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From the Top: Building on PVA's Success

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News January 2017

Working with the nation's capital

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As I write this, the election has just passed, and we await the swearing in of America’s 45th president.

Working within the nation’s capital gives you a front row seat for the politics that deeply divide our country. And while no election is without controversy, this one has been a tsunami of political angst. I’m personally relieved the American people have made their decision, and now we can all get back to business.

As a matter of priority for Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), that means building on last year’s accomplishments and progress and working with the new White House administration to ensure you, our members, are represented in the larger discussion of the future of veterans’ health care.  

Much has been debated about Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) privatization within the media and on the campaign trail. However, now that our country has a new commander in chief, decisions will be made that affect all of us, as well as future generations of veterans.

For more than 70 years, PVA has made your voices heard and advocated for your best interests. We will not rest on our laurels now. PVA will focus on our mission and remain true to our core values, as we’ve done through 12 transitions of presidential power. 

By remaining steadfast in our commitment to our nation’s veterans, last fiscal year we were able to secure more than $1 billion in benefits for those who have earned them; more than 365 jobs for those who sought them; and 11,205 hours of pro bono legal services for those who needed them. 

We also made progress in the ongoing struggle to provide fertility services at the VA. 

Last September, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that will provide three cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) for veterans whose injuries have compromised their ability to conceive naturally. Now, we must work to see the program is properly funded and quickly implemented.

Headway in this initiative will be bolstered by the strong relationships we’ve forged with nurses and clinicians in the VA health care system, relationships in large part made possible by the site visits we conduct annually at all VA spinal-cord injury (SCI) centers.

We also host nurses and clinicians each year at PVA’s Summit + Expo, which broke attendance records late last August, as more than 800 health care professionals joined us for a three-day learning experience in Jacksonville, Fla. These endeavors inform our health care advocacy, ensuring that we are addressing the most urgent needs for veterans with SCI.

All of these accomplishments are the result of the hard work and commitment of PVA leaders, staff, volunteers, chapters, partners and supporters. And that’s precisely how we’ll continue to build on these accomplishments.

The landscape may change; the rules of engagement may change; the tactics may change … but the mission doesn’t change.

It’s a new year with new opportunities, and PVA will bring you, your families and your caregivers new successes on which to build a better quality of life. That’s our promise to you.

Happy New Year!  

 

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From the Top: Building on PVA's Success

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