As seen in original PDF
(from email link)


Disabled American Veterans

Department of Florida

Newsletter
By Al Linden
Executive Director


As of May 31, 2014 our membership was 60,748.
The goal for life membership has been met. Keep working.




Commander Guy Diffenbaugh’s Message

Greetings and accolades to you for all you do for Veterans and DAV. I have had a very enjoyable year as your Commander and it has been possible because of your service and accomplishments.

In my travels this month, visiting chapters, I have witnessed solid growth, commitment, and the spirit that makes us the best veterans service organization. I am pleased to report that we have made significant organizational gains in all areas. Remember, however our growth comes through our collective effort to recruit and provide service work. We also must remain forever vigilant in facing our adversaries that all to quickly forget about the commitment our Nation made to us.

With regard to the current issues in the VA, DAV has taken the position of wait and see what the results of the Office of Inspector General investigation yield before going for the throat of the hand that feeds us.

Plan to be with us at Department Convention, in Lake Mary, 27-28 June, for fellowship and to elect/support your new Department Officers. Thank you for your service and support of Veterans.



DAV DEPARTMENT CONVENTION
June 26 – 28, 2014

The Disabled American Veterans, Department of Florida Convention will be held from June 26-28, 2014 and the Lake Mary Marriott in Lake Mary, Florida. National Sr. Vice Commander Ron Hope will be the National Representative. The room rate is $75 per night. The officers for 2014-15 will be elected. Hotel reservations can be made by calling the Lake Mary Marriott at (407) 995-1100. Reservations must be made by May 14, 2014 or you will pay the regular commercial rate.

Look forward to seeing you there.



Also be reminded that Chapter Annual Financial Reports are due by September 30 each year. Chapter Officers Reports are due within 10 days after installation each year or when changes are made.



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BALANCE SHEET
As of May 31, 2014
TOTAL ASSETS $1,227,878
TOTAL LIABILITIES $127,713


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TOTAL LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES $1,227,878
FUND BALANCES
Bay Pines VAVS $1,050
Gainesville VAVS 0
Tampa VAVS $0
Lake City VAVS $2351
WPB VAVS $0
MiamiVAVS $0
Orlando VAVS $2800
Eglin CBOC $0




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BOOKS: VERY FEW CHAPTERS ARE TAKING ADVANTANGE OF THE LEE GREENWOOD GIFT BOOK "GOD BLESS THE USA".
WHAT AN EASY WAY FOR YOUR CHAPTER TO MAKE MONEY.
YOU MUST HAVE BOOKS ON HAND AT YOUR CHAPTER, AND USE THEM EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A FUNCTION AT YOUR CHAPTER OR COMMUNITY.
THE BOOKS WILL SELL IF YOU PRESENT. BOOKS COST YOUR CHAPTER $1.50 AND CAN EASILY BE SOLD FOR $5.00.
100 BOOKS SOLD WILL NEW YOUR CHAPTER $350.00. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OR PAY 10%.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME AT davl50jack@gail.com, or 352-250-4743. I ALSO HAVE ABOUT 600 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY, SAME DEAL.

MEMBERSHIP


THE MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CONTINUES, EVEN IF YOU HAVE MET YOUR QUOTA. OUR MEMBERS ARE PASSING DAILY, SO WE MUST CONTINUE TO REPLACE THEM. TELL A POTENTIAL MEMBER THAT BECAUSE OF THEIR SACRIFICE THEY HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO JOIN THE DAV. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN YOU DESERVE TO BELONG. REMEMBER THE 3 WAYS YOU CAN SIGN UP A MEMBER. OUR MEMBERS ARE ALL LIFE MEMBERS, SO THE EASIEST WAY TO JOIN IS TO PAY THE FULL MEMBERSHIP WITH THE CONVENIENCE OF YOUR CREDIT CARD AND NEVER PAY ANOTHER PREMIUM. THE SECOND WAY IS PAY $40.OO NOW AND THE BALANCE TO BE PAID QUARTERLY OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD UNTIL THE FULL PREMIUM IS PAID. THE THRID METHOD IS GO TO THE DAV WEBSITE AND MAKE A $10.OO REOCCURANT PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD UNTIL IT IS PAID. LETS MAKE FLORIDA THE NUMBER ONE STATE IN THE NATION. THE POTENTIAL IS HERE, SNOWBIRDS WILL BE COMING DOWN IN GROVES AFTER THE HARSH WINTER THEY HAVE HAD. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE MEMBERSHIP.
CSO'S CAN EARN GIFT CERTIFICATES TO THE OUTBACK STEAK HOUSE. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS EMAIL ME AT dav150jack@gmail.com or CALL 352-250-4743. The following chapters have not made goal: 1, 5, 6, 30, 38, 63, 67, 70, 126, 129, 133.



MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has come a long way under the leadership of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. Today and for decades to come, Veterans will benefit from the transformation begun in the past 5 years, driven by Secretary Shinseki’s unyielding devotion to Veterans and unflagging commitment to bringing VA into the 21st century. In my time here at VA, I have come to understand and appreciate the dedication of VA employees and the genuine passion our people show, each and every day, for serving Veterans and their families. Wherever I go, I meet men and women who care deeply about our mission, who work enthusiastically to do the right thing for Veterans, and who strive with integrity to accomplish every task. I believe that to be true still today, and I am grateful to all of you for your professionalism and perseverance in this effort. I will depend on you and your admirable work ethic as we move forward.

Notwithstanding the vast body of great work we do for Veterans daily, there remains much more to be done. In some areas and specific instances, we have fallen far short of what Veterans have earned and deserve, and what the American people and their representatives rightly expect. Veterans’ trust—the very foundation of our work—has been compromised. And so we will earn that trust back, one Veteran at a time, one American at a time. To begin, we will sharply focus our care, our services, and our resources on Veterans and operate at all times with unimpeachable integrity. To that end, VA will move out immediately to get all Veterans off of waiting lists and into clinics for the care they have earned and deserve, while simultaneously fixing the underlying issues that impede Veterans’ access. We are not waiting for anyone or anything to commence that work—we begin now. The President has made clear that his expectations are the same.

The large majority of VA employees expect accountability. Together, we will address instances of willful misconduct and breaches of integrity. They will not be tolerated, and I will use all authority afforded me to remove those who choose to put personal gain ahead of Veterans and professional responsibilities.

We will continue to depend on the faithful service of VA employees and leaders who place the interests of Veterans above and beyond all else; who serve Veterans with dignity, compassion, and dedication; and who live by VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence.

Thank you for your dedication to Veterans and our mission to serve them. Sloan D. Gibson



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Florida Membersip
May 31, 2014

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Florida Legislation
May 31, 2014

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Dependent changes in Benefits


The Rules Based Processing System (RBPS automates the processing of disabled Veterans’ requests to add family members or change their statuses. It will reduce processing time for changes to compensation benefits associated with a Veteran’s family member status from months to days.

Veterans who have at least a 30-percent VA disability rating can use eBenefits to request a change in family member status to:

Add a spouse;
Add a dependent biological child or stepchild, and; Add a child (age 18 to 23) who is enrolled in an educational institution approved by VA.



From the VISN 8Network Director

The Department of Veterans Affairs cares deeply for every Veteran we serve. Our goal is to provide the best quality, safe and effective health care our Veterans have earned and deserve. We take seriously any issue that occurs at any one of our VA health care facilities in Florida and elsewhere in the network -- and we have some important information to share with you.

As background, as the result of a consult delay issue VA discovered at two medical centers outside VISN 8, the Veterans Health Administration conducted a national review of consults across the VA system.

• Based on preliminary findings from the national review of consults initiated by VA, it was determined there were approximately 301,000 consults for Gastroenterology (GI) and GI endoscopy for FY 2010 and 2011 in VISN 8. In 2012, VISN 8 received a list of patients with new GI malignancies identified during FY2010 and 2011 from the cancer registry for review for evidence of harm related to wait time delays or delay in diagnosis.

• This review resulted in the need for 14 patients to receive Institutional Disclosures. Of these 14 patients, 5 had died. Of these 5 patients who died, 2 deaths were determined, by a two level review, to not be related to the delays. Of the remaining 3 patients who died of their malignancy, 2 were from North Florida South Georgia VA Health System, and 1 from West Palm Beach VAMC.

• First and foremost, we offer our sincerest condolences to families and individuals who may have been affected and lost a loved one.

