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The Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP), a collaborative effort between the University Of Texas Health Science Center — San Antonio, San Antonio Military Medical Center, and the Boston VA Medical Center will attempt to develop the most effective diagnostic, prognostic, novel treatment and rehabilitative strategies to treat acute PTSD and prevent chronic PTSD.

The Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC), a collaborative effort between Virginia Commonwealth University, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Richmond VA Medical Center will examine the factors that influence the chronic effects of mTBI and common co-morbidities in order to improve diagnostic and treatment options. A key point will be to further the understanding of the relationship between mTBI and neurodegenerative disease.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 2.5 million American service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Military service exposes service members to a variety of stressors, including risk to life, exposure to death, injury, sustained threat of injury and the day-to-day family stress inherent in all phases of the military life cycle.

To improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions, the president released an Executive Order directing the federal agencies to develop a coordinated National Research Action Plan.

The Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Education (ED) came forward with a wide-reaching plan to improve scientific understanding, effective treatment and reduce occurrences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, co-occurring conditions and suicide.

• The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently welcomed the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) to the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Community of Practice (CoP), which was established in May to speed the processing of veterans’ disability compensation claims by promoting the early submission of all available evidence needed by VA to reach a disability rating decision.

NASDVA joins Veteran Service Organizations, the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, who are charter members of the community.

“We’re thrilled NASDVA is part of the effort to increase the number of veterans filing fully developed claims so that earned benefits can be delivered faster,” Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey said. “State Veterans Affairs offices help many thousands of veterans across the country each year to get the benefits they deserve, and their support is critical in meeting our goal of processing all claims within 125 days in 2015.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.