Off The Base
7:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Teen Volunteers Spend Vacation at Haley VA

Youth volunteer Mairyn Harris, 14, and James A. Haley VA Medical Center Director Kathleen Fogarty inside the new USO Day Room.
Credit Tessa Wiseman / WUSF Public Media

When teachers ask this fall, “What did you do on your summer vacation?”  nearly four dozen Tampa teenagers will answer, “I spent it at the James A. Haley VA Hospital.”

For more than a decade, Haley has been operating a summer Youth Volunteer program that gives teenagers insight into health care careers while at the same time helping veterans.

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Off The Base
6:17 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Job Events for Veterans, Military Families

Veterans and military family members looking for a job or a new career – today is your day. Several Florida state agencies are sponsoring Paychecks for Patriots.

There are 18 hiring events planned throughout Florida Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. organized by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and the Florida National Guard.

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Off The Base
4:29 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

USO Day Room Opens at Haley VA Hospital

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and Hospital Director Kathleen R. Fogarty performed the ribbon-cutting, alongside the Managing Director of the Armed Forces Families Foundation (Nick Peters) and USO Senior Vice President (John Hanson).

Tampa's James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital officially opened a USO Day Room today, located next to the Spinal Cord Injury Center where there are many long-term patients.

This is the first time a USO center has been built inside of a veterans' hospital. Senior Vice President of the USO John Hanson said that although the 1,900-square foot space is not the largest USO center, its impact will be "profound."

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6:34 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Gov. Scott Honors Veterans For Service

Gov. Rick Scott awarded 200 men and women with the Veterans Service Award on Tuesday in Tampa.

Two hundred veterans were honored by Gov. Rick Scott in a ceremony at the American Legion Post 111 Tuesday. This was the first stop of his weeklong Veterans Service Award Tour.

Arnie Mount, who was one of the veterans recognized by Scott, served in the Navy for 25 years. He said he appreciates the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and the governor for taking the opportunity to reach out to veterans.

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Off The Base
3:50 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Latest Research Showcased at Haley VA Hospital

Veteran Ty Edwards can stand up from his motorized wheelchair without someone's help when he uses the stand bar.
Yoselis Ramos WUSF

A few dozen researchers were abuzz showing off their projects under way at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. The public showcase held Thursday is a part of National VA Research Week. Projects varied from genetics to obesity.

Carl Hayward, a physical therapist with the VA, has invented the stand bar, which attaches to motorized wheelchairs to help people get off their seat and stand. Hayward said it goes beyond helping improve posture.

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Off The Base
7:35 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Tampa's VA Staff and STAR Room Noted for Work with Brain-Injured Veterans

An "eye gaze" device that allows patients unable to speak to respond by touching or simplying gazing at the word.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

The Veterans Affairs scandal over delayed medical appointments and secret wait lists is still unfolding. And there’s been plenty of evidence that there are systemic problems at VA medical facilities throughout the U.S.

Yet, even the VA’s toughest critics note that most of the VA medical staff are hardworking, dedicated professionals.

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Florida Matters
11:45 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Florida Matters Preview: The 70th Anniversary of D-Day

From left: Author Gary Mormino, military historian William Polson, First Lt. Gerald Berry (retired) and Florida Matters host Carson Cooper
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

This Friday will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the historic military landing at Normandy during World War II. 

This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at D-Day through the eyes of a C-47 pilot who was there.  First Lt. Gerald “Bud” Berry was among those who flew paratroopers behind enemy lines in the hours before the beach invasion. 

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Off The Base
12:15 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

How to Honor Vets, Observe Memorial Day

Sarasota National Cemetery
Credit WUSF Public Media

How to do you plan to observe Memorial Day - a day set aside to remember service members who have fallen in battle and others who are no longer living.

Kurt Rotar, director of the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell and Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg, suggested visiting your nearest national cemetery to pay tribute. There are planned ceremonies or you can just walk among the veterans buried there.

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Health News Florida
10:44 am
Mon May 12, 2014

VA Death Audit Includes FL Hospitals

Tampa's James A. Haley VA Hospital
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:49 am

Florida VA hospitals will be part of a national audit looking into claims that veterans have died waiting for care, The Tampa Tribune reports.

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Off The Base
11:43 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Scott's VA Attack Personal, Political

Gov. Rick Scott at the south Tampa American Legion Post 139 when he announced that Congress will hold a field hearing in Tampa on care at Florida's VA hospitals.
Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Rick Scott, a Navy veteran and son of a veteran, convinced Congress to hold a field hearing to delve further into care being provided at Florida’s VA hospitals.

All this came after state regulators spent most of April conducting unannounced visits to Florida’s VA hospitals, and were denied access to their federal records.

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Off The Base
7:39 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Technology Assists Physically Impaired Veterans

Rick Archer, a member of the Haley VA assisted technology team of therapists, explains how the reflection of infrared light off his pupil can operate a laptop computer.
Credit Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Have you ever taken a photograph and the camera flash turned the person’s eyes into red or white dots? That bane of amateur photographers is becoming a useful tool for physically impaired veterans.

Rick Archer, an assisted technology therapist at the James A. Haley VA Polytrauma and Rehabilitation Center, has  a typical laptop computer in front of him. Attached to it is a black device, the size of a toothbrush case, called Eyegaze.

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Off The Base
12:32 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

New VA Center Gives Active Veterans a Climbing Wall, Aquatic Center, Putting Green

Exterior of the new aquatic center with two therapy pools heated by solar panels at the James A. Haley VA Polytrauma and Rehabilitation Center.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

It’s not your father’s VA anymore as evidenced by just one look inside the Department of Veterans’ Affairs new Polytrauma and Rehabilitation Center at James A. Haley VA Hospital at 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa.

There’s a putting green, a two-story climbing wall, and an aquatic center for recreational therapy. Each of the 56 new private rooms has large windows for natural light, lush wood paneling, wheelchair accessible bathrooms, a desk and a large-screen TV so veterans and active duty personnel have direct access to education programs and entertainment.

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Off The Base
4:52 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Bill Nelson Slams VA For Not Answering Reports of Vet's Deaths

James A. Haley VA Hospital

The Veterans Administration has been fending off reports that military veterans have died needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at veterans’ hospitals. Today, Florida Senator Bill Nelson came to Tampa - looking for answers.

Nelson got a couple of answers - but other bigger issues were still left hanging. Like whether it's true that least 19 veterans have died because of delays in simple medical screenings at various VA hospitals or clinics across the country.

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Off The Base
7:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Military Families Serve Too, USF Center Offers Help

Credit USF Psychological Services Center

Family therapy, couples therapy, individual therapy, even weight management groups are all services that have been available at the USF Psychological Services Center for decades. Now, the center’s director, who served 10 years in the U.S. Army, is reaching out to the veteran and military families offering help.

“We know that there are veterans, for whatever reason, are still hesitant about seeking services in the VA,” said Jack Darkes, director of the University of South Florida Psychological Services Center.

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Off The Base
3:24 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Veterans Museum Committee To Honor Spanish American War Veterans

Spanish American War Headstone

A memorial is being held Saturday morning to honor those who served in the Spanish American War.

The Veterans Museum Committee of Hillsborough County is hosting the event that will unveil a new Spanish American War memorial in Veterans Park. Hillsborough County was a main embarkation port for the American army and naval units destined for Cuba in 1898.

Coordinator for the event, John Werner says this memorial is something everyone should be proud of.

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