Veterans Affairs

Legislative Chair: Representative Juanita Head Walton (MO)

OVERVIEW: This Committee is currently focused on improving quality of care for veterans while reducing costs, implementing community-based models in support of reintegration for returning warriors, and removing barriers to employment for veterans.

Leading from the Front... Transforming Care for Female Veterans

Nearly 10% of our Nation's 23 million veterans are women. The number of female veterans is expected to increase by another 15% by 2035, making them almost a quarter of our Nation's veterans. American's returning women warriors are exhibiting many unique effects of deployment and combat creating new challenges for the VA, primary care providers, behavioral health providers, and policy makers. Exploring integrative healthcare options, this Committee is evaluating solutions that are effective, affordable and accessible.

Bridging the Divide in Behavioral Health

Forging the right partnerships and thinking outside of the box will revolutionize the world of addiction treatment and recovery. Prisons across the nation are filled with repeat offenders who haven't found a way to kick their habits, and veterans facilities are stacked with heroes who self-medicate to alleviate their physical and emotional pain. This Committee is working in conjunction with NFWL's Crime, Justice, Terrorism & Substance Abuse Policy Committee to identify proven and effective solutions that work.

This Committee has been working with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Loyola Recovery Foundation, WestCare Foundation, and many other organizations who have implemented successful models, providing a pathway to hope in reducing recidivism as well as targeting specific populations that often go unnoticed, such as our wounded warriors.

The Community Blueprint: A Model for Serving Veterans and their Families

With over one million service members transitioning and returning to their communities over the next five years, as reported by the Pentagon's Office of Warrior and Family Support, the Community Blueprint encourages a comprehensive, local support system that addresses the diverse issues and needs impacting returning service members, veterans and their families. Developed by a coalition of more than 55 veteran and military-serving organizations, non-profits and government agencies, the Community Blueprint aims to inspire, equip and mobilize veterans to engage their local communities through meaningful service.

Putting Veterans to Work, Removing Employment Barriers

Encouraging the coordinated efforts of women elected officials, State Workforce Agencies and State Departments of Labor to remove barriers in the language of current Workforce Investment Act (WIA) rules to permit service members in transition accessibility to educational and retraining opportunities for jobs that are currently in demand.

Committee Resolutions:

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