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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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News Releases
Public Affairs, (713) 794-7349


2014

Houston Stand Down for Homeless Vets - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will be hosting a Stand Down for Homeless Veterans on Friday, October 3 at the Latino Learning Center in Houston, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (09/17/2014)

"Miracle" Saves Army Veteran's Life - A groundbreaking surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently saved the life of a 66-year-old Army Veteran. "...What they have done for me is nothing short of a Miracle." (09/04/2014)

Local Veterans Win Medals at Games - The spirit of competition was alive and well at MEDVAMC this summer, as two teams of Houston area Veterans took off for Fayetteville, Ark and Philadelphia, PA to participate in the National Veterans Golden Age Games and National Veterans Wheelchair Games respectively. The athletes returned home with quite a few gold, silver and bronze medals and even more stories of comradery, athletic achievement and fun. (09/03/2014)

New Dermatology Clinic Open to Veterans - Veterans coming to Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) for Dermatology treatment will now receive their care in a spacious, modern new clinic on the second floor of the Medical Center. (08/04/2014)

DAISY Awards - The DAISY Award is a very unique and heart-felt way to recognize and reward nurses who go above and beyond for our Veterans! Photo: DAISY Award winner Brittny Briant with Veteran patient (07/19/2014)

Aggressive Wound Care Heals Long-Term Wound - An 81-year-old Houston area Army Veteran confined to a wheelchair for over a year and a half is crediting staff at VA’s Tomball Outpatient Clinic with providing him expert treatment that has him up on his feet again. (07/15/2014)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - Memorial Day Service, honoring deceased United States servicemen and women, is free and open to the public. (05/13/2014)

Sgt. Oscoe Carter Receives 2013 VA Police Award - Sgt. Oscoe Carter, VA Police Service, at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently named Lead Police Officer of the Year by the VA Office of Security & Law Enforcement. (05/09/2014)

Joining Forces: Veterans’ Family Day - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, “joining forces” with East Texas Veteran Service Organizations, Auxiliaries, and many other community organizations, agencies, and businesses, will host their 3rd Annual Veterans’ Family Fun and Resources Day. (05/09/2014)

Experienced and Prestigious Clinician Takes Over as new MEDVAMC Medical Care Line Executive - A passion for quality patient care combined with a desire to help others is why Biykem Bozkurt became a doctor. Now, after a distinguished career of more than 17 years as a renowned cardiologist, Bozkurt will continue to feed these priorities as the new Medical Care Line Executive at MEDVAMC. In her new role, Bozkurt, who will also be serving as the Vice-Chair of the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), is charged with the management of one of the largest and most prestigious medical departments in the VA healthcare system. (05/06/2014)

Newly Redesigned Newsletter for Veterans - Welcome to our newly redesigned quarterly Veteran newsletter: VA Locomotive. This Spring/Summer edition is filled with helpful and enlightening information for our Veterans and their families. (05/05/2014)

Houston VA Targets Smoking with Award Winning “Vets Kick Butts” Program - Vets Kick Butts is a free program at the Houston VA that helps Veterans kick the smoking habit. Smoking is a major concern of health care professionals given the huge impact that tobacco use can have on one’s health. (04/17/2014)

New Study by MEDVAMC Researcher Finds Outpatient Diagnostic Errors Affect 1 in 20 US Adults - A MEDVAMC researcher is taking the lead nationally on quantifying diagnostic errors in the medical community. Hardeep Singh, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the health policy, quality & informatics program at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, based at MEDVAMC in Houston, recently reported some significant findings on a comprehensive study that estimated frequency of diagnostic errors during outpatient medical appointments. (04/17/2014)

U.S. Olympic Athletes Visit Former POWs & Other Veterans - Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center were thrilled when three of our country’s U.S. Olympic Athletes stopped by the Medical Center for a special visit. Lolo Jones, Julie Chu and Kikkan Randall, who all three competed in the Sochi 2014 Olympics, recently spent a morning at MEDVAMC visiting the Medical Center’s Fisher House, attending a special former POW Veteran celebration, and visiting Veteran patients. The athletes trip to Houston was sponsored by BP America as part of their ongoing partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (04/17/2014)

VA Researchers Find Ketamine Can Relieve Suicidal Thoughts - In patients with treatment resistant depression who were experiencing suicidal thoughts, experts at Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine found that a low dose of the anesthetic ketamine helped to rapidly relieve those thoughts. Their report appears in a recent edition of the journal Depression and Anxiety. (03/27/2014)

Telephone-Based Care Program Benefits Dementia Patients and Their Carergivers - A telephone-based care-coordination program for patients with Alzheimers and their carergivers can result in positive psychosocial function improvements in patients with dementia, according to a recent study published in the open access journal, Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy. (03/21/2014)

Healthy Vets are on the MOVE! - Hundreds of Veterans are already reaping the benefits of Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center’s MOVE! and TeleMOVE! Weight loss programs and many more are expected to enroll in 2014. (03/13/2014)

Medal of Honor Recipient Visits Veterans - National hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Staff Sergeant Ty Michael Carter, recently visited the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to give a special presentation about his service in Afghanistan, and about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (03/04/2014)

Medal of Honor Recipient to Visit Houston VA - Recent Medal of Honor Recipient, SSG Ty Michael Carter, will be visiting the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to speak with Veterans and employees. (02/27/2014)

Houston VA Re-Designated Magnet Hospital - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center received one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can obtain: Magnet Re-Designation for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). (02/18/2014)

Campus Traffic Alert - In order to improve our road conditions, portions of Mixon Avenue will be closed from February 17, 2014 until mid-March for road repairs. During this time, traffic will be detoured to alternate routes. There will be plenty of directional signage and security officers out to assist all drivers on campus in navigating the construction. The repairs will affect the flow of traffic into some of our parking lots, as well as the Valet. (02/13/2014)

Houston VA Doctors Employ New Technology to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Some military Veterans with heart conditions can now breathe easier thanks to new technology and a new procedure being employed by electrophysiologists at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). On January 29, 2014 MEDVAMC electrophysiologist Dr. Hamid Afshar successfully implanted two Subcutaneous Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (S-ICD) into Houston-area Veterans at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. The S-ICD System is the world’s first and only implantable defibrillator that provides Veterans with protection from sudden cardiac arrest while leaving the heart and vasculature untouched. (02/03/2014)

National Veterans Creative Arts Competition - The 2014 NVCAC Local Competition is now open. Last day for submissions is Thursday, March 13,2014. (01/29/2014)

Veterans Enjoy a Newly Remodeled Fitness Center - Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Houston VA) in Houston are enjoying a newly-remodeled state-of-the-art fitness center as 2014 gets underway. A remodeled fitness center, located in the 108 building on the Houston VA campus, recently opened for Veterans and employees. (01/21/2014)

Houston VA Researcher Honored with Prestigious Presidential Award - A patient safety researcher has been named a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Hardeep Singh, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Health Policy, Quality & Informatics program at the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), will receive the award from President Obama at a White House ceremony later this year. (01/03/2014)

Custom Made Stent Available for Vascular Procedure - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed successful groundbreaking minimally invasive vascular procedures on two military Veterans. The surgeons performed the City of Houston’s first implantations of a new type of stent graft, called a fenestrated endograft. (01/02/2014)

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2013

Houston VA Nurse is Honored with as 2013 Employee of the Year - A VA Nurse has been named the 2013 Employee of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Gene Williams, an RN in the Spinal Cord Unit at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recognized for his hard work and dedication to caring for Veterans with spinal cord injuries. (12/19/2013)

Public Notice: Magnet Recognition Program® Site Visit - Public Notice: Magnet Recognition Program® Site Visit (12/04/2013)

Veterans Find Healing Through Peer Veterans - A new peer support program aims to break the stigma and connect those Veterans with others who understand. There are more than 800 peer support specialists nation-wide, 14 of which work at the Houston VA. (12/03/2013)

MEDVAMC Physicians Honored as Best Doctors in America for 2013 - More than 50 physicians affiliated with Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston appear on the Best Doctors in America® List for 2013. Only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, which is decided by impartial peer review. (11/20/2013)

New Laser Technology Offered to Veterans at MEDVAMC - Have you heard about the amazing new technology in our Medical Center’s Eye Care Line? MEDVAMC physicians are now employing cutting-edge laser technology for military Veterans needing eye surgery. Last month, the Medical Center obtained a state-of-the-art LenSx image-guided femtosecond laser for Veterans who need cataract surgery. The new laser, featuring customizable precision incision technology, offers improved safety and accuracy of refractive results in cataract surgery. Already, several Veterans have benefitted from this new technology and are thrilled with their outcomes. (11/20/2013)

More Veterans Accessing Treatment for Common Mental Health Problems - Increasing numbers of Veterans are getting psychotherapy, getting it quickly and attending more sessions than in prior years, according to a recent study by Department of Veterans Affairs Researchers at the Houston VA HSR&D Center. The study, published in Psychiatric Services last month, looked at changes in the use of psychotherapy (a common form of mental health treatment), within the Veterans Health Administration over a seven year period. (11/18/2013)

VA Nurse Honored for Care to Veterans - Thelma Johnson-Leathers, a nurse at the Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic, was presented a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in her honor by Congressman Randy Weber. (11/01/2013)