• Secondly, when an incident occurs in our system we aggressively identify, correct and work to prevent additional risks. We conduct a thorough review to understand what happened, prevent similar incidents in the future, and share lessons learned across the system. In VISN 8, we have taken a number of steps to greater strengthen our consult process and prevent a similar delay at any of our hospitals.

o We continue to diligently monitor and track the consult management process (which includes not only GI consults, but all consults) through various mechanisms to avoid delays or potential adverse events:

o VISN and local consult management teams have been established in our facilities with subject matter experts including Information Technology (IT), Medical Administration, and Clinical representatives– to monitor and track processes for consults, implement revised business rules for immediate and future care and validate data

o Processes have been strengthened to track high risk consults and for identified immediate and future care.

o Monitoring and data validation of the consult processes is conducted daily and weekly. VISN 8 is currently piloting a clinical tool for healthcare providers, as an additional resource, to validate abnormal test results to ensure timely follow-up care

To reiterate, any adverse incident for a Veteran in our care is one too many. You have my promise we will continue to do our very best to provide the best care possible to the Veterans we are privileged to serve.

Sincerely,
Joleen Clark

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New ID Cards for Vets Enrolled in VA Health Care


VA is introducing a new, secure identification card called the Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC). VHIC replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), which was introduced in 2004. VA is committed to providing the high quality, safe and effective health care Veterans have earned and deserve, and part of this effort includes ensuring the personal security of Veterans. As part of a phased rollout, on February 21, 2014, VA began issuing the newly designed, more secure VHIC to newly enrolled and other Veterans who were not issued a VIC. Starting in April VA will begin a replacement effort to automatically mail the more secure VHIC to Veterans who have the old VIC. All Veterans who are enrolled and have the old card should have their new replacement card by July. VA expects to complete mailings of the replacement VHICs by July. To ensure receipt of the new VHIC, enrolled Veterans should make sure that VA has their correct mailing address. The new VHIC is distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. The Social Security number and date of birth were removed from the barcode and magnetic strip. Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran’s Member ID and branch of service emblem, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID which reflects the Veteran’s enrollment in VA health care. The VHIC is for use in VA medical facilities and does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA medical facilities. Detail view of the front of the - See more at:
http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/February/New-ID-Cards-for-Vets-Enrolled-in-VA-HealthCare.asp#sthash.nR4qfhjx.dpuf




National Director of Volunteer Services Change


This is a heads-up that for personal reasons Ron Minter will be relocating to his home in Waco, TX, where he will serve as a Senior Associate National Service Officer. Current Deputy HR Director John Kleindenst will be Acting Director of Voluntary Services. Voluntary services (VS) inquiries that cannot be addressed by the VS support staff should be directed to John at jkleindienst@dav.org or 859 442 2056. Direct all National Convention inquiries to Amberly Jackson, Assistant to the National Adjutant at ajackson2@dav.org or (859) 442-2045. Thank you and take care.




As you are likely aware, Secretary Shinseki has decided to resign his position as the head of Department of Veterans Affairs. We honor Secretary Shinseki’s service to our country as a combat-disabled veteran and public servant, and respect his decision to resign and allow new leadership to address this crisis with new solutions.

Ultimately, a change in leadership does not address the root of the VA health care system’s problems of access and appropriate funding levels. On behalf of DAV’s 1.2 million members, we implore the President to quickly identify and nominate, and the Senate to rapidly consider and confirm, the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In the meantime, DAV stands ready to work closely with Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson to implement solutions necessary to ensure all veterans can access the health care they need.

We also hope that a newly appointed Secretary continues to build on the progress made during Secretary Shinseki’s tenure in addressing the claims backlog, reducing veterans’ homelessness, and improving access to mental health care. While this crisis is deeply disturbing, we hope the issues uncovered serve as a wakeup call to focus America’s attention on the need to fulfill the sacred promises made to the men and women who so honorably served our country.” Our Communications Department is standing by to help should you need assistance with media. If you are approached on this, or any other issue, please contact Charity Edgar, Associate National Director of Communications at cedgar@dav.org, (202) 314-5221 or cell at (202) 641-4822.

Thank you for your continued service to those who’ve served.
Joseph Johnston
DAV National Commander





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