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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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News Releases Archive
Public Affairs, (713) 794-7349


Archive Start Date: 12/2009

2009

New Vet Center in Spring, Tx. Hosts Grand Opening Jan. 8 - HOUSTON - The new Spring Vet Center will hold a Grand Opening Celebration on Friday, January 8, 2010, 10 a.m. at 14300 Cornerstone Village Drive, Houston, Texas 77014. (12/17/2009)

DeBakey VA Works to Build a Culture of Safety - HOUSTON - The VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) recently awarded the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Bronze Cornerstone Recognition Award to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) for completion of all root cause analyses within 45 days during fiscal year 2009, the second year in a row. (12/17/2009)

New VA Outpatient Clinics Opening Next Year - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is making progress toward establishing four new VA outpatient clinics in Richmond, Lake Jackson, Katy, and Tomball and reopening its clinic in Texas City. (12/08/2009)

Houston Chronicle MedBlog - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center participated in a Live Internet Chat on the MedBlog of the Houston Chronicle on Dec. 2, 2009. For more than an hour, Briggette Allen, Eligibility Supervisor (right), and Michele Farrow, Patient Advocate Supervisor, chatted with bloggers on topics related to VA eligibility, services for homeless female veterans, PTSD, applying for benefits, and VA's Suicide Prevention program. This was a great opportunity to get the word out about VA healthcare and services. The response was extremely positive and the Houston Chronicle is interested in doing this project again. (12/03/2009)

78 Houston VA Docs Listed as "Best Doctors" in the Nation - HOUSTON - The medical knowledge company, Best Doctors, Inc. has included 78 physicians who provide patient care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in the latest compilation of The Best Doctors in America database. (11/25/2009)

Registration Open for 24th National Veterans Golden Age Games! - A qualifier for the National Senior Games, the Games will attract more than 700 Veterans. (11/20/2009)

New Units Open to Care for Needs of Returning Combat Troops and for Women Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently opened two new nursing units to provide specialized inpatient mental health services for returning combat troops and for women Veterans. (11/18/2009)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery will again participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 11 a.m. This year, the goal is to place as many wreaths as possible on headstones to express appreciation for the past, present, and future sacrifices of our nation's veterans and their families. (11/17/2009)

Veterans Day Event Held in Downtown Houston - HOUSTON - The 11th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade will be held on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 in downtown Houston. The Houston VA National Cemetery, in conjunction with the City of Houston, is proud to continue the tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our great nation. This year's theme is "Answering the Call to Defend Freedom." (11/09/2009)

Free Drive-Thru "Annual Flu" Shots at Houston VA, Saturday, Nov. 7, 10am-2pm - The MEDVAMC sponsors a Free Drive-Thru "Annual Flu" Shot Clinic on Saturday, November 7, 2009 providing vaccinations for the annual, seasonal flu. (11/04/2009)

Houston VA Lauded for Improving Air Quality and Reducing Traffic Congestion - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently designated again as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the Houston-Galveston Area Council. In addition, the Council recognized the MEDVAMC as a 2009 Clean Air Champion. (11/03/2009)

Quality of Care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. On each floor, there are 4 pneumatic trash and linen chutes. Each chute takes soiled linens and the majority of generated trash directly to either dumpsters or the in-house laundry. This eliminates the possibility of moving contaminated items within the main building. (11/02/2009)

Double Trouble: H1N1 Flu and Seasonal Flu - HOUSTON - If you have read a newspaper or watched the news lately, you probably have heard about an unusual flu virus making people sick this year. The "H1N1 Flu," also known as "Novel Flu" or "Swine Flu," is different from the annual, "Seasonal Flu" health care providers see every fall and winter. (10/29/2009)

"Deep Brain Stimulation: Is It for You or your Loved One" - The Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and the Houston Area Parkinson Society will sponsor a conference on Deep Brain Stimulation on November 14. "Deep Brain Stimulation: Is It for You or Your Loved One" is the topic of the conference. The program is designed for patients with Parkinson's disease, their families and caregivers, and interested movement disorder specialists. (10/20/2009)

Veterans Day Event Held in Downtown Houston - HOUSTON - The 11th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade will be held on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 in downtown Houston. The Houston VA National Cemetery, in conjunction with the City of Houston, is proud to continue the tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our great nation. This year's theme is "Answering the Call to Defend Freedom." (10/19/2009)

Homeless Veterans Receive Services at Houston Area Stand Down - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV), in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, Coalition for the Homeless, Harris County Hospital District (HCHD), Harris County Veteran Services, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, and Vet Centers recently hosted the 9th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless veterans. (10/09/2009)

Houston VA Heart Bypass Patients Have Higher Survival Rate than Non-VA Patients - HOUSTON - Patients who undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) are less likely to die than patients in non-VA hospitals. (09/25/2009)

Houston VA Awarded 3-Year Accreditations for Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation Medicine Programs - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded three-year accreditations by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for both its Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Rehabilitation Medicine Programs. (09/15/2009)

Flu Season is Almost Here - Make sure veterans you know get their flu shots today!! Walk-Up Flu Shots... This flu shot is for protection against the annual, seasonal flu. It is NOT the vaccine for the H1N1 (Swine) Flu. (09/15/2009)

Houston VA Hosts 9th Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV), in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, Coalition for the Homeless, Harris County Hospital District (HCHD), Harris County Veteran Services, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, and Vet Centers, is hosting the 9th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 7 - 8, 2009, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Emancipation Park Community Center located at 3018 Dowling Street. (09/14/2009)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery will again participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 11 a.m. This year, the goal is to place as many wreaths as possible on headstones to express appreciation for the past, present, and future sacrifices of our nation's veterans and their families. (09/04/2009)

DeBakey VA Opens 'Welcome Center' for Returning Combat Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will open a new Post-Deployment Clinic on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 on the first floor, east side of the hospital in Suite 1B-373, down the hall from the Release of Information Office. This newly renovated space will serve as a "Welcome Center" for our Nation's newest Veterans - the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (09/02/2009)

Marsh Named Head of Mental Health at DeBakey VA - HOUSTON - Laura Marsh, M.D. was recently named to head the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (08/31/2009)

New VA Clinic Unveiled - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic made its public debut during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with its namesake appearing as the guest of honor Friday morning in Lufkin. (08/31/2009)

Lufkin VA Clinic Celebrates New Facility with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Located on approximately seven acres of land on the west side of Lufkin just off Loop 287, the new, 37,000 square-foot facility will replace both the VA outpatient clinic located at 1301 West Frank Avenue and the Mental Health Clinic Annex at 1514 Ellis Avenue. (08/24/2009)

Atluri Selected as Anesthesiology Chief at DeBakey VA - HOUSTON - Prasad V. D. Atluri, M.D. was recently selected to be the new Anesthesiology Chief at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (08/12/2009)

DeBakey VA Offers Cutting-edge, Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lung Cancer - HOUSTON - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now offer a minimally invasive surgical treatment, video-assisted lobectomy, for Veterans with early-stage lung cancer. (08/10/2009)

Houston VA Selected as Site for VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence - HOUSTON - On July 29, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was notified it had been selected as a Department of Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Center of Excellence. (07/31/2009)

Lufkin VA Clinic Closed Friday-Monday for Move to New Location - LUFKIN, TX - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic will be closed this Friday, July 31, 2009 through Monday, August 3, 2009 in order to move to its new location at 2206 North John Redditt Drive. No health care services will be available during that time. The new clinic will open for normal business on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. The main telephone number for the new clinic is (936) 671-4300 or toll-free 1-800-209-3120. (07/27/2009)

Local Disabled Veterans Bring Home the Gold - HOUSTON - A wide range of disabilities could not stop five local wheelchair athletes from bringing home those coveted gold and silver medals from the 29th National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Spokane, Washington. The athletes are all disabled Veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (07/24/2009)

VA Homeless Veterans Facility Reopens After "Ike" Damage Repaired - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center's (MEDVAMC) 40-bed domiciliary residence for homeless Veterans reopened on July 20, 2009. Hurricane Ike, which devastated southeast Texas last September with estimated damages of $20 billion, also ravaged the VA facility located at 7329 Fannin Street. (07/22/2009)

Quality of Care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. On each floor, there are 4 pneumatic trash and linen chutes. Each chute takes soiled linens and the majority of generated trash directly to either dumpsters or the in-house laundry. This eliminates the possibility of moving contaminated items within the main building. (07/17/2009)

Robot-Assisted, Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Surgery Available at Houston VA - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently initiated clinical use of a surgical robotic system to perform minimally invasive gynecological operations, including minimally invasive hysterectomies. (07/16/2009)

Disabled American Veterans Recognize Employee at Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic - HOUSTON - The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Department of Texas awarded Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) employee Flavil Lynn Chesser, RPh, MS, with their prestigious Veterans Health Administration Award. Chesser serves as the supervisory pharmacist for the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin. (07/02/2009)

New Lufkin Clinic Gets Finishing Touches for Grand Opening - LUFKIN, TX - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic will celebrate the opening of its new home at 2206 North John Redditt Drive in Lufkin with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 9 a.m. (07/01/2009)

Houston VA Receives $5 Million Grant to Study and Treat Traumatic Brain Injury - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been awarded a five-year $5 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development to establish a new VA Rehabilitation Research Center of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. (06/30/2009)

New Patient Care Model Assesses if Elderly can Live on Their Own - HOUSTON - (June 24, 2009) - A team consisting of medical professionals, social workers and family members plays an important role in assessing an older adult's capacity to live on their own, according to experts at Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (http://www.houston.va.gov/) at Houston in a paper published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. (06/24/2009)

VA Health Care Providers from Many Different Specialties Work Together to Save Veteran's Life - HOUSTON - Health care providers from the Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic, and Vascular Surgery departments at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center used a multidisciplinary approach to successfully treat a 57-year-old Veteran from Houston suffering from a thoracic aortic aneurysm complicated by dissection and rupture into his left chest. (06/22/2009)

Houston VA Accepts Historical "Kissing Sailor" Signed Poster and Memorabilia - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold a brief ceremony to accept the donation of a historical, signed poster and other memorabilia from the V-J Day "Kissing Sailor," Glenn McDuffie, U.S. Navy, GM3/C. Mr. McDuffie, who lives in Houston, will be present at the ceremony. (06/09/2009)

32 Local Veterans Compete in 23st National Veterans Golden Age Games - HOUSTON - In June, 32 Veterans from the Houston area participated in the 23rd National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Birmingham, Alabama and brought home 17 medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility. More than 700 Veterans from all over the country registered to compete this year. (06/09/2009)

VA Researchers Identify Potential Risks of Therapies Taken by the Elderly - HOUSTON - Researchers from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) unveiled data during the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2009 conference held in Chicago this week examining the potential risks associated with a commonly-used treatment, particularly among the elderly, antithrombotics. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal surgery. (06/03/2009)

New Lufkin Clinic Gets Finishing Touches for Grand Opening - LUFKIN, TX - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic will celebrate the opening of its new home at 2206 North John Redditt Drive in Lufkin with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 9 a.m. (06/03/2009)

Fisher House Continues to Provide a Home Away from Home - HOUSTON - Four years ago this month, Mike and Joyce Kibler from Topeka, Kansas checked into the Fisher House at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) as the first official guests. Since that day, more than 8,500 guests have stayed at this "home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at the MEDVAMC. (05/29/2009)

Quality of Care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. On each floor, there are 4 pneumatic trash and linen chutes. Each chute takes soiled linens and the majority of generated trash directly to either dumpsters or the in-house laundry. This eliminates the possibility of moving contaminated items within the main building. (05/21/2009)

Houston VA Psychologist Wins VA Award - HOUSTON - Recently, Wright Williams, Ph.D., a Trauma Recovery Program clinical psychologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), was awarded the 2009 Department of Veteran Affairs South Central MIRECC Excellence in Education Award. (05/15/2009)

Houston VA Striving to Meet Mental Health Needs of Returning Troops - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has developed and expanded several programs to provide mental health screening, counseling, and early treatment to meet the needs of our nation's newest veterans - the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (05/13/2009)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - HOUSTON - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 25, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. (05/13/2009)

Military Families Coping with Change: OEF/OIF Family Night - Sesame Street t-shirts and other materials for children. Refreshments provided. OEF/OIF service members, veterans, and families with children ages 2-8 years old are encouraged to attend. Sesame Workshop's "Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change" Screening. This video is part of Sesame Street Workshop's Talk, Listen, and Connect initiative for military families. The special includes some of children's favorite Sesame Street friends-Elmo and Rosita! It also includes video material that will prompt many questions, such as families dealing with visible physical and invisible injuries. (05/08/2009)

Percutaneous Endovascular Aneurysm Surgery Available at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now have new technology available for endovascular abdominal aneurysm surgery. Percutaneous (through the skin) endovascular abdominal aneurysm surgery allows these procedures to be done without incisions. (05/08/2009)

Why wait in line to have your blood drawn at the Blood Lab? - Avoid the crowds, save time, and have your blood drawn in your Primary Care Clinic! (04/21/2009)

Female Veteran Still Serving Our Nation's Heroes - Houston - Karen Shaver moves quickly. One minute she is in her office getting comfort kits ready to deliver to our female Veterans, the next she is asking the volunteer staff if they need help with anything. (04/21/2009)

Seven Veterans Win Local Art Contest - HOUSTON - Seven local veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center have had their art pieces selected to compete in the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Veterans Creative Arts Festival taking place October 5 - 11, 2009 in San Antonio. (04/17/2009)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine for Excellence in Education - HOUSTON - On April 16, 2009, Baylor College of Medicine selected its outstanding educators for 2008. These faculty members included five physicians from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (04/17/2009)

DeBakey VA Sets the Standard in Delivering More Treatment Options for Liver Cancer - HOUSTON - Physicians at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now have a powerful new tool with industry-leading microwave technology to ablate soft tissue and effectively treat liver cancer. (04/17/2009)

Medical Journal Praises VA Electronic Health Record - WASHINGTON (April 6, 2009) - A recent study in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine singles out the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its successful implementation of a comprehensive system of electronic health records. (04/06/2009)

DeBakey VA's Rapid Response Team Aims to Save Lives - HOUSTON - Following a successful pilot program, a Rapid Response Team was put into action for inpatients at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The team includes a Medical/Neuro Step-Down nurse practitioner, a respiratory therapist, and a physician, usually the pulmonary fellow or the in-house resident after regular business hours. (03/23/2009)

Local Disabled Veterans Ski the Rocky Mountains - HOUSTON - Four disabled Veterans who receive treatment at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will be among 400 other disabled Veterans from across the country to ski the Rocky Mountains at the 23rd National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, March 29 - April 3, 2009. (03/20/2009)

New Technology Allows VA and DoD to Share Patient Records - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Software platforms that bridge the medical databases of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Denfense (DoD) are improving military health care. (03/13/2009)

DeBakey VA Works to Build a Culture of Safety - HOUSTON - The VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) recently awarded the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Bronze Cornerstone Recognition Award to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center for completion of all root cause analyses within 45 days during fiscal year 2008. (03/12/2009)

VA Dermatologist Battles Skin Cancer - HOUSTON - Dermatologists at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have a wide variety of treatments, valuable information, and technology at their fingertips to keep veterans from developing skin cancer and treat those who are suffering from the disease. (03/11/2009)