Free Concert for Veterans - River Oaks Chamber Orchestra presents ROCO Sousa Style, a free concert for Veterans on November 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the 4th Floor Auditorium at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (10/24/2013)

Flu Vaccine Announcement - Flu Vaccinations have begun for Veterans at your scheduled appointments. Just ask for vaccination when you check in. We have plenty of vaccine and are encouraging Veterans to wait for their scheduled appointments to be vaccinated. (09/16/2013)

Army Veteran is 10,000th Houston Enrollee in Million Veteran Program - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) reached the milestone of enrolling 10,000 participants in the Million Veteran Program (MVP): A Partnership with Veterans, and is leading the nation in enrollment efforts. The MEDVAMC is one of 50 VA medical centers serving as an enrollment site for this national, voluntary research program conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research & Development. The knowledge gained will help better understand how genes affect Veterans’ health and illness, with the ultimate goal of transforming health care. (09/04/2013)

Treadmill Training Improves Quality of Life for Veteran with Parkinson’s - Vietnam Veteran Bruce Fry of Houston has participated in a study sponsored by the Rehabilitation R&D at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to treat his symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease. (09/03/2013)

Local Disabled Veterans Bring Home Medals from National Veterans Wheelchair Games - A wide range of disabilities could not stop nine local wheelchair athletes from competing and bringing home those coveted gold, silver, and bronze medals from the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Tampa, Florida July 13-18. The athletes are all disabled Veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (08/09/2013)

Vietnam Veteran Benefits from VA Weight Loss Program - When Marine Corps Veteran, Michael Angwin, heard that he was at risk for developing diabetes, he decided he wanted to make the commitment to become healthier and live a long, happy life. During a visit with his primary care physician at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), he was encouraged to try a unique weight loss program for Veterans. (08/06/2013)

Houston VA Offers Extended Clinic Hours - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently began offering Veterans evening and weekend mental health appointments as part of an initiative to improve access and convenience for area Veterans. MEDVAMC’s Mental Health Care Line now provides after-hours therapy groups, individual assessments and follow-up appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays. (08/05/2013)

Fisher House II Dedication - Dedication ceremony for the Fisher House II at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (07/26/2013)

Houston Mental Health Summit - As part of the VA’s efforts to expand mental health resources to meet Veterans’ needs, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is partnering with Mental Health America of Greater Houston to host a groundbreaking Veterans Mental Health Summit in Houston on August 20, 2013. This special event will involve community, government, healthcare and political groups in southeast Texas coming together to pool resources and coordinate services to serve a growing number of Veterans who are seeking mental health care. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, along with MEDVAMC Director Adam C. Walmus, will kick off the event , which will include Veteran testimonials and an agenda that will facilitate working together to meet the needs of America’s Veterans. (07/26/2013)

Complex Double Aneurysm Rupture Surgery Saves Army Veteran’s Life - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed complex double aneurysm surgery to save the life of a 63-year-old, Army Veteran suffering from a thoracic and abdominal aneurysm. (07/16/2013)

Parking Progress Comes to Houston VA - Opening up parking spaces for Veterans, visitors and employees is the main goal of MEDVAMC’s new parking guidelines, implemented in late June. New gate arms have been installed on parking lots throughout the campus and parking for Veterans and Visitors is clearly marked. MEDVAMC is proud to offer Veterans two parking choices. “First and foremost, we encourage all Veterans coming here for an appointment to take advantage of our free Valet Parking service,” said Adam C. Walmus, MEDVAMC Director. “The Valet allows Veterans to exit their vehicles in front of the Medical Center and come right in. You really can’t beat that.” (06/27/2013)

Improving Veterans Health Care through Clinical Simulation - The new clinical simulation lab at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was built on the idea that we can improve the quality and efficiency of Veterans health care through realistic simulations of normal and routine processes, as well as train all of our clinical staff to respond to emergency situations with more knowledge and confidence. (06/25/2013)

Pharmacy Students Serve Veterans Through VALOR - Students pursuing a doctor of pharmacy degree have an opportunity each summer to give back to the nation’s veterans through the Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunity Residency (VALOR) program. (06/17/2013)

Silver Eagles Team Bring Home the Bling - Thirty-two Veterans from the Houston area recently participated in the 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). The Silver Eagles team brought home eight gold, eight silver and four bronze medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who are currently receiving care at a VA medical facility. (06/13/2013)

Silver Eagles Head to Buffalo for National Veterans Golden Age Games - Thirty-two local “golden age” Veterans who receive their care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will travel to Buffalo, New York May 30 – June 4, 2013, to compete in one of the most progressive and adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world - the National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG). (05/23/2013)

Houston VA Physician Assistant Receives Outstanding Leadership Award - Physician Assistant Russell Callender, PA, at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, (MEDVAMC) has received the 2013 Outstanding Physician Assistant Leadership Award by the VA Physician Assistant Association (VAPAA). (05/22/2013)

Like Us On Facebook For More Updates! - Stay up to date with what’s happening at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center by “liking” us on Facebook! See fast, current posts regarding events, news, videos, emergency information and much more. (05/21/2013)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. (05/21/2013)

DeBakey VA to Highlight Medical Advancements in Research during the 2013 National VA Research Week - The Department of Veterans Affairs will celebrate National VA Research Week May 13-17, 2013. As part of the nationwide observance, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will conduct a Research Day event on Friday, May 17, 2013, beginning at 1 p.m. The program will be moderated by Laura A. Petersen, MD, MPH, associate chief of staff for research, and will include four scientific presentations by MEDVAMC investigators: Rolando Rumbaut, MD, PhD, on “CTRID: A Collaborative Approach Towards Research Excellence in Inflammatory Diseases;” Mark Kunik, MD, MPH, on “Prevention Research in Alzheimer’s Disease: Addressing Pain to Reduce Aggression;” Jose Manuel Garcia, MD, PhD, on “Ghrelin: A Novel Treatment for Cancer-Associated Weight Loss,” and Randall Scheibel, PhD, on “Functional Brain Imaging in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” (05/13/2013)

Nurses Honored During National Nurses Week - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) joins the American Nurses Association in honoring America’s nurses during this year’s National Nurses Week. (05/07/2013)

Houston VA Enrolls its 8,000th Veteran in Million Veteran Program - Last week, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) reached the milestone of enrolling 8,000 participants in the Million Veteran Program (MVP): A Partnership with Veterans, and is leading the nation in enrollment efforts. The MEDVAMC is one of 49 VA medical centers serving as an enrollment site for this national, voluntary research program conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research & Development. The knowledge gained will help better understand how genes affect Veterans’ health and illness, with the ultimate goal of transforming health care. (05/06/2013)

Two Graduates at DeBakey VA Medical Center Earn Healthcare Analytics Certification - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) employees recently completed coursework and received certification in Healthcare Analytics through the VA Office of Information and Analytics (OIA) Field Analytics program. These new skills will continue to improve performance and decision-making, leading to more efficient Veteran services at MEDVAMC. (04/26/2013)

A Volunteer Who Cares - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently selected Houston resident Theodore “Ted” Pantallion as its Volunteer of the Year. Pantallion has given 2,170 volunteer hours assisting the Prime Care Outpatient Clinic as well as the Voluntary Service Office as a volunteer for the past two years. (04/25/2013)

VA Outpatient Clinic in Katy Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) held a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony officially opening its new VA Outpatient Clinic in Katy on April 22, 2013 at its new location. (04/25/2013)

Houston VA Targets the Nation’s Leading Killer - In an effort to improve the health of Veterans, volunteers, visitors, and staff, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will severely limit smoking on its campus this year. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. (04/11/2013)

Four Veterans Win Local Creative Arts Contest - Four local Veterans who receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) had their creative work selected to compete in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national creative arts competition (04/10/2013)

Iraqi & Afghanistan Veterans: Welcome Home Family Fun Day - Family Fun Day filled with family activities and entertainment for Iraqi & Afghanistan Veterans. (04/02/2013)

Houston VA Offers E-Donate to Support Local Veterans - The new E-Donate service allows community members who wish to give back to Veterans a quick, safe way to pledge their support online. You choose the amount and the account. (04/02/2013)

Telesleep at Houston VA: A New Source of Support for Veterans - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is providing care to Veterans with sleep related breathing disorders in its rural areas with telemedicine technologies. (03/31/2013)

Houston VA Wins Clinical Nutrition Award - The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) recently named the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) as one of the recipients of its 2013 Clinical Nutrition Team of Distinction award. (03/11/2013)

Houston VA Awarded Two-Year Re-Certification for Advanced Primary Stroke Center - The Joint Commission recently awarded a two-year re-certification of the Advanced Primary Stroke Center at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (03/01/2013)

Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy for Veterans - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) provides robot-assisted walking therapy to help Veterans suffering from stroke, spinal cord injuries, as well as other neurologic conditions. (02/22/2013)

VA Investigates If Sharks Hold Secret to Reducing Infections - As a result of a nearly $1 million grant from the Department of the Army, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will initiate a study of a novel device to determine its ability to reduce catheter-related, urinary tract infections in spinal cord injury patients. (02/21/2013)

