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Medical Evaluation Programs

DoD, VA Ask for Veterans' Comments on Clinical Practice Guidelines

Building on the lessons of the 1990-1991 Gulf War, the DoD and VA are expanding existing clinical programs for post-deployment screening and evaluation. The Departments are developing clinical practice guidelines to assist health care providers in screening and evaluating service members with health concerns following deployment. These deployment health guidelines are currently in development, with pilot testing scheduled for summer of 2001. During this development phase, program managers are asking for veterans' input. To ensure your comments are considered, please write to charles.engel@amedd.army.mil by December 31, 2000. Your input is an important component of the planning process.

DoD's Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program (CCEP)

DoD established the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program to provide an in-depth medical evaluation to all eligible beneficiaries who have health concerns following service in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. All service members eligible for health care at DoD medical facilities include 1990-1991 Gulf War veterans now on active duty or retired; and all members of the Reserve components who are placed on orders by their units; and eligible family members of such personnel. To register, individuals should call the DoD toll-free number at (800-796-9699).

Medical Follow-Up Program

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have instituted a new program to evaluate veterans with exposures to Deplete Uranium (DU) which have been determined to have produced the highest resultant dosage. This program will allow scientific documentation of the presence or absence of medical effects from such DU exposures. Approximately 300 soldiers will be contacted by the former Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (now Force Health Protection & Readiness Policy & Programs) to validate their DU exposure and to encourage them to participate in the medical follow-up program. The evaluation will consist of a complete physical examination, a DU exposure questionnaire and a 24-hour urine collection for uranium level. This program will identify veterans with higher than normal levels of uranium in their urine and provide them appropriate monitoring and follow-up, if required. Soldiers are expected to have normal levels of uranium in their urine unless they have DU fragments embedded in their bodies.

VA Gulf War Registry

The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Registry offers a free, complete physical examination with basic laboratory studies to every veteran who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. VA has named a physician at every VA medical center to coordinate the special examination program, which elicits information about symptoms and exposures and directs baseline laboratory studies. A centralized registry of participants who have had these examinations are maintained to enable VA to keep them informed through periodic newsletters. VA is also inviting spouses and children of 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans who have received a Registry examination to take advantage of the special health examinations. VA offers a toll-free information line at 800-PGW-VETS (800-749-8387) with questions about care and benefits, and to schedule examinations. In Germany contact the Foreign Benefits Unit at the nearest U.S. Embassy.

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