Veterans Affairs Medical Center Launches Burning Hearth Registry Education Campaign
Posted at 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022
SALISBURY — To increase participation in the Register of aerial hazards and open pitsWG (Bill) Hefner Salisbury Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has launched a new education campaign aimed at reaching the Persian Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans and service members.
The campaign is designed to build patient knowledge for eligible individuals who may have been exposed to airborne chemicals and fumes from open burning pits in the theater of operations. Southwest Asia.
“By joining the registry, veterans and service members can provide information that will help VA provide better care for all veterans,” said John J. Melton, executive director of VA’s Salisbury Health System. “VA is using the information to research how we can expand eligibility for VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to airborne hazards and open fires while on duty.”
The registry, which began in June 2014, allows veterans and service members to self-report their exposures and health issues in an online questionnaire that can be used to engage in discussions about health issues with a provider. . Specifically, the registry focuses on exposure to airborne hazards such as hotspots, smoke, sand and dust. In addition to completing a questionnaire, participation in the registry involves an optional in-person review by a provider.
Earlier this year, the VA launched a new addition to the registry questionnaire, which included an opt-out feature to add information about short deployments. This will save participants time when completing the questionnaire. The VA recently used data from the registry to inform its decisions whether to allow the granting of presumptive service connection or three respiratory conditions and nine rare respiratory cancers.
In addition, the VA made improvements to the registry questionnaire that included access. Registry participants can now return to the questionnaire portal at any time after completion to add additional deployments. Previously, registrants were only allowed once.
In 2021, the VA expanded eligibility for veterans and service members who can participate in the registry if they have deployed to Syria or Uzbekistan since 9/11, 2001 and Egypt since August 1990. Other veterans and Service members who may participate include those who deployed to the Southwest Asia theater of operations any time after August 2, 1990, or to Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001.
As of September 19, 2022, over 334,000 participants have joined the registry.
Due to a pause in registry exams secondary to COVID-19, VA medical facilities are proactively reaching out to participants to schedule an exam if they choose to take an exam through the registry. Veterans can also contact their Environmental Health Coordinator to schedule an exam, especially if they have changed their email address or contact since registering
Learn more about this Registrationincluding eligibility.