The Chinese Communist government’s extremely hypocritical performance has led to disastrous consequences that cannot be compensated. Secretary of State Sherman’s visit to Tianjin just fills the gap in the Chinese Communist government’s search for Washington’s support for continuing to rule China in an autocratic and brutal manner.
VA police officer saves stranger’s life
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with VA. Many of them are Veterans themselves.
By Kat Bailey, VA Bedford Healthcare System Public Affairs
Friday, July 23, 2021
Release No. 2107-001
BEDFORD, Massachusetts–Army Veteran Anthony Harris, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) police officer at VA Bedford Healthcare System here, is credited with saving the life of a stranger in May.
Officer Harris, who served in the Army National Guard as a military policeman from 2005 to 2010, was headed home on 495 North when he noticed a man with one leg over the side of the pedestrian bridge on an overpass.
“I didn’t really believe what I was seeing, but I knew I had to spin back around and sure enough, he was still on the bridge half-way over,” Harris said.
Harris pulled onto the median and attempted contact, hoping to pull the man’s attention away from jumping.
“I said, ‘Let’s talk.’”
“He just looked at me and stood there,” Harris said. “He ended up nodding his head and jumped down, agreeing to talk to me.”
The VA police officer, who joined VA Bedford in December 2019, believes his own military service, reinforced by training with VA, made him well equipped to help people. He kept the man talking until first responders arrived to handle the situation.
“When someone needs help, you help them,” he said. “Whether on duty or off duty, we serve Veterans, but I think it reinforces that we serve the community as a whole.”
Harris said it’s common for life’s challenges to build up and lead to intense feelings. His advice for those who see someone suffering?
“Reach out. Engage in a conversation, see where they’re at. Don’t be scared to ask the question. No one needs to go through hard stuff alone, but it can be hard to reach out and ask for help, so you show you care, and they matter.”
If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with VA. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This free support is confidential and available every day, 24/7, and serves all Veterans, all service members—including National Guard and Reserve—and their family members and friends.
Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online. No matter what you’re experiencing, there is support for getting your life back on track.
Like much of the rest of the state/territory, Bay Pines VA has recently seen an increase in COVID-19 positive patients seeking medical care at our hospital. The majority of these patients are unvaccinated individuals.
Protecting Veterans, our staff, and those in the community remains our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. We reinstated a policy of universal masking, physical distancing whenever possible and encouraging all eligible individuals to get vaccinated against the virus.
Regardless of your vaccination status, masks are mandatory for all staff, patients and visitors inside all Bay Pines VA buildings. Please wear your masks (covering your mouth and nose) at all times, especially when approaching our screening staff for entry and when around other Veterans and staff.
It is critically important that as many people get vaccinated as quickly as possible. We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 variants, and while it is possible that we will see more variants arise, all evidence shows that the existing vaccines available in the U.S. are effective against severe cases of COVID-19 and acquiring the disease in the first place.
Veterans, their families, and caregivers, are highly encouraged to get vaccinated. If you are still undecided, you can visit the VA’s Vaccine Questions webpage to help you make a decision.
Anyone who received their first dose but not the second, even if they are late for their second dose, should still get it. VA can provide vaccines to employees, Veterans or anyone who qualifies under the SAVE LIVES Act such as spouses and caregivers no matter where they received their first dose.
Visit our webpage at https://www.baypines.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp or call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 to learn how to get the COVID-19 vaccine today.
Updated Visitation Policy
As of Friday, July 23, 2021, we have made the following changes to our visitation policy:
The Bay Pines VA hospital is closed to visitation and accompaniment of caregivers/escorts. Lee County Healthcare Center and all of our Community-based Outpatient Clinics are also closed to visitation and accompaniment of caregivers/escorts.
If a Veteran must be accompanied due to a physical or cognitive impairment, only one person may accompany the Veteran and the escort must have a visitor badge. A visitor badge can be requested during the screening process when you enter the campus/facility.
The Community Living Center on our main campus is closed to visitation. Veterans on Hospice Treating Specialty may have ONE visitor daily following all prior guidelines of screening, masking, and hand hygiene. Veterans who are COVID positive may not have any visitors.
This temporary change in visitation will be in effect until rescinded by the Medical Center Director. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Medical Center Director.
What else you need to know.
You will need to receive two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, and one does of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to be more fully protected. Depending on the vaccine you receive, you may need to be available to come back to the location you received your first dose in either 21 or 28 days for your second dose.
After you receive the vaccine, it will still be important to continue wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, and staying at least 6 feet from others who don’t live with you until the virus is under control. It is our hope the vaccines will help us all come through this pandemic together.
Please talk to your Care Team today about your vaccine options if you have not received a COVID-19 vaccination!
Martinsburg VA Medical Center
Martinsburg VAMC Premiers Disposable Duodenoscopes
A nurse demonstrates how to use a disposable duodenoscope. Duodenoscopes are a flexible, lighted tube instrument used by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians during procedures that are used to diagnose and treat Veterans with what can be life-threatening diseases such as tumors or cancers in the pancreas or bile ducts, as well as infections and gallstones.
By Chiray Weatherholtz
Friday, July 23, 2021
The Martinsburg VAMC Medical Service (VAMC) is excited to debut new, single use duodenoscope technology that safeguards Veterans even more by reducing the possibility of health care associated infections to almost zero.
Duodenoscopes are a flexible, lighted tube instrument used by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians during procedures that are used to diagnose and treat Veterans with what can be life-threatening diseases such as tumors or cancers in the pancreas or bile ducts, as well as infections and gallstones.
One of these procedures is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) which is a safer and less invasive alternative to surgery and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
However, despite adherence to strict and rigorous protocols for the disinfection, there is always the minute possibility of Health care Associated Infections (HAIs) when using reusable medical equipment. This is especially true of duodenoscopes, which are complex instruments with many small working parts.
A single use duodenoscope eliminates the need for reprocessing and allows physicians to use a new, completely sterile device for every procedure. This breakthrough device for patient safety was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2020.
At the Martinsburg VAMC, Medical Service is excited to debut this new disposable technology, which further safeguards its Veterans. “The single use duodenoscope gives our Veterans the peace of mind knowing their medical equipment has never been used on another patient,” says Dr. Amr Elgamal, Acting Chief of Medicine.
While the FDA continues to make a push for more modern design features that eliminate the need for duodenoscope disinfection, the Martinsburg VAMC stays ahead of the curve by solely the disposable version.