VA partners with OnStar to bring suicide prevention services to Veterans with the push of a button

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is partnering with OnStar’s emergency services to improve access to suicide prevention resources for Veterans.

This partnership will offer Veterans in crisis the opportunity to be transferred to around-the-clock, confidential support via VA’s Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) when they use the emergency services button in an OnStar-equipped vehicle or OnStar Guardian smartphone app.

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The NEW VA Rx Refill Mobile App

The NEW Rx Refill Mobile App: You can request refills of your refillable VA-issued prescriptions, track VA prescription deliveries, view VA prescription history from the convenience of your mobile device.

Four ways to refill your VA prescriptions during the pandemic:

  1. Online with MyHealtheVet 
  2. The NEW Rx Refill Mobile App 
  3. Call your local VA Pharmacy number on the prescription label
  4. By mail: VA Refill Form
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Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019

We are proud to inform you that President Trump signed H.R. 886 – Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019 on August 8, 2020.  This will provide approximately $20 million dollars to the VA and Homeland Security to help over 600 Veterans Courts throughout the country.
Not sure about the details but we a excited that our President and Congress recognize the need.  The Act mentions the Country has over 600 Veterans Courts in the Country.  Note: Justice for Vets has trained over 250 Veterans Treatment Courts, so there are many others who do not use Justice for Vets program.
When we (Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council and Vet to Vet Tennessee) started in 2013 there were less than a hundred VTCs and only 83 VTC trained mentors.  Thanks for all of your support and prayers.

Welcome Grace Episcopal Church of San Marcos CA

We are pleased to announce our newest Veteran/Military Friendly Lead Congregation to the VMFC network, Grace Episcopal Church. Thank you Pastor Frank Munoz and Lay Leader Cynde Durnford for joining our mission. California is the fastest growing VMFC communities in the country; thank your Pastor Marcos and Lay Leader Durnford more helping us grow. Grace Episcopal Church is also the first VMFC to enroll during the COVID 19 pandemic. . Blessing to good health.

VA telehealth and telecounseling is available and a good way to help veterans who are isolated and alone during this crisis. Please click here to learn more about the VA’s Video Connect Help Desk Support.

Coronavirus: What Veterans Need to Know

Our call centers and some VA health facilities are experiencing very high numbers of calls. To help us address the most urgent needs first, we ask that you use our online tools for routine or non-urgent questions. The CDC defines COVID-19 as a new type of coronavirus. If you have a fever, a cough, and shortness of breath, call your VA medical center before going to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room. You can also send your doctor a secure message. Contacting us first helps us protect you, medical staff, and other patients. Concerns about COVID-19 can be stressful for many people, and it’s understandable to feel anxious. Let VA help. We have answers to your questions.   Learn more

New Design for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal

After 5 years of working with the Soo Ha from the Office of Defense Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Korea Soo has retired. Soo has helped Vet to Vet Tennessee provide hundreds of happy moments celebrating the lives of our American Korean War Heroes Because of Soo’s dedication, admiration and respect he has helped us present the Ambassador for Peace Medal to over 200 American Korean War Veterans across the country; 44 states. Several of the recipients fought in the Chosin Reservoir.

On February 11, 2020 Soo Ha was replaced with Unyou Noh (Katie Noh). Several days after our introduction Katie shipped 13 newly designed Ambassador for Peace Medals to Vet to Vet Tennessee. Because of her prompt attention to her new position, the facilitated response allowed Vet to Vet Tennessee provide the medals to two (2) Korean War Veterans before the passed. Thank you Katie.

If you or your loved one served in Korea during the Korean War and would like to apply for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal please click here to determine if you are eligible and if so apply online.

New VMFC Lead Congregation in Denver

On February 10, 2020 the Military Chaplains Association received an enrollment form from our newest Lead Congregation from the Shorter Community AME Church in Denver Colorado from Veterans Ministry Reverend Robert Carpenter.

Shorter Community AME Church, organized in July 1868, by Bishop Thomas M.D. Ward, was the first African-American Church established in Colorado. The Church has grown form a log cabin erected in lots at the corner of 19th and Holladay Streets (now Market Street) to its current locations, “Freedom Crossroads”, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Richard Allen Court. St. John AME Church was organized by Bishop Thomas M. D. Ward.  The new Veterans Ministry will be the Church’s 35th Ministry.

Let’s welcome our newest Lead Congregation Pastor Dr. Timothy Tyler and Lay Leader Reverend Robert Carpenter to our VMFC family.

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TN Governor Bill Lee Recognizes teen suicide as a state health crisis

On February 3, 2020 TN Governor Bill Lee signed HJR 0001 “Statement of Intent or Position – Recognizes teen suicide as a health crisis in Tennessee.”  This bill was originally introduced on November 7, 2018.  In which time the rate of TN suicides surpassed the national rate according to YRBSS definitely qualifying youth suicide as a crisis.

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VA announces proposed rule regarding equal treatment of faith-based organizations in VA-supported social service programs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  proposed a rule, Jan. 16, that would implement President Trump’s, May 3, 2018, Executive Order (EO) establishing a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to remove regulatory barriers allowing religious and non-religious organizations equal treatment in VA-supported social service programs. 

The proposed rule ensures VA-supported social service programs are implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution and other applicable federal law. 

Under current regulations governing these programs, religious providers of social services — but not other providers of social services — must make referrals under certain circumstances and must post notices regarding this referral procedure. VA’s proposed rule would eliminate religious providers from this requirement.  

The current hinderances were not required by any applicable law, and because they were imposed only on religious social service providers, they are in tension with recent Supreme Court precedent regarding nondiscrimination against religious organizations. The proposed rule will foreclose other unequal treatment of religious organizations by ensuring they are not required to provide assurances or notices that are not required of secular organizations.  

By compelling religious organizations, but not secular organizations, to post special notices and make referrals, the alternative-provider requirements unequally placed impediments on religious organizations and cast unwarranted suspicion on them. 

Additionally, the proposed rule will clarify that religious organizations may apply for awards on the same basis as any other organization and that when VA selects award recipients, VA will not discriminate based on an organization’s religious character. The proposed rule further clarifies that religious organizations participating in VA-supported social service programs retain their independence from the government and may continue to carry out their missions consistent with religious freedom protections in federal law, under the First Amendment.  

The proposed rule incorporates the Attorney General’s 2017 Memorandum for All Executive Departments and Agencies, Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty. That memorandum was issued pursuant to President Trump’s, May 4, 2017, Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty, which guides all federal administrative agencies and executive departments in complying with federal law. 

“Protecting religious liberty is a key part of ensuring Veterans, families and potential partners — no matter their religious beliefs — feel welcome to work with and seek services from VA,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These important changes will help us accomplish these important goals.”