dans des environnements à ressources limitées.

“Bien que nous ayons connu un succès incroyable, il est temps pour nous d’évoluer et de changer”, a déclaré Brig. Le général Robert Bogart, chirurgien de commandement à l’Air Combat Command. « Nous sommes confrontés à des menaces de sécurité nouvelles et émergentes et notre déploiement actuel de moyens médicaux doit évoluer afin de répondre aux besoins du commandant de combat dans les environnements contestés de demain. »

L’un des points abordés est l’élargissement des cours de formation sur la base des enseignements tirés de COVID-19, comme l’élaboration d’un cours formel sur le transport aérien des maladies infectieuses. Les leaders médicaux réexaminent également les procédures chirurgicales en ce qui concerne le transport des patients. Commandement de la mobilité aérienne et CAC s’associent pour étudier la possibilité d’utiliser des équipes chirurgicales au sol en vol.

Les conférenciers ont également discuté de l’importance de s’occuper des soins de santé mentale, de leurs défis et de la nécessité de se restructurer pour s’assurer que les militaires reçoivent les soins dont ils ont besoin. Une des façons dont l’AFMS relève ces défis est d’examiner le champ d’exercice des techniciens en santé mentale pour s’assurer qu’ils acquièrent l’expérience clinique nécessaire pour fournir efficacement un soutien et prodiguer des soins à la fois à domicile et pendant le déploiement.

“[Mental health technicians] work well with our psychologists and social workers, ”said Chief Master Sgt. Julie Foreman, Mental Health Technician Career Field Manager. “We do it well under clinical supervision in our MTFs (military treatment facilities), but sometimes our technicians are deployed as the only asset in mental health and I have to make sure they are prepared. The only way to do it is if they are practicing in a clinic.

Another request from Air Force medics is to keep clinical news to provide trusted care both at home and during deployment. Speakers discussed the importance of ensuring that physicians have access to the diversity and acuity of care to maintain their own preparation.

“Across all departments, we are discussing how best to optimize our inpatient platforms to ensure our physicians are getting the right clinical mix and the right workload, said Brig. General Thomas Harrell, commander of the Air Force Medical Preparedness Agency. “We will look for ways to make the best use of our direct care systems, in addition to the partnership with [Veterans Affairs] and civilian hospitals to keep our doctors ready.

Miller and Kolczynski closed the three-day workshop by applauding the dedication of leaders and the importance of these leaders in ensuring that their doctors are prepared for the future fight.

“It’s amazing what you have accomplished, from delivering healthcare in MTF, supporting deployed fighters, to the COVID-19 response and supporting Afghan allies,” Miller said. “It makes me proud to be a doctor and to be your general surgeon. I have no doubt that we will accomplish great things and be ready for the next fight. “


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Pharmacy Residency Program | VA Eastern Kansas Health Care https://20thcvetsmem.org/pharmacy-residency-program-va-eastern-kansas-health-care/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 19:23:14 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/pharmacy-residency-program-va-eastern-kansas-health-care/ Topeka Katie Foster, PharmD, MS, FCCM, FASHP, KCHP (Residency Program Director) Katie Foster is the Assistant Manager of Clinical Pharmacy Services at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Topeka, Kansas, and Director of the PGY1 Residency Program. Dr. Foster received her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Creighton. After graduation, Dr. Foster […]]]>

Topeka

Katie Foster, PharmD, MS, FCCM, FASHP, KCHP (Residency Program Director)

Katie Foster is the Assistant Manager of Clinical Pharmacy Services at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Topeka, Kansas, and Director of the PGY1 Residency Program. Dr. Foster received her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Creighton. After graduation, Dr. Foster pursued a residency program at the University of Kansas Medical Center, specializing in hospital pharmacy, and obtained a master’s degree in hospital pharmacy. Dr Foster worked at Stormont Vail Health Care for 23 years as Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Trauma Pharmacist and Director of the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency. Dr. Foster works with multidisciplinary teams to help improve patient care and is an information resource for healthcare professionals as well as patients. She can be contacted by email at Katherine.foster1@va.gov.

