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Disabled American Veterans

Department of Florida

Newsletter
By Al Linden
Executive Director


As of November 30, 2014 our membership was 59,210
The goal for life membership for this year is 1320 more.




Commander Andy Marshall Message

Just what does the monthly chapter meeting mean for a member? NPR did a study of veterans who actively belonged to a veteran’s service organization. The respondents related that second only to their contacts with immediate family, the regular gatherings of their veteran’s group held the most meaning for their lives. One recommendation is that the chapter furnish a simple meal, sandwich, dessert at each monthly meeting. This allows the membership to sit and break bread with each other and have time to talk with each other at the same time.

It is hoped your chapter took advantage of the recent fund raising opportunity at Golden Corrals in your area. Some restaurants allow us to solicit donations the entire weekend while others allow the chapter to be present during the Monday meal only. Most will allow chapter coverage the entire weekend if asked. It is that time of the year again to send your Chapter Service Officers to the Department’s Chapter Service Officer Certification Program. The schedule is still being put together but it appears we may have General Allison Hickey, VA’s Undersecretary for Benefits at our opening on Tuesday afternoon January 6, 2015.

We hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoyed the time spent with family and friends over the holidays.
Please keep Past State Commander Al Sorrentino in your thoughts and prayers as he undergoes some surgery in the near future.

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2015 National DAV Mid-Winter Conference

February 22-25, 2015 Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
Telephone: 703.920.3230
Toll free: 1.800.266.9432
Mention group name “Disabled American Veterans”
Rate: $190 single/double occupancy
Reserve Online.


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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 October 30, 2014
TOTAL ASSETS $1,350,862
TOTAL LIABILITIES $80,561


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TOTAL LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES $1,350.862
FUND BALANCES
Bay Pines VAVS $100
Gainesville VAVS 0
Tampa VAVS $0
Lake City VAVS $333
WPB VAVS $0
MiamiVAVS $200
Orlando VAVS $0
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@gmail.com, or 352-250-4743. I ALSO HAVE ABOUT 600 OF HIS BIOGRAPHY, SAME DEAL.

MEMBERSHIP


NEW MEMBERSHIP IDEA THAT WORKS IF YOU USE IT. Send a letter or make phone contact with your local ford dealership. Introduce yourself as the local membership chairperson. Let them know that you can sign up a member, with a phone call Mon thru Friday normal business hours. Example, dealer has a prospect that he can't close. Salesman asked the prospect if he is a member of the DAV. Prospect says no. Salesman asked prospect if he has a service connected disability from his military service. Prospect answer is yes. Salesman tells prospect that he would be eligible for the DAV X Plan price if he became a member. Salesman has the prospect call you, you fill out the application, give prospect the cost of life membership and put it on his credit card. You call National Membership at 877-426-2838 ext 4. Tell the rep you are calling in a new member, give her the info and ask her for the membership number. Call the dealer or prospect back with the membership nr (number) and now the prospect will receive the x plan rate. It's a win for DAV and The Dealership. GOOD LUCK.





Legislative Action


Veterans should never be victims of Capitol Hill inaction or government shutdowns. One bill can guarantee veterans their benefits - no matter what. But Congress must act by year-end. Help us bring this vital measure to a vote, before time runs out by signing this petition: http://bit.ly/vetfunding

DAV and a coalition of America's leading veterans and military service organizations have been pushing Congress to pass legislation that would shield all veterans' programs, services and benefits from budget gimmicks, partisan politics and government shutdowns. The Putting Veterans Funding First Act (S. 932 / H.R. 813) does that by ensuring the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) budgets are fully funded at the beginning of every year.

Currently, the budget for veterans' programs and benefits is being held in limbo and is set to run out on December 11 th. This is the 23rd time in 26 years that VA's full budget is late. Enough is enough! In the Senate, this bipartisan legislation has the support of Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders and Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, and Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to hold a vote on the bill this year. In the House, Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan both support the bill, yet nothing has moved forward.

We need your help to make sure that the Senate holds that vote, and that the legislation passes.

Please add your support by signing this petition:http://bit.ly/vetfunding

As always, thank you for your grassroots advocacy as a participant in DAV's Commanders' Action Network.
Your commitment and activism makes DAV a more effective organization in Washington, D.C

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Florida Membership
November 30, 2014


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Florida Legislation

FOR

November 30, 2014


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The Veterans Affairs Department is evaluating a series of private-sector recommendations for improving health care delivery to veterans. The recommendations by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) call on VA to:

 Aggressively redesign the human resources and recruitment process.

 Prioritize efforts to recruit, retain, and train clerical staff.

 Develop a comprehensive human capital strategy that addresses impending healthcare provider shortages based on projected needs.

 Create a stronger financial incentive structure.

 Accelerate steps to improve the agility, usability and flexibility of scheduling-enabling technologies that also facilitate performance measurement and reporting functions.

 Take aggressive steps to use fixed infrastructure more efficiently.

 Evaluate the efficiency and patient support gained by centralizing the phone calling functions in facility-based call centers with extended hours of operation.