Ribbon Cutting for Giant, New Katy VA Outpatient Clinic is Monday, April 22 - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony officially opening its new VA Outpatient Clinic in Katy on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 11 a.m. (02/20/2013)

Robotic Catheter Ablation for Patients Suffering Heart Rhythm Disorders - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of the first VA hospitals to offer innovative robotic catheter ablation technology for patients suffering from abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. (02/19/2013)

Petersen Named Head of Research at Houston VA - Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., was recently selected as the Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In her new post, Petersen will be charged with management of one of the largest research programs in the VA health care system. (02/12/2013)

Vietnam Veteran Averts Cancer with Help from Houston VA - Health care providers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) have refined and pushed the limits of a new approach to Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) to successfully treat a 75-year-old Veteran at risk for colon cancer. (02/05/2013)

Teague Named Head of VA Outpatient Clinics - Annapurni B. Teague, M.D. was recently selected as the Associate Chief of Staff for Community-Based Outpatient Clinic Care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In her new post, Teague will be charged with management of nine outpatient clinics in southeast Texas. (01/31/2013)

Kumenda Named New Medical Director of Lake Jackson VA - Thomas O. Kumenda, M.D. has been selected to serve as the new medical director of the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic. (01/29/2013)

VA Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Receives Accreditation from College of American Pathologists - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (01/28/2013)

High Blood Pressure Drug May Help Cocaine Dependence - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center have discovered that a common high blood pressure medication may also be effective in treating cocaine dependence. (01/23/2013)

Spore Named New Medical Director of Lufkin VA - Brian T. Spore, D.O. has been selected as the new medical director of the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin. (01/22/2013)

Post-Deployment Clinic Support Team - Please consider inviting the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Post-Deployment Clinic Support Team to your next outreach event! We want each and every returning Veteran to know we are here for them. (01/11/2013)

Survival Rates Exceed National Averages for Houston VA Liver Transplant Program - The survival rates for patients receiving liver transplants at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) exceed national averages at statistically significant levels according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. (01/10/2013)

Flu Hits Houston Hard - While many people associate the flu with cold weather, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available. It is really never too early – or too late – to get vaccinated. (01/09/2013)

Louisiana Veteran Becomes 50th Liver Transplant Recipient at DeBakey VA - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) performed its 50th orthotopic liver transplantation on a 69 year-old, U.S. Air Force Veteran from Morganza, La. (01/08/2013)

Optometry Services Available at VA Outpatient Clinics - Convenient, local optometry services are available for Veterans at the VA Outpatient Clinics located in Lufkin, Texas City, Galveston and Beaumont. (01/08/2013)

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2012

Veterans Wanted to Improve Understanding of Military Sexual Trauma - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) are currently looking for Veterans from any era to participate in a voluntary, confidential, research study to help VA better understand the implications of military sexual trauma (MST). (12/27/2012)

Houston Federal Executive Board Makes Memorable Donation to Homeless Veterans - On Dec. 13, 2012, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received a heartfelt donation of 85 “Housing Ready Kits” from members of the Houston Federal Executive Board. Each kit contained a wide variety of basic household items such as pots, pans, towels, cleaning supplies, dishes, and utensils. (12/27/2012)

VA Outpatient Clinics Open on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012 - All Veteran health care services will still be available on December 24, 2012 at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Lufkin, Richmond, Lake Jackson, Galveston and Texas City. (12/21/2012)

Houston VA Selected for Chief Resident Quality and Safety Program - The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affairs has approved the addition of two chief residents to focus on quality and safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in the coming academic year. (12/20/2012)

VA Seeks to Expand TBI Benefits - The Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that would change its rules to add five diagnosable illnesses which are secondary to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). (12/20/2012)

Houston VA Director Elected to American College of Healthcare Executives Council of Regents - Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), has been appointed to the Council of Regents, the legislative body of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). The Council of Regents serves as the vital link between ACHE and members by approving governance and membership regulations as well as promoting ACHE programs, services, and activities within their respective areas. (12/11/2012)

VA Surgeon Devises “Clever Technique” to Save Lives - A staff vascular surgeon at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently developed and published a new endovascular technique to treat a complex vascular problem. (12/11/2012)

Chosin Reservoir Marine is Back on Dance Floor after Catheter-based Heart Valve Replacement - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first VA, and only one to date, to offer an innovative, artificial heart valve. Recently approved for commercial use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Sapien heart valve made by Edwards Lifesciences is implanted through a catheter as an alternative to open heart surgery for patients with inoperable aortic valve stenosis disease. (12/10/2012)

Houston VA Expands Surgery Services with New Kidney Transplant Center - Last week, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received final approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a Kidney Transplant Center. There are currently only four centers within VA that perform kidney transplantation for Veterans (Iowa, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Oregon). (12/10/2012)

Returning Combat Veterans Wanted for New PTSD Study - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine are currently looking for returning combat Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are interested in participating in a study testing a new medication in conjunction with exposure therapy. (12/10/2012)

Helping, not punishing vets who lose their way - The 288th District Court looks like any typical criminal court but when you go back into Judge Marc Carter's chambers, you quickly see why it's not. There are photos of men in uniform everywhere. One photo shows Carter and another man who looks a lot like him. "Those are of my dad fighting in Vietnam," he said proudly. Born in Germany, his dad was career military. "Those experiences will live with me for the rest of my life," he said. "They are part of my fabric and part of who I am and makes me do what I do." (11/09/2012)

Houston VA Awarded 3-Year Accreditations for Inpatient Rehabilitation, Amputee Programs - The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) recently awarded a three-year re-accreditation of the Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (CIIRP) and an initial, three-year accreditation of the Inpatient and Outpatient Amputee System of Care Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (11/09/2012)

Air Force Veteran is 5,000th Houston Enrollee in Million Veteran Program - Yesterday, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) reached the milestone of enrolling 5,000 participants in the Million Veteran Program (MVP): A Partnership with Veterans, and is leading the nation in enrollment efforts. (11/09/2012)

VA Housing Grant Helps Close Gaps in Available Housing - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced last week the award of $1,176,242 in grant money to Asset Building Network, Inc. of Houston, one of 38 projects around the country that will provide temporary housing to formerly homeless Veterans with the goal that they will retain the residence as their own. (11/09/2012)

Houston VA Selected for New Health Care Quality and Safety Research Initiative - The Houston Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Centers was selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs as one of six sites for a Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence (CREATE) initiative. (11/09/2012)

Vietnam Veteran and Descendent of Famous American Indian War Chief Wins Cancer Fight with Help from - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of the few hospitals nationwide offering Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM), a minimally invasive alternative to radical abdominal surgery for the excision of certain rectal polyps and early stage rectal tumors. (11/09/2012)

Galveston Veterans’ Benefit & Information Fair - The Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic will host a Veterans’ Benefit & Information Fair on Veterans Day. (11/07/2012)

“Houston Salutes American Heroes” Veterans Day Celebration - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will partner with the City of Houston for the annual “Houston Salutes American Heroes” Veterans Day celebration on Sunday, November 11, 2012. (11/07/2012)

Female Veterans Wanted for New PTSD Study - Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine are currently looking for female Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are interested in participating in a study examining the role a neuropeptide called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) plays in causing PTSD symptoms. The results may help to identify and develop potential medications to treat PTSD (11/07/2012)

Help is just a telephone call away. - VA Telecare Center, Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Make, cancel, change your appointments or talk with a Nurse, Pharmacist, or Clerk! (11/07/2012)

A “Hand Up” to Homeless Veterans at Annual Stand Down - The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, B.P.O. Elks, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Catholic Charities, Coalition for the Homeless, Daughters of the American Revolution, Goodwill Industries of Houston, Harris County Veteran Services, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, METRO, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Texas Veterans Commission, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, Vet Centers, and numerous Veteran Service Organizations, held the 12th Annual Houston Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 4, 2012 at the Emancipation Park Community Center. (10/25/2012)

Houston VA Nurses Recognized for Excellence - On September 6, 2012, the Good Samaritan Foundation hosted its annual Excellence in Nursing Awards Luncheon. The event honors nurses who demonstrate a passion for the nursing profession and the desire to excel beyond expectations. Winners included seven nurses from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (10/17/2012)

Katy and Tomball Clinics Open Next Year - These VA-staffed facilities will provide primary health care, mental health care, and women’s specialty care in addition to phlebotomy, X-ray, telemedicine, teleretinal imaging, optometry, and audiology services. (09/07/2012)

Houston VA Docs Among the Best in the World - A significant number of physicians affiliated with the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are recognized as the best in their field by such organizations as Best Doctors, Inc. (only 5% of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor), U.S. News Top Doctors (top 10% in their region), and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. (top 1% in the nation in his or her specialty). (08/16/2012)

Houston VA Builds New Hospital Wing - A new hospital wing is in the works for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The project, scheduled to begin in September, will allow the Dermatology and Urology Clinics to relocate into much needed, larger spaces late next year. (08/10/2012)

Help is Available to Encourage Veterans to Seek Mental Health Services - The Department of Veterans Affairs now offers a free Telephone Call Center, "Coaching Into Care," which provides assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their Veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues. (08/03/2012)

