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Letters to the Editor

Updated: September 2, 2012 6:04AM



Record of service

As the nation’s first fully intergraded Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility, we at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center have a wide scope of responsibilities to the men and women who have served — and continue to serve — our nation.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki often reminds us that as the tide of war recedes we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning veterans. For the staff of the Lovell Federal Health Care Center, this awesome responsibility includes anticipating the needs of our military members and their families.

Continuing our enduring commitment to veterans in and out of uniform, we must be mindful of our current and former military members, who are often moving back to civilian life. We must ensure that they have access to quality mental health care in order to successfully make the transition.

Last year, VA provided specialty mental health services to more than 1.3 million veterans, a 35 percent increase since 2007 in the number of veterans who received mental health services. This was why the VA recently announced the addition of 1,600 mental health staff professionals and an additional 300 support staff members nationwide, including six at the Lovell FHCC.

These efforts to hire more mental health professionals build on our record of service to our military service members and veterans. And while we have made great strides to expand mental health care access, we have much more work to do. The men and women who have had (and continue to strive through) multiple deployments over a decade of combat have carried a tremendous burden for our country.

That’s why we have been challenged to improve upon our progress and identify barriers that prevent timely mental health treatment. As we meet with patients at the Lovell FHCC, we learn firsthand what we need to do to improve access to care. Secretary Shinseki has sought out the hardest-to-reach, most underserved places — from the remote areas of Alaska to inner city Philadelphia — to hear directly from veterans and employees. And we’re taking action to reach out to those who need mental health care instead of waiting for them to come to us.

Our mission is always to increase access to care and services while maintaining military readiness. Yet, we realize that the mental health of America’s military members and veterans not only touches those who directly serve, but also families, friends, co-workers and people in our communities.

So please connect with veterans and military members in your communities to ensure they are connected with the services and care they have rightfully earned.

Navy Capt.

David Beardsley

Deputy director

Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

North Chicago

Profound
commentary

Jeff Bonato’s column that appeared in The News-Sun on July 23 should be submitted for a newspaper writing award.

I had no idea he was capable of writing such a profound commentary.

From now on when I read his column, “Extra Point,” I will, while usually laughing, be more appreciative of the man and his observations.

Janice Basten

Grayslake

Mail cutbacks

The U. S. Postal Service plays an important role in keeping Americans connected. The Postal Service provides a critical link for American commerce, and in particular, for small businesses that use it to connect with customers.

As a small business owner, I’m concerned about changes being considered in the House of Representatives that would reduce postal services I rely upon to run my business.

USPS is vital to small businesses. It provides us with affordable billing, shipping and advertising options. In my business every penny counts. USPS is also consistent and reliable, qualities small businesses rely on as we compete with larger companies.

The cuts being discussed in Congress, dropping Saturday service and slowing delivery by a day or more, would make it harder for me to run my business. Delaying the timely delivery of essential business communications to my customers and vendors could harm relationships I’ve spent years developing. Dropping a day of service would force me to turn to expensive private delivery services on Saturdays, eating away at my bottom line.

Congress should not pass legislation that cuts service to Main Street America. It makes no sense to add new obstacles for small businesses working hard to make ends meet in a tough economy.

Judith A. Krotz,

President and CEO

Ti International, Ltd.

North Chicago



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