Saturday, October 25, 2014

Alabama VA Director FIRED

Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed

Permanent Director Sought



Montgomery, AL – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formally removed the Director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHCS) from federal service. This decision followed an investigation by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR) in which allegations of neglect of duty were substantiated.
This removal action underscores VA’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and get Veterans the care they need. OAR, which reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, assists VA facilities in accelerating leadership accountability actions and ensuring that such actions are applied consistently across the Department.
The Veterans Health Administration will begin recruiting a Director for CAVHCS. To ensure continuity of care for Veterans and leadership for VA employees during the recruitment period, Dr. Robin Jackson, Deputy Network Director, VISN 7, has been designated acting CAVHCS director.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Statement from new VA Chief


From the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-va-secretary-20141023-story.html#

By Robert A. McDonald

October 23, 2014

During preparation for my confirmation as secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), I was repeatedly asked, "Why doesn't VA just hand out vouchers allowing veterans to get care wherever they want?" For a department recovering from serious issues involving health care access and scheduling of appointments, that was a legitimate question.

After nine weeks at VA, travel to 31 VA facilities in 15 cities, discussions with hundreds of veterans and VA clinicians, meetings with 75 Members of Congress, two hearings before the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs committees and dozens of meetings with Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders, I can answer that question.

Veterans need VA, and many more Americans benefit from VA.

Almost 9 million veterans are enrolled to receive health care from VA — a unique, fully-integrated health care system, the largest in the nation. The VA stands atop a critical triad of support — three pillars that enable holistic health care for our patients: research, leading to advances in medical care; training that's essential to build and maintain proficiency of care; and delivery of clinical care to help those in need.

VA's accomplishments on all three pillars and contributions to the practice of medicine are as broad, historically significant and profound as they are generally unrecognized.

VA is affiliated with over 1,800 educational institutions providing powerful teaching and research opportunities. And our research initiatives, outcomes and honors are tremendous. Few understand that VA medical professionals:

•Pioneered and developed modern electronic medical records;

•Developed the implantable cardiac pacemaker;

•Conducted the first successful liver transplants;

•Created the nicotine patch to help smokers quit;

•Crafted artificial limbs that move naturally when stimulated by electrical brain impulses;

•Demonstrated that patients with total paralysis could control robotic arms using only their thoughts — a revolutionary system called "Braingate";

•Identified genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Werner's syndrome, among others;

•Applied bar-code software for administering medications to patients — the initiative of a VA nurse;

•Proved that one aspirin a day reduced by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart attacks in patients with unstable angina;

•Received three Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology; seven prestigious Lasker Awards, presented to people who make major contributions to medical science or public service on behalf of medicine; and two of the eight 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medals.

No single institution trains more doctors or nurses than VA. More than 70 percent of all U.S. doctors have received training at VA. Each year, VA trains, educates and provides practical experience for 62,000 medical students and residents, 23,000 nurses and 33,000 trainees in other health fields — people who go on to provide health care not just to veterans but to most Americans.

The 278,000 employees of the Veterans Health Administration work in a system spanning all 50 states and beyond, providing — from Maine to Manila — a high volume of quality, clinical care. Our 150 flagship VA Medical Centers are connected to 819 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, 300 Vet Centers providing readjustment counseling, 135 Community Living Centers, 104 Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Centers, and to mobile medical clinics, mobile Vet Centers and telehealth programs providing care to the most remote veterans.

That network of facilities allows VA to deliver care to veterans from the greatest generation of World War II to the latest generation from Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2013, VA provided over 90 million episodes of care; that's an average of over 240,000 each day. And since 2004, the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey has consistently shown that veterans receiving inpatient and outpatient care from VA hospitals and clinics give a higher customer satisfaction score, on average, than patients at private sector hospitals.

Finally, VA is uniquely positioned to contribute to the care of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), prosthetics, PTSD and other mental health conditions, and the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hepatitis. The work we do in these areas, as well as many others, produces results and life changing improvements in care for veterans — and for all Americans and people around the world who suffer from these conditions.

Fixing access to VA care is important; we have a plan to do that and are dedicated to implementing it. That process will take time — but it must be done, and we will be successful. Those who fully understand the value of the department in research, training, and clinical care understand that veterans and all Americans need and deserve their VA to continue providing exceptional care to those we serve.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reviews


Sorry to be so lax in posting. Am trying to get better at Posting, and physically and mentally as well



Lost Covenant
Ari Marmell
Pyr, $17.99
ISBN: 9781616148119

Several months have passed since teenage orphan Widdershins and her god Olgun, of whom no one else reveres, fled Davillon. During their journey, the former relatively successful thief and failed ex tavern-keeper learns that the family of her deceased savior Alexandre Delacroix is in trouble from the machinations of a rival house.