Kalavar Selected as DeBakey VA Chief of Staff - HOUSTON - Jagadeesh S. Kalavar, M.D. was recently selected as the new chief of staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In his new post, Kalavar, who has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since 1991, will serve as the MEDVAMC's senior medical officer responsible for all clinical care and programs at the main facility in Houston and outpatient clinics. (03/06/2009)

Houston VA Doctor Named New President of the Association for Academic Surgery - HOUSTON - Daniel Albo, M.D., Ph.D., chief of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), was recently selected as the new president of the Association for Academic Surgery. He is the first Hispanic President of the Association for Academic Surgery. The Association of Academic Surgeons is one of the most prestigious academic surgical societies in the country. (03/05/2009)

Former Surgeon and Current Patient Praises VA - Letter to the editor appeared in February 26 issue of Lufkin Daily News. (02/26/2009)

"Health Buddy" Technology Prods Veterans to Live a Healthier Lifestyle - HOUSTON - Veterans with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart failure can be monitored at home using special telehealth technologies provided to them by the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (02/23/2009)

VA Outpatient Clinic on Galveston Island Reopens - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony officially re-opening its VA Outpatient Clinic on Galveston Island. (02/18/2009)

Houston VA Again Achieves Consistently Low Surgical Mortality Rates - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) again has been recognized for demonstrating consistently low observed-to-expected mortality rates in general surgery, all surgery, and all non-cardiac surgery. (02/09/2009)

Free Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: "Helpful Hints for Memory & Thinking Changes in Parkinson's Disease." The guest speaker is Michele K. York, Ph.D., PADRECC Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. A question and answer session will follow along with light refreshments. (02/03/2009)

Flu Is Spreading in the Houston Area - Make sure the veterans you know get their flu shots today!! - WHAT: Walk-Up Flu Shots (02/03/2009)

VA Doctor Receives Distinguished Scientist Award - HOUSTON - Blase A. Carabello, M.D., F.A.C.C, acting director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, recently was selected to receive the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the college's most prestigious research honor. (01/20/2009)

VA Researchers To Create New Way For Bones To Heal - HOUSTON - If you have not broken a bone, you probably know someone who has. Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) challenged themselves to create and develop "fracture putty," a new material that speeds the healing of bone in severe fractures. (01/15/2009)

DeBakey VA Re-Designated Magnet Hospital by American Nurse Credentialing Center - HOUSTON - The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the nation's leading nursing credentialing organization, today again granted its Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The MEDVAMC is only the second VA medical center in the nation to achieve this recognition, and remains in the group of fellow Texas Medical Center facilities with Magnet status, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. (01/14/2009)

Quality of Care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. On each floor, there are 4 pneumatic trash and linen chutes. Each chute takes soiled linens and the majority of generated trash directly to either dumpsters or the in-house laundry. This eliminates the possibility of moving contaminated items within the main building. (01/04/2009)

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2008

Houston VA Earns Full Accreditation from AAHRPP - HOUSTON - The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) announced on December 17 that it had awarded full accreditation to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (12/29/2008)

2008 Minority Veterans Holiday Reception - On Thursday, December 18, 2008, the Minority Veterans Program Committee at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will host its 2008 Holiday Reception: Healing Power of the Heart. (12/12/2008)

Chen honored with Epilepsy Society / Milken Early Career Award - HOUSTON - The American Epilepsy Society / Milken Family Foundation Early Career Physicians Scientist Award has been given to David K. Chen, M.D., director of the Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. (12/10/2008)

Houston VA Awarded 3-Year Accreditations for Homeless and Vocational Rehab Programs - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded a three-year certification by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. (12/09/2008)

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shots at Houston VA - The MEDVAMC will sponsor a Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, December 13, 2008. (12/08/2008)

VA Collaborates with Military Blood Bank to Save Precious Resource - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently began collaborating with the Robertson Blood Center, a U.S. Army Blood Bank located at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Ft. Hood, Texas to save taxpayer money and maximize the use of a valuable and perishable resource. (12/04/2008)

Texas Veterans Commission Recognizes VA Medical Center Social Worker - HOUSTON, TX - The Texas Veterans Commission named Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Social Worker Linda Avery the Outstanding VA Employee of the Month for October 2008. (12/02/2008)

DeBakey VA Uses Skill and Technology to Tackle Rare, Life-Threatening Medical Condition - HOUSTON - Recently, a cardiovascular team at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) used their expertise, teamwork, and the latest cutting-edge technology to repair an ascending aortic pseudo-aneurysm, a rare, life-threatening medical condition. (12/02/2008)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery will again participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 11 a.m. This year, the goal is to place approximately 14,000 wreaths on headstones to express appreciation for the past, present, and future sacrifices of our nation's veterans and their families. (12/01/2008)

66 Houston VA Docs Listed as "Best Doctors" in the Nation - HOUSTON - The medical knowledge company, Best Doctors, Inc. has included 66 physicians who provide patient care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in the latest compilation of The Best Doctors in America database. (11/17/2008)

Study shows need for increased education about panic attacks - HOUSTON - (Nov. 14, 2008) - The symptoms of panic attacks are frequently confused by physicians with other problems, indicating a need for better education in the area, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who surveyed physicians on the topic. A report of their study appears in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. (11/17/2008)

Houston VA Laboratory Earns Accreditation from College of American Pathologists - HOUSTON - The laboratory at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been awarded accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (11/12/2008)

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shots at Houston VA - The MEDVAMC will sponsor a Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, November 22, 2008. (11/06/2008)

Retraining the Brain with Extraordinary Eyeglasses - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), a leader in the treatment and rehabilitation of veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), is continuing to adapt its programs and offer cutting-edge technology to meet the needs of the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). The latest breakthrough is the use of specialized prism eyeglasses that retrain the brain to treat hemispatial neglect. (11/03/2008)

VA Physician Receives Prestigious Lynn Payer Award - HOUSTON - The American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) recently awarded its 2008 Lynn Payer Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Literature on the Theory, Practice and Teaching of Effective Healthcare Communication and Related Skills to Paul Haidet, M.D. a staff physician at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. The presentation was made at the AACH Research and Teaching Forum on October 18, 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin. (10/30/2008)

Veterans Day Event To Be Held in Downtown Houston - HOUSTON - The 10th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade will be held on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 in downtown Houston. The Houston VA National Cemetery, in conjunction with the City of Houston, is proud to continue the tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our great nation. This year's theme is "We Remember." (10/28/2008)

Houston VA Hosts 8th Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with the City of Houston - Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department, City of Houston - Office of Veterans Affairs, Coalition for the Homeless, George R. Brown Convention Center, Harris County Hospital District, Harris County Veteran Services, Houston Police Department, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office and Vet Centers is hosting the 8th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless Veterans on November 5 - 6, 2008 at the John P. McGovern Veterans Health Care and Service Center located at 1418 Preston Street. A health and social services fair will also be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall A. (10/20/2008)

DeBakey VA Brings Voter Registration to Veterans - HOUSTON, TEXAS - Get-out-the-vote efforts this year at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) provided voter registration information to inpatient veterans this campaign season. (10/17/2008)

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Event - In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, National Industries for the Blind, and the AbilityOne Program have joined forces to host a special event on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the 4th Floor Auditorium. (10/14/2008)

Wait Time for Knee Replacement Surgery Cut by 92% - HOUSTON - Decreasing the amount of time veterans wait for health care appointments continues to be a high priority for administrators at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). By focusing on ways to improve operating room efficiency and providing additional support services, the wait time for Total Knee Arthoplasty (TKA) surgery has decreased by 92 percent. (10/06/2008)

Houston VA Physician to Serve on Physician Faculty Scholars National Advisory Committee - HOUSTON - Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., staff physician and principal investigator, Houston VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center of Excellence at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was one of five senior investigators from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Research and Development program selected to serve on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars national advisory committee. She and her colleagues on the national advisory committee will serve as mentors to VA and non-VA physician faculty scholars and participate in the general oversight and direction of the Physician Faculty Scholars program. (10/02/2008)

DeBakey VA Earns ENERGY STAR for Superior Energy Efficiency - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings and industrial plants that rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency may qualify for the ENERGY STAR. (10/01/2008)

Hurricane Ike Doesn't Slow Down Food Service Workers at VA - HOUSTON - As Hurricane Ike took aim at the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) went into emergency preparedness mode. A vital part of that preparation is ensuring all 430 inpatients continue to receive healthy, nutritious meals. (09/29/2008)

VA Physicians Exploring Effectiveness of Bipolar Disorder Medications on Older Adults - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently conducting two clinical research studies for patients over the age of 60 with bipolar disorder. (09/25/2008)

Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony at Houston VA National Cemetery - In honor of those mothers whose sons or daughters have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the Houston VA National Cemetery, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Veterans Incarcerated/Veterans Redeemed will host a Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony on September 28, 2008 at 1 p.m. (09/25/2008)

Unruffled Nurses Help Patients Weather Hurricane Ike - HOUSTON - When Hurricane Ike unleashed 100 mile an hour winds that tore rooftops from homes and trees out of the ground, nurses throughout the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) used their skill, creativity, and experience to make sure their patients remained calm and comfortable. (09/25/2008)

PUBLIC NOTICE: MAGNET RECOGNITION PROGRAM SITE VISIT - Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center was designated as a Magnet organization in 2004 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program. This prestigious designation recognizes excellence in nursing services. In 2008, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center is applying for re-designation. (09/23/2008)

VA Clinic in Beaumont Reopens - BEAUMONT, TX - With power and water restored, the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 3420 Veterans Circle, reopened for normal business on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. (09/23/2008)

South Central VA Health Care Network Medical Facilities - JACKSON, MS - Despite the damage and devastation Hurricane Ike caused in southeast Texas and other areas near the Gulf Coast recently, the South Central Veteran Affairs (VA) Health Care Network, also known as the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 16, continues to provide an environment of care conducive to veterans affected by the storm. Numerous health care professionals, as well as support teams from the Network's medical centers in New Orleans, LA and surrounding areas have been mobilized and will stand up healthcare for veterans in the affected areas. (09/23/2008)

SLVHCS offers support to Texas neighbor to ensure prompt return of services to Veterans - NEW ORLEANS, LA (September 19, 2008) - Employees of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS), formerly the New Orleans VA, can empathize with the struggles of returning care to Veterans following a major hurricane. That's why when the Houston VAMC asked for assistance with staff and supplies to ensure the prompt return of services at their Beaumont, Texas Clinic, New Orleans did not hesitate in responding. (09/22/2008)

VA Mobile Health Clinic Opens in Beaumont - BEAUMONT, TX - A Department of Veterans Affairs mobile health clinic and pharmacy will open in the parking lot of the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 3420 Veterans Circle, on Saturday, September 20, 2008. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice. (09/19/2008)

VA Mental Health Annex in Lufkin Reopens - LUFKIN, TX - With electrical power restored, the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic (CWOPC) Mental Health Annex, located at 1514 Ellis Street in Lufkin, reopened for normal business on Friday, September 19, 2008. In addition, the bus transporting veterans from Lufkin to Houston for medical appointments is running as normal. (09/19/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Friday, September 19, 2008, Noon - To assist our VA family in recovery efforts from Hurricane Ike, VCS is extending assistance to help you secure essential supplies and other replacement items for your homes. Effective Friday, September 19, and until further notice, VCS is increasing our payroll deduction limits for MEDVAMC and VARO employees. Our payroll deduction line of credit will increase from $1250 to $2500. This increase will not effect the maximum repayment of $125 per pay period but simply extend the repayments terms. (09/19/2008)

VA Clinic in Texas City Reopens on Monday - TEXAS CITY, TX - The Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite 206 near the Mainland Mall, will reopen for normal business on Monday, September 22, 2008. (09/19/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Thursday, September 18, 2008, Noon - If you have gas and can offer a ride to a fellow employee or you do not have gas and need a ride to get to work, please contact Ray Glover, Transportation Coordinator at 713-791-1414 ext. 4722 or email Ray.Glover@va.gov. The plan is to match up co-workers who live near each other and pull together during this difficult time. (09/18/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, Noon - The offer for free gas by the Texas Medical Center was only for Monday, September 15, 2008. This offer has now expired. We will let you know if another opportunity presents itself. (09/17/2008)

Houston VA Sends Mobile Clinic to Assist Veterans in Texas City - HOUSTON - A Department of Veterans Affairs mobile health clinic will leave the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 6 a.m. and make its way to the Texas City community. (09/17/2008)

VA Clinic in Conroe Reopens on Wednesday - CONROE, TX - The Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 800 Riverwood Court, Suite 100, will reopen for normal business on Wednesday, September 17, 2008. (09/17/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 3 p.m. - The offer for free gas by the Texas Medical Center was only for Monday, September 15, 2008. This offer has now expired. We will let you know if another opportunity presents itself. (09/17/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, Noon - MEDVAMC is fully functional and attempting to resume normal operations. Staff should report to duty as scheduled. (09/16/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Monday, September 15, 2008, Noon - MEDVAMC is fully functional and attempting to resume normal operations. Staff should report to duty as scheduled. If you cannot report, contact your supervisor or the VA Employee Hotline by calling 1-866-233-0152. You are required to check in with your status, location, and contact information. Operators are available 24 hours, seven days a week until further notice. (09/15/2008)

Hurricane or Not; Veteran Gets New Liver - HOUSTON - While surge waters crashed the beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast and neighborhoods boarded up windows, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) performed an orthotopic liver transplantation on a 59 year-old, U.S. Army veteran from Missouri. (09/15/2008)

VA Clinic in Lufkin Reopens on Tuesday - LUFKIN, TX - The Charles Wilson Outpatient Clinic (CWOPC) in Lufkin will reopen for normal business on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the main clinic building located at 1301 West Frank Avenue. (09/15/2008)

VA Medical Center in Houston Open for Business on Tuesday - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will resume normal operations on Tuesday, September 16, 2008. All primary care and specialty care clinics at the main VA hospital in Houston will be open. (09/15/2008)

VA's Computerized Patient Record System Allows Houston Veteran Evacuees to Receive Care Nationwide - DALLAS - With Hurricane Ike on the horizon, many veterans in southeast Texas were ordered to evacuate the area. Today, hundreds are far from their homes, staying with relatives or in shelters and hotels as far away as Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kentucky. But due to VA's progressive Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), all patient records, prescriptions, and laboratory and radiology results on every Houston-area VA patient are available at any VA medical center and by any VA physician nationwide. (09/14/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Sunday, September 14, 2008, 10 a.m. - MEDVAMC is fully functional and attempting to resume normal operations. Staff should report to duty as scheduled. If you cannot report, you should contact your supervisor or the VA Employee Hotline by calling 1-866-233-0152. You are required to check in with your status, location, and contact information. Operators are available 24 hours, seven days a week until further notice. You may call as soon as you have contact information available or within 48 hours of the hurricane. (09/14/2008)

Houston VA Functional; But Not Routine Business - HOUSTON - With electrical power restored to its main health care facility in Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is attempting to resume normal operations. (09/14/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 3 p.m. - Because Houston Emergency Management Officials believe travel is dangerous at this time due to flooding, power outages, and downed trees/power lines, the MEDVAMC strongly discourages patients or staff to try to reach the facility. Veterans with life-threatening emergencies should immediately call 911. (09/13/2008)

Elevator Usage - Currently, the MEDVAMC is experiencing some spot electrical problems affecting the elevators. Only one elevator per bank is operational at this time. Elevator use is limited to patient care activities only. Employees and family members must use the stairs. If you have any questions, please contact Logistics at ext. 8554. (09/13/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 10 a.m. - At this time, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has suffered no known physical damage from the storm. There are several trees down, two broken windows from flying debris, and a few dozen window leaks. The facility is operating under emergency generator power like many parts of Southeast Texas; however, patient care needs are being met. Air coolers are being used in critical care areas. Throughout the storm, the VA computerized patient record system continued to operate as normal assisting health care professionals to provide uninterrupted patient care. (09/13/2008)

Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10 a.m. - In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) continues to make final preparations for extreme weather. Health care and support staff is on-site to care for the needs of inpatients at the MEDVAMC. (09/12/2008)

VA Outpatient Clinic in Beaumont Closed September 11-12, 2008 - BEAUMONT, TX - In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient appointments at the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 3420 Veterans Circle, on Thursday and Friday, September 11-12, 2008. (09/11/2008)

VA Outpatient Clinics Closing in Anticipation of Storm - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) announces the following closures: (09/11/2008)

DeBakey VA Readies for Hurricane Ike - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is stocking all necessary fuel, water, food, medications, and supplies, and making arrangements for essential staff to be on hand to meet the health care needs of veterans. (09/10/2008)

VA Outpatient Clinics in Texas City and Galveston Closed Friday, September 12 - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all appointments at the outpatient clinics in Galveston and Texas City on Friday, September 12, 2008. All other outpatient clinics will remain operational at this time. (09/10/2008)

Free Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: "Update on Parkinson's Disease." The guest speaker is Eugene C. Lai, M.D., Ph.D., PADRECC director and professor of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. A question and answer session will follow. (09/05/2008)

DeBakey VA Touts 3-Month Mark with No Hospital-Acquired MRSA Infections - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is marking three months without a hospital-acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in its Medical Intensive Care, Surgical Intensive Care, and Cardiac Care Units. (09/04/2008)

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Selects Houston VA Physician to Receive Award - HOUSTON - Aanand Naik, M.D., Medical Care Line staff physician and investigator at the Health Services Research and Development Service Center of Excellence at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Health Services Research, was notified that his proposal, "Controlled Trial of Goal-Setting for Diabetes Control in Minority Communities" will be supported by the Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA) from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. (09/03/2008)

VA Outpatient Clinics Reopen Wednesday - HOUSTON - The Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic and the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin will return to normal operations on Wednesday, September 3, 2008. The vans transporting veterans to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston will also run as normal. (09/02/2008)

Silver Eagles Bring Home 24 Medals - HOUSTON - From the East Coast to the West Coast, more than 700 "golden age" veterans poured into Indianapolis, Indiana to participate in the largest sports and recreational competition for older veterans in the world. The 22nd National Veterans Golden Age Games, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was held last month. (09/02/2008)

Lufkin VA Outpatient Clinic Closes in Anticipation of Flooding - LUFKIN, TX - In response to expected flooding and poor road conditions in the path of Hurricane Gustav, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient appointments at the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 1301 Frank Avenue in Lufkin, on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. (09/01/2008)

Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic Closes in Response to Hurricane Gustav - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Hurricane Gustav toward the Gulf Coast, emergency management officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation for all of Orange and Jefferson counties commencing at 6 a.m., Sunday, August 31, 2008. (08/30/2008)

DeBakey VA Readies for Hurricane Gustav - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Hurricane Gustav toward the Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is stocking all necessary fuel, water, food, medications, and supplies, and making arrangements for essential staff to be on hand to meet the health care needs of veterans. The MEDVAMC currently has 81 beds available to receive patients in need. (08/28/2008)

Patient Restraint Use Drops Dramatically at DeBakey VA - HOUSTON - Since the introduction of the VA's Patient Restraint Policy in 2001, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has made significant progress in minimizing the use of patient restraints by its staff. A restraint can be defined as any device that restricts freedom of movement or normal access to one's body. This achievement is yet another example of VA's commitment to provide the best health care possible for our veterans. (08/25/2008)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery will again participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 11 a.m. This year, the goal is to place a wreath at every gravesite - more than 53,000. (08/21/2008)

Silver Eagles Head to Indianapolis for National Veterans Golden Age Games - HOUSTON - Twenty-eight local "golden age" veterans who receive their care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will travel to Indianapolis August 20 - 24, 2008, to compete in the largest sports and recreational competition for senior veterans in the world. (08/15/2008)

Special Team at Houston VA Ensures Returning Combat Troops Receive Care - HOUSTON - Robert Engelbrecht was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device, Dillon Cannon was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet, and David Lewis was partially blinded by a rocket-propelled grenade. These brave individuals are but three of our nation's newest veterans - the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (08/15/2008)

Texas City and Galveston VA Clinics to Close Tuesday, August 5 - HOUSTON - In response to the projected path of Tropical Storm Edouard, the Texas City and Galveston VA Clinics will close on Tuesday, August 5, 2008. (08/04/2008)

Houston VA Medical Center Cancels August 5 Morning Appointments - HOUSTON - In response to the projected path of Tropical Storm Edouard, the Houston VA Medical Center is cancelling outpatient clinic appointments scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, August 5, 2008. (08/04/2008)

Fishing Cast into Rehab Therapy for Veterans - HOUSTON - Recreation therapists at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) are teaming up with the Texas Flyfishers of Houston to give injured veterans a crack at fly fishing and add a bit of fun to the rehabilitation process. (07/28/2008)

Joint Commission Recognizes DeBakey VA for Best Practices in Fight against Superbugs - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will be featured in an upcoming educational video produced by The Joint Commission, the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting health care organization. The film focuses on the MEDVAMC's bottom-to-top emphasis on preventing the spread of infections, particularly Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). (07/23/2008)

Groundbreaking Partnership Ensures Veterans and Caregivers Tap All Available Resources - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has formed a groundbreaking partnership with the Houston Alzheimer's Association to provide comprehensive services to veterans suffering from dementia or other memory-related illnesses, and possibly more significantly, to their caregivers. (07/22/2008)

Fact Sheet - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. All long-term care units at the facility were specifically designed for current use. (07/21/2008)

Houston VA Mourns Passing of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey - On behalf of the veterans, volunteers, and staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, it is with profound sadness we announce the death of soldier, surgeon, statesman, and our namesake, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. (07/15/2008)

Local Disabled Athletes Head to Omaha for 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games - HOUSTON, TEXAS -Three local wheelchair athletes are heading to Omaha, Nebraska, to compete in the 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, July 25 -29, 2008. The athletes are all disabled Veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston, Texas. (07/15/2008)

Houston VA Uses Novel Aquatic Plyometrics to Advance Patient Rehab - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) uses aquatic plyometrics as an integral component of its rehabilitation program. Aquatic therapists at the MEDVAMC combine plyometric exercise with water to assist patients who have balance difficulties or are recovering from injury. This technique helps augment the rehabilitation process and may allow a patient to begin a difficult exercise program in a weight-limited environment. (07/09/2008)

Important VA Telephone Numbers - Important VA Telephone Numbers (Please post near your telephone.) (07/02/2008)

Houston VA Opens New Residential and Therapeutic Facility for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) opened a 40-bed domiciliary residence for homeless Veterans on June 30, 2008. The new facility, located at 7329 Fannin Street, features 14 apartments with kitchenettes and a 40-person dining facility. (07/02/2008)

VA To Open 4 New Outpatient Clinics before Winter 2009 - HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today it will open four new community-based outpatient clinics in southeast Texas to provide primary care, phlebotomy, social work, nutrition, and mental health services for veterans. Before winter 2009, VA clinics staffed by VA personnel will open in Katy, Lake Jackson, Richmond/Rosenberg, and Tomball. (06/26/2008)

Veterans Have Direct Input into Quality of Health Care - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has formed two new nursing governance councils, the Nursing Leadership Council (NLC) and the Clinical Staff Council (CSC). The purpose of these councils is to ensure its patients continue to receive only the highest quality nursing care with access to the latest in nursing innovations and technology. Veterans play key roles and offer valuable insight as committee members on these councils. (06/26/2008)

VA Physician Invents Antibacterial Envelope for Surgical Implants - HOUSTON - Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D., staff physician in the Medical Care and Spinal Cord Injury Care Lines at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), is one of the inventors of an innovative antibacterial envelope for surgical implants. (06/20/2008)

DeBakey VA Celebrates 7th Birthday of Child Born during Tropical Storm Allison - In June 2001, when Kimberly Young attempted to get to the hospital to deliver her second child, she was unable to reach her original destination due to flooded streets and rising water in the Texas Medical Center. Tropical Storm Allison maneuvered her and her husband, Keith Wayne Young, Jr., to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) where surgeons and other support staff delivered their little baby girl. The Youngs commemorated the location of the baby's birth by naming her Asia VA Keithera Young. (06/18/2008)

Veterans Get New Smiles Fast Using High-Tech Dentistry - HOUSTON - Dentists at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are restoring teeth and giving veterans new smiles in a single sitting thanks to the latest in computer-design technology. (06/10/2008)

Quilting Guild Makes Memorable Donation to Houston VA - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently received a heartfelt donation of 47 quilts from the Gulf Coast Quilter's Guild of Alvin, Texas. (06/06/2008)

DeBakey VA Medical Center Awarded Re-Accreditation from The Joint Commission - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has achieved re-accreditation from The Joint Commission as a result of its demonstrated compliance with the organization's nationally recognized health care standards. The Joint Commission's on-site survey of the MEDVAMC and its outpatient clinics occurred April 7 - 11, 2008. (06/05/2008)

Oldest Veteran at DeBakey VA Celebrates 95th Birthday - The MEDVAMC will celebrate the 95th birthday of World War II veteran Theodore Kopycinski on Friday, June 6, 2008 at 2 p.m. (06/04/2008)

Houston VA Physician's Proposal Awarded Prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant - HOUSTON - Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H, principal investigator of the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center of Excellence, was recently notified that her proposal, "Does Pay-for-Performance Improve the Quality of Hypertension Care for Black Patients? A Randomized Controlled Trial," received $275,000 in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) program, Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change. Of the 134 brief proposals submitted to the program, RWJF only awards grants to ten after a comprehensive site visit. (05/27/2008)

Houston VA to Recognize National VA Research Week - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will celebrate National VA Research Week, May 11-17, 2008. As part of the nationwide observance, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will host a Research Symposium on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 11:30 a.m., in the 4th Floor Auditorium. (05/08/2008)

Houston VA Employees Recognized at Public Service Awards - HOUSTON - Today, the Houston Federal Executive Board and the Federal Business Association presented two public service awards to employees of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/07/2008)

Suicide Prevention Essential Part of Care for Returning Troops - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has developed and expanded several programs to provide mental health crisis response, screening, counseling, and early treatment to meet the needs of our nation's newest veterans - the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (05/06/2008)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - HOUSTON - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 26, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. (05/05/2008)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine for Excellence in Education - HOUSTON - On April 30, 2008, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) selected its outstanding educators for 2007. These faculty members included eight physicians, two being multiple winners, from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/01/2008)

Cocaine-Addiction Vaccinations Could Soon Come Reality - There are vaccines for all kinds of diseases, but a Houston VA doctor has now developed one for cocaine addiction. FOX 26's Ned Hibberd reports. Another clinical trial is scheduled for this summer. (04/29/2008)

Special Showing of Documentary, "Resilience to Trauma" - This documentary, featuring the true stories of several World War II prisoners of war who receive care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), won two bronze awards in the 29th Annual Telly Award competition. (04/24/2008)

Cardiac Pioneer DeBakey Receives Congressional Gold Medal - WASHINGTON - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake applauded the recognition given to Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, a Houston-based cardiac pioneer with long ties to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), for receiving the Congressional Gold Medal during a special ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. (04/24/2008)

Fact Sheet - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. All long-term care units at the facility were specifically designed for current use. (04/21/2008)

Houston VA Web site Gets Overhaul - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has revamped and updated its Web site to make it more user-friendly and easier for veterans to find out about VA health benefits and services. (04/08/2008)

VA Employee's Suggestion Brings Big Change in Patient Safety - HOUSTON - Certified Nursing Assistant and U.S. Army veteran Charles Dougherty made a simple suggestion that turned into a major improvement in patient safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (04/07/2008)

VA Chief of Staff Retires; Will Coordinate Research Consortium - Though he retired April 1 as chief of staff at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Thomas Horvath, M.D. will remain busy in the Texas Medical Center coordinating a new research consortium. (04/04/2008)

VA to Focus on Women Vets - The Houston VA is getting more than $12 million for health care services. It includes establishing a mental health unit exclusively for women veterans. Mental Health Care Line Acting Deputy Director Anna Teague says the medical profession still has a lot to learn about post traumatic stress disorder and other combat related illnesses in women. (04/02/2008)

Houston VA Incorporates Innovative Use of Video Game into Patient Rehab - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has incorporated a popular video game system, the Nintendo Wii, into its traditional physical rehabilitation program. This new tactic helps in masking the often painful and tedious rehabilitation process and increases a patient'smotivation and enthusiasm to continue therapy. (04/02/2008)

Houston VA Gets Extra $12.3 Million for Health Care Projects - HOUSTON - Approximately $12.3 million has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs' South Central VA Health Care Network for health care improvements at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The MEDVAMC was notified last month about this supplement to its current budget of about $542 million. These additional funds will be used to expand specialty care at its outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, and Lufkin; add 20 inpatient beds to its Mental Health Care Line; boost dental services; increase space for radiotherapy technology; and support several smaller projects. (04/01/2008)

Houston VA Significantly Expands Visual Impairment Services - HOUSTON - Eye trauma, from sight impairment to blindness, accounts for more than 15 percent of all serious wounds suffered by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Army statistics. In addition, VA estimates there are more than one million visually impaired veterans over the age of 45 in the United States, with that number likely to grow as the age of the average veteran rises. (03/25/2008)

Award-Winning Documentary Features Survival Stories of Houston WWII Prisoners of War - HOUSTON - A documentary film featuring the true stories of several World War II prisoners of war, who receive care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), has won two bronze awards in the 29th Annual Telly Award competition. (03/24/2008)

Local Disabled Veterans Ski the Rocky Mountains - HOUSTON - Eight disabled veterans who receive treatment at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will be among 450 other disabled veterans from across the country, including nearly 120 recently injured during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), to ski the Rocky Mountains at the 22nd National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, March 30 – April 4, 2008. (03/24/2008)

VA Medical Center Director Recognized for Ability to Effectively Train Leaders of Tomorrow - HOUSTON - Edgar L. Tucker, B.A., M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), has been selected as the 2008 VA's Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program preceptor of the year. The award was presented at the 2008 American College of Healthcare Executives Congress on Healthcare Leadership: VA Symposium in Chicago by Secretary of Veterans Affairs James B. Peake, M.D., Under Secretary for Health for the Veterans Health Administration Michael J. Kussman, M.D., and Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management in the Veterans Health Administration William F. Feeley. (03/21/2008)

Houston VA Doctor Named to National Surgery Quality Board - HOUSTON - David H. Berger, M.D., M.H.C.M., Operative Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recently selected to serve on the National Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Executive Committee. (03/20/2008)

Volunteer Drives the Spirit of Volunteerism - HOUSTON, TX - Roy Fikes begins his volunteer day at 2:30 a.m., when he gets ready, completes his paperwork, picks up his riders, and is on his way to Houston by 5:15 a.m. Fikes volunteers his time by driving veterans from Bay City to Houston for their appointments at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (03/18/2008)

Number of Homeless Vets Drops 21 Percent - WASHINGTON - The number of veterans homeless on a typical night has declined 21 percent in the past year, thanks to the services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its partners in community- and faith-based organizations, plus changing demographics and improvements in survey techniques. (03/06/2008)

