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June Cal Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association

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					                                                           We would like to thank the following donors for their
                                                                         financial contributions:
                                                           Al Kovach                   In Memory of Dr. Alison
      Calendar of Events                                   Daniel Cravens
                                                           George Oswell
                                                                                       Calder by Thomas Asher
                                                                                       Mission Valley Post 3787
        Dana Point Fishing Trip                            Ross & Sue Ehrhardt         V.F.W.
     Thursday 22 June, 10am - 3pm                          Laurel Moorhead             American Legion J. B.
                                                           American Wheelchair         Clark Post 149
           Cal-Diego Trapshoot                             Veterans Association        Women Moto
                  9 July                                   Challenged Athletes         American Legion Auxiliary
                                                           Foundation                  Sons of the American
          National Convention                              Bill Miller                 Legion J.B. Clark Squardon
         27 August - 2 September                           Robert Lewis                149
                                                           William Morris              American Legion Riders
                                                           Thomas Mooney               VFW 2275
                                                           Dudley Gaouette

Combined Federal Campaign Contributions

  Remember Cal-Diego PVA when you are
  making your Combined Federal Campaign
           contributions this year.

                CFC #8140

  Proud Member
                                 business advocacy
        SAN DIEGO                business resources
                                 marketing opportunities
        CHAMBER OF
        COMMERCE                 events & net working

                                 member benefits

   Good for Business. Good for San Diego.

     Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association                                                   Nonprofit
     3350 La Jolla Village Dr. #1A-118                                                         Organization
     San Diego, CA 92161                                                                      U.S. Postage
     Address Service Requested
                                                                                             San Diego, CA
                                                                                              Permit #3446
    Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association • June 2006

The mission of Cal-Diego
Paralyzed Veterans ssociation
is to improve the quality of
life for veterans of the Armed
Forces and others who have
experienced spinal cord
injuries or disease.
Table of Contents| June 2006

                                                                         Upcoming Board Meetings
                                                                               Membership Meeting
 In this issue                                                                        July 13

   3         President’s Message
   4         Executive Director’s Message
                                                                        Requested Numbers
   5         Government Relations                                       DAV (donation pickups)
                                                                          • 858.642.6454
   6         NSO’s report
                                                                        VA Healthcare System
   8         Reflections                                                  • 858.552.8585
                                                                        Paul W. Danielsen, Attorney
   12        No business like snow business
                                                                          • 619.437.1577
   13        Winter Sports Clinic                                       Wheelchair Repair pair
                                                                          • 858.552.8585
   14        Questionarre
                                                                        Cal-Diego PVA Chapter Office
   16        PVA News                                                   A Member Chapter Of The Paralyzed
                                                                              Veterans Of America

                                                                        3350 La Jolla Village Dr. #1A-118
    PVA Service Office                                                  San Diego, CA 92161

    VA Regional Center                                                  (800) 423-2778 • (858) 450-1443
    8810 Rio San Diego Drive, Ste. 1121                                 (858) 552-8585 ext. 7601
    San Diego, CA 92108                                                 FAX: (858) 450-1852
    (619) 400-5320 • (800) 795-3586 • FAX: (619) 400-0072
    Service Officer - Sherman Gillums                                   e-mail:
    Service Officer - Amanda McGrath                          
    Secretary - Cindi Kourbelas
                                                                        The Cal-Diego Board of Directors
Cal-Diego Officers                                                      meet monthly. Minutes of the last
                      Hospital Liason          Cal Diego Office Staff   meeting are available in the Cal-
                      Al Kovach                Executive Director       Diego PVA office. All Cal-Diego
Al Kovach
                                               Kelly Price Noble        PVA members are invited to attend.
Vice President        Membership &                                      Please feel free to contact us to
Bill Palmer           Volunteers               Government Relations     inquire about the next meeting date.
                      Bill Palmer              Director
                      Sports & Recreation      Wayne Landon
Don Hyslop
                      Paul Herman              Administrative            VASDHS Medical Center
Marie Munoz                                                              The views and opinions expressed in
                                               Kimberley Martini
                      Board of Directors                                 the “Beachcomber” are not necessari-
                      Johnny Sandoval          Newsletter & Web          ly a direct representation of the
Appointments                                   Editor                    views or ideals of Cal-Diego PVA.
National Director     Jim Russell
                      Richard Johnson          Kris Crousore             We hereby disclaim any responsibili-
Jim Russell
                      Mark Cordova                                       ty for opinions expressed herein.
Finance               Joe Fox
Don Hyslop