Shannon Baltrusaitis, PharmD

Shannon Baltrusaitis works as a clinical pharmacist practitioner in primary care as an advanced practice provider with a scope of practice. Dr Baltrusaitis received his MD from the University of Kansas in 2017 and completed a PGY-1 residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2018. Dr Baltrusaitis co-precept the information and teaching rotation on medications. She can be contacted by e-mail at shannon.baltrusaitis@va.gov.

Michael Buck, PharmD

Michael Buck works as a clinical pharmacist practitioner in primary care as an advanced practice provider with a scope of practice. Dr. Buck received his PharmD from the University of Nebraska in 2016 and completed a PGY-1 residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2017. Dr. Buck teaches the outpatient rotation and coordinates events social aspects of the residence. He can be contacted by email at michael.buck1@va.gov

Kerri Christian, PharmD, BCACP, CGP

Kerri Christian is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in ambulatory care, working in primary care and cardiology clinics. Dr Christian received her MD with Distinction from the University of Nebraska in 1998. Prior to joining the VA EKHCS pharmacy team in 2013, she was a Consultant Pharmacist, Senior Consultant Pharmacist and Clinical Coordinator for Pharmerica, a national long-term care pharmacy. . Dr. Christian has been a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists since 2001, a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (FASCP) since 2006, and completed her second term on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Chapter of the American Society. of Pharmacist consultant in 2017. She obtained her diploma as a certified geriatric pharmacist in 2003 and her diploma from BCACP in 2013. Dr Christian enjoys sharing his passion for geriatrics with pharmacy students since 2001 and with PGY1 pharmacy residents since 2014. Dr Christian can be contacted by email at kerri.christian@va.gov.

Kathryn Dement, PharmD, BCPP

Kathryn Dement is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in psychiatry. Dr Dement graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2010. She then completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2011 and joined the staff of VA EKHCS in July 2011 as an inpatient behavioral health specialist. clinical pharmacist. She obtained her BCPS in 2011 and her BCPP certification in 2015. Since 2018, Dr DeMent has been a practicing clinical pharmacist with an advanced scope of practice in psychiatry, working with the PTSD treatment program and an outpatient mental health clinic. Dr Dement can be contacted by email at kathryn.dement@va.gov.

Micah Halton, PharmD, BC-ADM, CDCES

Micah Halton is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in ambulatory care. Dr. Halton received his MD from the University of Kansas in 2009 and completed his pharmacy residency at Providence VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. He joined the VA Eastern Kansas Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Halton currently precept residents for outpatient rotation. He also teaches pharmacy students from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in outpatient care. Dr Halton obtained his BC-ADM and CDCES in 2012. Dr Halton can be contacted by email at Micah.Halton2@va.gov.

Margit Hansing, PharmD, BCACP

Margit Hansing is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Anticoagulation, Cardiology and Anticoagulation Program Manager at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS. Dr Hansing received his MD from South Dakota State University in 2017 and completed a PGY-1 residency at the VA Black Hills HCS in 2018. Dr Hansing joined the VA Eastern Kansas Medical Center in 2018. She precept the rotation of the anticoagulation clinic. Dr Hansing received her BCACP in 2020. She can be contacted at Margit.Hansing@va.gov.

Melissa Hinrichsen, PharmD

Melissa Hinrichsen is a clinical pharmacist, practicing on the Topeka campus. Dr Hinrichsen received her MD from the University of Kansas in 2019. She completed her residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2020 and has been on staff ever since. Dr Hinrichsen currently teaches residents in pharmacy practice as part of the pharmacy operations experience and coordinates social events at the residence. She can be contacted by email at melissa.hinrichsen@va.gov.