VA Study Examines Effects of Communication on Improving Hypertension Control in Diabetic Patients - HOUSTON - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have found three doctor-patient communication factors that are significantly associated with blood pressure control in diabetes. The study, by Aanand D. Naik, M.D., Medical Care Line staff physician, Annette Walder, M.S., Research Care Line, Richard L. Street Jr., Ph.D., Research Care Line, and Michael A, Kallen, Ph.D., will appear in the March 18, 2008 issue of "Circulation" along with an accompanying editorial. (03/06/2008)

Houston VA Receives Grant to Develop Vaccines to Fight Addiction - HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a research grant to Frank Orson, M.D., Medical Care Line staff physician and principal investigator, Therese Kosten, Ph.D., Research Service Line co-investigator, and Thomas Kosten, M.D., senior advisor on Substance Abuse based in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to develop an improved cocaine vaccine. (03/05/2008)

Houston VA Earns Accreditation from Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education - HOUSTON - The dietetic internship program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been granted re-accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (03/04/2008)

Help is Just a Phone Call Away - HOUSTON - The first voice a veteran hears when he or she calls the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is often that of a Telecare employee. Now six years old, the Telecare Center is committed to providing exceptional medical and health care advice to veterans on the telephone. (03/04/2008)

Houston VA Receives Re-Accreditation from American College of Radiology - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has again been awarded a full three-year term of accreditation for its radiation oncology services as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR). (02/27/2008)

Life Savers: Liver Transplant Program - Physicians at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, completed their first liver transplant surgery last November. The recipient, Michael J. Abshire, Webster, TX, and his wife came to the medical center in early January for follow-up labs and physician appointments, something Michael will have to participate in for the rest of his life. (02/18/2008)

Comprehensive Reference Book for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease Published by Houston VA Experts - HOUSTON - Parkinson's disease experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently published Neurorehabilitation in Parkinson's Disease: An Evidence-Based Treatment Model, a comprehensive theoretical and clinical reference for the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease. (02/14/2008)

Congress Passes Enhanced Benefits for Veterans - WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an effort to enhance benefits for many of our nation's Veterans, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008 extends the period of enhanced VA health care eligibility provided to Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998.This includes combat Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq. (02/07/2008)

Houston VA Physician Receives Grant for Hepatitis C Research - HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a $450,000 research grant to Hashem El-Serag, M.D., M.P.H., a staff physician in the Research Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (02/05/2008)

Free Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum: "New Technology for Measuring Movement Disorders" - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: "New Technology for Measuring Movement Disorders." The guest speaker is Max Kurz, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Health & Human Performance, University of Houston. A discussion of research opportunities with MEDVAMC neurologists will follow. (01/25/2008)

Houston VA Performs Complex Surgery for Intractable Epilepsy - HOUSTON - An estimated two million Americans of all ages have epilepsy. Most are successfully treated with medications, but more than 30 percent of epileptic patients are termed drug-resistant, experiencing frequent, sometimes disabling seizures. Surgical procedures being offered at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) offer veterans suffering from this lifelong problem the hope of freedom from seizures. (01/16/2008)

Houston VA Doctor Named President of Association of University Cardiologists - HOUSTON - Blase A. Carabello, M.D., Medical Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recently selected as the new president of the Association of University Cardiologists (AUC). (01/15/2008)

Palliative Care, Not Just About Dying - HOUSTON - When the World War II Navy veteran died in May, his daughter felt at peace. That was largely because of the support of the Palliative Care Team at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) during his last months of life, she says. (01/09/2008)

Report by Congressional Watchdogs Highlights VA Strengths - WASHINGTON - The health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received a highly favorable review in an interim report recently published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The report credits organizational restructuring and management systems, performance measurement and information technology (IT) as contributors to VA's success. It also outlines ways in which VA can continue serving as a model for other health care systems. (01/09/2008)

Veterans Find Botox a Surprising Answer for Painful Muscle Spasms - HOUSTON - The second Tuesday of every month may seem like a regular day for many, but for staff in the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), the bustle of activity begins early in preparation for a specialized clinic - the "BOTOX Clinic." (01/08/2008)

American Journal of Public Health Cites VA's Health Care Successes - The December issue of The American Journal of Public Health includes an editorial and articles commending the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system, saying VA has emerged as a national health care leader. (01/03/2008)

Return to Top


2007

Congressional Budget Office Interim Report on VA Health Care - With the return of veterans having served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and with a much larger number of veterans from earlier eras turning to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for at least a portion of their health care, the department is now treating over 5 million veterans each year. Many observers have suggested that the quality of that care has been bolstered by advances in health information technology as well as in other areas such as the coordination of care and the management of chronic diseases, which may have implications for other components of the nation's health care system. (12/31/2007)

New 64-Slice CT Scanner Advances DeBakey VA's Radiology Capabilities - HOUSTON - Late last month, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) began clinical use of the latest technology in computed tomography (CT) imaging software and machinery, a 64-slice CT scanner. (12/20/2007)

New Stepdown Unit for Stroke Patients Opens at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Despite the significant progress in stroke prevention and treatment, stroke remains the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. As part of the treatment course for stroke victims, Medical Care Line and the Neurology Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have joined efforts to establish a Neuro-Medical Stepdown Unit. (12/18/2007)

National study looks at genetics of COPD - HOUSTON - (Dec. 18, 2007) - Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have been selected to take part in a multi-institutional study to identify genes and other risk factors that influence the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (12/18/2007)

Fact Sheet - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. All long-term care units at the facility were specifically designed for current use. (12/18/2007)

VA Outpatient Clinics Open on December 24, 2007 - HOUSTON - By Executive Order of President George W. Bush, all executive departments, independent organizations, and other agencies of the Federal government will be closed on Monday, December 24, 2007. (12/17/2007)

Houston VA Addiction Expert Receives AAAP Founders Award - HOUSTON - A lifetime of commitment and contributions to the field of addiction are the basis of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry's Founders Award, which was presented this year to Thomas Kosten, M.D. at the organization's meeting in Coronado, California. (12/13/2007)

Veterans Affairs Healthcare System No. 1 - Socialized medicine may sound un-American, but in fact, it's exactly what we provide to our American heroes -- the more than 5 million armed forces veterans and their families. (12/12/2007)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, will participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 11 a.m. (12/11/2007)

DeBakey VA Performs First Liver Transplant - HOUSTON - A 63 year-old, U.S. Navy veteran from Webster, Tx. has become the first patient to undergo orthotopic liver transplantation at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The surgery, which took place on November 30, represents a milestone locally in the field of organ transplantation and provides end-stage liver disease veterans with state-of-the-art care. (12/10/2007)

Groundbreaking for New Lufkin VA Clinic - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will hold a Groundbreaking Photo Opportunity for its new outpatient clinic in Lufkin, Texas. (12/04/2007)

73 Houston VA Docs Listed as "Best Doctors" in the Nation - HOUSTON - The medical knowledge company, Best Doctors, Inc. has included 73 physicians who provide patient care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in the latest compilation of The Best Doctors in America® database. (12/04/2007)

Homeless Veterans Receive Services at Houston Area Stand Down - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with the Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, the Coalition for the Homeless and the U.S. Veterans Initiative, recently hosted the 7th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless veterans in the Houston area. (11/30/2007)

Houston VA Uses Surgical Simulator to Train Eye Surgeons - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now offers a hands-on learning experience and true-to-life scenario training to its ophthalmology residents and fellows using a highly sophisticated simulator for intraocular surgical training. (11/29/2007)

Extraordinary Houston veteran to be featured on Cheerios Box - HOUSTON - U.S. Army veteran, David Fowler, is one of twelve gold medal winners from this year's National Veterans Wheelchair Games to be featured on Cheerios® boxes as a result of an agreement between the Veterans Canteen Service and the General Mills Corporation. The action photos will be featured on the back and side panels of boxes to be released in March 2008. (11/29/2007)

Houston VA Presents Latest in Bionic Prosthetic Technology - Demonstrations of advanced bionic prosthetic technology by veterans and non-veterans including Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Marine David Lemak with the Proprio "Bionic" FootTM; Brian Frasure, winner of numerous medals at three Paralympic Games; and Retired Special Forces SGM Brad Halling who lost his leg in Somalia when his Black Hawk went down. Halling will compare his experience as an amputee veteran in 1992 with that of today's combat wounded. He is now a prosthetist who can explain the functional benefits about the Power KneeTM, a new and ground-breaking device that replaces lost muscle function. (11/28/2007)

Houston VA National Cemetery Participates in 'Wreaths Across America' - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, will participate in the "Wreaths Across America" campaign by holding a special ceremony on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 11 a.m. (11/28/2007)

Powerful, New Diagnostic Tool Available for Cancer Patients at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Beginning next week, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will offer its patients a powerful new diagnostic imaging system known as PET/CT. This hybrid technology combines the strengths of two well-established imaging modalities in one imaging session to more accurately diagnose and locate cancers while increasing patient comfort. (11/19/2007)

Disabled American Veterans Chapter Makes Sizable Donation to Houston VA - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently received a generous donation of almost $27,000 from the James T. Hall Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #9 in Houston. (11/16/2007)

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shots at Houston VA - The MEDVAMC will sponsor a Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, November 17, 2007. (11/09/2007)

President Bush Recognizes Houston VA Volunteer for Dedication to Veterans - HOUSTON - President George W. Bush presented the President's Volunteer Service Award to Patrick Kuykendall on Thursday, November 8, 2007. Kuykendall has been a volunteer at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center for 17 years and has logged more than 10,000 hours of service. (11/08/2007)

Veterans Day Event Held in Downtown Houston - HOUSTON - The 9th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2007 in downtown Houston. The Houston VA National Cemetery, in conjunction with the City of Houston, is proud to continue the tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our great nation. This year's theme is "Thank Veterans for the Blessings of Freedom." (11/06/2007)

Orengo-Nania Awarded Distinguished Surgeon - HOUSTON - Silvia Orengo-Nania, M.D., Eye Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), will receive the Distinguished Surgeon Award from the Greater Houston chapter of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Orengo-Nania will be honored during the AORN's annual Triple Star Gala on January 26, 2008. (10/30/2007)

Baylor College of Medicine Medical Student Wins National VA Contest - HOUSTON - Andrew Thurston, MSIV, a fourth year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, has won the 5th Annual Major C. W. Offutt "Caring for America's Heroes" Essay Contest sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Second place went to a student from Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, Ca. and third place was split between a student from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and one from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (10/26/2007)

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Once Again Honored with VA's Quality Award - HOUSTON - The Secretary of Veterans Affairs selected the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to receive this year's Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Quality Award - the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) top award for quality achievement. Based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria, this award recognizes the MEDVAMC's commitment to the veterans it serves and to the community, as well as performance quality improvement efforts made by the medical center and its satellite clinics. The Circle of Excellence Quality Award promotes and recognizes continued high performance by recent VA Carey Trophy Award winners. (10/19/2007)

VA Hosts Purple Heart Ceremony for WWII Veteran - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will host a Purple Heart Medal Ceremony for WWII Army Veteran Ed Peniche on October 22, 2007 at 10 a.m. in the facility's 4th Floor Auditorium. Peniche did not receive this award after the war because of lost medical records. (10/19/2007)

Houston VA Tackles Spread of Deadly Bacteria - Both In and Out of the Hospital - Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a strain of staph bacteria resistant to most antibiotics normally used to treat infections. It starts as redness on the skin and is sometimes misdiagnosed as a spider bite. It then develops into a sore or a boil. The sores can fester and spread, leading to blood infections or pneumonia. In some cases, MRSA can be fatal. You can get MRSA the same way you catch the common cold, by touching someone or something that has MRSA on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or skin. (10/18/2007)

Fact Sheet - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. All long-term care units at the facility were specifically designed for current use. (10/16/2007)

Veterans Day Event to Be Held in Downtown Houston - HOUSTON - The 9th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2007 in downtown Houston. The Houston VA National Cemetery, in conjunction with the City of Houston, is proud to continue the tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our great nation. This year's theme is "Thank Veterans for the Blessings of Freedom." (10/12/2007)

Veterans: It's Time Again for Your Flu Shot - HOUSTON - This year, a plentiful supply of influenza vaccine is available at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and all of its five outpatient clinics, and there are no vaccine shortages or early cases of flu to affect the MEDVAMC vaccination program. Vaccinations at the MEDVAMC will continue through March 2008. (10/10/2007)

Houston VA Hosts Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON, TEXAS - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with The Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, The Coalition for the Homeless and U.S. Veterans Initiative, is hosting the 7th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless veterans on November 8 - 9, 2007 at Midtown Terrace Suites located at 4640 Main Street. (10/02/2007)

Best Care Everywhere - What I'm proposing is this: Take the existing, ad hoc system we use for treating the uninsured and turn it into a real integrated system. Specifically, mandate that everyone in America buy health insurance (with subsidies to those who can't afford the premiums), and then contract with assorted St. Elsewheres to serve the resulting pool of newly insured patients. The organizing blueprint of this new system would come from the one truly successful national health care system we currently have: the VA. (09/28/2007)

Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony at Houston VA National Cemetery - In honor of those mothers whose sons or daughters have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the Houston VA National Cemetery, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the North Houston Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, and the Disabled American Veterans, San Jacinto Chapter 1 will host a Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony on September 30, 2007 at 1 p.m. (09/26/2007)

Why Less Medical Treatment May Be Good For You - The more medical care you receive, the sicker you'll get. That's the stark message in Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, Shannon Brownlee's new book. Brownlee, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation (and a former senior writer at U.S. News & World Report), examined research from around the country on which medical treatments actually make people healthier and what individuals can to do ensure that healthcare doesn't kill them. (09/26/2007)

Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic Returns to Normal Operations - HOUSTON, TX - The Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic will return to normal operations on Monday, September 17, 2007. (09/14/2007)

Houston VA Returns to Normal Operations - HOUSTON, TX - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical (MEDVAMC) has returned to normal operations. The Outpatient Clinics in Galveston, Texas City, and Beaumont remain closed today. The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin and the Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic remain operational, however no van or bus service will be available to the MEDVAMC. (09/13/2007)

VA Hosts Purple Heart Ceremony for WWII Veteran - Purple Heart Ceremony was postponed late Wednesday due to the anticipated Tropical Storm. It will be rescheduled as soon as possible. (09/13/2007)

VA Medical Center Outpatient Clinics Closed on September 13, 2007 - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of Tropical Storm Humberto toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments and elective procedures in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, and Beaumont on Thursday, September 13, 2007. The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin and the Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic will remain operational, however no van or bus service will be available to the MEDVAMC. (09/12/2007)

VA Hosts Purple Heart Ceremony for WWII Veteran - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will host a Purple Heart Medal Ceremony for WWII Army Veteran Ed Peniche on September 13, 2007 at 11 a.m. in the facility's 4th Floor Auditorium. Peniche did not receive this award after the war because of lost medical records. (09/12/2007)

Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony at Houston VA National Cemetery - In honor of those mothers whose sons or daughters have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the Houston VA National Cemetery, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the North Houston Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, and the Disabled American Veterans, San Jacinto Chapter 1 will host a Gold Star Mothers' Ceremony on September 30, 2007 at 1 p.m. (09/07/2007)

Construction Company Selected to Build New Veterans' Clinic in Lufkin - LUFKIN, TX - In late August 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Don Langston Construction, Inc. the contract to build a new community based outpatient clinic for veterans in Lufkin. (09/06/2007)

