May 10 | Building the Bridge | Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center mini-summit for veterans, caregivers, family members, community providers and VA providers | Register now.
FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019 – 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT
at Penn State Berks Campus, Tulpehocken Road, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610
A training program for the Veterans Affairs “No Veteran Dies Alone Program” will be held at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lebanon on June 11. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering to be a part of this supportive program, get in touch with Rebecca Sanders, LCSW, CADC, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Chaplain Service / EAP, Lebanon VA Medical Center, 717-272-6621 ext. 3437 ∗ 717-844-1628 (cell). Email: Rebecca.Sanders@va.gov.
There is a application to complete with voluntary services and fingerprinting.
Click on the above graphic to download the entire brochure as a .pdf file.
FTC, States Continue Fight against Sham Charities; Shut Down Operations That Falsely Claimed to Help Disabled Police Officers and Veterans
Orders ban defendants from soliciting charitable contributions
The operators of two purported sham charities have agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorneys General of Missouri and Florida that they deceived donors with false claims that their organizations helped disabled police officers and military veterans. The operators of both schemes are permanently banned from charitable solicitations or otherwise working for charities.
The settlements with Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation, Inc. (DPSF), and American Veterans Foundation, Inc. (AVF), highlight the FTC’s ongoing efforts to stop sham charities from defrauding donors.
“The FTC and state agencies joined forces to stop illegitimate charities that lie to donors about how their generous contributions will be used,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “You can help—and make sure your donation counts—by checking out a charity before you give. Learn more at ftc.gov/charity.”
Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation, Inc.
DPSF (also doing business as The American Police and Sheriffs Association, and Police Officers Safety Association), and its founder and Executive Director David Kenik, are banned from soliciting charitable contributions under a settlement with the FTC and the state of Missouri, for falsely claiming that consumers’ donations would be used to help police officers and families of slain officers, provide life-saving equipment to law enforcement agencies, and provide advanced, specialized training for law enforcement officers and departments.
DPSF solicitations appealed to consumers’ desire to support the law enforcement officers who protect us all. For example, one solicitation explained that:
“We also provide . . . relief to families of officers killed in the line of duty. … Every day officers bravely go out to protect our streets knowing an officer is killed in the line of duty every other day in our country. They are truly real life heroes.” [emphasis in original];
Consumers responded to the calls for help and donated more than $9.9 million to the ostensible charity. In reality, DPSF spent almost nothing helping the families of officers slain in the line of duty, or assisting disabled police and sheriffs.
The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act, the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, and Missouri state law.
LEBANON, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) will honor Vietnam Veterans through a variety of public commemoration events on March 29 as part of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin through the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration as a lasting memento of the nation’s thanks.
Vietnam Veterans can join Lebanon VAMC at the following March 29 public events to be pinned:
- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and the Liberty War Bird Association’s National Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. for the 11:15 a.m. ceremony at the Lancaster Airport Terminal, 500 Airport Rd., Lititz, Lancaster County
- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony starting at 3 p.m. at American Legion Post 217, 133 Centre Ave., Topton, Berks County
- National Vietnam War Veterans Day Commemoration and Cake-cutting Ceremony at 2 p.m. at Lebanon VA Medical Center, 1700 South Lincoln Ave., Building 17 Canteen Dining Area, Lebanon, Lebanon County
- MISSION BBQ locations in Harrisburg, Wyomissing and York from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. as part of MISSION BBQ’s daylong Vietnam Veterans appreciation event. Information on the various VA benefits including VA health care enrollment will also be available to Veterans.
Additionally, Veterans unable to attend one of the above public events that have not yet received a pin can also visit Lebanon VAMC’s Community Clinics located in Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pottsville, Wyomissing and York to be presented their pin on March 29 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is part of our nation’s ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Lebanon VAMC, along with more than 10,000 local, state, and national organizations, joins the Department of Defense as Commemorative Partners. More information on the commemoration is available at www.vietnamwar50th.com.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 28, 2017. The act designates every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. March 29, 1973, marks the day the last of our combat troops left Vietnam.
SOURCE: news release
Lancaster, PA – March, 2019 – Integrated Platform Services LLC today announced a new subscription check-in and reporting service for families of seniors who live independently. The service, named Constance™, targets the families of the 87% of Americans over the age of 65 who, according to AARP, would prefer to live on their own.
Constance™ provides daily human interaction with seniors to check on mood, meals, medications, appointments, and more. The check-ins are used to generate electronic updates for family members — typically members of the “sandwich generation” who find it increasingly difficult to balance support for their aging parents with managing their own busy lives. With a focus on overall wellbeing, Constance™ addresses the most important factors impacting healthcare outcomes: early detection of medical conditions, care plan adherence, and social engagement.
The service is delivered by carefully selected and trained team who call each senior for a personalized, one-on-one conversation. Unlike other personal care services, the reports are immediately available to family members via a smartphone app on iOS and Android devices.