Shelby Hippler, PharmD, BCACP

Shelby Hippler is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in ambulatory care. Dr. Hippler graduated from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in 2014. She completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Fayetteville VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dr. Hippler joined the Eastern Kansas VA Medical Center in 2015 as a PACT Pharmacist. In 2017, she transitioned to a clinical pharmacy specialist role for the Junction City CBOC and began precepting ambulatory care residents. Duties include assisting CBOC teams with medication issues and managing chronic disease conditions for rural veterans. Unique tasks include attending shared medical appointments, population management, and tele-video patient visits. Dr. Hippler is the main tutor of the internship and coordinates the social events of the residency. She can be contacted by email at shelby.hippler@va.gov.

Sara Weeder-Korus, PharmD, BCPS

Sara Weeder-Korus is a practicing clinical pharmacist practicing chronic disease management and hematology / oncology. Sara received her PharmD from Creighton University in 2008 and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at Grand Island, Nebraska VA Medical Center in 2009. She joined VA Eastern Kansas in 2009 and achieved BCPS certification in 2013. She previously served as a clinical pharmacist and preceptor in acute medicine before returning to ambulatory care in 2014. She currently precept residents in chronic disease management. She can be contacted by email at sara.weeder-korus2@va.gov.

Leavenworth

Cynthia Copeland, PharmD

Cynthia Copeland practices as a clinical pharmacist in acute medicine on the Leavenworth campus. She received her BS in Pharmacy from Southwest Oklahoma State University and her PharmD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Copeland has traveled extensively and during her husband’s active career she has held a number of positions throughout his career including outpatient, medication information, outpatient care, inpatients and pediatrics. . She joined VAEKHCS in 2013 where residents precept for the acute medicine rotation I and is a member of the intensive care committee. She can be contacted by email at Cynthia.Copeland@va.gov.

Elizabeth Debes, PharmD

Elizabeth Debes is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Pain Management on the Leavenworth Campus. It is based on elective pain management rotation. In addition to her clinical roles, Dr. Debes is a member of the Pain Steering Committee and leads discussions at the VA Pain School. Dr Debes received her MD from the University of Kansas in 2012 and completed a PGY-1 residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2014. She can be contacted by email at Elizabeth.debes@va.gov.

Melissa Bigham, PharmD

Melissa Bigham graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Pharmacy in 2014. Subsequently, she completed her PGY-1 pharmacy residency with the VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System. Dr Bigham is now a Clinical Geriatric Pharmacist at VAEKHCS – Leavenworth, working with residents of the Community Living Center and a member of the Geriatric Primary Care Team (Geri-PACT). She completes her clinical role by participating in the dementia steering committee and the quality committee of the Community Integration Center. Dr Bigham also contributed to a chapter on the human microbiome and aging in Nutrition and functional foods for healthy aging. Melissa co-precept the Drug Information and Education rotation and can be contacted at Melissa.Bigham@va.gov

Tracy Jo (TJ) McCombs, PharmD, PhD

TJ McCombs is Deputy Chief of Pharmaceutical Operations at VAEKHCS. She previously worked as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and Assistant Clinical Coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City. Dr. McCombs precept residents for the rotation of pharmacy leadership and administration. She can be contacted by email at tracy.mccombs2@va.gov.

Emily Potter, PharmD, BCPS

Emily Potter is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Management. Dr. Potter graduated from Saint Louis College of Pharmacy and received her PharmD in 2010. Subsequently, she completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at Via-Christi Health Care in Wichita, KS. In 2011, she held a clinical pharmacist position at Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Internal Medicine / Critical Care with a focus on infectious diseases where she obtained BCPS certification in 2012. In 2015, she held the position specialist in clinical pharmacy in infectious diseases. Disease / Antimicrobial Stewardship at VAEKHCS. She is actively involved in local, VISN and national antimicrobial stewardship committees. Dr. Potter is actively involved in research and is a member of the KCVA Institutional Review Committee and chairs the Eastern Kansas Research and Development Committee. Dr Potter recently published in Enterococcal Bloodstream Infections and Antimicrobial Stewardship. Dr. Potter teaches the elective course in Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Management and coordinates the residency research internship. She can be contacted by email at emily.potter1@va.gov.