  Page 2
Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

      SCI Education Series                     SAVING SECTION 811
  Classes are open to the SCI/D community.
 Classes are held in the VA San Diego HS SCI   The Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget proposes to slash
Center Patient Dining Room from12:30-1:15pm.   funding for one of the most essential and cost effective housing develop-
                                               ment programs ever administered by HUD — the Section 811
                                               Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. In a virtual
           Tuesday, June 6, 2006               repeat of its failed FY 2006 budget proposal, HUD’s 2007 budget
      Preventing Pressure Ulcers, Part I       attempts to cut the Section 811 budget 50 percent — from $236.5 mil-
           Michelle Surwillo, PT               lion to a proposed $118 million.

             Friday, June 9, 2006              For the second year in a row, the Administration’s budget request drasti-
      Preventing Pressure Ulcers, Part II      cally cuts the production of a new Section 811 supportive housing units.
         Fatima Harkous, BSN, RN               Last year, HUD proposed to completely eliminate all new Section 811
                                               production. For FY 2007 , HUD is proposing to fund only 150 new
                                               Section 811 units compared to the 927 units funded in 2006 and the
             Tuesday, June 13, 2006            1,000+ units funded in 2005. It is clear that the Administration wants to
 Safety in the Home and Community Charisse     eliminate the development of new units of permanent supportive hous-
                  Caniff, PTA                  ing for people with the most severe disabilities.

              Friday, June 16, 2006            In addition to funding a mere 150 new units, the $118.8 million
                Sexuality and SCI              requested for FY 2007 would only fund expiring 5-year contracts for
                                               existing tenant-based vouchers and project-based subsidies, and perhaps
             Tuesday, June 20, 2006            fund a few hundred new tenant-based vouchers.
           Benefits for the SCI Veteran        For more than 40 years, the Section 811 program (and its precursor, the
                                               Section 202 Supportive housing for Persons with Disabilities) has pro-
             Friday, June 23, 2006             duced high quality community based housing for the most vulnerable
             Getting Back to Work              people with disabilities. The Section 811 program is the only HUD pro-
                                               gram that produces affordable and accessible permanent housing with
             Tuesday, June 27, 2006            supports for extremely low0income people with severe disabilities. For
              Recreation and Sports            this reason, Section 811 has been a core component of community inte-
                                               gration strategies for people living in restrictive settisn such as institu-
             Friday, June 30, 2006             tions and nursing homes and for people with disabilities who can no
           Taking Charge of Your Life          longer live at home with aging parents.
                                               As we did successfully last year, the disability community must fight
             Tuesday, July 4, 2006             these Section 811 cuts as the FY 2007 HUD budget is debated and
  No class due to Independence Day Holiday     adopted by Members of Congress. In 2005, thanks to the hard work of
                                               thousands of advocates, HUD’s attempts to end the Section 811 pro-
               Friday, July 7, 2006            gram failed and Congress provided level funding for this important pro-
            Pain Management in SCI             gram. HUD’s effort will fail again this year but only if you act now! To
                                               learn how you can help Save Section 811, visit and click
             Tuesday, July 11, 2006            on Housing and Homelessness.We need your help NOW
               Psychosocial Issues

              Friday, July 14, 2006                                                 Please call us for a ride.
                    No Class                   On The Road!!!                        Contact Lee Fouts at:
             Contact SCI Center at
            for future class schedules

 Page 18
 Cal-Diego PVA June 2006                                                                           President’s Message