Families using the service have confidence that the needs of their loved one will be identified and reported, allowing them to continue living independently. Constance subscriber Suzette Mullen commented, “My sister and I look forward to getting the reports every day. The daily updates have really connected us as we navigate (my mom’s) care from a distance.” Members also look forward to interacting with the Constance Family Coordinators. A senior using the service, Patricia Roberts, recently said, “It made me feel very safe to know you were calling me this morning.”
CEO and cofounder Henry Yaeger commented, “We started Constance because we want to apply business solutions to a huge and growing societal challenge. Demographic shifts and longer distances are leaving families unprepared for the demands of supporting their loved ones as they age. Our service allows seniors to continue to live independently, while giving their families the comfort of knowing they are always being looked after.”
– news release
Constance is a service of Integrated Platform Services LLC, a company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Constance helps seniors maintain independence by facilitating communication between seniors, their family members, and others. The high-touch service is supported by a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform that enables the Constance team to efficiently provide services, while native mobile apps keep family members informed. Constance is a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner entity.
Exciting things are happening in Lebanon County; one of them is the establishment of a Veterans Court that began in January, 2019.
“With a goal of rehabilitating veterans and reducing the prison population to below 500, John Shott, The Honorable Judge John Tylwalk, and Director of Probation Sally Barry presented a $20,000 Veteran’s Court for start-up costs.
“To help make the Court sustainable, a $500 Administration fee will be paid by participants. Participants may receive House Arrest and avoid jail time. Incentives in the form of gift cards are one reward for successfully completing the program. Volunteer veterans are sought as mentors to help fellow veterans through the process. Training is provided. Judge Tylwalk will meet with each veteran.
“This 24-month proactive program is one more tool in the toolbox along with DUI Treatment Court, the Renaissance Crossroads Program, Day Reporting Center, and pretrial diversion components of the IP plan already in place. Participants will perform community service projects. Sanctions include writing essays, loss of privileges, demotion to a lower phase, additional fines, curfew restrictions, incarceration, and removal from the program. The presence of the VA Medical Center provides an extra layer of support that many other counties do not have. Starting with 10 participants, there is room to grow the program to 50 participants. A 90% completion/graduation rate is anticipated.” – Click on the above graphic to watch a December 2018 video explaining the Veterans Court process.
“Veterans Courts assist veterans charged with crimes who are struggling with addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders and come in contact with the criminal justice system.
“Utilizing the successful drug court model, participants come before judges on a regular basis, receive support and guidance from veteran mentors, are supervised by specialized probation officers and receive treatment and support from the Veterans Administration to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress disorders. Pennsylvania’s first veterans court opened in Lackawanna County in November 2009. With more than 800,000 veterans, Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of veterans in the country.” – Source: The Unified JUDICIAL SYSTEM of PENNSYLVANIA Website
Click here to read a VFW Magazine article about Veterans Courts: “Ten Years of Second Chances | A decade ago, officials at a New York court were stunned at how veterans charged with non-violent crimes responded to an offer of help”
“Dave Stroman, a life member of VFW Post 7397 in Lenexa, Kan., speaks during Garrett Cleek’s graduation from the Johnson County (Kan.) Veterans Treatment Court in October 2017. Stroman, a Vietnam War veteran, serves as a mentor to Cleek, an Afghanistan War veteran and fellow Post member, as well as other veterans in the program. Photo by Beth Lipoff.” – VFW Magazine
Click here to read a December, 2018 Lebanon Daily News article about the establishment of the Veterans Court.
Lebanon VA Medical Center announces the first “Building the Bridge” event | other dates and venues announced, too.
The first session of the Building the Bridge Series is scheduled for March 8, 2019. Enrollment will be available and onsite throughout the event. This event will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center (Carlisle PA), where we look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders from the Veteran community pertaining to supports and resources in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.
This year’s topics include:
- Transition from Uniformed Services to Civilian Life: The common challenges in the transition process for both the Veteran and the family.
- Substance Use & Abuse: Identifying when someone is using drugs &/or alcohol to cope, how to respond and where to turn for help.
- Suicide Prevention: When warning signs of suicide begin to emerge & how family can help. Discussion pertaining to supports & local initiatives.
- Serving the Whole Veteran from a Wrap Around Perspective: Connecting Veterans before, during and after VA care with community partnerships.
Please join us for education, collaborative discussion and round-table sessions to further develop, strengthen and sustain working relationships.
VA to implement appeals modernization in February | Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, January 17, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.
After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision.
Implementation will occur 30 days after the Secretary certifies, as required by law. Accordingly, the AMA will become effective Feb 19.
“VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months,” Wilkie said. “Our staff has worked diligently, particularly in the last few weeks, to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans in February.
The AMA was signed into law Aug. 23, 2017. Under the act, Veterans will now have three options for claims and appeals: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) direct appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. All decision reviews submitted after February 2019 will fall under the new system.
Once the Appeals Modernization Act is fully implemented, VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews averaging 125 days. Decisions appealed to the Board under its direct docket will average 365 days. Under the legacy process, appeal resolutions averaged three to seven years.
SOURCE: news release