VA Announces $1.9M in Grants to Help End Veterans Homelessness in Houston - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday the award of almost $2 million in homeless prevention grants for Veterans in Harris, Ft. Bend, and Montgomery Counties. (07/20/2012)

Houston VA Physician Leads National Guideline Updates for Unstable Angina and Heart Attack - An important update to the U.S. national guidelines concerning the treatment of patients suffering from unstable angina (chest pain) or a common form of heart attack (called non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction) was released yesterday by the joint task force on Practice Guidelines of the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA). (07/17/2012)

Former Combat Marine Uses Running for Therapy - I joined the Marine Corps in 2001. As a young man, I was very physically active and enjoyed challenging myself. I loved to run, exercise, and play sports, all which were reasons that motivated me to join the Marine Corps and serve my county (07/16/2012)

"Best Doc" Selected to Lead Newly Formed Rehab/Extended Care Department - "Best Doc" Selected to Lead Newly Formed Rehab/Extended Care Department. (07/11/2012)

Vietnam Veterans Find Camaraderie in the Boneyard at Golden Age Games - “Do not bang your dominoes. Do not hold your dominoes in your hands; keep them on the table. Do not yell. Any questions? Have a good game.” (07/09/2012)

Silver Eagles Bring Home the Bling - Thirty-one Veterans from the Houston area recently participated in the 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games held in St. Louis. The team brought home six gold, four silver and six bronze medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. (07/09/2012)

Beneficiary Travel Change - Beginning July 1, 2012, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and its clinics began transitioning to a new method of processing travel reimbursement claims. (07/01/2012)

VA Saves World War II Veteran's Life with Catheter-based Heart Valve Replacement - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first VA, and only one to date, to offer an innovative, artificial heart valve. Recently approved for commercial use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Sapien heart valve made by Edwards Lifesciences is implanted through a catheter as an alternative to open heart surgery for patients with inoperable aortic valve stenosis disease. (06/28/2012)

Participants Needed For Schizophrenia and Bipolar Illness Study - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently conducting research addressing the genetics of functional disability of individuals suffering with schizophrenia and bipolar illness. (06/21/2012)

"Best Doc" Named New Head of Surgery at Houston VA - Samir S. Awad, M.D. has been selected as the new Operative Care Line executive of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (06/20/2012)

Houston VA Tailors Plan to Expand Mental Health Staff - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki recently announced the department would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce. VA estimates that 33 clinicians and seven support personnel will be hired to support mental health operations at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Funding has now been distributed to the Houston VA and recruitment is underway. (06/12/2012)

Navy Veteran is 3,000th Houston Enrollee in Million Veteran Program - Today, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) reached the milestone of enrolling 3,000 participants in the Million Veteran Program (MVP): A Partnership with Veterans, and is leading the nation in enrollment efforts. (05/29/2012)

VA Offers Free Weight Loss Program to Improve Veteran Health - Tired of feeling bad and having little energy, Army Veteran Francisco Ortiz decided he wanted to be healthier and live a long, happy life. A registered dietitian at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) encouraged him to try a unique weight loss program for Veterans. (05/29/2012)

Houston VA Doctor Receives Prestigious, International Award - Earlier this month, the Medical Chapter of the Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut honored Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D., a staff physician in the Medical and Spinal Cord Injury Care Lines at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, with its Gold Medal Award for his career of distinguished scholarly achievement. (05/25/2012)

Silver Eagles Head to St. Louis for National Veterans Golden Age Games - Thirty-one local “golden age” Veterans who receive their care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will travel to St. Louis May 31 – June 5, 2012, to compete in the largest sports and recreational competition for senior Veterans in the world. (05/24/2012)

Houston VA Targets the Nation’s Leading Killer - In an effort to improve the health of Veterans, volunteers, visitors, and staff, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will severely limit smoking on its campus this year. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. (05/24/2012)

Joining Forces: Veterans' Family Day - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, "joining forces" with East Texas Veteran Service Organizations, Auxiliaries, and many other community organizations, agencies, and businesses, will co-host a Veterans' Family Day. (05/19/2012)

Houston VA Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded specialty accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation for its Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Program. The MEDVAMC Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship is one of only 18 APA specialty, accredited Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowships (05/17/2012)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine for Excellence in Education - Recently, Baylor College of Medicine selected its outstanding educators for 2012. These faculty members included 15 physicians from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/15/2012)

Houston VA Employees Recognized at Public Service Awards - Earlier this month, the Houston Federal Executive Board presented public service awards to three employees of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/14/2012)

Memorial Day Service at Houston VA National Cemetery - A special Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at the Houston VA National Cemetery, located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive. (05/14/2012)

Houston VA Employees Recognized at Public Service Awards - Earlier this month, the Houston Federal Executive Board presented public service awards to three employees of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/11/2012)

Innovative Techniques Help Veterans Breathe Easier - Using advanced, minimally invasive techniques, the Pulmonary Department at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now offers a new Interventional Pulmonology Service to treat Veterans with respiratory problems. (05/10/2012)

New OR Hormone Testing Unwrapped at Houston VA - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently added a new intra-operative hormone test for parathyroid surgery patients. (05/09/2012)

Veterans Affairs Tailors Plan to Expand Mental Health Staff - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki recently announced the department would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce. As part of this announcement, 202 clinicians and 39 support personnel will be hired to support local mental health operations in VA’s South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16), which encompasses VA facilities in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. (04/25/2012)

Optical Shop "Korrects" Location and Space Obstacles - Responding to suggestions from patients, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Optical Shop recently moved from the second floor Prosthetics Department to a location adjacent to the renovated Eye Clinic on the first floor near the nursing home entrance and increased the size of the floor plan. (04/19/2012)

Homeless Veterans Block Party - The 1st Annual Homeless Veteran Block Party is free for eligible Veterans and their family members. (04/17/2012)

Houston VA Receives Grant from Lance Armstrong Foundation - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received a $3,000 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to enhance quality of life for Veterans with cancer. (04/12/2012)

Meds Ease Depression in Parkinson's Patients without Worsening Other Symptoms - Today's anti-depressant medications can ease depression in Parkinson's patients without worsening other symptoms of the disease, according to a study published online in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (04/12/2012)

Houston VA Receives Grant from Lance Armstrong Foundation - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) received a $3,000 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to enhance quality of life for Veterans with cancer. (04/12/2012)

Houston VA Doctor Named President of Surgical Association - Members of the Association of VA Surgeons recently elected David H. Berger, M.D., M.H.C.M. to serve as the organization’s new president. Listed as one of the best doctors in the nation in the field of surgical oncology, Berger is the Operative Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (04/04/2012)

Houston VA Doctor Receives Prestigious Award - The editors of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) honored Blase A. Carabello, M.D., F.A.C.C., with the Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship at their editorial board meeting in Chicago on March 25, 2012. The Simon Dack Award, named for the founding editor of JACC, recognizes peer reviewers who assist the journal in its mission of publishing important new clinical information. (04/04/2012)

Houston VA Doctor Named President of Surgical Association - Members of the Association of VA Surgeons recently elected David H. Berger, M.D., M.H.C.M. to serve as the organization’s new president. Listed as one of the best doctors in the nation in the field of surgical oncology, Berger is the Operative Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (04/04/2012)

Houston VA Domiciliary Awarded Accreditation for Residential Rehabilitation Treatment - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Program. (04/04/2012)

Houston VA Awarded Accreditation for Homeless and Vocational Rehab Programs - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was recently awarded a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for its Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. (04/04/2012)

New High-tech, Telemedicine Devices Lead Veterans to Better Health and More Independence - Veterans with chronic medical conditions requiring frequent monitoring now have access to a wide variety of convenient, easy-t--use telemedicine devices that send daily health updates from their homes to VA health care providers. (04/04/2012)

Injured Navy Veteran Finds Balance at Houston VA Rehab Center - Darion Nelson served as an operational specialist in the U.S. Navy from 2002 until 2011. Like more than 24 million Americans who have served in the military, the Houston native risked life and limb to serve and protect his country. (03/01/2012)

Richmond VA Clinic is Ft. Bend's Best Kept Secret - Unfortunately - The Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic is making a difference in the lives of Veterans in the Ft. Bend area, but not as many as the staff would like. In fact, the clinic only sees about 170 patients a week. (02/17/2012)

Houston VA Psychologist Recognized by Veterans County Service Officers Association for Changing Live - On February 7, 2012, the Veterans County Service Officers Association of Texas (Harris County) recognized Ashley Clinton, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), for her work with Veterans who served in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. (02/17/2012)

National Salute to Veteran Patients Week - February 12 through 18, 2012 is a special time at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the nation. Established as an official VA program in 1978, this week is known as National Salute to Veteran Patients and is an annual event designed to increase awareness of Veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our nation. It is an opportunity for the public to visit MEDVAMC and its outpatient clinics, meet America's Veterans, and explore the various aspects of our facility's volunteer program. (02/08/2012)

Need to Talk to Your Doc? Use Email! - A new secure, online communication tool called "Secure Messaging" is now available for Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) through the VA's MyHealtheVet website at www.myhealth.va.gov. (01/30/2012)

