Patient and Veterans advocates, industry leaders, and non-profits call on Congress to support “100 days faster” clinical trial startup at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Patient and Veterans advocates, industry leaders, and non-profits call on Congress to support “100 days faster” clinical trial startup at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
May 16, 2019 - PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Roger Murry, Executive Director, Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of organizations that support research at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this week called on Congress to support reforms at the VA to become “100 days faster” in clinical trial startup to ensure enhanced and timely access for our nations Veterans. “Clinical trial startup at VA sites averages more than 100 days longer than at non-VA sites,” according to the letter sent to Congress. “For Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, alcohol and other substance disorders, cancer, and other conditions for which a clinical trial may be the next or only treatment option, these delays can restrict their access to these opportunities.”
The Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds and National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) organized the letter. Joining the letter were organizations that serve Veterans, including the Navy SEAL Foundation, Military Veteran Project, and NAMI Montana. Patient support groups signing included the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Veterans Against Alzheimer’s, and the LUNGevity Foundation, the nation's leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit. Representatives of the research community supporting the letter included PPD, Cohen Veterans Bioscience, Advantagene, and the Association of Clinical Research Organizations.
The letter continued: “As a first step towards ‘100 days faster,’ which we suggest the VA adopt as a reform mantra, we ask that the VA take all steps necessary to permit the use of commercial IRB [institutional review boards] accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). This policy revision would allow for a more predictable and timely IRB process.”
The letter seeks to engage congressional support for an ongoing effort co-led by the VA Office of Research and Development and NAVREF to improve access of Veterans to clinical trials. By setting an objective, measurable goal of 100 days faster, the VA can drive reforms throughout the clinical trial process, whether within the purview of ORD or not. Targeted reforms, beginning with allowing trial sponsors to use commercial institutional review boards, can bring VA’s practices in line with those of the leading clinical research institutions.
“Clinicians need better tools to treat and diagnose TBI and PTSD” said Roger Murry, Executive Director, Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds, an advocacy coalition based in Washington, DC. “Smarter clinical trial startup procedures will broaden and speed up the development of new tools. With targeted support from Congress, and the concrete goal of 100 days faster, we believe VA can close the gap and change how the private sector views the VA as a potential clinical trials partner.”
“NAVREF appreciates ORD’s strong support of the ACT for Veterans initiative to enhance access to clinical trials for Veterans at VA medical centers, said Rick Starrs, the Chief Executive Officer for NAVREF. We want to see the entire Veterans Health Administration get behind the initiative to achieve the goal of 100 days faster for clinical trial start-up. Veterans deserve the opportunity to participate in these studies.”
More info can be found at healinvisiblewounds.org
Military Veteran Project Honors the memory of Joshua R. Akers who lost his battle to suicide March 8, 2019.
Joshua Russell Akers, beloved of his wife Victoria Mizell Akers, committed suicide on March 8, 2019. A 2006 graduate of Plano Senior High and Wild Cat Football team, Joshua proudly served our country as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps for 5 years.
Josh was pursuing his degree in Petroleum Engineering at UNT where he was a member of The Association of Energy Engineers, Kappa Alpha, and The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Outside of school, Joshua enjoyed woodworking, gaming, his puppies, and spending time with friends and family.
Joshua was the light of our lives. His laughter was contagious and he was a good and loving husband, son, brother, cousin, and friend. He was a leader, and powerful influence on all who knew him. He inflicted his dad jokes and humor on all who would listen, and was always ready with random trivia, a word of advice or just a listening ear.
Joshua is survived by his loving wife, Victoria Mizell Akers, his Mother Sara Egelston Akers and Father Jeran Akers and wife Victoria Harres, brother, Ty Akers, and sister, Jan Michael Wells. Josh is also survived by his aunts and uncles Rebecca Egelston Caso and Chris Caso and John and Gena Egelston and grandmother Marcia Stathos Egelston. Josh will be missed by his cousins Christopher and Catherine Caso, and James Russell and Andrew Egelston.
The services were on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Road, Plano, Texas.
