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VA-DoD Program Serves Severely Disabled Combat Veterans
Date:5/7/2008

WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bolstering its commitment to improve services to those seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its federal partners have marked a milestone with establishment of a promised new office and deployment of workers to key military treatment facilities.

"The President vowed action on this key recommendation from his advisory commission on war veterans' needs, and today our new Federal Recovery Coordinator Program office is actively at work with dozens of severely injured patients around the country," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

In coordination with the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, the joint Federal Recovery Coordinator Program is designed to cut across bureaucratic lines and reach into the private sector as necessary to identify services needed for seriously wounded and ill service members, veterans and their families.

A key recommendation of a presidential commission chaired by former Sen. Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, the recovery coordinators do not directly provide care, but coordinates federal health care teams and private community resources to achieve the personal and professional goals of an individualized "life map" or recovery plan developed with the service members or veterans who qualify for the federal recovery coordinator program.

At VA, which is coordinating the recovery coordinators' office, a director has been appointed, Ginnean Quisenberry, and six field staff members are actively working with 85 patients at three major military treatment facilities, with four additional coordinators expected to be appointed soon.

Currently the federal recovery coordinators are based at three military hospitals most likely to receive severely wounded service members evacuated from the combat theater: Walter Reed Army Medi
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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