Feeling she owes a debt from when she an urchin called Adrienne Sati before and during the time kind Alexandre removed her from the streets; Widdershins decides to protect the Delacroix house. Thus she and the tiny god inside her investigate the insidious plot. The late Alexandre’s family distrusts his adopted daughter, which makes her efforts more dangerous to her, Olgun and the Delacroix clan.

This Widdershins thriller (see Thief’s Covenant and False Covenant) is an entertaining investigative fantasy due to the schizophrenic-like antics of the protagonist. Though there remains plenty of magic, the fun is with Widdershins’ debates with her deity and her (and us) hearing people’s casual phoniness and transgressions. Fast-paced with humor from a persistent suitor and satirizing hypocrisy, readers will enjoy Widdershins to the rescue of those who scorn her.
Harriet Klausner


1920: America's Great War
Robert Conroy
Baen, $25.00
ISBN 9781451639315

In 1914 Southern France, the British Expeditionary Force’s dejected soldiers sit in mud as their officers surrender to the Germans. Their only solace is the French suffered worse at the Battle of the Marne when their ally’s army collapsed in its entirety while these brothers in arms remain defeated but intact. The German western front has become quiet too as the powerful army is devastated the Russians. The Kaiser owns Europe as the world’s only superpower.

By 1920 Russia remains embroiled in a long-running terrible civil war and almost all the rest of Europe allied or totally consolidated under German rule. Kaiser Wilhelm II knows the only threat to his dynasty is the United States with its incredibly growing economy. The Germans also know militarily their foe is weak as ailing President Wilson believes in peace so spends little money on an offensive fighting force. Not wanting to risk that a White House successor will prove formidable by using the industrial complex to create a powerful modern day military, the Germans persuade Mexico to join them in a blitzkrieg through California and Texas with plans for their ally to annex what was once their territory.

Though there is similarity to Robert Conroy’s 1901, the major differences include changed invasion locale with Mexican support; the motivation to defeat a sleeping giant before it awakens vs. colonization; and the blitzkrieg victory in Europe. Filled with action and real persona like an overbearing Churchill, this fast-paced alternate history uses the Battle of the Marne as the key pivotal moment to change our reality. Although the aftermath of the climactic Battle of California seems abrupt, readers will enjoy Mr. Conroy’s exciting tale. Harriet Klausner

Alien Research
Gini Koch
DAW, $7.99
ISBN 9780756409432

While completing Operation Sherlock A-C Ambassador Jeff Martini was named to fill the vacant New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District seat (see Alien In The House). His wife Kitty Katt-Martini remains the A-C Ambassador, a position they shared.

Protestors spoil breakfast with her daughter Jamie and their friends by a garbage assault on their limo followed by the new leader of Club 51 in her face telling her that the aliens and their human Quislings will soon die. Kitty returns to the Embassy only to learn some Congressional reps want the FBI to launch an inquiry into the events at Gaultier Enterprises and Titan Security. However she has no time to react to that undesirable news as A-C Embassy Security Chief Walter from his training site contacts Kitty with the fact that he and his staff are in trouble. The situation turns further dire when the impossible occurs with the hacking of the highly protected Centaurion files culminating with the destruction of the in-house data. Kitty knows that only the legendary rumored to exist Chernobog the Ultimate could have performed this task.

Although the trademark cultural misunderstandings humor is much less than normal in this darker than usual entry, readers will enjoy the latest Alien science fiction (see Alien Diplomacy). Once again the size of the cast expanded making the need of a Cecil De Mille sized cast scorecard a necessity while the paranormal rescues feel overused. Still series fans will appreciate this exhilarating thriller as Kitty Katt and company face several dangerous attacks.
Harriet Klausner

Launching BURN FOR ME, start of #1 NYT Bestselling Ilona Andrews new HIDDEN LEGACY series w/HarperCollins





Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for an immensely talented writing duo (Ilona and Gordon Andrews), who live near the Austin/San Antonio markets. Ilona is Russian born, and beautifully paints the pointed, take-charge heroine’s POV; while the husband half of the author pair provides the alpha male perspective. And their partnership works so well on paper.



BURN FOR ME
is so good. It’s the perfect urban fantasy for the market right now – with so many series ending, readers are desperate for the start of something new. This is perfect for fans of Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris. Just to prove that I’m not the only one burning up over this book – early reviews are starting to trickle in, from reviewers and bloggers, and I’ve seldom seen such excitement for a new project:



THE BOOK SWARM
: Action, magic, chemistry and plenty of heat — what else could you ask for? I’m hearing that this is only a trilogy, which makes me terribly sad. I want ten books, minimum. Maybe more.

PARAJUNKEE: Fantastic plot, ridiculously meticulous world building and characters that will burrow inside you and take up residence. Don’t miss out on BURN FOR ME.

ANGIEVILLE: Burn for Me is just a cracking good read. The action, mystery, romance, and humor are all entwined in just such a way as to make the reading of it a nonstop pleasure. My interest never flagged, and I liked Neva and Rogan every bit as much as I hoped I would.

