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Military Exposures & Your Health - 2020 -Issue #3

Military Exposures & Your Health: Information for Veterans who servedthe gulf war era and their families

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As a Veteran who served since 1990, you may be concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-19), including your risk and how VA now offers health services. This issue of the Military Exposures & Your Health newsletter features information on COVID-19 risk and prevention; the expanding telehealth option for Environmental Health Registry Exams; and temporary roles taken by VA Environmental Health Coordinators and Clinicians related to the pandemic. This issue also highlights Gulf War Veteran William "Bill" Watts, Sr.’s commendable volunteer work, Veteran Douglas Turner’s technology assistance for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, and more. Find past issues of this biannual newsletter online.


In this issue...

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Veteran health Learn about coronavirus (COVID-19), Veterans’ risk and prevention, and VA health services during the pandemic, including Environmental Health Registry Exams.

Environmental Health Clinicians and Coordinators fill new roles during coronavirus pandemic Many Environmental Health Clinicians and Coordinators took on new roles to address the coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic.

Environmental Health Coordinator Doug Turner: Providing technology help for the Burn Pit Registry Some Veterans find that they need help with the technical aspects of the registry. Douglas Turner, former Environmental Health Coordinator at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, has assisted local Veterans. 

McClung appointed Health Physics Society board member Danny McClung, BS, RRPT, health physicist and radiological consultant for VA’s Post Deployment Health Services, has been appointed as a board member of the Academic, Industrial, and Research Radiation Safety Section of the Health Physics Society.

Telehealth: An option for Environmental Health Registry Exams More VA medical centers are offering environmental health registry exams via telehealth.

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry reaches major milestone In March 2020, the registry exceeded 200,000 participants.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction classes available by phone for Veterans A free, phone-based program called “Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction” is available to Veterans of all eras. Mindfulness mediation has been shown to be effective in treating several health conditions, such as insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic pain, depression, and PTSD.

Report released on long-term health effects of antimalarial drugs The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reviewed existing evidence on the long-term health effects of antimalarial drugs and released the report, Assessment of Long-Term Health Effects of Antimalarial Drugs When Used for Prophylaxis.

Study on health of Veterans deployed to K-2 VA’s Post Deployment Health Services and the Department of Defense are conducting a study on the health of Veterans who deployed to K-2.

Gulf War Veteran William “Bill” Watts, Sr.’s service today focuses on helping fellow Gulf War Vets Gulf War Veteran William “Bill” Watts, Sr., earned numerous awards during his tours of duty, but the reward he values the most today is the one he receives as an advocate helping his fellow Gulf War Veterans with their individual challenges.

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