VA Says Report "Redefines How Care and Services Are Provided
to Gulf War Veterans"
WASHINGTON (Oct. 21, 2011)- Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki announced that the Department's Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
Task Force has completed the draft of a comprehensive report that will
outline how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) addresses the
concerns of Veterans who deployed during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.
"This report provides a roadmap for our continued enhancements in our
care and services we provide to Gulf War Veterans," said Shinseki. "We
will be applying lessons learned from this report to Veterans of all
Notification of the draft written report is published in the Federal
Register, and the draft written report addresses seven areas where VA
provides services for this group of Veterans.
Over the past year, the task force has examined, evaluated, designated
and adjusted the initial roadmap outlined in last year's report. VA has
designated steps to improve care and services to Gulf War I Veterans and
these improvements are becoming a part of our culture and operations.
This year's report focuses on improvements in the delivery of health
care for Gulf War Veterans. One of the most substantial additions is
modifications to clinical care models used for Gulf War Veterans, which
is the most critical point of service VA provides. There are better
linkages between specialty knowledge and services at the basic point of
care. Clinical research and development is significantly contributing
new concepts and methods to clinical practice and clinical education
Two new positions were established in the Office of Research and
Development for deployment and Desert Shield and Desert Storm
health-related issues. Both positions have been filled and are enhancing
research efforts for Gulf War Veterans and will continue to do so in the
VA is also strengthening partnerships and medical surveillance to
address the potential health impacts on Veterans from the environmental
exposures on today's battlefield. Additionally, VA continues to use
social media to improve communication with Gulf War Veterans.
The Chairman of the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force is John R.
Gingrich, chief of staff at VA, a retired Army officer who also served
in the Gulf War.
"To ensure we are tracking the needs of our Veterans, we want to get
feedback from Gulf War Veterans on this draft report," said Gingrich.
"Their feedback is critical to our efforts to understand and serve their
specific needs. Therefore, we hope they take advantage of one of the
different opportunities to provide feedback that we have created for
As a first step, VA is seeking public comments on the draft written
report before final publication. The public notice and instructions for
how to submit electronic and comments via postal mail will be posted at
report will be open for comment for 30 days.
In addition, VA recognizes
that a great number of Gulf War Veterans use the Internet on a daily
basis to share their ideas and concerns, so VA has also created a public
discussion board on the seven recommendations at:
To view the report without
making recommendations, please visit VA's website at