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Department of Veterans Affairs

Last year, the VA began offering mental health treatment to vets who don't normally qualify for V-A care. Since then, fewer than 200 people have used the program.

More than 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the U.S. and the majority never sought the help that was available to them.

The new secretary of veterans affairs pledged to the American Legion on Wednesday that he won't privatize his agency's health care services even as it increases options for veterans to seek care in the private sector.

Intersection: The Road To Better Care For Veterans

Aug 8, 2018

One of the challenges facing Veterans  after their service is getting access to healthcare. Veterans Affairs secretary Robert Wilkie, who was sworn in last week, will address American Veterans today at the group’s annual convention in Orlando. Improving access to healthcare is one of the issues the service organization is looking to Wilkie to address.

The VA hopes to roll out a national "whole health" program for veterans, offering them acupuncture, tai chi, yoga,and other alternative mental health therapies.

The Senate on Monday confirmed Pentagon official Robert Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, charged with delivering on President Donald Trump's campaign promises to fire bad VA employees and steer more patients to the private sector.

As the Senate considers Robert Wilkie's nomination for VA secretary, veterans groups worry that the agency's leadership gap has slowed its work.

Congress delivered a victory to President Donald Trump by expanding private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system.

In a surprise announcement that caught the candidate off-guard, President Donald Trump said he'll nominate acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to permanently lead the beleaguered department.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Without leaving the comfort of his Ocala apartment, Joshua Lawhorn, 28, is getting help with his memory problems by learning to play the guitar.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson was tending to grievously injured military personnel in Iraq when he was summoned to Washington to interview for a job he barely knew existed. He didn't see a way to get there.

Some veterans say they contracted hepatitis from the "jet gun" that was used to immunize them in the Vietnam era, but researchers haven't proven that link.

When veterans with war injuries need accessible housing, they often have few options.

The Veterans Health Administration is planning to make mental health care more available to help reduce veteran suicide. But veterans advocates worry about the impact on the already strained VA health system.

"Failed leadership" at the Department of Veterans Affairs during the Obama years put patients at a major hospital at risk, an internal probe finds — another blow to Secretary David Shulkin, who served at the VA then and is fighting to keep his job.

VA.gov / Department of Veterans Affairs

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded emergency mental health care to vets with other-than-honorable discharges. It's part of an effort to curb the recent increase in veteran suicide.


The U.S. has seen an increased rate of suicide among its veterans, and those deaths can change the lives of family and friends forever. This week on Florida Matters, our special two-part program on veteran suicide and the impact it can have on comrades and loved ones continues.


Despite recent efforts by Congress to improve the performance of the Veterans Administration, some Tallahassee vets and even a local caregiver say their situation hasn’t improved.

U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs

The sunshine state was well represented at the White House Wednesday as President Trump signed a bill extending and improving the Veterans Choice Act which allows veterans to seek medical care outside the VA system under certain conditions.

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.

VA Watchdog Releases Report On Florida Facilities

Mar 2, 2016

Reports documenting scheduling problems and wait-time manipulation at the Department of Veterans Affairs are being made public, as the agency’s internal watchdog bows to pressure from members of Congress and others to improve transparency.

The VA’s Office of Inspector General released 11 reports Monday outlining problems at VA hospitals and clinics in Florida. The reports are the first of 77 investigations to be made public over the next few months.

VA OIG

Brandishing a photograph of 1,600 boxes, stacked haphazardly in a storage room, Florida U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller of Pensacola opened a congressional hearing Tuesday into the backlog of veterans benefits claims.

Mel Evans / Associated Press

Paralyzed Army veteran Gene Laureano cried when he first walked again with robotic legs at a New York clinic as part of research sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But when the study ended, so did his ability to walk.

Floridians depend on cars to get just about anywhere. And getting to the doctor without one can be tough.

Orlando resident David Williams knows this reality well, especially since  the brand new Orlando VA Medical Center moved from the downtown core to the suburbs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it now has fewer than 100,000 disability claims older than four months, a "historic milestone" that is one-sixth the size of a long-term backlog that reached a record 611,000 claims in 2013.

Troubled by delays in handling veterans claims, a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday urged a wide-scale, independent review of the Department of Veterans Affairs for mismanagement and changes to improve budgeting and speed up applications.

A report released by nine senators acknowledged recent efforts by the VA to reduce disability and pensions claims backlogs but said it wasn’t enough. 

House Committee on Veterans Affairs

A bill aimed at improving veteran accessibility to mental  health care has passed the US Senate and now only needs President Obama's signature to become law.

The US House passed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act on January 12, 2015 for a second time.

House Committee on Veterans Affairs

It’s been a transformative year for veterans and those serving in the military. We’ve seen the resignations of both the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of the Department of Defense.

And there have been changes at the state and local levels too. Here are some of the major stories from 2014:

Lottie Watts / WUSF

The transition from military service to civilian life can be full of challenges.

As part of our Veterans Coming Home project -- made possible in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- we gathered a panel to talk about this transition at the Veterans Legacy Summit hosted by The Patterson Foundation on Nov. 15 at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. 

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