Dorothy Williams, PharmD, BCPP

Dorothy Williams is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in psychiatry. Dr Williams received her MD from the University of Kansas in 2007. She then completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in 2008, after which she remained as a Clinical Pharmacist in Behavioral Health. hospitalized. She joined the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2014 as a Behavioral Health Clinical Pharmacist in the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic. She received her BCPP certification in 2012. Dr Williams is currently working as a Behavioral Health Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Leavenworth Home Campus, where she practices as an advanced practice provider with a scope of practice. Dr Williams is a member of the Clinical Care Committee for Substance Use Disorders for the EKHCS and has published on topics related to psychotropic drugs. Dr Williams can be contacted at Dorothy.williams11@va.gov.


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What bills have representatives tabled in 2021? https://20thcvetsmem.org/what-bills-have-representatives-tabled-in-2021/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 03:00:17 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/what-bills-have-representatives-tabled-in-2021/ Hot topics like infrastructure and COVID-19 have dominated the discourse in Washington this year, and Ohio officials have spoken loud and clear about their feelings about them. But amid the fighting, members of the Congressional delegation pushed for legislation to help veterans, varsity athletes and more. Democratic Representative Tim Ryan de Warren, who is also […]]]>

Hot topics like infrastructure and COVID-19 have dominated the discourse in Washington this year, and Ohio officials have spoken loud and clear about their feelings about them.

But amid the fighting, members of the Congressional delegation pushed for legislation to help veterans, varsity athletes and more.

Democratic Representative Tim Ryan de Warren, who is also a candidate for the Senate, introduced 24 bills in 2021 – the most in Buckeye state. Rep. Bob Latta, a Republican from Bowling Green, followed closely behind with 21.

No proposal from the current delegation has yet been enacted, but they illustrate the issues considered important by those elected by Ohioans to serve them.

Here is an overview of some of the measures.

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The only bill introduced this year by Representative Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, seeks to amend Section 230, a internet communication law which allows websites to moderate content and protects them from legal action regarding user posting.


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Hanover Schools Receive $ 350,000 As Part Of Justice Department Safety Initiative | Cedar Lake News https://20thcvetsmem.org/hanover-schools-receive-350000-as-part-of-justice-department-safety-initiative-cedar-lake-news/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/hanover-schools-receive-350000-as-part-of-justice-department-safety-initiative-cedar-lake-news/ The Hanover Community School Corporation building is shown in this photo. Provided CEDAR LAKE – A school district in South Lake County has received a large grant as part of a national school safety initiative from the Department of Justice. The Justice Department has distributed a total of $ 126 million to efforts to make […]]]>





The Hanover Community School Corporation building is shown in this photo.


Provided


CEDAR LAKE – A school district in South Lake County has received a large grant as part of a national school safety initiative from the Department of Justice.

The Justice Department has distributed a total of $ 126 million to efforts to make schools safer under the STOP Violence in Schools Act.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Hanover Community School Corporation had received $ 350,150, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

This episode of the “Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops” series takes viewers amid flames and smoke with local firefighters.



Hanover was one of two school systems in Indiana to receive the grants, including the Rochester Community School Corporation.

The funds aim to put in place safety measures in and around schools, support violence prevention efforts, train teachers and students, and implement evidence-based threat assessments.

“I applaud the school districts of Rochester and Hanover, Indiana, in their efforts to improve school safety through these federal grants, said US Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

A total of 78 grants were awarded by the Office of Justice Assistance and the Office of Community-Based Policing of the Office of Justice Programs. The COPS School Violence Prevention program also emphasizes bullying and mental health issues.

