U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki today unveiled a new portal on their departments’ websites designed to help military veterans find jobs in the transportation industry.
“Our transportation industry needs pilots, controllers, mechanics and drivers – the very kinds of skills that our military is known for developing,” Secretary LaHood said. “This new web link will help repay the debt we owe our veterans for their service to our country.”
“Veterans have the skills, knowledge and attributes that American businesses need to help rebuild an economy that will last,” said Secretary Shinseki. “These men and women bring exceptional leadership to any position. They are uniquely qualified for jobs as pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, commercial drivers and emergency medical technicians because many of them have performed these roles in combat.”
The portal on the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs websites will link to the Veterans Transportation Career Center, where former members of the armed forces can enter their specific military work experience and see how it translates to jobs in the civilian working world. The site will guide veterans to jobs in five categories: aviation pilot, aviation maintenance technician, air traffic controller, commercial motor vehicle driver and emergency medical services. Job seekers can find what training and certification is needed for civilian jobs, determine what career fits best with their background, and search for available jobs in their field. The portals are available at www.dot.gov and www.va.gov.
Secretaries LaHood and Shinseki announced the new portal at an aviation-workforce management conference held at DOT headquarters in Washington. The conference on labor-management relations was first formed in response to a recommendation made by the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC), which was convened by Secretary LaHood in 2010. The FAAC recommended that DOT hold events like this to bolster labor-management relations.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease who undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a treatment in which a pacemaker-like device sends pulses to electrodes implanted in the brain — can expect stable improvement in muscle symptoms for at least three years, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study appearing in the most recent issue of the journal Neurology.
“VA was proud to partner with the National Institutes of Health in this research,” said Shinseki. “Our research on Parkinson’s helps ensure we continue to provide the best care possible for veterans with this debilitating disease.”
VA cares for some 40,000 veterans with the condition.
In DBS, surgeons implant electrodes in the brain and run thin wires under the skin to a pacemaker-like device placed at one of two locations in the brain. Electrical pulses from the battery-operated device jam the brain signals that cause muscle-related symptoms. Thousands of Americans have seen successful results from the procedure since it was first introduced in the late 1990s. But questions have remained about which stimulation site in the brain yields better outcomes, and over how many years the gains persist.
Initial results from the study appeared in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Based on the six-month outcomes of 255 patients, the researchers concluded that DBS is riskier than carefully managed drug therapy—because of the possibility of surgery complications — but may hold significant benefits for those with Parkinson’s who no longer respond well to medication alone.
A follow-up report in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010, using data from 24 months of follow-up, showed that similar results could be obtained from either of the two brain sites targeted in DBS.
The new report is based on 36 months of follow-up on 159 patients from the original group. It extends the previous findings: DBS produced marked improvements in motor (movement-related) function. The gains lasted over three years and did not differ by brain site.
Patients, on average, gained four to five hours a day free of troubling motor symptoms such as shaking, slowed movement, or stiffness. The effects were greatest at six months and leveled off slightly by three years.
According to VA Chief Research and Development Officer Joel Kupersmith, M.D., “This rigorously conducted clinical trial offers valuable guidance for doctors and patients in VA and throughout the world. As our veteran population and the general U.S. population grow older, this research and future studies on Parkinson’s will play an important role in helping us optimize care.”
The research took place at several VA and university medical centers and was supported by VA’s Cooperative Studies Program and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. The maker of the devices used in DBS, Medtronic Neurological, helped fund the research but did not play a role in designing the study or analyzing the results.
VA, which has the largest integrated health care system in the country, also has one of the largest medical research programs. This year, approximately 3,400 researchers will work on more than 2,300 projects with nearly $1.9 billion in funding.
The American Legion Trust Fund for 2011-2012 has been expended, being used to meet the needs of our veterans. Funds, when approved, may be available after July 1, 2012, Ensure you apply for travel through the Veterans Administration whenever possible.
For further information on VA benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office, located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590, and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the VSO office.
The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:
American Legion Post 108. Second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.
Veterans for Veterans. Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., 164 N. Pagosa Blvd. (Buffalo Inn).
Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans. Every other Monday 6 p.m., St. Patrick Episcopal Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Contact Charlotte, 731-1025.
Point Man Ministry (Veterans). Every Thursday at 9 a.m., (Buffalo Inn).