Military Veteran Project and Hestons Gladiator Academy are partnering to combat military suicide
FFor Immediate Release
Military Veteran Project Partners with Hestons Gladiator upcoming event OrganizedChaosXVI for Military Suicide Awareness
Military Veteran Project and Hestons Gladiator Academy are partnering to combat military suicide by honoring men and women who have lost their battle to suicide on American soil this Saturday, May 18, 2019 7pm at Historic Harley Davidson.
TOPEKA, Kansas – Heston's Gladiator Academy to combat military suicide by honoring men and women who have lost their battle to suicide on American soil this Saturday, May 18, 2019 7:00pm at Historic Harley Davidson.
Organized Chaos XVI will be dedicated to military men and women who have lost their battles on American soil to suicide by displaying boots with photos and biographies for community outreach. MVP Ambassador Colton Hill will be leading the charge to combat Military Suicide by fighting in honor of a veteran who succumbed to suicide. The Military Veteran Project is a 501c3 charity dedicated to military suicide prevention by providing research and treatments not provided by the VA or Department of Defense.
Gladiator Fighting Association
Military Veteran Project needs your help to battle military suicide prevention. We can’t do it alone – and your donations make a huge difference for the veterans who return home after service.
Starting at 5am on November 27th, Facebook will MATCH ALL DONATIONS from $100 – $20,000 per person until we reach $250,000 or Facebook runs out of money. That means if you donate as little as $7 which is the cost of one treatment, Facebook will match it! If you can not donate please help us get out the word by liking, commenting and sharing this event and our mission! #EndMilitarySuicide
Visit the MVP Facebook page November 27th and click on the “Donate” button or create a fundraiser on your own and join our mission
Whether you make a donation to a cause in place of party favors or ask your guests to invest in a charity instead of a crock pot, a little selflessness can go a long way for many non-profits—and experts say the practice is becoming more and more popular for engaged couples.
Why? Lizzy Ellingson, co-founder and chief creative officer of Blueprint Registry, explained to Brides where this spike in charitable registries came from.
"Millennials are cohabiting before marriage and getting married later in life," she says. The material needs of a 21-year-old just starting out are different from a couple of 30-somethings who have already been living together.
Additionally, "Crowdfunding has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years growing at 26 percent a year. Based on proprietary research, Blueprint Registry estimates that cash gifting and personal crowdfunding will exceed $33.5 billion by 2021," Ellingson says. She expects this to heavily impact wedding registry trends, as well—her company has already seen this shift start to happen.
"At Blueprint Registry," she continues, "70 percent of couples register for at least one cash gift like a honeymoon plane ticket or contributions to help with remodeling a kitchen. We still see couples register for both physical and cash gifts, we just see more couples register for cash who may not have registered for any cash gifts five years ago."
The increase in popularity for cash registries demonstrates that even for "the couple who has everything," there is a way for guests to celebrate the union with a gift. It's also a good option to help ease the financial burden for guests who might already find it challenging to accommodate the cost of attending the wedding (think destination weddings and multi-day celebrations). Just like with any crowdfunding, there's security in numbers—each individual doesn't feel obligated to fork over the same amount they might for a more traditional, high-quality registry item, and that's fine.
Blueprint found that while the average fundraising goal for charitable registries is just under $900, and the average amount raised is a little less than half of that. An idea for couples who want to keep their guests motivated to give more: if your budget allows, agree to match their donations up to a certain amount. You'll do good for the community and the world, plus you'll get an even bigger tax write-off.
You can also think small if you'd like. A charitable registry—or swapping out wedding favors to donate money in your guests' names—can have a more local impact, too. Blueprint Registry offers an option to create a cash registry for local charities as well, which has become the most common choice among couples on the site.
Choosing which organization will be gifted with your support can be overwhelming—but with so many worthy causes, you can't go wrong choosing something personal to you and your fiancé. A couple who has lost a family member to suicide might donate to research efforts around prevention like the Military Veteran Project. This is just another way to personalize the wedding celebration while giving back. Whatever you choose, know that you're making a difference by paying all that wedding generosity forward.