 Invest in more current and usable telephone systems and provide adequate space for call center functions.

 Take aggressive measures to alleviate parking congestion, which impacts timeliness of care.

 Engage frontline staff in the process of change.

 Embrace a system-wide approach to process redesign.

Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Genevieve Billia said the department is already moving forward with some of the recommendations. “VA appreciates the work of the NVTC, and notes that the majority of the findings in the report appear to be consistent with what VA has identified as areas of improvement, and in numerous cases, mitigation strategies have begun to be implemented,” Billia said, adding that the department will “assess those [recommendations] that are feasible, advisable, and cost-effective for implementation.”

The NVTC’s report was directed by the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The 18 task force that wrote the report includes executives from consulting and technology firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton, HP, IBM, The MITRE Corporation and Science Applications International Corporation. The task force’s report was delivered to VA Secretary Robert McDonald last week. [Source: FederalTimes | Anthony Ware | November 06, 2014 ++]

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VASEC Says Additional Funds Needed The Veterans Affairs Department says the $16.3 billion lawmakers approved earlier this year to meet rising patient demand won't be enough to sustain care for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the coming decades.

“We need more,” VA Secretary Robert McDonald said during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast 5 NOV.

He predicted that “40 years from now is going to be the peak need of the veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, so we need to start building that capability now and we’re going to be asking for budget increases in order to do that.” He said that most Americans think that because those wars are winding down “we don’t need to worry about the VA,” but pointed out that the agency is still caring for a dependent from the Civil War and 100 dependents from the Spanish-American War.

In July, then-acting VA chief Sloan Gibson announced the department needed $17.6 billion in new funds over the next three years to correct poor patient handling and wait times. The announcement nearly scuttled negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers on a bill to revamp the VA following months of scandals over veteran care. Lawmakers eventually settled on legislation with a price tag of $16.3 billion. The bill provides $10 billion for veterans to seek private care at hospitals and clinics outside the VA, and $5 billion for the department to hire more doctors, nurses and medical staff. Another $1.5 billion could be spent on leases to use other medical facilities at 27 sites around the country. But it has been unclear how long the $10 billion funding will actually last and when the VA will need to go back to Congress for additional money. A new request could fall on deaf ears as lawmakers return to Washington to hammer out fiscal 2015 spending bills and look toward 2016.

McDonald did not say how much more his agency would need, but that some of the things that had been cut from the original request included hiring more employees to work disability claims and additional funding for a homeless veterans program. He noted the "good news" that the VA budget has increased every year under President Obama but said “it’s going to have to keep rising because that curve is heading on a slope up. It’s not steady and it’s not flat.” McDonald said that veterans today submit to the VA for treatment an average of six times, whereas they averaged only one following World War II. The agency has also received more claims from veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange or experienced traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder “before the science was available,” he said. [Source: The Hill | Martin Matishak | November 06. 2014 ++]

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Choice Card Information


Before your Veterans Choice Card can be used, you must first meet the following test of eligibility for Choice Card benefits. If, after following Step 1 of the test you are not eligible for benefits, just hold on to your Card - you do not need to call us.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!

TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE:


PERSONALLY ASSESS YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR CHOICE CARD BENEFITS.

Before you call us, ask yourself these four simple questions:

1) Have you been told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days from your preferred date or the date medically determined by your physician? OR

2) Is your current residence more than 40 miles from the closest VA health care facility? OR

3) Do you need to travel by plane or boat to the VA medical facility closest to your home? OR

4) Does a geographic challenge, such as extensive distances around water or other geologic formations, such as mountains, present a significant travel hardship? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible to use your Choice Card. VERIFY YOUR ELIGIBILITY by calling 866-606-8198.

When you call us, please be prepared to provide us with any other health insurance coverage you have, such as employer or union-provided health plans, so we can assess coverage responsibilities.

IMPORTANT: If you do not receive approval, you may be responsible for some or all of the costs of the non-VA treatment you receive.

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VA to Accept Proposals for New Scheduling System

New system will replace 30-year-old legacy scheduling system


WASHINGTON – As part of The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ongoing effort to improve Veterans’ access to healthcare, VA announced it has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System (MASS).. The new MASS technology will help improve access to care for Veterans by providing schedulers with state-of-the-art, management-based scheduling software.

“When it comes to the care of our Veterans, we want the best technology the American marketplace can provide,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “A new and innovative scheduling system is an essential tool we must have in place to enable us to provide our Veterans with timely and high quality health care.”

The new system will replace a legacy scheduling system that has been in use at VA since 1985. VA’s acquisition approach for the new scheduling solution remains full and open; any qualified vendor may compete. Potential bidders are not required to have prior experience working with VA. Proposals are due on January 9, 2015.

VA released a draft “Performance Work Statement” to maximize industry and stakeholder input. The feedback received from industry has been used to refine the requirements included in the final RFP.

“We are seeking vendors who will work closely with us and can meet our timeline,” said VA Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren. “We are dedicated to finding the right partner to help us create and implement our modern scheduling system.”

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End of News Letter