RESOLUTION 39-05

RESOLUTION: DETERMINATION OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT VA SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR BLIND VETERANS

WHEREAS, the nation is at war and the effective and efficient expenditure of resources must be maximized, AND

WHEREAS, measures are being considered by Congress to reduce cost and increase efficiency in Government spending, AND

WHEREAS, in 2004 the VA estimated that there were 278,400 veterans age 85 or older enrolled in the system, AND

WHEREAS, the projections for 2012 is 681,000 veterans age 85 or older, AND

WHEREAS, this is some 2.5 times the number of 85 + year old veterans in the current population, AND

WHEREAS, it is mandatory to determine what this increase will require in the VA service delivery system to address the needs of an aging blind veteran population, AND

WHEREAS, BVA wants to ensure that an adequate service delivery model is in place to meet the needs of all blinded veterans in the future, AND

WHEREAS, the BVA wants to ensure that the most effective and efficient use is made of the resources allocated by the VA to the delivery of blind rehabilitation services; THEREFORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005, urges that the BVA request VA Under Secretary of Health to require BRS to provide statistical data with a focus on a cost benefit analysis of the VA Blind Rehabilitation Service model of service delivery to determine if resources are being properly allocated to address the needs of America’s current and future blinded veterans, AND FURTHER BE IT

RESOLVED, that the VA be required to ensure an adequate model of service delivery that will effectively address the needs of the Nations blinded veterans in the most cost effective manner in future years, AND FINALLY BE IT 

RESOLVED, that this resolution be included in the written and oral testimony of the BVA to Congress.

 

RESOLUTION 40-05

RESOLUTION: SETUP OF COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

WHEREAS, the setup of computers is authorized and Prosthetics pays for such service, AND

WHEREAS, many of the blinded veterans receiving such equipment are elderly and/or have disabilities that require such equipment to be setup, AND

WHEREAS, it is good practice to ensure computer equipment arrives in good condition and is setup and configured correctly in the veteran’s home so that the veteran can use the equipment in a timely manner, AND

WHEREAS, there is a disparity of service and commitment to continuum of care among various VA facilities, and VISNs, AND

WHEREAS, some facilities and VISNs have made it part of their commitment to customer service to make vendor set-up and delivery of computer equipment a routine part of the issuance procedure, AND

WHEREAS, other VA facilities and VISNs do not offer this level of service, AND

WHEREAS, this lack of commitment to good customer service and follow-through has resulted in poor transition between the training environment and veteran's home, AND

WHEREAS, this ultimately costs the VA more in troubleshooting calls and problem solving and results in needless delays in the veteran being able to utilize the equipment that they have trained on and been issued; THEREFORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005, strongly recommend to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that in order to insure uniformity of care and appropriate follow through, that setup of computers be provided as a standard of practice and not as an exception, AND FURTHER BE IT

RESOLVED, that Blind Rehabilitation Services (BRS) partner with the BVA and Prosthetics (P&SAS) to develop policies and procedures to standardize the setup of computer equipment and peripherals by putting in place clinical indicators to include but not limited to: veterans health, age, physical condition, manual dexterity and demonstrated ability or lack thereof in determining if the setup service is appropriate.

 

RESOLUTION 41-05

RESOLUTION:    NEED FOR CONSUMER INVOLVEMENT IN BRS STRATEGIC PLANNING

WHEREAS, VA Blind Rehabilitation Service (BRS) has developed a number of strategic planning committees, AND

WHEREAS, the committees are developing treatment and service delivery strategies, AND

WHEREAS, consumers are not represented on these committees nor is consumer input being sought, AND

WHEREAS, the BVA strongly feels that planning needs to include ongoing input and feedback from the consumers to ensure that plans developed meet the needs and desires of the consumers,AND

WHEREAS, BVA should be a partner in the development of any strategic plans that impact treatment and services to blinded veterans; THEREFORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005, request that the BVA recommends to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that BRS be instructed to have consumer involvement on strategic planning committees and that the consumers be used as partners in the development of all strategic planning that affects treatment and service delivery to blinded veterans, AND FURTHER BE IT

RESOLVED, that the language in this resolution be included in the written testimony to Congress.


RESOLUTION 42-05

RESOLUTION: SCRIPTALK IMPLEMENTATION NATIONWIDE

WHEREAS, the VA Under- Secretary of Health instructed the VA to implement audible prescription label reading devices and set a implementation schedule and deadline, AND

WHEREAS, there are facilities and some VISNs that have failed to implement and utilize the ScripTalk system, AND

WHEREAS, this lack of implementation and utilization is contrary to the guidance from VA Headquarters and has needlessly placed blinded veterans at unnecessary risk, AND

WHEREAS, JACHO has placed medication safety as a high priority in health care facilities; THEREFORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on the 20th day of August, 2005, requests the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to investigate and identify roadblocks to implementation of ScripTalk, AND FURTHER BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Under Secretary of Health be requested to take appropriate corrective action to remove road blocks to full implementation so that no blinded veteran remains at risk of unnecessary medication errors due to not being able to read his or her medication label.