Military Veteran Project Accepting Letters Of Interest To Carry On The Salute Our Heroes Festival Topeka Veterans Parade Program.
For Immediate Release:
Topeka, KS (December 6, 2017) -- Military Veteran Project, a national military charity with a mission of military suicide prevention through alternative treatments and research created the Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade as a program for community outreach. After the fifth annual event this year the MVP Board of Directors voted unanimously to transfer the program to another organization due to the alarming rate of suicides increasing and the need to focus forefront on the mission of military suicide prevention.
“The volunteers of the Military Veteran Project have created a much needed program for our Topeka community, our local veterans deserve to be recognized and honored. However, our mission as the Military Veteran Project is military suicide prevention and with the numbers of suicides increasing each day, our focus needs to be solely on ensuring the needs of our veterans are being met by continuing our work with the Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, Medical Researchers and Corporations providing alternative treatments not currently available. In 2012, when I decided to create the first ever Topeka Veterans Parade, my hopes for a couple hundred of people to help honor veterans turned out to be thousands. We have a committed committee of volunteers who have surpassed all expectations I have had and I want to personally thank Michael Majewski, Penny Jamvold, Dusty Nichols, Richelle Blume-Shannonhouse, Ron Brown, Amanda Walton & Glen King for their commitment to veterans and our Topeka Community.”
To assist with the momentous task of selecting and transitioning the Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade to a 501c3 charity locally, a sub committee of Topeka Community leaders have been selected to process interest requests and finalize the selection process. Military Veteran Project volunteers, ambassadors and committee members will assist with handover process and transition to the new organization to assist carry on the mission to honor our military heroes.
Any and all interested parties may submit letters of interest to email@example.com or by mail Military Veteran Project 3615 SW 29th Street Suite 201 Topeka, KS 66614
Melissa D. Jarboe
Military Veteran Project
For Immediate Release
Topeka, KS – November 7, 2017:
The Military Veteran Project is thankful to Azura Credit Union to lead sponsors of the fifth annual Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade, to be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017.
This annual event is on a mission to be one of the largest celebration of service in our country. While carrying on the traditions of honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans , offering the public the opportunity to show their support for those who serve on our nation's most visible stage in the State Capitol of Kansas, Topeka. Sponsorships and contributions to the patriotic festival directly benefits support programs, alternative treatments and research for military suicide prevention. For sponsorship and ticket information and to learn more about this event, visit https://www.militaryveteranproject.org/saluteourheroesfestivaltopeka.html
Established in 2012, the Military Veteran Project secures funding for alternative treatments not provided by Veterans Administration, research and advocacy in Washington DC
to assist with achieving its mission. Events such as the Salute Our Heroes Festival, which had a record breaking number of 6,000 people in attendance for the 2016 year, assisting with mobilizing public support for our veterans, connecting our veterans with resources, and organizations serving our veterans.
About Azura Credit Union
History of Educational Credit Union
Educational Credit Union was formed in 1939 as Topeka Teachers Credit Union by a group of educators. The credit union started with just 29 members and $144 in total assets. At the time of merger, Educational Credit Union boasted over 24,000 members, with over $208 million in total assets.
History of Quest Credit Union
Quest Credit Union was founded in 2010 with the merger of Credit Unions United (1951) and Credit Union One of Kansas (1956.) Their membership roots run deeply with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Bell Telephone, State of Kansas Employees and more. At time of merger, Quest had over 23,000 members, with over $274 million in total assets.
Going Forward, and Above and Beyond
As Azura Credit Union, the merger expanded services and opportunities for members, while providing efficiency and technology benefits. Between both credit unions, we have over 140 years of serving our Kansas members and surrounding communities.
About Military Veteran Project
The Military Veteran Project. is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors, composed of business and community leaders. Its board meets monthly and lends it expertise to the operations of the Foundation.
To learn more about Military Veteran Project click here
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Washburn University President Named as Grand Marshal for 5th Annual Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade.
