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President Obama Signs Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act

Thursday, May 6, 2010 Medico Legal News J E 4
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Wounded Warrior Project salutes the President and Congress for new law and encourages speedy implementation

WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project applauds President Obama for signing into law a measure that, for the first time, will ensure that families of veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan receive comprehensive, coordinated financial and other support that will enable them to provide these warriors with needed home-care. Enactment of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 has been the highest legislative priority for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which worked with Congress for more than a year to win its passage.

"Today brings hope for the families around the country who have dedicated their lives to caring for their wounded warriors at home and keeping them out of nursing homes," said Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director Steven Nardizzi. "We'll now shift our focus to ensuring that the Department of Veterans Affairs faithfully and quickly implements this law."

Passage of caregiver-assistance legislation came in response to recognition of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial toll that care-giving takes on the families of our country's most gravely wounded warriors.

Family members make great personal sacrifices to provide daily care to their loved ones, often giving up careers and putting their own lives on hold to be long-term, full-time caregivers. Approximately 2,000 of these wounded veterans have injuries so severe that they require help with everyday needs such as bathing, toileting and eating, or require constant watchful protection.

Under the new law, the Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for providing family caregivers of the most severely injured veterans with help in meeting some of their own basic needs - including training and technical support, respite care, counseling, health coverage, and modest financial support. The caregiver-assistance provisions of the new law become effective in nine months, giving the Department of Veterans Affairs time to work with stakeholders to develop an implementation plan.

"While we celebrate today, this is not the end of the road. The real celebration begins only when these families get the assistance they deserve," said Nardizzi. "This is Day 1 and every day that passes without implementation is another day these families will suffer. The clock is ticking."

Wounded Warrior Project is grateful to Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) for their strong stewardship of this legislation throughout the process.

The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act was supported by a broad coalition of veterans and military service organizations and Wounded Warrior Project was proud to work with groups like The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), National Military Families Association (NMFA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) on bringing awareness to the need for passage.

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project
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