“The Department of Justice has no greater responsibility than protecting Americans from harm,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “Schools need to be safe places to learn, and the current investment of over $ 125 million under the STOP Violence in Schools Act will help ensure they are. “


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Security data gaps remain on state veterans’ homes https://20thcvetsmem.org/security-data-gaps-remain-on-state-veterans-homes/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 09:30:19 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/security-data-gaps-remain-on-state-veterans-homes/ Homes are suffering in what former VA secretary David Shulkin called a “hodgepodge” of state and federal oversight, with loopholes in regulation and accountability, a Politico investigation five months earlier showed This year. The VA pays for the houses and orders an annual inspection; the states own them and use them on a day-to-day basis. […]]]>

Homes are suffering in what former VA secretary David Shulkin called a “hodgepodge” of state and federal oversight, with loopholes in regulation and accountability, a Politico investigation five months earlier showed This year. The VA pays for the houses and orders an annual inspection; the states own them and use them on a day-to-day basis. Some states require that they meet the same standards as civilian long-term care facilities; some do not.

The death rate from Covid-19 in public homes was much higher than in a separate type of long-term care for veterinarians, known as community living centers, which are run entirely by the VA.

The Veterans Administration, which sent emergency teams and resources to veterinarians’ homes and civilian health facilities at the height of the crisis, recognized it had to do better.

A report published this month the assessment of the VA’s overall national response to the pandemic recommended developing “an information system to facilitate monitoring of state veterans’ homes for infectious disease risk indicators”. He also said he was “working to become more proactive in support of SVH”. However, the report did not cite any specific plan or timeline.

Congress took note, pushing for greater transparency and investing an additional $ 1 billion during the pandemic, aimed at repairing and replacing dilapidated buildings with poor infection control. But lawmakers have not systematically addressed a permanent solution to divided state and VA oversight.

The collection and dissemination of data reflects and amplifies this fragmented authority and responsibility. The 158 individual households, national health and veterans agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the VA itself all have a role to play in collecting the numbers; none has supreme authority. When a house does not report its numbers for a given week, the VA simply types “—“. In some cases, statistics circulated by states do not match those published by the AV.

The data is important, say experts in epidemiology and long-term care.

Data is more than numbers on a spreadsheet, they say. It’s a window into the quality of care, skill and resources put into controlling the spread of a virus that has killed one in 100 Americans over the age of 65 – and it’s turning into a winter wave that could in kill more. Flawed data means it is more difficult for outside groups – veterans’ advocacy and service organizations, families, the media, even other government officials – to hold homes accountable for procedural breaches. security.

About three-quarters benefit from CMS supervision, and their the data is published. For months, it has been difficult to find data for the roughly four dozen houses that do not fall under the CMS. In mid-November, the VA began publishing much more detailed information on infections and deaths of staff and residents of homes in all 50 states. But the VA does not collect the data itself. Rather, it depends on what homes and states submit – and some is always maimed or delayed.

Homes understand that more needs to be done, their national association said.

“State homes have resolved the discrepancies on an individual basis as they are identified, said Heyward Hilliard, president of the National Association of State Veterans Homes. “Within the state’s home community, there have been some variances in the criteria and reporting methods leading up to the current datasets. As these are resolved, the number should be fine. “

It hasn’t happened yet, not at all levels.

For example, publicly available data from the VA shows no deaths in homes in Missouri from May 25, 2020 to August 29, 2021. This is incorrect – Missouri itself reported 103 Covid deaths in mid-November 2020 , and ordered a report by St. Louis-based law firm Armstrong Teasdale on missteps and how to fix them. This report has been made public.

Missouri State Veterans Agency spokesperson Aimee Packard attributed the inconsistencies to technical issues. “We are actively working with the VA on a historical data upload issue that is affecting our case count between the onset of the pandemic and approximately January 25, 2021,” she wrote. As of earlier this month, Missouri had recorded no deaths from Covid at its state veterinarian homes in 2021, she added.

