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Veterans Benefits Information

New Military Hospital to Serve Troops, Families in Europe

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Ground was broken Friday, Oct. 24 at the Rhine Ordnance Barracks, in Kaiserslautern, Germany as the Department of Defense prepares to replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the Ramstein Air Base Clinic. Starting in 2022, a new, world-class hospital will serve warfighters and their families stationed in Europe, and those deployed to the battlefields around the world.

Dr. Karen Guice, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, joined other Defense officials, members of the German government, and wounded warriors at the groundbreaking for the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center. The new facility will replace the 61-year-old Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, and the Ramstein Air Base Clinic operated by the 86th Medical Group, consolidating these facilities into one joint-service facility.

“This new hospital will continue to provide a place of healing for our warriors in battle, continuing 60 years of service and commitment into the future,” Guice said during the ceremony at the largest American hospital outside of the United States and the only American tertiary hospital in Europe. “It is both the legacy of Landstuhl and the promise of our new medical center that send an unmistakable message to our friends and to our adversaries that no one is left on the battlefield; that we will always care for and protect our service members and their families.”

Landstuhl has been a long-time fixture of the American military medical community in Europe, serving soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines for more than 60 years. With a staff of more than 3,300 service members and civilian employees, it provides primary care, tertiary care, hospitalization and treatment for more than 217,000 U.S. military personnel and their families within the European Command, as well as caring for members of coalition forces serving in Afghanistan, as well as Africa Command, Central Command and European Command.

The Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center will be approximately 985,000 gross square feet, with nine operating rooms, 68 beds, and 120 exam rooms. The project includes a surge capacity that will allow it to rapidly expand to 93 beds. Additional project features include an administrative building, structured parking, a central utility plant, support infrastructure and roads, and an access control point. The design will also comply with stringent German environmental quality requirements.


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Central Alabama VA Healthcare System Director Removed

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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.

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USAMRIID supports Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response in West Africa

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FORT DETRICK, Md. (Oct. 22, 2014) -- From on-site laboratory support in Liberia, to training of key personnel, to accelerated research efforts on diagnostic, vaccine and treatment approaches, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases is playing a significant role in assisting the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak response in West Africa.

Ebola virus causes a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic disease in humans and non-human primates. Currently there are no licensed vaccines or drugs to fight the disease, and case fatality rates as high as 90 percent have been reported in past outbreaks. As of Oct. 15, the World Health Organization reported at least 8,997 cases and 4,493 deaths in seven affected countries. These include Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Spain, as well as the first-ever case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S.

That patient, a man who had recently traveled from Liberia to the U.S., died Oct. 8. Read more


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Secretary McDonald Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun: VA is critical to medicine and vets

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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.

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Face of Defense: Airmen Support Ebola Operations

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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Oct. 22, 2014 – As service members travel to Africa in support of Operation United Assistance, Ramstein Air Base continues to establish itself as a power projection platform for Europe and Africa.

Medical professionals from the 86th Medical Group recently implemented plans to ensure safety precautions are taken to protect the air crews, passengers and the 54,000 members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community from possible exposure to the Ebola virus. Read more


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