Silver Eagles Bring Home A Truckload of Medals - HOUSTON - From the East Coast to the West Coast, more than 600 "golden age" veterans poured into Houston, Texas to participate in the largest sports and recreational competition for older veterans in the world. The 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) and Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) was held last week. (09/06/2007)

VA Study Finds Not All ED Patients Comfortable with Both Male and Female Health Care Providers - HOUSTON - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have found that while the gender of health care providers is not a concern for all men seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), there is a clear bias toward male providers among those who have an opinion. (09/05/2007)

Houston VA Kicks Off 21st NVGAG with Free Health & Wellness Expo Open to the Community - This free Health & Wellness Expo features information and education booths sponsored by more than 100 public, private, and government organizations. Participating groups and businesses include the American Cancer Society, the National Kidney Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, Harris County Public Health & Environment Services, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, pharmacies from Costco, Target, and Sam's Club, 24 Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, YMCA, Texas Children's Health Plan, American Red Cross, Houston Police Department, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, and Houston VA Regional Office. (08/14/2007)

Young Veterans Find Support, Encouragement, and Brotherhood at VA's Polytrauma Day Treatment Program - HOUSTON - On July 19, 2007, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) held a graduation ceremony for the first class of its Polytrauma Day Treatment Program. (08/01/2007)

Radical Surgical Resection Can Be Effective Against Pancreatic Cancer - NEW YORK JUL 26, 2007 (Reuters Health) - Radical surgical resection, considered to be the only curative approach in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, appears to be worthwhile in appropriate patients, Texas-based researchers report in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. (07/30/2007)

Lufkin Veterans Will Ride to VA Appointments in Houston in Comfort and Style - LUFKIN, TX - This month, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) accepted an offer from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to fund a multi-year contract supplying a passenger coach to transport veterans from Lufkin to the medical center in Houston. (07/27/2007)

Researchers Plan to Further Improve VA's Unique and Invaluable Electronic Patient Record System - HOUSTON - On June 9, 2007, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) National Center for Patient Safety announced it had granted approval and funding for the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies (HCQCUS) to become a Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI). The goal of this organization is to improve the process of electronic communication in ambulatory care; and thereby, improve patient safety in the VA ambulatory setting. (07/16/2007)

Houston VA Educator Receives Prestigious National Award - HOUSTON - Michael R. Kauth, Ph.D., a primary investigator in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), is the recipient of the 2007 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery from the VA Section of Division 18 of the American Psychological Association (APA). Kauth will receive his award at the APA meeting in San Francisco on August 17, 2007. (07/13/2007)

Volunteers Needed to Support Nation's Veterans - HOUSTON - More than 1,000 volunteers are needed to support the 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG) being held in Houston this August 27-31, 2007. (07/13/2007)

VA Physician Becomes Tenured Professor at Baylor College of Medicine - HOUSTON - Mark E. Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., a psychiatrist in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), was promoted to tenured professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine on June 25, 2007. (07/12/2007)

Houston VA Physician Receives Prestigious Teaching Award - HOUSTON - Daniel M. Musher, M.D., Infectious Disease Section chief at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and professor of Medicine-Infectious Disease at Baylor College of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2007 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Clinical Teacher Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America. (07/11/2007)

Study Examines Effectiveness of Treatments to Help Veterans with Mental Health Issues Quit Smoking - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is conducting a clinical research study comparing the feasibility and effectiveness of two treatment approaches for veterans suffering from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or manic-depression who want to quit smoking. The study focuses on both veterans who smoke at least five cigarettes a day and meet other study eligibility criteria. (07/10/2007)

Why DeBakey Surgical Survival Rates Top All VA Facilities - (KTRK/HOUSTON) - Good news for a Houston hospital. The survival rate for all surgery patients is above 97%. It's been that high seven years in a row. The hospital is the DeBakey VA Medical Center and tonight we show you what it's doing right. (07/06/2007)

Unique Educational Opportunities Available at VA Outpatient Clinic in Conroe - CONROE, TX - Three months after the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) opened the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Conroe, Elisabeth A. Mazzolini, a doctorate candidate from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, became the first VA heath care intern at the clinic. (07/05/2007)

2007 Enrollee Survey Announcement - The VHA's Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health (ADUSH) for Policy and Planning will soon be conducting the 2007 update of our national VHA Survey of Enrollees. The purpose of the survey is to provide information that is incorporated into annual VHA projections of enrollment, utilization, and expenditures, as well as into a variety of high level VHA budget and policy related analyses. (07/02/2007)

Houston Only VA with Consistently Low Mortality Rates for 7 Consecutive Years - HOUSTON - Setting a record in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has demonstrated consistently low observed-to-expected mortality rates in all surgery seven years in a row. The MEDVAMC is the only VA facility with this record. (07/02/2007)

Disabled American Veterans Recognize Employee at Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic - HOUSTON - The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Department of Texas awarded Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) employee Teresa A. Timmons, M.D., with their prestigious Veterans Health Administration Award. Timmons serves as the director, Mental Health Clinic and deputy care line executive for the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin. (06/29/2007)

New Technology Gives Cardiologists a Vivid View of Heart Disease Using the Colors of the Rainbow - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first hospital in Texas Medical Center and among the first VA hospitals in the country to use an innovative, catheter-based technology based on color to assess and treat coronary artery disease. (06/29/2007)

American College of Surgeons Grants Approval Award with Commendation to Houston VA Cancer Program - HOUSTON - On June 15, 2007, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons granted a three-year approval award with commendation to the cancer program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (06/27/2007)

VA Renews Funding for National Research Center - HOUSTON - On June 15, 2007, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced it had renewed funding for the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies (HCQCUS), a VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR and D) Center of Excellence, for another five years. (06/25/2007)

VA Study Questions Assumptions Behind Wide-Spread Adoption Of Intra-Arterial Treatments For Stroke - HOUSTON - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have found medical treatment for stroke seems overall to be just as effective as more invasive procedures using intra-arterial catheters. The review, by Pitchaiah Mandava, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.E.E., Neurology Care Line staff physician and Thomas Kent, M.D., Neurology Care Line executive, appeared in the June 12, 2007 issue of Neurology. (06/22/2007)

Houston VA Teams Up with Memorial Hermann TIRR to Treat Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is teaming up with rehabilitation specialists from Memorial Hermann|TIRR Challenge Program, a brain injury rehabilitation program of Memorial Hermann|TIRR, for Project Victory. This initiative, funded by a $3 million grant from a private foundation, is a comprehensive rehabilitation and community re-integration program to treat service members who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (06/21/2007)

Tips for Veterans of Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom Applying for VA Health Benefits - HOUSTON - One of the more difficult tasks for a returning veteran is applying for the many VA benefits. The unknown of "should I," "would I qualify," "how do I apply," or "where do I go for help" can be a frustrating experience. The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), located at 2002 Holcombe Boulevard in Houston, intends to ease those frustrations and facilitate your transition from active participation in armed conflict back to civilian life with some basic tips for applying for health benefits. (06/06/2007)

Houston Wheelchair Athletes Head to Milwaukee for 27th National Veterans Wheelchair Games - HOUSTON, TEXAS - Three local wheelchair athletes are heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to compete in the 27th National Veterans Wheelchair Games, June 19-23, 2007. The athletes are all disabled veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston, Texas. (06/05/2007)

Free Patient and Family Forum: "Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Parkinson's Disease" - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: "Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Parkinson's Disease." The guest speaker is Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine and staff psychiatrist, Mental Health Care Line, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. A question and answer session with MEDVAMC neurologists will follow. (06/05/2007)

Houston VA Gastroenterologist Receives Young Investigator Award - HOUSTON - Dr. Neena S. Abraham, a gastroenterologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2007 Young Investigator Clinical Science Award from the Gastroenterology Research Group (GRG) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Dr. Abraham received her award on May 20, 2007 at the Annual GRG Spring Symposium held in conjunction with Digestive Diseases Week in Washington, D.C. (06/01/2007)

New Device at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Offers Hope to Heart Patients - HOUSTON - At the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), patients too ill to survive heart surgery can now be treated with a new device designed for those with the sickest of hearts. The TandemHeart(Registered Trademark) is a small, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) for patients with extremely poor heart function. (05/29/2007)

VA Houston Says Combat Veterans Need Mental Health Care - Soldiers coming back from combat have higher risks for psychiatric problems. It can also be difficult for them to re-enter normal life. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, caseworkers at the Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center are screening all returning soldiers in the area for mental health issues. (05/28/2007)

VA Psychology Intern Recipient of 2007 APPIC Student Research Award - HOUSTON - Deleene Menefee, a psychology intern in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), is the recipient of the 2007 APPIC award for student research relevant to supervision and training in professional psychology. (05/25/2007)

VA Physician Receives Baylor College of Medicine's VA Distinguished Service Professorship - HOUSTON - Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D., staff physician in the Medical Care and Spinal Cord Injury Care Lines at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), received the VA Distinguished Service Professorship on May 17, 2007 by the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees. (05/23/2007)

Local Competitors Start Training for 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games in Houston - With flags waving, cheerleaders shaking pompoms, and victory music blasting, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will welcome members of the "Silver Eagles" to the official 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games Kick-Off Event. The Silver Eagles, 35 members strong, is made up of U.S. military veterans from across the Houston area who will compete in a variety of sporting events at this year's Games. (05/22/2007)

Robot-Surgeon Scrubs in at DeBakey VA for Urological Surgery - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently initiated clinical use of the da Vinci (Registered Trademark), a surgical robotic system to perform minimally invasive urological operations, including the removal of cancerous prostate glands. (05/21/2007)

VA Physician Appointed Director of Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies - HOUSTON - Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H, a staff physician in the Medical Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has accepted the position as Director of the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies (HCQCUS). She will also serve as the chief of the Health Services Research Section in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. (05/17/2007)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - HOUSTON - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. (05/14/2007)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine for Excellence in Education - HOUSTON - On May 4, 2007, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) selected its outstanding educators for 2007. These faculty members included five physicians from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC); one who received the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education and four who received the Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award. (05/10/2007)

Houston VA to Recognize National VA Research Week - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will celebrate National VA Research Week, May 13-19, 2007. As part of the nationwide observance, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will host a seminar titled "Technology Commercialization: The Baylor/VA Relationship" on May 16, 2007, 10-11:30 a.m. This will be followed by a presentation titled "Feeling Hypersensitive about Sensitive Data?" The MEDVAMC will also conduct a poster display in the facility's main lobby, May 15-16, 2007, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day. The posters provide information to veterans about studies that are currently being conducted and how they can participate. (05/09/2007)

5 Houston VA Employees Recognized at Public Service Awards - HOUSTON - Today, the Houston Federal Executive Board and the Federal Business Association presented five public service awards to employees of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/09/2007)

Buglers Perform Echo Taps at Houston VA National Cemetery's Armed Forces Day Event - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, will participate in the "EchoTaps Worldwide" event by holding a special ceremony on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 10 a.m. (05/07/2007)

Non-Pharmacologic Interventions Underused in Dementia Patients with Aggression - HOUSTON - Psychiatric medications are often prescribed for patients with dementia who also have aggressive behavioral problems. However, some experts say non-pharmacologic interventions such as education or behavioral therapy should be tried first. (05/03/2007)

Houston VA Unleashes New Weapon Against Deadly Bacteria - HOUSTON - As part of its fight against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first hospital in Texas and in the Department of Veterans Affairs to install a computerized system able to integrate all the steps required for surveillance MRSA testing: sample preparation, amplification, and detection. (04/30/2007)

Programs available for veterans returning from war-torn countries - (4/27/07 - KTRK/HOUSTON) - Combat veterans are understandably at higher risk for psychiatric problems than other Americans. Many Iraq vets haunted by what they have seen are having a hard time transitioning back to civilian life. But new programs are helping. (04/30/2007)

Assistant Secretary of Defense Visits Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - HOUSTON - Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs S. Ward Casscells, III, M.D., visited the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) on April 25, 2007 to tour the facility and learn about the medical center's research program, computerized patient record system, quality of care initiatives, and services for returning veterans. (04/26/2007)

Rotavirus infection extends beyond gut to blood - HOUSTON - Most of the children who have diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection also have evidence of the virus in their blood - a factor that warrants further study to determine if it contributes to other kinds of disease, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers who published a report of their work online today in the Public Library of Science Medicine, an open-access professional journal. (04/19/2007)

VA Takes the Lead in Paperless Care - Divya Shroff, a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northwest Washington, stops what she's doing to answer her phone: It's a doctor down the hall who needs help with a man struggling to breathe. She calls up the patient's medical record on the computer at her desk and scrolls through lab reports, doctors' notes, X-rays and EKGs, thinking out loud with the medical resident, who is at the man's bedside. (04/10/2007)

Houston VA Striving to Meet Mental Health Needs of Returning Troops - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has developed and expanded several programs to provide mental health screening, counseling, and early treatment to meet the needs of our nation's newest veterans - the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq (OIF). (04/10/2007)

VA Physician Appointed Houston VA Neuroradiology and MRI Director - HOUSTON - Majdi M. Radaideh, M.D., staff radiologist in the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), has been appointed the new director of its Neuroradiology and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Section. (04/09/2007)

VA Physician Appointed Section Chief at Baylor College of Medicine - HOUSTON - On March 30, 2007, Baylor College of Medicine announced the appointment of Hashem El-Serag, M.D., M.P.H., a staff physician in the Research Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), as the new chief for its Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section effective July 1, 2007. (04/04/2007)

New Technology Identifies Veterans at Risk for Diabetic Eye Disease - HOUSTON - Many veterans with diabetes in southeast Texas are getting initial screening for possible eye disease during their primary care appointments at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, thanks to a national teleretinal imaging program. (04/02/2007)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - HOUSTON - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce W.E.B. (Willie) Blackmon, retired Houston Municipal Courts judge and former Texas Air National Guard lieutenant colonel will give the Memorial Day address. (03/26/2007)

VFW Commends VA for Thorough Facility Inspection - WASHINGTON, March 22, 2007 - The Department of Veterans Affairs released a facility inspection report yesterday that should reassure America's veterans that the poor maintenance conditions uncovered in one building at nearby Walter Reed Army Medical Center are not rampant problems inside the VA's 1,400 clinics and hospitals. (03/22/2007)

Houston VA Opens Trauma Center - Corporal Robert Engelbrecht is learning to walk again. The 23-year-old Iraqi War veteran lost his left leg and the use of his right arm. He's also blind in one eye and has a brain injury. "Because I've got half a leg it means the leg I have now has to overcome everything else to make it work correctly. So it's a lot of work." (03/21/2007)

Houston VA Uses Balloons to Fix Bones - HOUSTON - Recently, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center began offering Balloon Kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from spinal fractures due to osteoporosis. Balloon Kyphoplasty is designed to correct spinal deformity due to osteoporotic fractures, significantly reducing back pain and improving a patient's ability to return to daily activities. (03/19/2007)

Volunteers Show the Spirit of Volunteerism - HOUSTON, TX - Sunday morning is a time for spirit and smiles outside the Chapel at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). Patients get a smile along with their coffee and doughnuts before and after the morning services from Mary Daigle and Cornelia Samson, MEDVAMC's Volunteers of the Year. Daigle and Samson have volunteered over 1,900 hours each over the last 12 years, serving veterans attending chapel service at MEDVAMC. They have been volunteers since 1962 performing various tasks long before they registered with Voluntary Service. (03/15/2007)

