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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
April 30, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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April 30, 2010

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. HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010 9 Historic Veterans Health Services Bill passes with Teague provisions Submitted by REP. HARRY TEAGUE'S OFFICEIWashington, DC Last week, the House of Rep- resentatives voted to approve the final version of the Veterans Om- nibus Health Services Act. In- cluded in the legislation was Congressman Teague's bill to as- sist caregivers that accompany veterans when they have to travel to be seen by a doctor. The Teague provision expands the Departmentof Veterans' Affairs authority to make per diem find lodging payments to those car- ing for veterans that are receiv- ing medical treatment. "This is a common sense bill and something we should have done for our veterans and their families years ago," said Con- gressman Harry Teague who serves on the House Veterans Af- fairs Committee. "I've met with many New Mexico Veterans throughout my district who have told me about being forced to rely on their family, friends or other veterans to drive them to medi- cal appointments that are often times 3 or 4 hours away from their homes. And I have heard from family members who often have to travel with their loved ones to the VA hospital hundreds of miles away knowing that they cannot afford to stay in a hotel room if an appointment runs late or an ex- amination takes too long. We are .changing that so that veterans aren't discouraged from seeking the healthcare they need simply because they can't afford the trip to the VA." The New Mexico Depart- ment of Veterans' Services esti- mates that approximately 56,000 veterans in New Mexico have to be transported to a Veterans' Hos- pital annually. Currently, the only lodging option for caregivers of inpatient veterans is to apply to stay in one of the 27 beds offered at the Veterans' hospital. Renting a hotel room at their own expense is often times cost prohibitive for caregivers as well: In addition to the Teague provisions to assist caregivers, this historic legislation also cre- ates,a caregiver support program, improves health care services for America'S women veterans, and expands the mental health ser- vices provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), among other things. The bill now heads to the Senate. S. 1963 - The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Ser- vices Act Provides Caregiver Support S. 1963 provides immediate support for veteran caregivers by creating a program to offer caregiver training, access to men- tal health counseling, and 24 hour respite care in the veteran's home. This allows caregivers temporary relief without having to leave the veteran at a medical ,facility. Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom/ Lordsburg Schools' Fine Arts Program on the rise As of the 4 'h of January Mr. Dale Alexander became part of the high school and junior high staff where he teaches Fine Arts. He replaces Ms, Diana Doctor as the Art instructor and the type of art Ms Doctor taught. Ms. Doctor's main area of expertise was in Arts and Crafts. Mr. Alexander replaces that with Fine Arts. He is successfully teaching the art students in his charge the basics; the founda- tion of Fine Arts. He is also 'teaching the students how to do art such as drawing and using colour. His plans are to,incor- porate painting, ceramics and sculpture into/the art curricu- lum. In Mr. Alexander's short term in the Lgrdsburg school ',system he has been able to bring forth the talent so many students in Lordsburg have. Outside of his room at the high school is a showcase filled with Mr. Alexander's artists' successful work. With the amount of stu- dent talent, he is able to have a revolving display of the art being produced, and attempts to display as many of his students' work he can Mr. Alexander is proud of the success students are having and feels the pride is building in the art students, as well as a good portion of the students at the high school. Mr. Alexander sends an open invitation to the community to stop :by the high school and not only watch the students at work. 8:00 AM ,until 10:27 AM. but the completed pieces of art work in the display :case outside of his room. He is proud of their work and feels you will 'be as well. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/ OIF) are eligible to select a caregiver to receive a financial stipend along with travel and lodging expenses associated with the veteran's care. Welcomes Home Women ' Veterans S. 1963 expands and im-' proves VA services for the 1.8 million women veterans cur- rently receiving VA health care - AND goes one step further by anticipating the expected in- crease of women warriors over the next five years. This bill seeks to build a VA health care system re- spectful of the unique medical needs of women veterans. For the first time, VA will be authorized to provide health care for new- born infants of women veterans. Prevents- Veteran Homelessness S. 1963 essentially expands the number of places where home- less veterans may receive support- ive services. For veterans strug- gling without a roof over their heads, this small change in the law will make a big difference in their lives. Rural Health Care S. 1963 includes key provi- sions to improve the health care provided to our rural veterans by authorizing stronger partnerships with community providers and the Department of Health and Human Services. These collabo- rations will allow VA to offer healthcare options to service members living far from the near- est VA medidal facility. S. 1963 also requires he VA to establish a grant program for veteran service organizations to provide trans- portation options to veterans liv- ing in highly rural areas. Increases Mental Health Care Access S. 1963 addresses the trou- bling reality of post traumatic stress and troubling incidents of suicide among the veteran popu- lation. This bill rgquires a much- needed and long-awaited study on veterans' suicide and requires the VA to provide counseling re- ferrals for members 9 f the Armed Forces who are not otherwise eli- gible for readjustment counsel- ing. Other Veteran Health Care Provisions Creates a National Qual- ity. Management Officer to act as tiiiJil!diirdfficer  i:esSbiigble for the Veteran Health Administration's quality assur- ance program Provides for a pilot pro- gram studying the use of commu- nity organizations and local and State government entities in pro- viding care and benefits to veter- ans. Requires the VA to con- tract with the Institute of Medi- cine to study the health impact of Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense. Creates a pilot program, which would provide specified dental services to veterans, sur- vivors, and dependents of 'eter- ans through a dental insurer. Prohibits the VA from collecting copayments from vet- erans, who are catastrophically disabled. Provides higher priority status for certain veterans who are Medal of Honor recipients. Requires the VA to pro- vide hospital care, medical ser- vices, and nursing home care for certain Vietnam-era veterans ex- posed to herbicide and Gulf-War era veterans who have insuffi- cient medical evidence to estab- lish a service-connected disabil- ity. Establishes a position for the Director of Physician As- sistant Services in the central VA office reporting to the Chief of the Office of Patient Services. Creates a Committee on Care of veterans with traumatic brain injury. Rachel Stone sings while Garrett Massey plays. Animas Public Schools' students participate in :00cienc, ,rt Fair April 20 their creative side and their smarts as they participated in the Animas Science/Art Fair. The fair was held in the Animas Cafeteria By ELIZABETH RICHINS/ Hidalgo County Hera/d The students of Animas Pub- lic Schools got to show off both on Tuesday night, April 20. Lots of art was displayed by students clear from pre-school to 12 'h grade. In the Science section, stu- dents displayed science projects, experiments, inventions, and even collections that they put together. The exhibits were di- vided into Junior and Senior cat- egories and from there were di- vided into 4 other categories for judging. The entertainment of the evening included Rachel Stone singing while Garrett Massey ac- companied her on the piano. Overall, the evening was a huge success and the public seemed to enjoy themselves. At left, Michael Baren- tine presents his bark collec- tion. Below, Zaranda Hicks and Nadine True showing off their artwork Above, Wyatt Mendez with his 1st place bug collection. At right, Peyton Downs and Amanda Holder and their min- eral collection. 1 You're Invited to an RT SHOW! Come help the 6th Graders at Central Elementary School celebrate the culmination of the Art & Mental Health Awareness Program. They will display the art that they made during the program and talk about what they learned. Tuesday, May 11 6:00- 7:00 P.M. Central Elementary School Gym Everyone is invited! Refreshments will be served. rt00|l,y III00|Sl of Road Forks Value of selected 1 0 Rtt 1500GramRepe'atererMortars | Reloadable ,.p.. .t, .,o,u, ,  ,a, . . with purchase of + tax Early Bonus Ends May 3f, 2010