In Mississippi, a state Veterans Affairs spokesperson shared data with POLITICO earlier this fall that showed its four homes had 434 cases and 111 deaths between April 2020 and September 22, 2021. He has shared state totals, not a site-by-site breakdown of homes, which can serve 600 people at any one time. But the VA site shows a maximum of 87 cases and 10 deaths between May 25, 2020 and September 29, 2021.

Illinois makes its counts available on a state website, but these numbers do not match the VA site. For example, a status report said the LaSalle, Illinois home had an outbreak that began in November 2020 and caused some 109 cases among veterans and 116 among staff. On the other hand, the VA card showed 10 cases for patients, 18 for staff. At the Manteno, Illinois home, 48 veterans and 33 employees fell ill during an outbreak between early May and June 2020, state records show. The VA shows that 31 employees and at most 10 veterans fell ill there between May 25, 2020 and September 2021.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Veterans’ Office said she had no explanation as to why the VA numbers were wrong. The state had submitted correct figures and its local liaison with the federal VA had confirmed their accuracy. “We do not know why this report does not reflect the exact data,” she wrote.

Several other states have anomalies. But in other cases, reports improve. For example, data from Nebraska was missing earlier this fall; it fits now.

For political leaders and veterans advocates, the struggle for complete and accurate information on cases and deaths has been a long and frustrating one.

“On behalf of the men and women who have served our country, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to hold the [VA’s] Feet on the Go to Provide Complete, Accurate, and Timely Data to Congress and the Public, ”Chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee Jon tester (D-Mont.) Told POLITICO in an emailed statement. “This is how we make sure states and VAs provide the best possible care for veterans.”

As of May 2020, CMS has required long-term care facilities to submit data to the CDC – illness and death rates for residents and staff.

CMS has started publishing information on civilian nursing homes as well as the veterans’ facilities it oversees. But the agency said it was not responsible for publicly disclosing the roughly four dozen veterans’ homes it did not regulate. Most of them were “home-based” establishments, which are more like assisted living facilities. (Some houses had a mixture).

Congress in a sweeping appropriations bill passed in late 2020 demanded that the VA fill this gap and report all data from veterinary outbreaks in the state. But the legislation was not clearly written; the VA insisted for months that it only had to report aggregate totals, not a house-to-house breakdown. Almost a year later, under pressure from Congress, and as POLITICO reached out to every household where data was lacking, the VA began to disclose.

House and Senate veterans committees pushed VA and government accountability The office examines the oversight and transparency of the VA. But it has not become a major problem for Congress as a whole.

“VA and states have a shared responsibility for overseeing the quality of veteran care in state veteran homes, and we need greater transparency around this oversight,” Tester added in his statement.

But so far the VA hasn’t signaled much of an appetite for change. When the senator Chuck grassley (R-Iowa) earlier this year, VA Secretary Denis McDonough sent out a list of questions about surveillance. . “


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Former Republican Senator from Georgia to the United States, Johnny Isakson, dies https://20thcvetsmem.org/former-republican-senator-from-georgia-to-the-united-states-johnny-isakson-dies/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 15:57:56 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/former-republican-senator-from-georgia-to-the-united-states-johnny-isakson-dies/ ATLANTA – Johnny Isakson, an affable Republican politician from Georgia who rose from the ranks of the state legislature to become a US senator known as an effective and behind-the-scenes consensus builder, died on Sunday. He was 76 years old. Isakson’s son John Isakson told The Associated Press his father died in his pre-dawn sleep […]]]>

ATLANTA – Johnny Isakson, an affable Republican politician from Georgia who rose from the ranks of the state legislature to become a US senator known as an effective and behind-the-scenes consensus builder, died on Sunday. He was 76 years old.

Isakson’s son John Isakson told The Associated Press his father died in his pre-dawn sleep at his Atlanta home. John Isakson said although his father suffered from Parkinson’s disease, the cause of death was not immediately apparent.