MEDIA ALERT PLEASE HOLD UNTIL WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11, 2017 10 A.M. ANNOUNCEMENT TO TAKE PLACE AT AZURA CREDIT UNION 1129 S. KANSAS AVENUE VETERAN’S DAY PARADE GRAND MARSHALL ANNOUNCEMENT TOPEKA, KS- Military Veteran Project is honored to announce Dr. Jerry Farley President of Washburn University will be the Grand Marshall for the 5 th Annual Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade. On Saturday November 11, 2017 the Salute Our Heores Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade will start with hosting a Patriotic Pancake breakfast at HHB at 8 a.m., followed by the Super Heroes Run, Walk & Crawl beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the Topeka Veterans Parade will begin at 11 a.m. The days festivities are all located in downtown Topeka. Registration information and details for the days festivities are all available online at MilitaryVeteranProject.org. Azura Credit Union is the presenting sponsor for this year’s Salute Our Heroes Festival and Topeka Veterans Parade. In addition to their funding and support, they have coordinated with the Topeka Capital-Journal to sponsor a tribute to our veterans. The Topeka Capital-Journal will publish on Veterans Day, November 11 a tribute to veterans and service members. “Honoring Our Heroes, sponsored by Azura Credit Union” will include photos of men and women in uniform. Beginning today until October 27 you can submit your request to honor a veteran by submitting the high- quality photos free of charge to The Capital-Journal at cjonline.com/heroes. The Topkea Capital- Journal also will publish the veteran’s name, years of service, hometown and branch of military. “This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the men and women who have given so much of themselves to keep our country safe,” said Tomari Quinn, Editor and Vice President of Audience at Topeka Capital-Journal. “We’re grateful to them for their service.” Military Veteran Project is honored to have the community come together to celebrate and honor all of our veterans. Special thanks to this year’s sponsors: Azura Credit Union, Northrup Grumman, NuSound Hearing and Hyvee. The addition of such a prestigious community leader with Dr. Jerry Farley as this year’s Grand Marshall speaks volumes to the communities support for our military heroes. Jerry Farley has served as President of Washburn University since 1997. Dramatic changes have occurred on campus including new academic programs, reinvigoration of a vibrant Student Life program and construction of six major new buildings, and extensive renovation of many other buildings and all classrooms. He holds a B.B.A., M.B.A. and Ph.D. all from the University of Oklahoma. He is a C.P.A. and has been president and chair of the board of several state and national professional organizations. He has authored or co- authored numerous articles and books in his field – not for profit finance and accounting. Jerry has served on local and state boards for United Way, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, Kansas Society of CPA’s, Heartland Visioning, state and local Chambers of Commerce and economic development corporations, including Go Topeka. He is past Chair of the Topeka Chamber of Commerce. He serves on Board of Directors for the Security Benefits Funds Board, Westar Energy and CoreFirst Bank. He was inducted into the Topeka Business and Oklahoma Higher Education Halls of Fame and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. In 2016, he was named Distinguished Kansan of the year by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
For More Information on Salute Our Heroes Festival & Topeka Veterans Parade Click HERE
Clinton County Veterans Service Officer Joe Root has been nominated as Indiana Veteran of the Year for 2017. Judges, who are themselves veterans, will study all of the nominations but the names, rank, distinctions and tours of duty of the nominees will be redacted, according to Mike Mustain, chairman of the Indiana Veteran of the Year Committee.
The nominees will be identified by gender and an identifying number, Mustain detailed.
The Female Veteran of the Year and the Male Veteran of the Year will be announced at the awards banquet Nov. 9 in New Albany, and each nominee will recognized with a certificate.
Root served in the U.S. Marines from 1966 to 1970 during the Vietnam era but he was not engaged in the conflict, he said. As a quality control inspector, he was not allowed to leave his post at Quantico, Va., he said.
Before being appointed to the veterans service officer's (VSO) post, Root worked two years as a Clinton County jailer and and radio operator and 21 years in the Sheriff's Office, retiring in 1996.
Root also was an original member of the Frankfort Bass Casters, he said, and spent time competing on the Bass Circuit, with his biggest catch a 9.5 pound lunker hooked in Florida.