Disabled Veterans Ski the Rocky Mountains - HOUSTON - Five disabled veterans who receive treatment at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will be among 350 other disabled veterans from across the country, including recently injured veterans from the Global War on Terror, to ski the Rocky Mountains at the 21st National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village at Aspen, Colo., April 1 - 6, 2007. (03/15/2007)

Innovative, Minimally Invasive, Video-Assisted Technique Used to Treat Serious Heart Condition - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first hospital in Houston and among the first VA hospitals in the country to use an innovative, minimally invasive, video-assisted surgical technique to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is one of the most common heart arrhythmias, affecting millions of patients in the United States alone. (03/14/2007)

Teaming Up to Heal the Troops - Cpl. Robert Engelbrecht doesn't appear self-conscious of his twisted, almost useless hand or his blind right eye. He gently chides his mother to allow him to tell his story without interruption, then crosses his right leg underneath his amputated left one. (03/11/2007)

Best practices - Unlike the Army's Walter Reed hospital, the VA hospital system is ranked, by many measures, as the best in the country - BOSTON GLOBE (03/11/2007)

Houston VA's Surgical Intensive Care Unit Mortality Rate Drops for Second Straight Year - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received recognition from the Department of Veterans Affairs Inpatient Evaluation Center (IPEC) for having a significantly low standardized mortality rate (SMR) in its Surgical Intensive Care unit for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. (03/08/2007)

Buglers Needed to Perform Echo Taps at Houston VA National Cemetery's Armed Forces Day Event - HOUSTON - The Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, will participate in the "EchoTaps Worldwide" event by holding a special ceremony on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 10 a.m. (03/06/2007)

Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum:"Holding onto Hope While Living with Parkinson's Disease" - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: "Holding onto Hope while Living with Parkinson's Disease." The guest speaker is Naomi D. Nelson, PhD, RN, Co-Associate Director of Education, PADRECC. A question and answer session with MEDVAMC neurologists will follow. (03/05/2007)

Fact Sheet - Located on a 118-acre campus and built in 1991, MEDVAMC is a state-of-the-art facility with an automated, computer-controlled transport system delivering food, laundry, and supplies throughout the building. The 6-story granite building is designed with 4 exterior sections and 4 atriums containing patio gardens, wheelchair basketball courts, and a rehabilitation pool. All long-term care units at the facility were specifically designed for current use. (03/05/2007)

DAV Encourages Defense Department to Move Walter Reed Patients to VA Facilities - WASHINGTON - The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has called upon Defense Secretary Robert Gates to take immediate action to provide decent, sanitary housing for recuperating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and to consider moving them to Department of Veterans Affairs facilities closer to their homes. (03/02/2007)

Houston VA's Polytrauma Rehabilitation Program: Rebuilding Injured Lives - HOUSTON - Recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has demonstrated the nature of modern warfare has changed. There are new causes of injury, improvements in body armor, and surgical stabilization at the front-line of combat. More war-wounded are returning with complex, multiple injuries such as amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and psychological adjustment problems. Moreover, improvised explosive devices, blasts (high pressure waves), landmines, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosive fragments now account for the majority of combat injuries. (03/02/2007)

VA Takes Substance Abuse Services Directly to Houston Homeless Shelters - HOUSTON - Houston is one of 30 communities where the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will take its substance abuse services directly to the area's homeless. Under its Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will receive special funding to hire an addiction therapist who will work directly in homeless shelters, counseling veterans with substance abuse problems. (02/27/2007)

VA Opens New Outpatient Clinic in Conroe - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of its new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Conroe, Texas. (02/22/2007)

'Help Hospitalized Veterans' Steps Up As Sponsor of 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games, Houston - HOUSTON - With a check presented to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today for $200,000, Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) became the newest co-sponsor of the 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games in Houston. More than 600 veterans are expected to participate in this year's Games, making it the nation's largest senior sporting event for veterans. (02/06/2007)

Houston VA Physician Receives Grant for Arthritis Research - HOUSTON - The South Central VA Health Care Network has awarded a $100,000 pilot study research grant to David M. Green, M.D., staff physician in the Operative Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (02/06/2007)

VA Medical Center Invites Community to 'Salute Hospitalized Veterans' - HOUSTON, TX - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center invites the public to participate in open-house activities February 11-17 during the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans. (02/05/2007)

Houston VA Laboratory Earns Accreditation From College of American Pathologists - HOUSTON - The laboratory at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been awarded accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (02/05/2007)

VA Physicians Exploring Effectiveness of Bipolar Disorder Medications - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of only six sites in United States, and the only VA facility, conducting a clinical research study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to compare the effectiveness and side effects of two widely used medications for bipolar disorder. The study focuses on individuals, both veterans and non-veterans, over the age of 60 who are currently experiencing an elevated mood and who meet study eligibility criteria. (02/05/2007)

A Wounded GI's New Battle - Humvee gunner Spc. Dillon Cannon scanned left, then right. It was about 1 p.m., and his convoy had paused at a checkpoint near Baqubah, Iraq, northeast of Baghdad, after a report that a man may have planted a bomb. Just the week before, in the same area, an improvised explosive device detonated under his vehicle, damaging the windows. (02/04/2007)

VA Opens New Outpatient Clinic in Conroe - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of its new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Conroe, Texas. (01/31/2007)

VA Employee Granted the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) Credential - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Employee Achievement: HOUSTON, TX - Constance (Connie) Ward, MSN, RN, BC, CNRN, staff nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, has earned CNRN certification through the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing. (01/29/2007)

More than 600 Veterans Expected to Register for 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games in Houston - Local sponsorship of the Games is being accepted from area businesses and professional groups. Also, more than 1,000 volunteers are needed to assist with a full range of exciting activities taking place during the Games. (01/25/2007)

Houston VA Opens New, State-of-the-Art Hybrid Surgical Suite - HOUSTON - On January 19, 2007, Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James "Jim" Nicholson cut the ribbon opening a new, state-of-the-art hybrid surgical suite at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (01/23/2007)

VA Secretary to Open New, State-of-the-Art Hybrid Surgical Suite - On Friday, January 19, 2007 at 1:30 p.m., Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James "Jim" Nicholson will cut the ribbon opening a new, state-of-the-art hybrid surgical suite at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (01/18/2007)

Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic Adjusts Operating Hours Due to Inclement Weather - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of inclement weather, the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic located at 3420 Veterans Circle plans open late tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 10 a.m. (01/16/2007)

Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin Adjusts Operating Hours Due to Inclement Weather - HOUSTON - In response to the approach of inclement weather, the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin will close today, Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 3 p.m. and will plan to reopen tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 10 a.m. (01/16/2007)

Houston VA Maintains Excellence in Cardiac Surgery Program - HOUSTON - Last week, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received praise from the Department of Veterans Affairs Continuous Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Program (CICSP) for decreasing its already exceptionally low cardiac surgery mortality rate under unique and challenging circumstances. (01/16/2007)

VA Health Care System Outscores Private Sector Again - WASHINGTON - For the seventh straight year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has received significantly higher marks than the private health care industry on a leading independent survey of customer satisfaction. (01/11/2007)

Houston VA Uses One-Two Punch Against Liver Cancer - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first VA hospital to perform laparoscopic Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation (RFA) to treat a primary liver tumor (hepatocellular carcinoma). According to the American Cancer Society, about 14,000 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed each year. (01/09/2007)

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2006

Houston VA Signs Contract to Open New VA Outpatient Clinic Near Conroe Regional Medical Center - HOUSTON - Fulfilling a commitment to veterans living north of Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has signed a contract to lease space in Conroe in order to establish and operate a new VA-staffed Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) offering primary care and mental health services. The new CBOC will be conveniently located at 800 Riverwood Court near the Conroe Regional Medical Center, just off Loop 336 and Interstate 45. It is scheduled to open early next year. (12/14/2006)

VA Physician Instrumental in Testing and Evaluation of Body Armor for U.S. Troops - HOUSTON - Francis H. Gannon, M.D., a staff physician with the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Diagnostic & Therapeutic Care Line, will receive a Department of Defense award for his role in the testing and evaluation of a key piece of battlefield equipment, worn by U.S. troops for the first time during the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. (12/12/2006)

Houston VA Joins Fight Against Deadly Bacteria - HOUSTON - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a more serious form of a common bacteria that frequently inhabits the skin or nostrils of healthy people. Due to its resistance to antibiotics commonly used in treatment, MRSA is one of the most rapidly growing and virulent health care associated infections, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for over 100,000 U.S. hospitalizations each year. (11/28/2006)

Journal Article Reveals Spinal Epidural Infections on the Rise - HOUSTON - Infections in the space around the spinal cord have increased over the past decade and many are associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a review that appeared in the November 9, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D., staff physician, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (11/20/2006)

Houston VA Hosts Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON, TEXAS - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with The Task Force for Houston Area Homeless Veterans, The Coalition for the Homeless and U.S. Veterans Initiative, is hosting the 6th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless veterans on Nov. 8 - 9, 2006 at Midtown Terrace Suites located at 4640 Main Street. (11/08/2006)

Houston VA Awarded 3 Year Accreditation For Spinal Cord Injury Care Program - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was notified it has been awarded a three-year CARF accreditation for its Spinal Cord Injury Care Line. (11/01/2006)

Houston VA Awarded 3 Year Accreditation for Inpatient Rehabilitation Program - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was notified this week that it was awarded a three-year CARF accreditation for Rehabilitation Care Line's Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (CIIRP). (10/26/2006)

Houston VA Expands Surgery Services to Veterans with New Liver Transplant Center - HOUSTON - In August 2006, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received official designation as a Liver Transplant Center from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The MEDVAMC joins Portland, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Richmond, Virginia VA Medical Centers offering liver transplantation to veterans as an appropriate therapy for end-stage liver disease. (10/25/2006)

Houston VA Earns Accreditation for Pharmacy Residency Program - HOUSTON - This past September, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) granted a six-year accreditation to the Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). This accreditation follows an on-site survey and review conducted in April 2006. (10/19/2006)

New, Multidisciplinary Cancer Center Opens Today at Houston VA - HOUSTON - According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. However, improvements in cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment have increased the survival rate for many types of cancer. In response to this serious health issue, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) opened its new, multidisciplinary Cancer Center today, October 16, 2006. (10/16/2006)

80 Houston VA Docs Listed as "Best Doctors" in the Nation - HOUSTON - The medical knowledge company, Best Doctors, Inc. has included 80 physicians who provide patient care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in the latest compilation of The Best Doctors in America (Registered Trademark) database. (09/15/2006)

Houston VA Hospital Using Innovative Technology to Make Heart Procedures Safer, Faster - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first VA medical center in the country to use Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) to diagnose and treat veterans needing specialized cardiac care. (09/05/2006)

How VA Hospitals Became The Best - Most private hospitals can only dream of the futuristic medicine Dr. Divya Shroff practices today. Outside an elderly patient's room, the attending physician gathers her residents around a wireless laptop propped on a mobile cart. Shroff accesses the patient's entire medical history--a stack of paper in most private hospitals. And instead of trekking to the radiology lab to view the latest X-ray, she brings it up on her computer screen. While Shroff is visiting the patient, a resident types in a request for pain medication, then punches the SEND button. Seconds later, the printer in the hospital pharmacy spits out the order. The druggist stuffs a plastic bag of pills into what looks like a tiny space capsule, then shoots it up to the ward in a vacuum tube. By the time Shroff wheels away her computer, a nurse walks up with the drugs. (08/28/2006)

VA Blind Veteran Technology on ABC World News Tonight - The August 17, 2006 episode of ABC World News Tonight featured Kenneth Adams, a patient at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. Adams lost his sight when he was wounded while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. The news piece focused on the cutting-edge technology and new devices now available at VAMCs across the country to assist blind veterans with reading prescription labels, shopping, preparing meals, and even choosing matching clothes. The goal is to help these unique veterans enjoy more independent and safe lives. For more on this new technology, visit http://www.houston.med.va.gov/HOUSTON/pressreleases/News_20060109b.asp. (08/17/2006)

Study Examines 2 Types of Treatment Plans for People Suffering from Depression and Insomnia - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is conducting a clinical research study comparing the feasibility and effectiveness of two treatment approaches for individuals with insomnia and a history of major depression or bipolar disorder. The study focuses on both veterans and non-veterans, over the age of 60 who have difficulty starting or initiating sleep four or more times a week for at least three months and who meet study eligibility criteria. (08/08/2006)

Mandatory Replacement of Prior Versions of Veteran and Patient Identification Cards - HOUSTON - In order to reduce veteran vulnerability to identity theft and to demonstrate VA's commitment to securing the confidential personal information of enrolled veterans, all VA medical facilities, including the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), are replacing prior versions of veteran and patient identification cards with a new, more secure one. This new card eliminates the sensitive identifying information printed on the front of the other cards. (08/01/2006)

Houston First VA to Fit Patient with Bionic Foot - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently became the first VA medical center to fit a patient with the Proprio "Bionic" FootTM, just weeks after Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. This technologically advanced prosthesis thinks for itself, responding automatically to changing terrain, stairs, slopes, and level-ground walking as needed. (08/01/2006)

The Best Medical Care In The U.S. - How Veterans Affairs transformed itself -- and what it means for the rest of us (07/17/2006)

Leading Cardiologist Joins Houston VA Staff - HOUSTON - David Paniagua, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I. has joined the staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). Paniagua will serve as the co-director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory under the Medical Care Line. (07/12/2006)

Award-Winning Substance Abuse Specialist Joins Staff at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Thomas R. Kosten, M.D. has joined the staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) as the Senior Advisor on Substance Abuse Disorders based in the Mental Health Care Line. (07/07/2006)

VA Physicians Exploring Effectiveness of Bipolar Disorder Medications - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of only six sites in United States, and the only VA facility, conducting a clinical research study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to compare the effectiveness and side effects of two widely used medications for bipolar disorder. The study focuses on individuals, both veterans and non-veterans, over the age of 60 who are currently experiencing an elevated mood and who meet study eligibility criteria. (06/20/2006)

Houston VA Wait Time Success Story: Urology Section Turnaround - HOUSTON - Decreasing the amount of time veterans wait for health care appointments remains a high priority for administrators at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). Solutions to this complex problem range from reallocation of resources, hiring additional staff, improving processes, and opening new clinics, while providing special attention to service-connected veterans and veterans recently returned from conflicts overseas. (05/02/2006)

Houston Only VA with Consistently Low Mortality Rates for 6 Consecutive Years - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently received notification from the National Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Executive Committee that it has demonstrated consistently low observed-to-expected mortality rates in general surgery, all surgery, and all non-cardiac surgery six years in a row. The MEDVAMC is the only VA facility with this record. (04/12/2006)

Houston VA Hospital Offering Less Invasive Options - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of the few medical facilities in the country performing minimally invasive heart valve surgery. In this new procedure, surgery is performed with a limited split of the sternum through a small three inch incision providing a small but adequate access to the heart valves. (04/11/2006)

Houston VA's Major Affiliate Ranked 10th on National List of Medical Schools - HOUSTON - For more than 50 years, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has provided clinical training for health care professionals through its major affiliate, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). BCM has now been ranked 10th among the 125 U.S. medical schools in an annual survey published by U.S. News & World Report, moving up three positions from its 13th ranking last year. (04/04/2006)

Medicare's Drug Benefit Deemed Anemic Next to VA's - Cardiology News - March 2006 By Jennifer Lubell, Associate Editor, Practice Trends. Medicare's new prescription drug benefit offers meager savings on drug prices, according to a Families USA survey. (03/21/2006)