Outpatient Pharmacy Reducing Wait Times - The Outpatient Pharmacy at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) fills almost 2,000 prescriptions at its window every day. Many of these are for routine refills and non-urgent medications; consequently, creating long wait times for Veterans who have critical medication needs, are being discharged from the hospital, or were seen in the emergency room. (01/27/2012)

New Medical Technique for PTSD - Many Veterans return to civilian life having experienced traumatic events. Researchers recently discovered these experiences actually produce changes in the brain. A new medical study currently being conducted at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in cooperation with Baylor College of Medicine uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to learn how deployment affects the brain and to improve treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). (01/27/2012)

Houston VA Doc’s Article Rated #1 by Medical Journal - Neena S. Abraham M.D., M.S.C.E., F.A.C.G., F.A.S.G.E., a gastroenterologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), has authored an article that was rated as the most highly read of 2011 by an online medical journal service. (01/11/2012)

Wheelchair-Bound Veteran Now on the Road to Walking - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Physical Therapist Sheryl Vandeven listened intently as Army Veteran David Pruitt told her about the day he had surgery and realized he "could not feel anything in his lower legs." (01/10/2012)

Veteran Family Safety: Free Gun Locks - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is participating in a Gun Safety Lock Program that has made thousands of free gun safety locks available to Veterans and their families (01/09/2012)

Houston VA Launches Facebook Page - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently launched its own page on Facebook, the world's largest social networking site. (01/05/2012)

Houston VA Launches Facebook Page - "This is an important milestone in our efforts to transform how we communicate with Veterans," said Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., Medical Center director. "Millions of Veterans and their family members use social media each day, so we are continuously searching for new ways to provide information to them, expand access, and embrace two-way conversation." (01/04/2012)

Too Risky for Surgery, Houston VA Offers Army Veteran an Alternative - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is the first VA to implant an innovative artificial heart valve recently approved for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration. (01/04/2012)

Houston VA Selected as Women's Health Research Site - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center was recently selected as a Women's Health Practice-Based Research Network Member Site by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (01/04/2012)

Million Veteran Program: A Partnership with Veterans - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is one of 40 VA medical centers selected across the nation to serve as an enrollment site for a voluntary research program - The Million Veteran Program (MVP). (01/04/2012)

Return to Top


2011

People Who Have Suffered with the Flu Can Tell You What You Are Missing - Each year, people at risk of severe, even life-threatening influenza refuse the flu shot. The reasons vary, but the most frequent excuses health care providers hear are 'I never get the flu;' 'the shot gave me the flu;' or simply, 'I don't like shots.' (12/17/2011)

VA Announces New Outpatient Clinics for Katy and Tomball - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will open new outpatient clinics in the cities of Katy and Tomball in late 2012. (12/16/2011)

I Came To the Houston VA and the World Was Opened Up To Me - Navy Veteran Larry knows that, in the minds of many, the thought of a homeless person conjures up images of someone who is disheveled, addicted, and destitute. Unfortunately, Larry was all of those things and more, but with the help of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, he was able to turn his life around and again become a productive member of society. (12/13/2011)

Using Air to Blast Away Infection - As a result of a $1.2 million award from the National Institutes of Health, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is initiating a pilot study of a novel device to determine its ability to reduce bacterial contamination and decrease the incidence of surgical site infection after surgical procedures requiring insertion of prostheses. (12/06/2011)

Caring Enough to Help Recover Veteran's Lost Historical Keepsakes - A nurse at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently helped recover an important piece of Vietnam War history while treating a patient using a special nursing technique. (11/29/2011)

Telemedicine Connects Veterans to Critical Medical Care - Patients of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) who live far away have better options when it comes to medical care thanks to a new telemedicine program being used in its Anesthesiology Pre-Operative Evaluation Clinic (POEC). (11/21/2011)

Houston VA Doctor Recognized for Service to Veterans - Sally Ann Holmes, M.D., the Spinal Cord Injury Care Line executive at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, received the Operation American Heroes Foundation Founder’s Award at a ceremony at the Sugarland Marriott on November 10, 2011. (11/17/2011)

Conroe VA Clinic Expansion in the Works - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday it will expand its Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic to handle the growing Veteran demand for health care in the area. (11/17/2011)

VA Medical Center Director Recognized for Efforts to Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution - Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recognized for his outstanding efforts in promoting alternative dispute resolution by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs during a ceremony held today in Washington, D.C. (11/09/2011)

VA Offers Free Flu Shots for Veterans - Free flu shots are now available for Veterans, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston and its outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City. (11/09/2011)

VA Medical Center Plans New Parking Structures - New parking structures are in the works for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The project, scheduled to begin in February, is expected to provide much-needed parking relief for a medical center that logged more than one million outpatient visits last fiscal year. (11/07/2011)

World's Smallest Heart Pump Offers Veterans New Hope - A miniature pump, so small that it can be inserted through an artery and placed inside the heart within a few minutes, offers new hope to critically ill heart attack and heart failure patients at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (11/03/2011)

Hospital Food Is No Joke at the Houston VA - Hospital patients do not normally look forward to mealtime, but at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), patients are being treated like valued guests when it is time to eat. The MEDVAMC recently began use of a new meal transportation system that keeps each food the right temperature and speeds delivery. The new $1.4 million food cart system was installed in early August and provides the latest technology for health care meal service. (11/02/2011)

Houston VA Pulls Nail from Vietnam Veteran’s Coffin - Recently, cancer experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) successfully treated a patient's liver cancer using a medically advanced, fully laparoscopic, anatomic liver resection technique. Just days later, the Veteran left the hospital cancer-free with a new outlook on life. (11/02/2011)

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. (11/02/2011)

New Lake Jackson VA Clinic Already Helping Vets - Not even a month old and the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic has already made a difference in the lives of Veterans living nearby. In fact, some Veterans were treated even before the clinic officially opened. (11/01/2011)

Participants Needed For Schizophrenia and Bipolar Illness Study - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently conducting research addressing the genetics of functional disability of individuals suffering with schizophrenia and bipolar illness. (10/25/2011)

Homeless Veterans find Essential Services at Stand Down - The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, B.P.O. Elks, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Bush Cares Project, Coalition for the Homeless, Daughters of the American Revolution, Goodwill Industries of Houston, Harris County Veteran Services, Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Texas Veterans Commission, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, Vet Centers, and numerous Veteran Service Organizations, held the 11th Annual Houston Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 20, 2011 at the Emancipation Park Community Center. (10/24/2011)

Death’s Door and Back: VA Doctors Save Korean War Veteran’s Life - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed an emergency, contained ruptured aneurysm fenestrated graft repair using a special stent configuration to save the life of an 82-year-old, Army Veteran. (10/20/2011)

Houston VA Hosts 11th Annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - The 11th Annual Stand Down is an opportunity for homeless Veterans to access a broad spectrum of services at one convenient location and to create a plan for re-entry into mainstream society. The event brings a wide range of specialized resources together to provide homeless Veterans with comprehensive medical and psychosocial services. It also offers programs specific to women and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Veterans. (10/12/2011)

VA Outpatient Clinic in Lake Jackson Now Open - The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center held a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony officially opening its new VA Outpatient Clinic in Lake Jackson. (10/12/2011)

VA Researcher Promotes Better Care for Liver Cancer Patients - Each year, more than half a million people worldwide receive a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of primary liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma related to the hepatitis C virus is the fastest rising cause of U.S. cancer-related deaths. A researcher at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has summarized recent advances in prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment in order for physicians everywhere may be better educated and improve care for their patients. (10/11/2011)

World's Smallest Heart Pump Offers Veterans New Hope - A miniature pump, so small that it can be inserted through an artery and placed inside the heart within a few minutes, offers new hope to critically ill heart attack and heart failure patients at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (10/09/2011)

Patients See a Difference at Expanded Eye Clinic - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently completed a highly anticipated renovation of its nationally recognized Eye Clinic. Eight new examination rooms or eye lanes, four new procedure rooms, and more space to provide care to Veterans were added during this expansion project. (10/05/2011)

VA Program for Homeless Veterans Receives Prestigious Award - The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently received the prestigious Torchbearer Award from the Houston Chapter of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP). (09/30/2011)

VA Nurse Practitioner Named Outstanding Nurse by Texas Nurses Association - Nurse Practitioner Jane Anderson, Ph.D., F.N.P.-B.C., was selected as one of the Texas Nurses Association's 20 Outstanding Nurses for 2011. Anderson will receive her award on November 10, 2011 at the organization's Nursing Celebration 2011 (09/28/2011)

"Women are Veterans, Too!" Expo - The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic is sponsoring a “Women are Veterans, Too!” Expo on October 14, 2011. This event is free and open to all women Veterans living in east Texas. (09/16/2011)

ABC’s of Vaccines - The development of vaccines has been one of the most important advances in medical science. Don’t ignore the benefits of these potentially life-saving immunizations. (09/02/2011)

Lake Jackson VA Clinic Opens for Patient Care on October 11 - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will open a VA outpatient clinic in Lake Jackson on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. (08/15/2011)