“He was a great man and I will miss him,” said John Isakson.

Johnny Isakson, whose real estate business made him a millionaire, has spent more than four decades in Georgia political life. In the Senate, he was the architect of a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers that he said would help reinvigorate the struggling housing market. As chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, he worked to expand programs offering more private health care options to veterans.

Isakson’s famous motto was: “There are two types of people in this world: friends and future friends. This approach made him extremely popular among his colleagues.

“Johnny was one of my best friends in the Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said on Sunday. “But what is amazing about him is that at any given time, about 98 other senators are feeling the same way. His infectious warmth and charisma, generosity and integrity have made Johnny one of the Capitol’s most admired and loved people.

In 2015, as he prepared to run for a third term in the Senate, Isakson revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic and progressive movement disorder that left him with a noticeably shuffling gait. slower. Shortly after being re-elected in 2016, he underwent scheduled back surgery to address the deteriorating spine. He was frequently dependent on a cane or a wheelchair in recent years.

In August 2019, shortly after fracturing four ribs in a fall in his Washington apartment, Isakson announced he would retire at the end of the year with two years remaining.

“Let’s fix the problem and then see what happens,” Isakson said. “Most of the people who curse people and point fingers are people who have no solution themselves. “

Lewis, who died last year, greeted Isakson upstairs in the house in 2019, saying, “We’ve always found a way to get along and do the job people deserve.”

After the speech Lewis walked over to hug a limping Isakson, saying, “I’ll come meet you, brother.”

A native of Atlanta, Isakson failed in his first candidacy for an elected post: a seat on the Cobb County Commission in 1974. Two years later, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, becoming the only Republican to beat a Democratic candidate in Georgia the same year, Jimmy Carter was elected president. Isakson served 17 years in the State House and Senate. Still in the minority in the Georgia General Assembly, he helped pave the way for the rise of the GOP in the 2000s, fueled by the boom in suburban Atlanta. At the end of Isakson’s career, some of those same suburbs were turning back to the Democrats.

“As a gifted businessman and politician in retail, Johnny paved the way for the modern Republican Party in Georgia, but he never let partisan politics get in the way of good behavior,” the Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in a statement.

Isakson suffered humiliating setbacks before rising to the Senate. In 1990, he lost the race for governor to Democrat Zell Miller. In 1996, Guy Millner beat him in a Republican primary for the Senate before Millner lost to Democrat Max Cleland.

Many observers attributed the loss to Isakson for not being tough enough on abortion. In the race for the primaries, Isakson ran a television commercial in which he said that even though he was against government funding or promotion of abortion, he “would not vote to amend the Constitution in order to make women and their doctors of criminals “.

“I trust my wife, daughter and the women of Georgia to make the right choice,” he said.

He then changed his mind on the contentious issue.

He finally reached the US Senate in 2004 when he defeated Democrat Denise Majette with 58% of the vote. He served with Senior Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss, a close friend and classmate of the University of Georgia.

Isakson was considered one of the first prohibitive favorites to succeed Republican Sonny Perdue in the governor’s mansion in 2010. But he instead opted to run for a second term in the Senate. There, he earned a reputation as a moderate, although he rarely parted ways with his party in key votes.

He was one of the main negotiators in 2007 of the immigration legislation that President George W. Bush supported but ultimately abandoned after encountering strong resistance from the right. Chambliss and Isakson were booed at a Georgia Republican Party convention that year for their stance on immigration.

Isakson supported limited school vouchers and played a major role in shaping Bush’s signature education plan, the No Child Left Behind Act. He also pushed for an unsuccessful compromise bill on the politically charged issue of stem cell research that would have expanded research funding while ensuring that human embryos would not be harmed.

This negotiating approach fell out of favor for many voters, but the lineage of Isakson remains present in Georgian politics. State Attorney General Chris Carr was the former senator’s chief of staff. “When I was a young man just starting out in politics, I wanted to be like Johnny Isakson,” Carr said on Sunday.

