WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement
is being issued by the President's Commission On Care for America's
Returning Wounded Warriors:
Next month, this Commission will convene to publicly discuss our
recommendations. In doing so, we must fulfill the following objectives of
"*Evaluate and recommend improvements, where needed, to the transition
from wounded warrior status back to military service or civilian life
*Evaluate and recommend ways to ensure access to the highest quality
service for returning wounded warriors
*Analyze the effectiveness of the process through which health care
services and benefits are delivered."
As we have said from the beginning, we are solution driven. We will not
be issuing a report that points fingers. Our charge has and will be to
focus on solutions that can be activated in a reasonable time. We will also
not be issuing a report with a laundry list of recommendations. Our report
will be action oriented and patient centered with our primary goal being to
improve and simplify, where needed, the system of care for our service men
and women so they can transition, as soon and as best as possible, to
civilian life or active duty.
Our report is rooted in the work done by the Commission over the past
three months plus the work of other Task Forces and Commissions that have
been examining similar issues. This Commission has heard testimony at seven
public meetings and has conducted 23 site visits to military bases, VA
hospitals and treatment centers across the country. We have heard from
experts on providing physical and mental health care, navigating health
care and disability evaluation and compensation systems, members of
Congress and their staff, and most importantly, service men and women,
their families and the health care professionals charged with their care.
The Commission is also conducting its own nationwide survey of service men
and women and is currently analyzing the data.
As a Commission, we believe that honoring our injured service men and
-- Our nation must acknowledge the significant sacrifices of our wounded
and injured service members
-- While in most cases service members receive excellent care, the care
provided should meet the highest standards of quality.
-- Improving the system of care where needed will benefit all veterans for
generations to come.
-- Our goal is that the care provided heal, to the greatest possible
extent, the physical and mental wounds of our service members to enable
them to achieve their maximum potential.
-- It is imperative that we continue to value the significant
contributions of family members in supporting the health and well-
being of their loved ones.
These are the points that ground and guide our work.
We will receive today from our dedicated Commission members and staff
an overview of the work and observations from each of our Subcommittees.
Before they begin, we wanted to take a moment to share our general
observations on what the Commission has heard and learned thus far:
-- Creating a seamless system of care that meets the needs of those
wounded and injured should be a national priority.
-- The face of our military has changed -- as have their needs.
-- Some returning service members injured in the line of duty have complex
and often multiple injuries, placing greater challenges on the DoD and
VA as well as family members. These more complex injuries have also
revealed, in some cases, shortcomings with the existing system in
providing continuity of care.
-- Well meaning attempts over the years to reform health care in the
military and VA have produced many positive results that have also made
the system more complex and confusing in some areas. In these cases,
it is difficult for service members, their families, and caregivers to
understand how to navigate the system.
Our challenge is to redesign and simplify a health care system so it is
evidence based and meets the needs of patients and their families. With
these thoughts in mind, we look forward to hearing from the Subcommittees
today and discussing our recommendations in July.
For more information, please contact:
Nicholas J. Graham, 703-588-0407 or 571-451-6165 (cell)
Joann Donnellan, 703-588-0430 or 571-438-3939 (cell)
SOURCE President's Commission On Wounded Warriors