Complex Aneurysm Surgery Saves Air Force Veteran's Life - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed complex aneurysm surgery using a special stent configuration to save the life of a 76-year-old, Air Force Veteran suffering from complex aortoiliac aneurysm. (08/09/2011)

Air Force Veteran Selected as New Deputy Director of VA Medical Center - Air Force Veteran Bryan T. Bayley, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E.-B.C. was recently selected as the new deputy director for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In this new post, Bayley, who has been with VA since 2000, will serve as the chief operating officer for the organization. (08/08/2011)

More Funds for Homeless Veterans (Families) Prevention Initiative - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday the additional award of more than $820,000 to two non-profit community agencies in southeast Texas that will serve approximately 270 homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. (08/03/2011)

Kosten Named New Head of Research at Houston VA - Thomas R. Kosten, M.D. was recently selected as the Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In his new post, Kosten is charged with management of one of the largest research programs in the VA health care system. (07/26/2011)

Houston VA Leads Fight against Esophageal Cancer - An outpatient treatment that destroys pre-cancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus is now widely available for Veterans at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (07/21/2011)

Grant Provides More Than $666K for Permanent Housing for Homeless Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the award of $666,765 to the Harris County Housing Authority to increase permanent housing and case management for area Veterans. (07/19/2011)

New Gateway to Your VA Benefits - eBenefits is your one-stop shop for online benefits-related tools and information. This portal is designed for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Service Members, their families, and their caregivers. We invite you to explore eBenefits and become a registered user. (07/15/2011)

Participants Needed For Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Studies - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently recruiting participants for several clinical research studies investigating traumatic brain injury (TBI). (07/07/2011)

Depression versus anxiety: know the symptoms, similarities and differences - The connection between depression and anxiety is stronger than what it was previously thought to be. However, an expert at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) cautions that medications for the two cannot necessarily be used interchangeably. (07/01/2011)

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. (07/01/2011)

Bipolar Disorder - My Personal Journey to Understanding - "The Psychosocial Rehabilitation & Recovery Center offers a variety of skill groups like social skills, illness management and recovery, and clear thinking, as well as activities in the community, such as a volunteer group," said Social Worker John Dietrich, L.C.S.W., L.C.D.C. meeting with Army Veteran Cheryl Jefferson. "Veterans meet with their coaches to develop individualized goals and develop a plan to reach them." (06/17/2011)

36 Local Veterans Compete in 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games - Thirty-six Veterans from the Houston area recently participated in the 25th National Veterans Golden Age Games held in Honolulu. The team brought home five gold, ten silver and nine bronze medals. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. (06/15/2011)

Prepare Now for Hurricane Season - The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially started on June 1, 2011. It is important to prepare your family for unexpected disasters and emergencies. (06/15/2011)

Introduction to Epilepsy and Seizures - The VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence is hosting a series of free audio conferences providing education and training to Veterans and caregivers to improve the health and well-being of patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders. During this conference call, Epileptologist Nina Garga, M.D., from the Epilepsy Center of Excellence at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, will discuss what is a seizure and what is epilepsy, and how they differ; the different types of seizures; what causes seizures and how to respond when individual has a seizure; and when to seek treatment of epilepsy and seizures from a healthcare provider. (06/08/2011)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine - Recently, Baylor College of Medicine selected its outstanding educators for 2011. These faculty members included eight physicians from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (06/02/2011)

Veteran Finally Cancer-free after Medically Advanced, Laparoscopic Liver Surgery - Cancer experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently removed a patient’s liver tumor using a medically advanced, laparoscopic technique. (06/01/2011)

Outrageous Number of Veteran Deaths Caused by Smoking - Smoking is a chronic condition which affects every organ of your body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 443,000 deaths are caused each year by cigarette smoking. This is more than HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. (05/05/2011)

New Housing Option for Homeless, Female Veterans - In order to meet the growing needs of homeless, female Veterans in southeast Texas, the Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a VA Per Diem Project to the Santa Maria Hostel, a 501©(3) non-profit organization located in Houston. (05/02/2011)

Use Secure Email to Talk with Your Doctor - A new secure, online communication tool called "Secure Messaging" is now available for Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) through the VA’s My HealtheVet website at www.myhealth.va.gov. (04/26/2011)

VA Infection Control Practices Featured in New England Journal of Medicine - A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative that reduced the global health care issue of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections by more than 60 percent in intensive care units (ICU) across the Nation is featured in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. It reports data from the first three years of the initiative that is now in its fourth year of implementation, and which continues to be associated with decreased rates of MRSA infections. (04/19/2011)

Test Discovered by VA Physician Detects Carotid Plaques - With retired National Football League (NFL) players as research study participants, a physician from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center discovered a specialized cholesterol test may predict carotid plaques better in those individuals with metabolic syndrome. The findings were reported recently at the American College of Cardiology 60th Annual Scientific Session & Expo and Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2011 in New Orleans. (04/19/2011)

The Magic of CT Scans - The invention of Computed Tomography has undoubtedly been one of the greatest advances for the diagnosis and treatment of disease ranging from strokes to cancers. (04/15/2011)

Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease in African-Americans - Elevated levels of a type of cholesterol known as Lipoprotein(a) should be considered linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in African-Americans, as reported by a physician from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at the American Heart Association, Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011 Scientific Sessions in Atlanta. (04/11/2011)

Shutdown: What You Need to Know - Shutdown: What You Need to Know In the event of a federal shutdown, most VA services will still be available. However, it’s important that you know what would be impacted. For the full list of what would be available and what would be suspended, check out our Veterans Field Guide. (04/08/2011)

Predicting Atrial Fibrillation - Genetic markers have been identified that can predict the likelihood of patients developing atrial fibrillation after bypass surgery, as reported by a physician from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at the American College of Cardiology 60th Annual Scientific Session & Expo and Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2011 in New Orleans. (04/06/2011)

Houston VA Physician Helps Draft the National Guidelines for Unstable Angina - New guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (termed acute coronary syndromes) have been released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). The guidelines were created by a consortium of national experts including a cardiologist from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. (04/05/2011)

El Campo Mom of Two Selected as VA Volunteer of the Year - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently selected El Campo, Tx. resident Georgia Mican as its Volunteer of the Year. (04/01/2011)

Navy Veteran Selected as New VA Medical Center Associate Director - Navy Veteran Francisco Vazquez, B.S.C.S., M.B.A., was recently selected as the new associate director for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). In his new post, Vazquez, who has been with VA since 1995, will serve as the MEDVAMC's chief operating officer charged with day-to-day operations and management of the facility's $630 million annual budget. (03/31/2011)

Houston VA Psychiatrist Named to IOM's Armed Forces Substance Use Disorder Committee - Thomas R. Kosten, M.D., senior advisor on Substance Abuse based in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), was recently selected to serve on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces. (03/25/2011)

Texas City VA Clinic Reopens - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) reopened a VA outpatient clinic in Texas City on March 18, 2011. (03/21/2011)

Veteran Does Push-ups Just 2 Days after Robotic Lung Surgery - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed a robotic-assisted lung resection to successfully and rapidly treat a 59-year-old Veteran suffering from lung cancer. (03/21/2011)

Houston VA Achieves "Advanced Primary Stroke Center" Status - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. The MEDVAMC was awarded the distinction of being the first VA medical center with this designation after The Joint Commission conducted an on-site review in February. (03/07/2011)

Participants Needed For Novel Intervention Study for Treatment-Resistant Depression - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is currently conducting several clinical research studies offering novel interventions for patients with treatment-resistant depression. The goal is to reduce the time when patients are at greatest risk for serious consequences of depression such as suicide (03/04/2011)

Houston First VA to Fit Patient with PowerFoot BIOM - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently became the first VA medical center to fit a patient with the iWalk PowerFoot BIOMTM, just weeks after Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. This technologically advanced prosthesis is the world's first bionic lower leg system to replace the action of the foot, Achilles tendon, and calf muscle and offer a near normalized gait for amputees. (02/23/2011)

New VA Outpatient Clinic to Open in Lake Jackson This Summer - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will open a new VA outpatient clinic in Lake Jackson this summer. (02/10/2011)

VA Docs Zap Tumors in Hard to Reach Places Using New Technology - Always on the forefront of innovative treatments and technologies, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) now provides Veterans a targeted, painless alternative to open surgery and a medical option for certain inoperable tumors. (02/08/2011)

Houston VA Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Receives Accreditation From CAP - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. (02/08/2011)

Veteran Praises VA Weight Loss Program - Army Veteran Michael Ringenberg decided he wanted to be healthier, reduce his medications, and live a long time. During a visit with his primary care physician at the Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic, the MOVE! Program was recommended. (02/01/2011)

VA Docs Give Veteran's Double Cancer a Quick One, Two Punch - Cancer experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed two unique procedures in a very short timeframe to successfully treat a 71-year-old Veteran suffering from both liver and rectal cancer. (01/31/2011)

Homeless, Downcast Veteran Turns Life Around with VA Support - For 30 long, agonizing years, Air Force Veteran Oliver L. Avery, III abused alcohol to "survive life's challenges." In 2003, he found himself twice divorced, homeless, desperate, and ready for a change. (01/25/2011)

Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic Opens for Patient Care on March 21 - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will reopen a VA outpatient clinic in Texas City on Monday, March 21, 2011. (01/19/2011)

Lufkin VA Clinic Celebrates Unveiling of Larger-Than-Life Statue of Charlie Wilson - The "Standing Tall with Charlie Wilson" statue by artist David Adickes will tower more than 10-feet at the main entrance of the clinic. Adickes, a local southeast Texas sculptor whose work includes the 67-foot-tall Sam Houston at Huntsville, an 8-foot bronze statue of former President George H. W. Bush in the Bush International Airport in Houston, and the 36-foot-tall cellist at Houston's Lyric Centre, came out of retirement to complete this monument. (01/10/2011)

Need Help Losing Weight? - MOVE! is a national weight management program designed by the VA to help Veterans lose weight, keep it off, and improve their health. (01/06/2011)

Return to Top


2010

VA Physicians Help Draft American Heart Association Guidelines on Vascular Closure Devices - Recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of vascular closure devices have been released by an American Heart Association expert panel made up of physicians and researchers, including two cardiologists from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). (12/29/2010)

24/7 Online Access to VA - My HealtheVet is VA's award-winning e-health website, which offers Veterans, active duty soldiers, their dependents and caregivers anywhere, anytime Internet access to VA health care information and services. Launched nationwide in 2003, My HealtheVet is a free, online Personal Health Record that empowers Veterans to become informed partners in their health care. With My HealtheVet, America's Veterans can access trusted, secure, and current health and benefits information as well as record and store important health and military history information at their convenience. Registering and using My HealtheVet is easy and it's free! (12/21/2010)

Smoking Cessation for Vets - Smoking cessation treatment that is made part of mental health care for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) improves quit rates, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) study published in the Dec. 8 Journal of the American Medical Association. (12/20/2010)

"New American Plate" Idea Helps You Eat Healthier - What did your dinner plate look like last night or the night before? Was it heaping full of meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Was there any room for vegetables? Did you stop when you were full or keep eating because it tasted so good? (12/15/2010)

Rebuilding Injured Lives - 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. (12/14/2010)

Studies find intriguing link between PTSD, dementia - Army Veteran Hubert McCarty meets with Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., a psychiatrist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. "Although we cannot at this time determine the cause for this increased risk, it is essential to determine whether the risk of dementia can be reduced by effectively treating PTSD," said Kunik. (12/09/2010)

Turned Away by 2 Hospitals, VA Saves Young Veteran's Life - HOUSTON - Army Veteran Thaddeus Collins had his first heart attack three months ago. At 42 years old, he underwent an emergency coronary catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure using a thin, flexible tube that accesses the heart, at a local Houston hospital. Tests showed he had severe coronary artery disease stopping blood and oxygen from getting to his heart and blocked carotid arteries stopping oxygen from getting to his brain. Cardiac surgical specialists told him he would never survive surgery and prescribed medication. (12/07/2010)

We're Surrounded by Fast Food, But Don't Surrender - HOUSTON - Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world, and American fast food restaurants are located in more than 100 countries. Fast food makes it easy to get a quick meal. In addition, fast food meals are cheap and you can have it your way - small, medium, large, or supersize. (12/02/2010)

Walk-in Flu Shots Now Available at Local VA Clinics - Free flu shots are available for Veterans, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston and its outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lufkin, and Richmond. (11/29/2010)

Peer Groups Give Veterans Hope - Veterans talking to Veterans about their emotional and mental problems is good medicine. (11/22/2010)

Advanced Technology Enhances Cancer-Fighting Treatment for Veterans - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently enhanced its radiation therapy program by introducing the Philips Wide Bore Computed Tomography (CT) Simulator. The latest investment in cancer-fighting equipment, this machine provides the most advanced imaging technology available today to assist in proper positioning and planning of radiation therapy treatments. (11/18/2010)

Free Parkinson's Conference for Caregivers - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center and the Houston Area Parkinson Society are co-sponsoring their annual conference for caregivers and families of patients with Parkinson's disease. (11/10/2010)

State-of-the-Art Surgical Program Also Offers Advanced Options for Female Veterans - Surgeons at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently performed a technically advanced breast reconstruction procedure on a young female Veteran with breast cancer who had undergone bilateral mastectomies (11/05/2010)

Dementia Diagnosis: A Caregiver's Story - I am a caregiver for my 84-year old father, Mr. Hubert McCarty. We are originally from New Orleans, La. but moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Before the hurricane, my father lived independently, worked every day, was self-employed, and did fine. (11/03/2010)

Special Showing of Documentary, "Chosin" - A special showing will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, 1 p.m. in the 4th Floor Auditorium at the DeBakey VA. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. (11/01/2010)

VA Docs Help Veteran Grow A New Liver - HOUSTON - Cancer treatment experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently combined two unique procedures to successfully treat a 58-year-old Veteran suffering from life-threatening liver cancer. (10/26/2010)

Homeless Veterans find Essential Services at Stand Down - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department, City of Houston-Office of Veterans Affairs, B.P.O. Elks, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Coalition for the Homeless, Daughters of the American Revolution, Goodwill Industries of Houston, Harris County Hospital District (HCHD), Harris County Veteran Services, Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (HVLP), Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, SEARCH, Texas Veterans Commission, U.S. Veterans Initiative, VA Regional Office, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12024 of The Woodlands and The Ladies Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Motorcycle Group of Texas Unit 1-12024 and Vet Centers hosted the 10th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 21-22, 2010, at the Emancipation Park Community Center. (10/26/2010)

Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic Scheduled to Reopen Early Next Year - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) plans to reopen a VA outpatient clinic in Texas City before March 30, 2011. (10/25/2010)

Houston VA Hosts 10th Stand Down for Homeless Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, in cooperation with the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department and other organizations is hosting the 10th Houston Area Stand Down for homeless Veterans on October 21-22, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Emancipation Park Community Center located at 3018 Dowling Street. (10/21/2010)

Houston VA Holds First Adapted Sports Expo - HOUSTON – Yesterday, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center held an all-day exhibition of adapted sports targeting amputee, polytrauma, and spinal cord injury Veterans. The event’s goal was to show newly injured patients that life is not over just because they lose the use of their legs or arms. (10/15/2010)

New Technology Removes Uncertainly for Family Members of Surgical Patients - HOUSTON - In July, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) introduced a computerized, operating room control system called OR Control. One feature of the new technology allows family members and friends to follow the progress of their loved ones through surgery. (10/06/2010)

New Women's Health Center Opens - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new Women's Health Center with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on September 29, 2010. (10/06/2010)

Sex Pill Surprise: Women Treated With Placebo Reported Improvement - Men have had their little blue pills for years, but some women in search of the same kind of libido boost may simply need to talk about their problems in the bedrooms. (09/16/2010)

VA Has Solution for High Blood Pressure - HOUSTON - A quality-improvement initiative report published on September 14 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes shows group clinics implemented in the primary care setting can be extremely effective in helping individuals get their blood pressure under control. (09/15/2010)

Pivotal VA Study Finds Link between PTSD and Dementia - HOUSTON - Results of a study reported in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggest that Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a greater risk for dementia than Veterans without PTSD, even those who suffered traumatic injuries. (09/02/2010)

With 6 Months to Live, State-of-the-Art Virtual Tumor Board Gives Navy Veteran Second Chance at Life - HOUSTON - Navy Veteran Roy Whitehead was told he had six to 12 months to live when he saw doctors near his small hometown of Morgan City, La. But his oncologist at the New Orleans VA Outpatient Clinic, Nancy Vander Velde, M.D., told him because he was a Veteran, he had access to a new pilot program in Houston that might save his life. (08/23/2010)

"Door to Balloon" Time Can Save Lives; Houston VA Averages Quick 61 Minutes - HOUSTON - The "Heart Attack Team" at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is on-call 24 hours, seven days a week, ready to report immediately to duty when a patient arrives at the VA in cardiac distress. This team of physicians and nurses prepares the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory to receive a patient for treatment by balloon angioplasty or stent. (08/19/2010)

VA Responds to Returning Veterans - Recent media reports have declared that timely, dignified care should be provided to returning servicemen and women. At the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, we completely agree. (08/03/2010)

VA Medical Center Director Recognized for Workplace Diversity Achievements - HOUSTON - Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recognized for his achievements in workplace diversity by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs during a ceremony held today in Washington, D.C. (07/23/2010)

Upper Spine Injuries Might Be Detectable Through CT Scans - HOUSTON - In a study of the original CT scans and records of patients who survived severe car accidents and were transferred alive to a Level 1 Trauma Center but subsequently died within 21 days of arrival, researchers found that 30 percent had injuries to the upper spine and surrounding area which might have been detectable by CT scans before they died. The report, funded by the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, appears in The Spine Journal. (07/23/2010)

VA Experts Offer Considerations For Long-Term Care Of HIV Survivors - HOUSTON - As more effective treatments extend the lives of people with HIV, physicians need to research how best to provide care for these "HIV survivors" as they age and acquire other chronic ailments, said experts at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in a commentary that appears today in The Journal of the American Medical Association. (07/19/2010)

