Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee Meeting Notes (7 Jan. 2019)

#5 Congresswoman Chellie Pingree – Pam Twinward  The omnibus veterans bill S2248 mandated that the VA work with veteran service organizations to develop plain language debt notifications that clearly outline a veteran’s options and that veterans are given the option of receiving electronic notifications in addition to mailed copies (this is the language that was taken from Congresswoman Pingree’s bill that passed the house last year.) S2248 also requires the VA to provide electronic proof to student veterans that they will receive a housing payment from the VA that they can use to show a prospective landlord, and prohibits colleges from collecting a late fee or requiring GI Bill users to take out additional loans because of delayed VA payments.  The new house chair for the Veterans Affairs Committee is Mark Takano, has listed oversight of the VA as his initial priorities for the committee including:  The GI Bill payment delay issue  The MaraLago troika of private sector individuals who reportedly have had a say in shaping VA policies (privatization)  Complaints by VSOs that they are not being included in discussions on health care access standards #6 MVS/Volunteer Services – Jonathan Barczyk  There was a lot of Volunteer Support for Holiday Parties. Many gifts were donated so that veterans could give their families. Clothing, electronics etc. There were also some great meals provided.  National Salute to Veterans Patients will be February 14 th . Volunteers welcome.  Fisher House is 25% done. Hiring a manager soon.  Coaching into Care – a service to coach/teach a veteran friend or family member how to persuade a veteran to seek care. 1- 888-823-7458  Distributed the Winter Wish List #7 Maine Veterans Home – Kelley Kash  Distributed Maine Veterans Homes 2019 calendar with profiles of current residents. Additional copies can be ordered on the Facebook page and website.  MVH will be breaking ground for a new 138 bed home in Augusta overlooking Maine General planned for early 2021. Current home is 150 bed but trends are indicating increasing numbers of veterans seeking at-home care. New Home will be based on individual households. 12 Households planned with 10-15 bed each. Ground breaking ceremony will be in April 2019.  Question from Teague regarding other replacement homes. Scarborough home will be next. The 3 largest homes in Maine subsidize the other homes.  Demand for MVH is increasing due to the closure of 4 Nursing homes. #8 Maine Bureau of Veterans Services – Dave Richmond Acting Director  Federal Authority coming to Maine on Wednesday to discuss Grant Project  Update on LD1231. An Act Regarding Mental Health Care for Maine Veterans. Original budget was 700-800K. To date only 100K has been used. Program provides free counseling (up to 6 a month) There is a workgroup meeting on Jan 16 th with Dr. Walker to determine where veterans ​are being referred when they present for care. LD 1231 can close the gap for veterans that are not eligible for care at the VA. Dave gave an example of a National Guard veterans (7 year) that committed suicide and could possibly have benefitted from the counseling services of this program.  The artist for the Maine Veterans Coin was notified today that their design was selected.  HVAC (Homeless Veterans Action Committee) Meeting will be 28 January at Bangor Savings Bank.  LD 1736 (Veterans Emergency Financial Assistance). The contractor that administers this program will not be reimbursed for case-management services, only for the cost of processing the request and issuing a check. Old Business  We need more veterans to attend the meeting! Everyone encouraged to invite veterans.  Decision to change the time of the meeting back to 6pm to allow those working until 5 to attend. New Business  We need a secretary for the organization  David Patch submitted a document regarding priority goals. All veterans organizations have similar priority goals – to get veterans the help that they need.  Aide de Camp/Commander’s Call Meeting. We would like to see these reinstated. Dave Richmond will discuss with his boss.  Resume coordination with Maine Military and Community Network (MMCN). Next Meeting  4 February 2019, 1800 hours back at Maine Veterans Homes Augusta.

Pass the notes to all Veterans,send them to your Post,get the work out this is why you need to come to the meetings and put your voice out there.   Kelley

Post expires at 10:43am on Sunday February 10th, 2019

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