Georgia’s Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock said “all of Georgia” mourned the death of Isakson. Warnock, who took over the former seat of Isakson after defeating Republican Kelly Loeffler in a runoff in January, had a special connection to Isakson, who attended an annual service in honor of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The pulpit of the church belonged to King and later became that of Warnock. Warnock also continued Isakson’s tradition of an annual barbecue lunch for all Senators.

Isakson’s “model of public service is an example to future generations of leaders of how to stand on principle and make progress while governing with compassion and a heart for compromise,” Warnock said on Sunday.

Isakson graduated from the University of Georgia in 1966 and joined his family business, Northside Realty in Cobb County, a year later. She has grown into one of the largest independent residential real estate brokerage firms in the country during her more than 20 years at the helm. Isakson also served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972.

He is survived by his wife, Diane, whom he married in 1968; three children and nine grandchildren.

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Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia.


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Veterans Secretary visits North Texas – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-secretary-visits-north-texas-nbc-5-dallas-fort-worth/ Sat, 18 Dec 2021 02:32:17 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-secretary-visits-north-texas-nbc-5-dallas-fort-worth/ Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough visited the new Garland VA Medical Center on Friday with Dallas Congressman Colin Allred, who helped open it about a year ago. Almost 200,000 North Texas veterans are registered for VA health care. Garland’s facility is intended to improve service, but a North Texas veterans advocate said more services are […]]]>

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough visited the new Garland VA Medical Center on Friday with Dallas Congressman Colin Allred, who helped open it about a year ago.

Almost 200,000 North Texas veterans are registered for VA health care.

Garland’s facility is intended to improve service, but a North Texas veterans advocate said more services are needed.

McDonough said he thanked VA staff at Garland Medical Center for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic is not over. So we have to stay on it, ”McDonough said.

The Garland Hospital building was donated to the VA by Baylor, Scott & White.

Allred said he saved taxpayers $ 400 million and the decade it would have taken to build a new hospital.

“At the height of the pandemic, when the North Texas VA took over this facility, in less than 3 weeks they got it up and running,” Allred said.

Paul Hendricks, president of the nonprofit North Texas Veterans Center in Plano, said the Garland facility has reduced the delays veterans had a few years ago in obtaining services at the medical center in Dallas VA.

“We were seeing veteran after veteran who was in desperate need of medical attention,” said Hendricks. “The VA was so overloaded it just didn’t attract attention.”

Now Hendricks has said veterans are getting much better care, but he has said more mental health treatment is needed. And he said Denton and Collin counties should have a VA hospital as well.

“There is a real huge need for this. It would provide much more convenient services, ”said Hendricks.

Congressman Allred said there was a lot more room for services in the Garland Building and that would help serve more Denton and Collin County veterans.

“We’re in the early stages of getting this hospital up and running and serving our veterans in every way,” Allred said. “There is so much to be proud of what this facility is already doing, but we have big plans for its future. “

Allred said that more visitors to Garland Hospital would help strengthen the areas around it. He said he spoke with leaders of the Town of Garland about economic development opportunities on surrounding properties where buildings that once housed the support of the former Baylor, Scott & White Hospital are vacant.

Allred also said he was hopeful the VA Medical Center emergency room could reopen to serve the community as well.

Allred said Garland does not have an open hospital emergency room at the moment.

Secretary McDonough said there were many more improvements VA is hoping to see.

“We have very significant infrastructure investments to make across the business. That’s why President Biden’s Build Back Better includes $ 5 billion for VA. I really hope we can see this passed, ”McDonough said.

The VA secretary said the rapidly growing North Texas region could expect to see additional VA facilities in the future.

In the meantime, he said the improved primary care veterans receive at Garland Medical Center has reduced emergency room visits by those same patients at other hospitals by 40%, lowering the cost to taxpayers.


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