At the time, Root was working at the Sheriff's Office, he was also employed full-time at Peter Paul candy factory in Frankfort.
"I would work my shift, fish, and work my shift," he said.
Root continued on the circuit until he found it wasn't fun anymore. "We started before daylight and ended sometimes at dark," he explained.
Former VSO Lloyd Brower gave Root his start in the veterans office he would later lead. After retirement, Root worked for Brower as a volunteer until one Monday when he accompanied Brower to a Clinton County Commissioners' meeting.
According to Root, at the meeting Brower told the commissioners, "I'm retiring, and this is my replacement."
Root, caught unaware, graciously and gratefully accepted the position nonetheless.
Many local veterans are grateful for the effort Root has put in on their behalf.
"I appreciate how much he helped me get benefits," said Jack Taylor, of Frankfort. "He had done a very good job in-between me and the Veterans Administration. "He has certainly helped me out a bunch."
Frankfort City Building Inspector Sam Payne, who works just down the hall from Root in Old Stoney, describes Root as a "great guy."
Root served under Sheriff Robert Payne, Sam's dad. "He's a tremendous guy. He's done a lot for the community and done a tremendous job for us as veterans.
Payne said he believes Root has had a role in ensuring local veterans get the respect they deserve but often previously didn't get.
Most people don't understand that veterans have different needs depending on a their age and the conflict and era in which they served, Root explained.
"Vets are not getting recognized as they should be, and lots of things could have been done that weren't done," he said. "There are lots of older vets who don't look positively at younger vets, and we don't recognize the problems each group of vets have. Those who served in the same conflict don't meld as well with others who served in other conflicts."
To honor Clinton County veterans, Root approached the commissioners to build a memorial to honor local servicemen and women.
"'You can build anything you want,' they said. 'You just have to pay for it,'" Root recounted. In return, Root requested the commissioners set up a non-revolving fund for donations, meaning that any money left over at the end of the county's budget year stayed in the fund instead of being forfeited.
"The commissioners have been very good to me," he noted. "They've never turned me down for anything."
Within eight months he had raised enough money to start the memorial, which includes selling bricks with the names of veterans locals want to memorialize.
"I don't want to be a burden on the taxpayers," Root said. "I've built the memorial as a collaborative effort."
Root can be found at the Veterans Service Office in Old Stoney at 301 E. Clinton St., Frankfort, from 9 a.m.-3:30p..m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
While helping Clinton County veterans resolve any problems they may have, he also spends his time assisting other VSOs, he said, adding he is currently working with a couple of newer officers, one of whom calls Root about twice a week for advice.
"I wasn't looking for this, but it has been very rewarding. A guy last week stopped in with a smile this wide and told me about the back-payment check he received, along with money for hearing aids," Root said.
Root also helped a family replace their loved one's headstone 17 years after their death - when someone finally noticed the name had been misspelled.
"Within a week, I got approval for a new stone and within about two months they had made and sent a new one."
Mary Jane Weaver credits Root for returning her husband's dog tags, which had been missing since 1944.
The dog tags had been uncovered by an excavator working at the former Weaver home site, she said.
"The contractor was there working on the yard and he had dug a couple of forkloads when he spied something," Weaver recalled. "He took it home, cleaned it up as good as he could, let it lay awhile and then decided to take it to Joe Root, who, in turn, researched it."
After Root tracked down the tags' original owner, he took them to Weaver's son, Bert, who returned them to his mother, who was astonished to receive them after they were lost for six decades.
"(Joe's) an all-around great guy," she said.
In addition to dedicating himself to serving veterans, he also served on the Frankfort City Council and still serves on the Frankfort Utility Service Board.
Among his proudest moments, said Root, was attending the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January with his grandson, Blayne Root. This was Root's third inauguration, having attended both of George W. Bush's swearing-in ceremonies but he was especially enthused to share the event with Blayne, who serves as a full-time police officer for Whitestown and also assists as a medic for Lifeline helicopter.
"I can't think of a better candidate for (Veteran of the Year), said veteran Joe Palmer, of Frankfort.