What's behind the VA hospital turnaround? - The film "Born on the Fourth of July" portrayed VA medical care as many saw it in the years after the Vietnam War. (03/16/2006)

Houston VA Selected to Host 2007 Golden Age Games - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been selected to host the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Golden Age Games next year, August 25 - September 1, 2007. These games bring together veterans age 55 and older who receive health care at VA medical facilities across the country to compete in events such as swimming, bicycling, golf, shot put, discus, 10-meter air rifle, table tennis, dominoes, shuffleboard, horseshoes, nine-ball, bowling, checkers, and croquet. (03/03/2006)

Surgical Liaison - A vital link between patient, family and surgeon in the Operating Room and Recovery Room (02/17/2006)

VA growing to improve care for wounded soldiers - Houston unit is among those that will treat multiple injuries under one roof. The pervasive use of improvised explosive devices and other weaponry in Iraq and Afghanistan has produced a new medical approach: polytrauma care, a term coined for the head trauma, severed limbs, hearing and vision loss, and other injuries that U.S. troops are suffering in numbers not seen before. (02/03/2006)

Houston VA Spearheads Initiative to Boost Employment for Disabled Veterans - HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs has offered employment assistance and guidance to veterans for many years. Currently, more than 7,000 veterans participate in VA Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) programs nationwide each year. (01/30/2006)

Health Care Confidential - New York Times Op-Ed Column, 1/27/06 American health care is desperately in need of reform. But what form should change take? Are there any useful examples we can turn to for guidance? Well, I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care. And the story of this system's success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology. For the government doesn't just pay the bills in this system - it runs the hospitals and clinics. (01/27/2006)

CORECTION TO AP NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: More than 260,000 unable to sign up for health care (by SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press Writer) - Dear Editor: There has been some inaccurate reporting of medical benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and I wanted to help set the record straight. (01/27/2006)

VA Care Is Rated Superior to That in Private Hospitals - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/19/AR2006011902936_pf.html By Rob Stein Washington Post Friday, January 20, 2006; A15 (01/20/2006)

Houston VA Using Innovative Procedure to Repair Life-Threatening Heart Defect - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke thought to have been caused by a Patent Foramen Ovale. (01/19/2006)

Houston VA Earns Accreditation from National Committee for Quality Assurance - HOUSTON - On January 4, 2006, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) awarded a three-year accreditation to the Human Research Protection Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (01/17/2006)

Free Transportation to Houston VA Available for Veterans - HOUSTON - Transportation to and from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston from outlying areas is available by way of vans operated by various veteran service organizations and local government offices. The vans are operated as a free service for veterans seeking medical care at the MEDVAMC. Veterans are advised to call at least a week before their appointment, as several vans require reservations. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. (01/12/2006)

Site Selected for New Lufkin Veterans' Clinic; VA Now Seeks Builder - LUFKIN, TX - The Department of Veterans Affairs has obtained an assignable option to purchase approximately seven acres of land located at 2206 John Redditt Drive in Lufkin, TX for the construction of a new outpatient clinic. Once completed, this new, larger facility will replace the current Lufkin clinic located at 1301 W. Frank Ave. (01/10/2006)

Free Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center (PADRECC) presents a free educational program and forum for veterans, family members, and friends: “Improving Care for Veterans with Parkinson's Disease.” Guest speakers include Eugene Lai, M.D., Ph.D., Gabriel Hou, M.D., Ph.D., and Aliya Sarwar, M.D. (01/09/2006)

New Technology Helps Blind Veterans Enjoy More Independent Lives - Bill Johnson, Visual Impairment Service Team coordinator at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center demonstrates an I.D. Mate to veteran Bernard Corbit. The I.D. Mate is just one of several new, high-tech devices available to veterans to assist them with reading prescription labels, shopping, preparing meals, and even choosing matching clothes. The goal is to help these unique veterans enjoy more independent and safe lives. (01/09/2006)

Houston VA Awarded 3-Year Accreditations for Vocational Rehabilitation and Health Care for Homeless Veterans Programs - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was notified in December that it was awarded three-year CARF accreditations for its Mental Health Care Line's Vocational Rehabilitation and Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Programs. (01/04/2006)

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2005

Houston VA Hospital Using Innovative Technique to Treat Liver Cancer and Tumors - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is among the first VA hospitals in the country to use Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation (RFA) to treat liver cancer and tumors. According to the American Cancer Society, about 14,000 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed each year. (12/15/2005)

Houston VA Vascular Surgeons Implant Wireless Pressure Sensor to Monitor Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Endovascular Repair - This cutting-edge, implantable sensor technology allows doctors to monitor aortic aneurysm pressure for possible early aneurysm leaks and patients to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure and toxic dyes. (12/12/2005)

New Cancer Center Opens at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 56,730 Americans will die of colorectal cancer this year. Colorectal cancer is also one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States; more than 145,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2004. The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center hospitalized more than 140 veterans last year for treatment of colorectal cancer. (12/05/2005)

No Across-the-Board Review of PTSD Cases - Secretary Nicholson - WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will not review the files of 72,000 veterans currently receiving disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, the Department's secretary announced today. (11/10/2005)

VA Shining Star in Disaster Relief Efforts - On August 31, 2005, as the country realized the devastation Hurricane Katrina inflicted along the Gulf Coast, the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) was activated. In Houston, this meant area hospitals began gearing up to receive patients from the hurricane-affected areas under the coordination of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (11/03/2005)

Houston VA Now Offers Online Prescription Refills - HOUSTON - Veterans receiving their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) may now order prescription refills and check the status of prescription refills on the Internet at their convenience. (10/11/2005)

VA Mobile Health Clinic Relocates to Gateway Plaza in Beaumont * Offers Medical Care for All Community Members - BEAUMONT, TX - In coordination with local and federal relief efforts, a VA-staffed mobile health clinic has relocated to Gateway Plaza, just off 1-10, in Beaumont. This location is already being used as a staging area by FEMA and other relief agencies and will now offer victims of Hurricane Rita convenient access to medical attention. The mobile clinic, open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is equipped to evaluate and treat acute and chronic medical problems, administer immunizations, and refill prescriptions for all members of the community. (10/04/2005)

Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic Reopens; 7 Day-a-Week Health Care Open to All Community Members While Recovery Continues - BEAUMONT, TX - With roof repairs completed and generators providing power to the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, the medical facility reopened on Saturday, September 29, 2005. While recovery and relief efforts from Hurricane Rita continue in the area, the clinic, located at 3420 Veterans Circle just off I-10, will operate seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and will provide health care to all members of the community. While the staff at the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic can evaluate and treat acute and chronic medical problems, administer immunizations, and refill prescriptions, persons with life-threatening emergencies should immediately call 911. (10/03/2005)

Houston VA Mobile Health Clinics Open Now in Beaumont - Two VA-staffed mobile health clinics are now open and operational in Beaumont. Located in the parking lot of the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, 3420 Veterans Circle just off I-10, the clinics are equipped to evaluate and treat medical problems, administer immunizations, and refill prescriptions for all members of the community. (09/30/2005)

Houston VA Prepares to Send Mobile Clinics to Hurricane-Affected Areas - Two Department of Veterans Affairs mobile health clinics made their way from Louisiana to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston late yesterday. Today, they are being serviced, outfitted, and stocked with supplies, medical equipment, and medications. Early tomorrow morning, September 29, 2005, the mobile clinics, staffed with VA physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and support personnel, will make their way to the hurricane-affected areas in southeast Texas. (09/28/2005)

VA Outpatient Clinics Reopen Wednesday - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will return to normal operations on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. This includes all outpatient clinics, as well as compensation and pension appointments, at the Houston location. (09/27/2005)

Hurricane Rita Status Update Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will return to normal operations on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. This includes all outpatient clinics, as well as compensation and pension appointments, at the Houston location. (09/27/2005)

Hotlines for Employees and Veterans - Hotlines for Employees and Veterans (09/26/2005)

Houston VA Returns to Normal Operations on September 28, 2005 - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston will return to normal operations on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. This includes all outpatient clinics, as well as compensation and pension appointments, at the Houston location. (09/26/2005)

Houston VA prepares to receive Hurricane Rita victims from East Texas and Louisiana - Clinics involved include Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Beaumont, and Lufkin. Houston VA prepares to receive Hurricane Rita victims from East Texas and Louisiana (09/26/2005)

Hurricane Rita Status Update Monday, September 26, 2005 - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston will return to normal operations on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. This includes all outpatient clinics, as well as compensation and pension appointments, at the Houston location. (09/26/2005)

VA Medical Center Outpatient Clinics Closed September 26 & 27, 2005 - Because of concerns regarding fuel, traffic congestion, and scattered power outages in southeast Texas, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments, and compensation and pension examination appointments, in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Beaumont, and Lufkin on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005. The Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic will possibly be closed for a longer period of time. (09/25/2005)

Hurricane Rita Status Update Sunday, September 25, 2005 - Because of concerns regarding fuel, traffic congestion, and scattered power outages in southeast Texas, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments, and compensation and pension examination appointments, in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Beaumont, and Lufkin on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005. The Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic will possibly be closed for a longer period of time. (09/25/2005)

Hurricane Rita Status Update Saturday, September 24, 2005 - Because conditions (communications, transportation, and power) outside the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have not been declared safe by local city and county government officials, people who sought shelter at the MEDVAMC are strongly advised not to leave the VA Complex. (09/24/2005)

Hurricane Rita Status Update - Saturday, September 24, 2005,
5 p.m.
- The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently preparing to receive patients from hurricane-affected areas in southeast Texas and Louisiana. Toward this effort and because of conditions in the area, the MEDVAMC has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Beaumont, and Lufkin, and all compensation and pension examination appointments, on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005. (09/24/2005)

Hurricane Rita Preparations Update Friday, September 23, 2005 - In response to the approach of Hurricane Rita toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) continues to make final preparations for extreme weather. Health care and support staff is on-site to care for the needs of veteran patients at the MEDVAMC. (09/23/2005)

VA Medical Center Outpatient Clinics Closed September 22 & 23, 2005 - In response to the approach of Hurricane Rita toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, and Beaumont on Thursday, September 22, 2005 and Friday, September 23, 2005. The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin will remain operational during this time. (09/21/2005)

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Honored with VA's Top Quality Award - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to be this year's recipient of the Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Award -- the department's top award for quality achievement. Based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria, the award recognizes the MEDVAMC's commitment to the veterans it serves and to the community, as well as performance improvement efforts made by the medical center and its satellite clinics. (09/19/2005)

VA Health Care Professionals Arrive from Across Country to Provide Care to Victims of Hurricane Katrina - To deal with the health care issues of the many veterans displaced by Hurricane Katrina now calling Houston home, the MEDVAMC decided to set up a temporary clinic in their 18,000 sq. ft. gymnasium. Like magic, a fully functioning health clinic was assembled in a matter of three days in what was until recently, used by veterans and MEDVAMC staff members for recreation activities. On Thursday, September 8, 2005, the day it opened, the clinic saw 125 veteran outpatients currently living with friends and family or in shelters around the city. (09/14/2005)

VA Creates Procedures for Benefits in Wake of Hurricane Katrina - WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established emergency procedures for veterans whose VA financial benefits have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. "It is critical that veterans and their families who are victims of this devastating hurricane continue to have access to their funds," said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Nicholson said the Department is providing replacement checks for victims of Hurricane Katrina who are unable to obtain VA benefits checks mailed to their homes or electronically deposited in banks within the affected area. (09/14/2005)

Only Veteran Medical Records Safe from Flood Waters (VA's Computerized Patient Record System) - Only Veteran Medical Records Safe from Flood Waters VA's Computerized Patient Record System saves critical medical records so patients' health care does not suffer. (09/13/2005)

Letter to the Editor - Hurricane Relief Efforts by Houston Community - Beginning Wednesday, August 31, 2005 through Sunday, September 4, 2005, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center operated a Patient Reception Team at Ellington Field to receive patients being evacuated from the Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. The first military transport flight arrived that day at 9 p.m. and by the end of our mission, we had received 21 planes with more than 700 patients. The patients ranged in age from four months to over 80-years-old. Their conditions ranged from fatigue and dehydration to a transplant patient. (09/12/2005)

Houston VA Opens Outpatient Clinic for Displaced New Orleans Veterans - MEDVAMC gearing up to provide health care to New Orleans evacuees. (09/07/2005)

Patient Reception Team Triaged 102 Patients Yesterday, More Expected Today - Houston- Beginning at 11:10 a.m. through 11:45 p.m. on September 3, 2005, the PRT received 4 aircraft. From these, the PRT medically triaged 102 patients and dispatched them to community hospitals, the MEDVAMC, and community support facilities. The MEDVAMC admitted 7 veteran and 2 non-veteran patients from these aircraft. In addition, the MEDVAMC continues to receive walk-in veterans from hurricane-affected areas in need of medical treatment. (09/04/2005)

More Hurricane Katrina Victims Scheduled to Arrive Today at Ellington Field - On August 31, 2005, the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) was activated. This means many hospitals in Houston are gearing up to receive patients from the hurricane-affected areas. In Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the coordinating facility for this medical response effort. (09/01/2005)

Houston VA Prepares to Receive Hurricane Katrina Victims - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently preparing to receive approximately 80 veteran inpatients from the New Orleans VA Medical Center. The New Orleans hospital was ordered closed yesterday because of flooding, water damage, and power outages caused by Hurricane Katrina. All 154 patients from the hospital are being evacuated to other VA medical facilities in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. (08/31/2005)

Revamped Veterans' Health Care Now a Model - By Gilbert M. Gaul Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, August 22, 2005; A01 For years, the Department of Veterans Affairs' sprawling health care system was criticized by veterans groups and government investigators as a dangerous backwater of medicine. Report after report portrayed it as suffocating from top-heavy bureaucracy, dirty and unsafe hospitals, and little or no accountability. Thousands of eligible patients opted to get their care elsewhere. (08/22/2005)

Houston VA's Innovative Employee Educational Program Wins Award - South Central VA Health Care Network recently honored Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston, Texas for an innovative employee education program. The Innovations in Education Award, given quarterly by the network's director, recognizes an educational program at one of the network's ten medical centers that is the most innovative. (08/18/2005)

Houston VA Coronary Care Unit Named One of Best in Houston Gulf Coast Area - HOUSTON - The Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center was recently awarded the COMET award by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses - Houston Gulf Coast Chapter. The COMET award is used by the organization to recognize the three intensive care units in the Houston Gulf Coast area that attain high quality care, provide excellent care to patients, and demonstrate a healthy workplace for nurses. (08/17/2005)

High Tech Call System at Houston VA Enables Patients to Talk to Nurses Anywhere, Anytime - HOUSTON -Veteran inpatients at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) are now able to talk with their nurses anywhere, anytime simply by using a newly installed and enhanced nurse call system. Patients are able to relay their needs immediately and know a healthcare professional is simply a telephone call away. (08/11/2005)

Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia:Houston VAs Health Care Rated Top Nationwide - HOUSTON - According to a 2005 Quality Check report from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the health care the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) provides in three critical medical areas ranks among the very best nationwide. The report found MEDVAMC performance in caring for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia was above most nationwide and statewide Joint Commission-accredited organizations. (07/28/2005)

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Named 2005 Most Wired Hospital 2nd Year in a Row - New survey demonstrates that technology can play an important role in quality of health care. (07/19/2005)