HIV Testing Should Be Routine In Cancer Care - HOUSTON - In 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://cdc.gov) recommended routine HIV testing in all healthcare settings as long as patients are given the opportunity to "opt-out" or refuse the test. (07/19/2010)

Local Veterans Compete in National Wheelchair Games - HOUSTON - Three local, wheelchair athletes brought home coveted gold, silver, and bronze medals from the 30th National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Denver, Colorado in July. These athletes all receive their health care at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (07/13/2010)

VA Surgeon Completes One Thousandth Liver Transplant - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, already renowned for having consistently low observed-to-expected mortality rates in general surgery, all surgery, and all non-cardiac surgery nine years straight, has something new to celebrate. John Goss, M.D., DeBakey VA' Liver Transplant Program medical director, has performed his 1,000th liver transplant since joining the VA staff. (07/09/2010)

VA Infectious Disease Specialist on Top Magazine's Expert List - HOUSTON - Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D., a staff physician at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, is one of 21 persons selected for the annual, national list of "2010 Who's Who in Infection Prevention" by Infection Control Today magazine. (07/07/2010)

VA Psychiatrist Named One of America's Top Doctors For 5th Time - HOUSTON - Thomas R. Kosten, M.D., senior advisor on Substance Abuse based in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recently named one of America's Top Doctors for the fifth time by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. (07/01/2010)

VA Research Offers Insight on Parkinson's Disease - HOUSTON - Veterans and others with Parkinson's disease who undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) may benefit from research co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. (06/25/2010)

Houston First to Install Computerized, Real-Time OR Control System - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently installed a computerized, operating room control system, called OR.Control, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of day-of-surgery operations by directly coordinating and supporting surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, patients, family members, and related support personnel and activities - all in real-time. (06/03/2010)

Docs Battle for Medal of Honor Recipient to Keep His Leg - HOUSTON - Army Veteran David McNerney knows about fighting. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and courage when his unit was attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion near Polei Doc. His story and that of his unit is told in the recently produced documentary, "Honor in the Valley of Tears." However, in the last few weeks, McNerney has been fighting a different kind of battle; a struggle to keep his leg. (06/03/2010)

Advanced Technology Enhances Cancer-Fighting Treatment for Veterans - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently enhanced its radiation therapy program by introducing the Philips Wide Bore Computed Tomography (CT) Simulator. The latest investment in cancer-fighting equipment, this machine provides the most advanced imaging technology available today to assist in proper positioning and planning of radiation therapy treatments. (05/26/2010)

VA Study Identifies Consequences of Aggression in Dementia Patients - HOUSTON - In a study published March 2010 in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Mark Kunik, M.D., M.P.H., a psychiatrist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and his colleagues reported results of research underscoring the importance of effectively treating aggression in individuals with dementia. (05/17/2010)

Houston VA Docs Recognized by Baylor College of Medicine for Excellence in Education - HOUSTON - Last week, Baylor College of Medicine selected its outstanding educators for 2010. These faculty members included eight physicians from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (05/13/2010)

Pivotal VA Study Finds Intra-Abdominal Fat Predicts Survival in Pancreatic Cancer - HOUSTON - A new study shows intra-abdominal fat can predict a pancreatic cancer patient's chances of survival. Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) found the more visceral fat, or the fat located inside the belly, the worse a patient's chances for survival. (05/03/2010)

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. (04/30/2010)

VA Study Finds Waist Circumference Predicts Complications in Rectal Cancer Surgery - According to researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), a patient's waist circumference can serve as a predictor as to whether the patient will experience complications in recovering from rectal cancer surgery. (04/30/2010)

Pearland Man Fights Back and Is Named Houston VA Volunteer of the Year - HOUSTON - Volunteering at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is a big reason why Antonio Fonseca, Jr. is alive today. He is a fighter, coming back strong every time life threw him a knock-out punch. (04/19/2010)

VA Study Identifies Causes of Aggression in Dementia Patients - Valuable Information Will Help Patients, Physicians, and Caregivers Improve Quality of Life (04/14/2010)

Houston VA Docs Step-in and Spare Veteran Unnecessary, Grueling Medical Treatment - HOUSTON - Health care providers from the Oncology, Surgical, and Anesthesiology departments at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) used a multidisciplinary approach to successfully treat a 62-year-old Army Veteran from Fulshear, Tx. suffering from colorectal cancer. (04/07/2010)

Peer Groups Give Veterans Hope - HOUSTON - Veterans talking to Veterans about their emotional and mental problems is good medicine. (04/06/2010)

Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Find Botox a Surprising Answer for Painful Muscle Spasms - HOUSTON - Botox is the brand name for therapeutic botulinum toxin, an ultra purified neurotoxin. Most people know Botox as a cosmetic treatment for facial wrinkles and aging of the skin; however, this special medication is also used by health care providers to treat increased muscle stiffness in adults with upper and lower limb spasticity. (03/22/2010)

More Help Now Available for Homeless Veterans in Beaumont and Galveston - HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates about 107,000 Veterans (male and female) nationwide are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other Veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing. (03/17/2010)

Patriotism Knows No Gender - HOUSTON - The Women's Health Center at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) opened almost 14 years ago, on April 8, 1996. This "one stop shop" for women includes routine primary care, gynecological services, patient and family education, and preventive medicine. In addition, the MEDVAMC Pharmacy maintains a full line of gender specific medications for women. (02/23/2010)

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Again 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 label for 2009, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings, Hospitals, and industrial plants that rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency may qualify for the ENERGY STAR. (02/18/2010)

Houston VA Develops Guide to Help Amputees Nationwide - HOUSTON - The Prosthetics Section at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has developed the first amputee guide for nationwide use by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It will be available soon on the VA Web site for use by all clinicians. (02/17/2010)

New Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic Opens May 14 - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will open a new VA outpatient clinic in Richmond on Friday, May 14, 2010. It will be located at 22001 Southwest Freeway, Suite 200, Richmond, Tx. 77469. This is the professional building near OakBend Medical Center, close to U.S. Route 59. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. that day. (02/16/2010)

New Parking Lot Opens at Houston VA; 4 More on Horizon - HOUSTON - A new 160-space parking lot will open on February 16, 2010 at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). (02/11/2010)

Free Parkinson's Disease Patient & Family Forum: Friday, February 26, 2010, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. - The Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, the Houston Area Parkinson Society, and the Parkinson Foundation of Harris County will discuss participation in free educational and group programs such as dance, tai chi, speech, music, water therapy, physical exercise, meditation, young onset, caregiver support, and others. A light lunch will be served. (02/10/2010)

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. (02/10/2010)

VA Mourns Passing of Charlie Wilson - LUFKIN, TX - On behalf of the Veterans, volunteers, and staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, it is with profound sadness we mourn the death of former U.S. congressman, determined Veterans' advocate, and the namesake of the VA outpatient clinic in Lufkin, Charles Wilson. (02/10/2010)

9 Years Straight, Houston VA 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. (02/02/2010)

Houston VA Docs Refuse to Give Up on Veteran with High-Risk, Difficult Cardiac Case - HOUSTON - Health care providers from the Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Radiology, and Anesthesiology departments at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) used a multidisciplinary approach to successfully treat a 61-year-old Army Veteran from Florida suffering multiple symptoms of heart failure. (01/21/2010)

High-tech Prosthetics Improve Veterans' Quality of Life - HOUSTON - If you think the term "prosthetics" refers to artificial limbs, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, you are right. But at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), prosthetics also includes ramps, stair glides, home oxygen services, home modifications (such as widening doorways), vehicle modifications (to facilitate getting into a vehicle), adaptations to sports equipment, and implants such as hips, stents, and pacemakers. (01/14/2010)

Building Partnerships between Recent and Past Stroke Survivors to Boost Recovery - HOUSTON - A stroke diagnosis can be a devastating experience. It is very common for stroke survivors to be fearful of the future, feel unclear about expectations for recovery, and suffer anxiety, frustration, and depression. Now at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC), Veterans who have suffered a stroke have the opportunity to talk to other Veterans who have lived through the same experience and gain support in managing their daily life. (01/12/2010)

DeBakey VA Offers New Versatile Technology for Cancer Patients - HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is home to a new Varian Trilogy linear accelerator, considered one of the most versatile cancer treatment devices available in the field of radiation therapy. (01/11/2010)

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. (01/08/2010)

Pivotal study could establish new standard of care for preventing surgical-site infections - HOUSTON - Patients, whose surgeons use chlorhexidine-alcohol rather than povidone-iodine to cleanse their skin before surgery, are approximately 40 percent less likely to experience surgical-site infections. (01/06/2010)

The Houston VA Parking Hassle - What is Being Done - HOUSTON - Parking at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is a serious problem. Veterans, visitors, volunteers, and employees know this all too well. Dramatic growth in the Texas Medical Center and the increased number of Veterans seeking VA health care have aggravated the problem; however, hospital administration is taking action to improve the situation. (01/05/2010)

Health Call Center at Houston VA Receives URAC Accreditation - HOUSTON - The Health Call Center, known as the VA Network Telecare Center, at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was awarded full accreditation on December 15, 2009 from URAC, a health care-accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. (01/04/2010)

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