Legion supports action to preserve future of Arlington National Cemetery
American Legion National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division Deputy Director Gerardo Avila testified before the House Military Personnel Subcommittee on March 8 about the future of Arlington National Cemetery as it relates to preserving the promise for America’s heroes.
“The hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, which has stood since the Civil War as the crown jewel of reverence for the fallen men and women who have served this nation during peace and wartime, is at a crossroads in its long proud history,” Avila said. “The likelihood that Arlington, with its150-year history, could cease to operate within the next three decades is a real possibility.”
Avila said extending the life of Arlington as an active cemetery will require difficult decisions to be made. In recognizing this reality, The American Legion passed Resolution No. 93, urging congress to codify eligibility criteria to be restricted for servicemembers who died in the line of duty and for other distinguished individuals including: Read More
Legion provides position on House legislation
American Legion National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division Director Louis Celli testified at a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on March 7 to give the Legion’s positions on pending and draft House Resolution (H.R.) bills.
H.R. 3497: Modernization of Medical Records Access for Veterans Act of 2017
According to Celli’s written statement, The American Legion has long endorsed and supported the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in creating a lifetime Electronic Health Records (EHR) system. The Legion has also encouraged both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the VA to either use the same EHR system or, at the very least, use systems that were interoperable.
Celli said the Legion was disappointed when the VA and DoD decided to go in different directions. In 2015, DoD announced that Cerner was awarded a coveted $4.3 billion, 10-year contract to overhaul the Pentagon’s electronic health records for millions of active military members and retirees. However, around the same time, the VA announced it would maintain and modernize VistA.
Last June, VA Secretary David Shulkin announced that the VA would adopt the same Cerner HER system as DoD. Celli said the impending contract, which the VA is in the final stages of negotiating, will set the standard for record transferability and standardization in America.
This new national standard, according to Celli, will increase patient access, decrease wait times and enhance good medicine for all Americans, not just veterans. … Read More