23 July 2008, 09:14
– By MAJ Deb Cisney, AW2 Operations –
During the 2008 AW2 Symposium the delegates discussed more than 80 issues that were previously submitted by AW2 Soldiers, Family members, prospective employers and others involved in wounded warrior care and transition. During four days of focus group sessions, the delegates worked with facilitators and subject matter experts to combine similar issues and determine which were the most important. At the conclusion of the Symposium, each focus group briefed their top prioritized issues to LTG Rochelle and other Army leadership. The delegates than voted on the top five overall issues of the 2008 AW2 Symposium, which were relayed to you in Part 1 of this blog series.
Now, to quote Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story.” In order of presentation, the rest of the focus group prioritized issues briefed to LTG Rochelle were:
-Career Counseling For Wounded Warriors: Assign each wounded warrior an individual Career Counselor to identify their skills and experiences and assist them with developing and posting their resumes and require Career Counselors to follow-up with wounded warriors 90 days after separation.
-Over Medication of Service Members and Veterans: Provide continuing education to service members and veterans about high risk medications and alternatives to prevent overdose and addiction and require the development and implementation of a lifespan injury pain management plan for service members and veterans.
-Non-Dependent Caregivers Eligibility for Support Services: Authorize Soldier-elected, non-dependent caregivers to receive established support services as deemed necessary by case manager.
-Mental Health Treatment and Confidentiality: Combine mental health and primary care services in the same facility.
-Continuity of Care and Services during Transitions: Develop a new standardized policy for the seamless transition of a wounded warrior and Family and assign a representative to seriously wounded warriors at the time of injury and throughout the life time of the wounded warrior continuum of care.
-Local Community Support of Wounded Warriors: Ensure AW2 Strategic
Communication programs reach all local communities with wounded warriors and hometown news releases are distributed for returning wounded warriors.
-Consistent Medical Care from Active Duty to the Veterans Affairs System: Require the transitional case manager to contact the Military Treatment Facility (MTF) to ensure continuous medical treatment and ensure the service member is concurrently registered in the Patient Administration Division (PAD) and reenrolled in TRICARE at the nearest MTF upon return to their place of residence.
-Timely Medical Appointments for All Veterans: Schedule appointments within 30 days of the original request and provide local treatment at the government’s expense if VHA personnel are unavailable.
The delegates’ work is done (whew!) and now it is up to AW2 to ensure that the issues are addressed. Rest assured that all 13 issues (the 8 listed above plus the top 5 prioritized issues) have been incorporated into the AW2 Symposium Active Issues. You can check the AW2 website and this blog for updates on all of your issues.