Houston VA Cares for U.S. Marine Injured in Iraq - HOUSTON - In August 2004, fighting broke out in Najaf, Iraq between the U.S. Marines and a militant group of Iraqi insurgents known as the al-Mahdi Army. The majority of the military conflict was located around the Imam Ali shrine and the Wadi al-Salam cemetery. It was during this conflict on August 5, 2004, that a local Houstonian, U.S. Marine 1st Lt. David Lewis was blinded in battle. (07/14/2005)

Local Hospitals Follow VA's Lead With Computerized Patient Records - HOUSTON - U.S. Air Force veteran Clayton Murphy likes the fact that each one of his doctors and nurses at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) can access important information about his health and medical care in just a matter of seconds. Using the VA's Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), MEDVAMC health care providers are not hindered like their non-VA colleagues with poorly organized folders filled with wrinkled and faded papers. (07/12/2005)

Military Might - Today's VA hospitals are models of top-notch care - Three summers ago, Augustin Martinez's skin was yellow. He was in pain. And physicians at Kaiser Permanente, his usual source of care, were baffled. The frustrated Martinez, a retired Lockheed Martin engineer in San Jose, Calif., asked his brother, a New York physician, for advice. After consulting colleagues, his brother advised him to go to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in nearby Palo Alto. Martinez, a former Navy petty officer 2nd class, was entitled to VA care (eligibility depends on several factors, including date and length of military service, injury, and income). But his brother's recommendation took him by surprise. Better care at a VA hospital? But he went--and was quickly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by Sherry Wren, chief of general surgery, who operated on him within days. He has relied on VA hospitals and clinics ever since. "They run a good ship," says Martinez, now age 72. (07/11/2005)

Human Patient Simulator Teaches Anesthesia Residents at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), in collaboration with the Anesthesiology Department of Baylor College of Medicine, is the only VA facility in Texas to offer hands-on learning experience and true-to-life scenario training to its anesthesia residents, interns, student registered nurse anesthetists, and medical students using a high fidelity computer-model-driven, full-sized mannequin called the Human Patient Simulator (HPS). (07/11/2005)

VA Study Gives New Hope to Shingles Sufferers - HOUSTON - Relief from the painful symptoms of shingles is closer for millions of Americans, thanks to a pioneering study by researchers predominately from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (06/03/2005)

Houston First VA Hospital to Use FDA-Approved Endovascular Device to Treat Thoracic Aorta Aneurysms - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is among the first hospitals in the country to use an FDA-approved endovascular device to treat patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm. (05/23/2005)

New Stroke Center Opens at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability in the U.S., and the third leading cause of death. More than 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year. Every 45 seconds an American has a stroke; every three minutes someone dies of a stroke in this country; and 15-30 percent of stroke survivors have serious long-term disability. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that it hospitalizes 15,000 veterans with a stroke each year. (05/08/2005)

Medical Team Training Focuses on Communication - HOUSTON - Patient safety is a top priority at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The Operative Care Team is leading the way through Medical Team Training, creating an environment to enhance communication among clinicians. (04/29/2005)

VA Opens New Outpatient Clinic in Texas City - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of its new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Texas City, Texas. (04/27/2005)

Talking to a Computer Makes Getting X-Ray Results Quicker and Easier at Houston VA - HOUSTON - Remember when you waited days to learn the results of your X-rays? New technology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now enables radiologists to quickly record medical test results without the time-consuming hassles of dictating and transcribing. (04/25/2005)

Volunteers are Critical Asset to Veteran Health Care - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) honors volunteers who share their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of our communitys veterans during National Volunteer Week, April 17-23. (04/15/2005)

Veterans at the Houston VA "Breathe in a Bag" for Diagnosis of Stomach Ulcers - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) uses the breath test as one method to diagnose the cause of upper abdominal discomfort, indigestion, peptic ulcers, and gastric cancer and provide appropriate treatment. (04/11/2005)

Houston VA Earns Accreditation from American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics - HOUSTON - Last week the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics approved the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Orthotics and Prosthetics Center for another three-year accreditation. Edgar L. Tucker, MEDVAMC director was advised of the national recognition and congratulated by the organization for "scoring a perfect 100." (04/11/2005)

Truck Loads of Furniture Arrive for New Houston Fisher House - HOUSTON - This morning at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), seven Gallery Furniture trucks lined the road behind the new Houston Fisher House delivering chairs, couches, tables, beds - everything needed to turn this empty house into a home. (03/31/2005)

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Galveston VA Clinic - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, March 4, 2005 at 10 a.m. celebrating the opening of its new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Galveston, Texas. (03/04/2005)

Houston VA Recognized as Only VA with Consistently Low Mortality Rates 5 Years in a Row - HOUSTON - On February 16, 2005, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received special recognition from the National Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Executive Committee for demonstrating consistently low observed-to-expected mortality rates in general surgery, all surgery, and all non-cardiac surgery five years in a row. The MEDVAMC is the only VA facility to receive this commendation. (02/22/2005)

Houston VA Receives Praise for Cardiac Surgery Program - HOUSTON - Last week, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received praise from the Department of Veterans Affairs Continuous Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Program (CICSP) for its remarkable mortality rate of zero percent for coronary artery bypass surgeries in the last six months. In addition, the MEDVAMC was commended for demonstrating consistently low mortality rates in its Cardiac Surgery Section. (02/07/2005)

New Outpatient Clinic for Galveston County Veterans Opens in March - [Friday, March 4, 2005, 10 a.m.] Officially opening for patient care on Monday, March 7, 2005, the Galveston CBOC will provide primary care and mental health services for veterans in the area and is expected to see about 4,000 patients the first year of operation. The new Galveston CBOC will greatly expand the VAs capacity for outpatient care in southeast Texas. (02/03/2005)

High-Tech Robotic Laboratory Processor at Houston VA Means Faster and More Accurate Test Results for Patients - HOUSTON - The state-of-the-art robotic processor system inside the laboratory at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has drastically cut the time health care professionals wait for results of crucial medical tests. The MEDVAMC is the only facility in Houston to offer this important diagnostic technology to its patients. (02/02/2005)

Veterans Feel at Home When Hospitalized at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - HOUSTON - In an effort to create a more home-like environment for veteran inpatients, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently finished a major upgrade and redesign of patient rooms. The new accommodations are modern, brighter, and more comfortable. The designs are a significant step away from the typical hospital setting and focus on patient well-being, both physically and mentally. (01/10/2005)

Houston VA Medical Laboratory Earns Accreditation From College of American Pathologists - HOUSTON - The medical laboratory at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has been awarded re-accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (01/04/2005)

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2004

A Bug Can Be Better Than A Drug - News (12/09/2004)

Study Pinpoints Causes of Acute Gastrointestinal Illness and Identifies Best Prevention Tactics - News (12/06/2004)

Houston VA Offering New Method for Treating Painful and Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids - News (11/29/2004)

Houston VA Gives Veterans a Lift - News (11/05/2004)

"Legs For Life Campaign" Walks into Houston VA - News (11/02/2004)

Houston VA Receives Accreditation from Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories - News (10/27/2004)

Houston VA Receives Accreditation from American College of Radiology - News (09/08/2004)

Houston VA Wins National Quality Award - News (08/30/2004)

Houston VA Opens State-of-the-Art Cardiac Intervention Laboratory - News (08/24/2004)

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Designated a Magnet Hospital by American Nurse Credentialing Center - News (08/16/2004)

Camera Pill Takes Photographs Inside Veterans at Houston VA - News (07/21/2004)

Nurses at Houston VA Make Long-term Commitment to Care for Veterans - News (07/07/2004)

Houston VA Renaming Ceremony - Advisory (06/25/2004)

Houston VA Renaming Ceremony - Advisory (06/17/2004)

Two Unique Employees Start Work at the Houston VA - News (06/10/2004)

FACT SHEET: Plastic Reconstructive Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Fact Sheet (05/26/2004)

Vietnam Veterans Show Their Support for Combat Troops - News (05/24/2004)

Houston VA Physician Reviews Appropriate Treatments for Surgical Implants in New England Journal of Medicine - News (04/20/2004)

VA Offers Unique Education Opportunity for Employees - News (04/13/2004)

VA Announces Homeless Assistance Award to Houston Group - News (04/13/2004)

VA Wants Former POWs to Know About Available Benefits - News (04/02/2004)

Veterans Look Forward to Popcorn Days - News (03/18/2004)

Houston VA Ranked Number #1 in Surgical Outcomes - News (03/11/2004)

VA Surgeons Examine Best Vessels for Use in Coronary Artery Bypass Operation - News (03/09/2004)

Study Shows VA Care for Patients with Hypertension and Diabetes Comparable or Better Than Private Sector - News (03/04/2004)

Houston First VA Hospital Using Innovative Technique to Treat Lower Leg Arterial Disease - News (03/01/2004)

Health Call Center at Houston VA Receives URAC Accreditation - News (02/26/2004)

New Equipment Allows More Blood Testing at Lufkin VA Outpatient Clinic - News (02/25/2004)

Houston VA's Mental Health Care Line Ranks High in Serving Veterans - News (02/05/2004)

Houston VA One of First Area Hospitals with Life-Saving Portable Defibrillator Program - News (01/22/2004)

Houston VA Surgeons Treating Veterans Suffering from Thoracic Aorta Aneurysms with New, Minimally Invasive Procedure - News (01/20/2004)

Houston VA Renamed for Dr. Michael E. DeBakey - News (01/12/2004)

VA's Largest "Fisher House" Breaks Ground in Houston - Advisory (01/05/2004)

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2003

President George H. W. Bush Visits Houston VA Medical Center - News (12/23/2003)

By Popular Demand, Valet Parking Now Available - News (12/19/2003)

Houston VA Surgeons Treating Veterans Suffering from Thoracic Aorta Aneurysms with New, Minimally Invasive Procedure - News (12/15/2003)

Houston VA Awarded 3-Year Accreditation for Inpatient Rehabilitation Program - News (12/12/2003)

Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons Grants Approval to Houston VA Cancer Program - News (12/11/2003)

Study Shows Liver Cancer Doubled in the United States in the Last Two Decades - News (11/18/2003)

Houston VA Leaves the Days of Large, Brown X-Ray Envelopes Behind - News (10/29/2003)

Study: VA Maintained Quality In Shift To Outpatient Care - News (10/22/2003)

VA Employees Save Man's Life After Car Crash - News (10/01/2003)

Did You Know You Could Have Hepatitis C and Not Even Know It? - News (09/05/2003)

Houston VA Medical Center Offers New Patient Orientation Clinic - News (09/03/2003)

Houston VA Work Program Offers Veterans A "Way Back" - News (07/28/2003)

Houston VA Commended During Recent Inspector General Visit - News (07/23/2003)

Houston VA Surgeons Treating Veterans Suffering from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms with New, Minimally Invasive Procedure - News (07/21/2003)

Houston VA Surgeons Treating Veterans Suffering from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms with New, Minimally Invasive Procedure - News (07/07/2003)

VA Nurses in Lufkin Boast They "Work With Heroes Everyday" - News (06/12/2003)

Your Houston VA Nurses Are Adding to the Science of Nursing - News (05/13/2003)

Houston VA Researcher Explores Mechanisms of Lou Gehrig's Disease to Develop Future Treatments - News (05/12/2003)

Houston VA Receives Prestigious Surgery Commendation - News (05/08/2003)

Skin Cancer: Learn the Facts So You Don't Get Burned this Summer - News (05/08/2003)

Physicians at Houston VA Offer New Procedure to Prevent Strokes - News (05/07/2003)

Volunteers - "Serving On The Home Front" - News (04/22/2003)

Understanding Blood Clot Mechanisms May Lead to New Drugs for Heart Attacks and Strokes - News (04/21/2003)

VA Physician Honored for Work in Disease Prevention - News (04/18/2003)

Houston VA Implements New and Innovative Procedures to Ensure Your Safety in Surgery - News (04/14/2003)

Computerized Patient Records Unique to VA - News (03/25/2003)

How Supermarket-Scanning Technology is Used to Prevent Medication Errors at the Houston VA - News (03/14/2003)

Physicians at Houston VA Medical Center Offer Innovative Cardiac Support Device for Patients - News (02/07/2003)

Houston VA Medical Center and American Legion Auxiliary Bring Comfort to Terminally Ill Veterans - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Palliative Care Room (02/07/2003)

Houston VA Research Looks at Reducing Anxiety and Depression in Veterans with COPD - News (01/07/2003)

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2002

Houston VA Medical Center Awarded Accreditation From Joint Commission - News (11/20/2002)

Don't Let the Flu Bug Bite You This Year - News (11/13/2002)

DNA-based HIV Vaccine Under Development at Houston VA - News (11/13/2002)

Houston VA Women's Health Center - A Unique Place for Women - News (11/13/2002)

VA Clinical Care and Local Houston Universities Form Bold Partnerships to Address Nursing Shortage - News (11/13/2002)

Heart Failure: Knowledge Makes a Difference in Quality of Life - News (11/13/2002)

VA Offers New Treatment for Veterans with Hepatitis C - News (11/12/2002)

VA Health System is "Best in the Nation," Says IOM - News (11/01/2002)

VA Medical Center Director Named Federal Executive of the Year 2002 - News (10/24/2002)

Visual Impairment Team Keeps An Eye on Veterans - News (09/12/2002)

How Supermarket-Scanning Technology is Used to Prevent Medication Errors at the Houston VA - News (09/10/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center In Trial of Cardiac Gene Therapy - News (09/10/2002)

Houston VA Researchers Demystifying Cell Linked to Allergy, Inflammation, and Fighting Infection - News (09/10/2002)

New Assessments and Therapies for Prostate Cancer Being Developed at Houston VA - News (09/10/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center In Trial Of Cardiac Gene Therapy - News (08/16/2002)

Houston VA Study Seeks to Limit Secondary Injuries Due to Mustard Gas Exposure - News (07/29/2002)

Growth Factors Critical to Prostate Cancer Research and Treatment - News (07/29/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center Confirms Case of West Nile Virus - News (07/22/2002)

Houston VA Focuses on Hepatitis Awareness - News (07/16/2002)

Houston VA Boasts Award-Winning Surgical Program - News (07/16/2002)

Houston Cardiac Surgery Section Model for Rest of VA - News (07/16/2002)

Houston VA Focuses on Hepatitis Awareness - News (06/04/2002)

VA Parkinson's Disease Symposium Provides Insights into Research and Care - News (05/10/2002)

Telerehab System Brings Back "House Calls" - News (05/10/2002)

Kinesiotherapy: Physical Rehabilitation through Exercise and Muscle Re-education - News (05/08/2002)

Veterans with Spinal Cord Injuries Receive Comprehensive Care at the Houston VA Medical Center - News (05/03/2002)

Houston Physicians Discuss New Discoveries in Parkinson's Disease - News (04/24/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center Performs its First Epilepsy Surgery - News (04/15/2002)

VA Conference Delves into the Frightening World of Schizophrenia - News (04/15/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center Teaches Veterans to Find Medical Info on the Web - News (04/02/2002)

Houston VA Receives General Surgery Commendation - News (03/28/2002)

Unlocking The Secrets Of Heart Failure - News (03/27/2002)

Could You Have A Serious Heart Condition And Not Even Know It? - News (03/14/2002)

What Role Does Race And Ethnicity Play In Medical Interactions Between Patients And Their Doctors? - News (03/06/2002)

Houston VA Medical Center Wins Excellence In Health Care Award - News (01/29/2002)

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