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April 19, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Veterans often faced with long waits for health care

VETERANS/HEALTH 
A new audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that veterans enrolling in health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs are typically faced with months-long waits before ever being able to see a medical provider. Wait-time manipulation and scheduling errors were found to be significant factors in causing such delays. (WaPo, 4/19)

The average waiting time — as measured from the time veterans requested that VA contact them to schedule appointments to when they were seen — at the six medical centers GAO studied ranged from 22 to 71 days. Of the 180 veterans GAO tracked, 60 still hadn’t been seen by the time the auditors ended their review last month, in several cases because VA never followed up on their requests to be contacted or because of other administrative errors.

FOOD/ENVIRONMENT | Op-ed: Celeste James of Kaiser Permanente and Ryan Strode of Arabella Advisors discuss the importance of building a “Good Food” system that uses sustainable farming practices and protects the Chesapeake Bay by avoiding large-scale industrial agriculture and over-fishing in the area. (Baltimore Sun, 4/13)

COMMUNITY | Inter-American Development Bank has launched a newly revamped Improving Lives grants program, open to nonprofit organizations serving low-income Latin American and Caribbean communities in the Washington metropolitan area. The program will combine five grants of up to $50,000 each with skills-based volunteering, and is aimed at promoting innovative projects involving community and economic development, health and well-being, education or the arts. Eligible organizations in the region may apply for grants by submitting proposals before 6 pm (EST) May 19, 2016. For more information, please read the requirements or write to idbcommunityrelations@iadb.org.

MARYLAND/ECONOMY | In a recent State of the Economy address, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker spoke on his vision for making the jurisdiction a high-demand area for business. (WBJ, 4/13)

WORKFORCE/RACE
– How can organizations in the social sector work to build more diverse workplaces and address persistent institutional biases? Here are three key tools that may lead to success. (SSIR, 4/14)

– Feds urged to fight ‘unconscious bias’ in hiring and promotions (WaPo, 4/14)

TRANSIT | Bikeshare services, convenient and healthy, have long been a great option for those who can afford their annual memberships. Now, one service is expanding its reach to lower-income District residents by implementing need-based annual membership fees. (DCist, 4/13)

JOBS
Washington AIDS Partnership, an initiative of WRAG that invests more than $1 million annually in local organizations to improve HIV/AIDS and health-related services, seeks a program associate.

– All Ages Read Together seeks an executive director.


New Majority Labs, an organization dedicated to empowering communities of color to identify and build solutions to their own challenges using data and community engagement tools, recently tasked seven black youth from the District’s Ivy City neighborhood with conducting a survey of their neighbors, then used their findings to develop a hip hop song about the evolving community.

– Ciara

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