 

RESOLUTION 43-05

PUERTO RICO REGIONAL GROUP
BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION

VA-MC – Room 1D178
10 Casia Street
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00921-3201

WHEREAS, the volume of service-connected claims filed by veterans under Title 38 USC 1151 has increased dramatically, AND

WHEREAS, these veterans have been denied many benefits accorded to other service-connected veterans, AND

WHEREAS, the lack of these benefits has created economic and personal hardship in many of their families, THEREFORE BE IT, 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association assembled in Miami, Florida, on this 20th day of August, 2005, initiate an investigation concerning this matter and furthermore to submit a bill urging the U.S. Congress to amend this law, AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that the following change be made to 38 USC 1151. Benefits for persons disabled by treatment or vocational rehabilitation:

Compensation under this chapter, dependency and indemnity compensation under chapter 13 of this title, AND ALL ANCILLARY BENEFITS UNDER THIS TITLE shall be awarded for a qualifying additional disability or a qualifying death of a veteran in the same manner as if such additional disability or death were service-connected. For purposes of this section, a disability or death is a qualifying additional disability or qualifying death if the disability or death was not the result of the veteran’s willful misconduct.

RESOLUTION 44-05

VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS SUMMIT
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
MARCH 31, 2005

A Resolution in Support of the Construction of a Replacement Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Puerto Rico

WHEREAS, Puerto Rican veterans have served with honor and distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States in all wars and conflicts since 1917 to this day. Currently eighty percent (80%) of the Reserve Command and fifty percent (50%) of the Puerto Rico National Guard have provided active support in our Nation's war on terrorism; AND

WHEREAS, Puerto Ricans have always responded to the call of defending our Nation. Presently Puerto Rico has the 16th highest overall contribution in the Army Reserves and National Guard and the 6th highest per capita contribution of all states and territories; AND

WHEREAS, the San Juan Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a 35-year-old, antiquated facility that is unsuitable for providing quality service to veterans in Puerto Rico. The facility is seismically weak, has a poor air conditioning-ventilation system, and has limited parking capacity and space; AND

WHEREAS, other functional deficiencies, such as patient privacy and handicap accessibility, have contributed to a 2002 CARESstudy that ranked the facility as having the most significant infrastructure problems in the Veterans Affairs system; AND

WHEREAS, the San Juan Veterans Affairs Medical Center has the highest utilization rate of any of the hospitals in the Veterans Affairs system, serving over 150,000 veterans in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; AND

WHEREAS, the Medical Center was designed and built in the 1960's under a lower standard of service that prevents Puerto Rican veterans from enjoying a safe and efficient health care environment; AND

WHEREAS, in 1999, Congress appropriated $50 million to correct the seismic problems at the San Juan Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center through the construction of a new bed tower. Although the CARES Commission required expeditious construction of a safe bed tower in San Juan, the allocated funds constituted only half the requested amount and, after spending $4 million in a bidding process, the project was deemed unfeasible at that funding level; AND

WHEREAS, in 2003, Congress included language in the Fiscal Year 2004 Authorization encouraging the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs to transfer necessary funds to the construction of the new bed tower; AND

WHEREAS, in January 2004, an additional $29 million was included for this project that has yet to begin; AND

WHEREAS, if the proposed 314-bed patient tower were to be constructed, the facility would still not fully resolve the pressing infrastructure and safety issues that affect the services provided by San Juan Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; AND

WHEREAS, Veterans Affairs estimates there is over $93 million in unused appropriated funds destined to address a fraction of the problems confronting the San Juan Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the cost to repair the existing center would exceed $250 million, which is nearly half the amount estimated by the Veterans Affairs for the construction of the replacement facility, AND

WHEREAS, building a new replacement facility would add long-term benefit of reducing overall utility costs by at least 20% and would represent a better use of tax payer monies; THEREFORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, by all veterans and veterans organizations assembled in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 31, 2005 to request the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Congress, and the President of the United States to support the construction of a new replacement Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Puerto Rico and FUTHERMORE BE IT  

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Miami, Florida, on this 20th day of August, 2005, supports our fellow veterans in Puerto Rico in their request for the construction of a new Veterans Medical Center in Puerto Rico.  

 

RESOLUTION 45-05

VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS SUMMIT
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

MARCH 31, 2005

A Resolution In Support Of Maintaining Operations of United States Army Reserve Base Fort Buchanan Active in Puerto Rico

WHEREAS, Fort Buchanan's history dates back to the Spanish American War where the first Puerto Rican U.S. Army unit was established in 1903 under the command of LTC James A. Buchanan; AND

WHEREAS, Puerto Ricans always responded to the call of defending our Nation and the principles of freedom, equality and justice for which it stands, and have served with honor and distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States in all wars and conflicts since 1917; AND

WHEREAS, Fort Buchanan is the last active Department of Defense installation in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Basin on U.S. Territory and plays an important role in our ability to continue to serve our Nation proudly; AND

WHEREAS, Fort Buchanan provides critical services to Active, Reserve, and National Guard forces, and some thirty-two federal agencies in several areas such as schooling, quality of life, morale, recreation and welfare services; AND

WHEREAS, with the closing of Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico would not only lose the last major Department of Defense installation on the Island but also one of the largest employers in the metropolitan area causing significant impact on our local economy; AND

WHEREAS, the moratorium on military construction at Fort Buchanan prohibits military construction projects that were not approved prior to October 30, 2000, negatively affecting the recruitment and retention of Puerto Rico's soldiers and depriving Puerto Rican soldiers and their families with an even playing field compared to other Army Reserve facilities going into a BRAC process; AND

WHEREAS, this last facility affects our Blinded Veterans in the Puerto Rican area; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, by all veterans, reserve officers and veterans organizations assembled in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 31, 2005, to request that the

corresponding Military Authorities, members of Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), the Congress, and the President of the United States provide their support in maintaining Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico active and eliminating the military construction moratorium in said base; AND FURTHERMORE BE IT 

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association assembled in Miami, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005, supports the request of our veterans in Puerto Rico, to maintain Fort Buchanan as an active Department of Defense Installation.