BEWITCHED BOOKWORMS:
Burn For Me was an absolutely fantastic kick off into a new series, which I am sure will be one of my favorite series to follow from here on! It comes with an incredible kick ass heroine, which I love to pieces and who is easily to be admired for her strength and awesomeness…If you love Urban Fantasy with action and romance mingled perfectly together – then this is a Must -Read!

GOT FICTION?:
If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. You know what? It’s my blog. I will give this book all the stars! You hear that people? All. The. Stars. Read this book. Read it and you can thank me later.

WICKED SCRIBES:
Bottom Line: Exceptional story, multi-layered plot, intriguing characters that you really want to see more of, add all that to some nice little perks for veterans and you have a story that is hard to beat with enough similarity to our own world to make you feel at home just a bit (well a small bit minus the magic). 5 Stars, highly recommended which is actually more than I think I gave the first Kate Daniels book.

RT BOOK REVIEWS:
Intriguing, multilayered characters and a fresh, imaginative alternate reality based in Houston help round out the heart-stopping, kick-butt action. Seeing Andrews’ name on a book is an iron-clad guarantee of an outstanding reading adventure!

BOOKLIST:
Readers will burn for the next installment.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
This series start from popular author Andrews serves up a refreshing new magical society, excellent world-building, beguiling characters, and strong storytelling… a lively, impressive series debut.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SOLARIS PRESS RELEASE

A SOLARIS PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

WWW.SOLARISBOOKS.COM
Solaris Books™ is a trademark or registered trademark used by or under the licence of the Rebellion Group or its associated companies.

Dangerous Games: An anthology of original short stories

Edited by Jonathan Oliver

UK: 9781781082652 | 4th December 2014 | £7.99
US: 9781781082683 | 4th December 2014 | $7.99
Available in paperback and ebook

In recent years, no one publisher has done as much for the short form of speculative fiction
in Britain as Solaris. – tor.com

In a world ruled by chance, one rash decision could bring down the house, one roll of the dice could bring
untold wealth, or the end of everything.

The players have gathered around the table, each to tell their story—often dark, always compelling. Within
you will find tales of the players and the played, lives governed by games deadly, weird, or downright
bizarre.

In this anthology of the weird and the macabre, multi-award-winning editor Jonathan Oliver brings
together a diverse collection of voices from some of today’s finest writers, to create an original and fresh
collection that’s unlike anything you’ve read before.

Dangerous Games
features new works from Hugo award-winners, brilliant new talents and best-selling
authors, including: Chuck Wendig, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Lavie Tidhar, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Paul
Kearney, Libby McGugan, Yoon Ha Lee, Gary Northfield, Melanie Tem, Hillary Monahan, Tade Thompson,
Rebecca Levene, Ivo Stourton, Gary McMahon, Robert Shearman, Nik Vincent, Helen Marshall, and Pat
Cadigan.
Roll the bones at your own risk December 2014…
Table of Contents:
Introduction, Jonathan Oliver
Big Man, Chuck Wendig
The Yellow Door, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Die, Lavie Tidhar
Chrysalises, Benjanun Sriduangkaew
South Mountain, Paul Kearney
The Game Changer, Libby McGugan
Distinguishing Characteristics, Yoon Ha Lee
Captain Zzapp!!! – Space Hero from 3000 AD, Gary Northfield
Death Pool, Melanie Tem
The Bone Man’s Bride, Hillary Monahan
Honourable Mention, Tade Thompson
Loser, Rebecca Levene
Two Sit Down, One Stands Up, Ivo Stourton
Ready or Not, Gary McMahon
The Monogamy of Wild Beasts, Robert Shearman
The Stranger Cards, Nik Vincent
All Things Fall Apart and Are Built Again, Helen Marshall
Lefty Plays Bridge, Pat Cadigan

About the Editor

Jonathan Oliver is the multi-award winning editor of The End of The Line, Magic,
House of Fear, End of the Road and Dangerous Games. He’s also written a couple of
novels and a bunch of short stories. He lives in Abingdon with his family and their
cat.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ellison In Hospital Following Stroke

This is taken from FILE 770 by Mike Glyer. I take no credit for it.


Ellison In Hospital Following Stroke
Posted on October 12, 2014

Harlan Ellison suffered a stroke on Thursday, October 9 and is hospitalized. Harlan’s right side is paralyzed, his wife Susan told readers of his forum.

Mark Evanier adds he has been told Susan says Harlan’s mind is sharp and the rest of him seems unaffected.

Josh Olson commented on The Harlan Ellison Facebook Fan Club that a specialist visited Harlan on Friday: “She’s checking for slurring and loss of memory, and he’s being quintessential Harlan – talking a mile a minute, and throwing out more obscure references per minute than anyone can possibly keep up with.”