Quality of care declines
 as SCI/D nurses lose incentive pay
 By: Al Kovach

PVA (National) conducted their annual site visit on April 19th        SCI/D patient care is consistently demanding and histori-
and 20th. The purpose of this visit was to explore all concerns       cally underappreciated. Due to the high cost of living in
presented by Cal-Diego to ensure a high quality of care for our       the communities surrounding the hospital in La Jolla,
patients. During the interview with SCI Center and VASDHS             nurses live 50-60 miles from the SCI/D Center and at
staff, PVA was informed that the registered nurses specializing       $3.50 per gallon of gas…the incentive pay barely suffices.
in SCI/D would lose their recruitment and retention pay. This         Morale is already on the decline. Six SCI/D nurses have
additional pay serves as an incentive for specially trained nurses,   already announced their intent to leave the SCI/D Center
who are not recognized with specialty pay to seek assignment          and three additional nurses have decided to leave VAS-
in the highly skilled field of SCI/D. PVA and Cal-Diego               DHS all together. If 6-9 nurses leave the SCI/D Center
immediately took a stand in support of the nurses and have            there will be needs for a reduction in the patient census.
been working closely with VASDHS to reinstate the SCI/D               This will create a list of SCI/D patients waiting in
recruitment and retention pay.                                        Phoenix, Tucson, and Prescott for their annual examina-
                                                                      tions. The loss of this recruitment and retention pay will
During the 2003 PVA site visit, Cal-Diego expressed concern           have a direct impact on the quality of care for all patients
about the immediate need for specially trained SCI/D nurses.          that use the SCI/D Center in San Diego.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs noted that experienced nurses
were not applying for advertised positions. New graduates             As our healthcare regresses to the levels of 2003, please
from nursing schools usually sought jobs in critical care units       take note that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines
rather than the SCI/D Center which offered positions with             specialty pay for SCI/D nurses however the Director of
lower pay. Younger nurses would invest their time down in the         the local medical facility determines recruitment and
SCI/D Center to gain experience but would depart for higher           retention pay. PVA and Cal-Diego are working together
paying positions elsewhere in VASDHS. The Secretary also              to resolve this critical issue concerning your healthcare
stated that nurses were floated from the main hospital to meet        here at VASDHS.
the needs of the patients in the SCI/D Center but were not
qualified to perform certain tasks reserved for specially trained
SCI/D nurses.
As a response to the crisis, this hospital offered, but did not
implement, recruitment and retention pay. Included in the site
visit report, PVA made the recommendation to the Secretary
of Veterans Affairs that the additional pay be immediately
implemented along with a 12 hour work schedule.
By 2005, the recruitment and retention pay was implemented
and SCI/D nurse staffing was in 100% compliance identified
in VHA handbook 1176.1.
In 2006 all nurses at VASDHS received an 11.5% increase in
salary, however SCI/D nurses lost their 5% recruitment and
retention pay, thus eliminating any incentive for nurses to
work at the SCI/D Center.
                                                                       Al Kovach
Currently, the SCI/D Center’s quality of care is excellent.            Cal-Diego PVA President
SCI/D patients are complimentary of the medical and nursing
staff, and the SCI/D Center is making money for the hospital.
So why fix something that’s not broken?                                 Membership totals:
                                                                        Service Connected                  285
VASDHS states that the additional pay is no longer necessary            Non Service Connected              223
because the SCI/D Center has enough nurses and their salary
is already competitive.                                                 Total Voting Members               508

                                                                                                                      Page 3
Cal-Diego PVA June 2006                                                        Executive Director’s Message

   A Busy Spring
    By Kelly Price Noble

                                                                      be a Cal-Diego PVA member, sponsored by a Cal-

             ational PVA’s Site Visit team paid the VA a visit this
             past April. Essentially, the team is a quality assur-    Diego PVA member, an individual with and spinal
             ance group for our members and patients, visiting        cord injury or disease, or a dependent of a person with
    the VA’s SCI Center. It looks for things that are going well      a spinal cord injury or disease.
    and things for which, we as a Chapter feel there is a concern.
                                                                      The next few months will prove to be somewhat quiet
    I know Al has already mentioned the Site Visit in more depth
                                                                      as we gear up for the National Convention. We are
    in his President’s Report, but I just wanted to say on behalf
                                                                      very excited to host this grand event.
    of Cal-Diego PVA, “Thank you to our SCI Nurses. You are
    very special people who often are not thanked for the won-
    derful job you perform. Hear! Hear!”
    The Seismic Project has taken its toll on many people.
    Please be patient. More changes are about to take place. On
    or about 9 June, the front entrance to the VA Hospital will
    be closed. This means to everyone. The front entrance will
    now be the SCI Atrium. Secure Transportation has already
    placed a station at the circle, a VA Information Booth will be
    built and placed in the Atrium to help move hospital traffic
    and Security will eventually have a desk, too. Please take
    great care when moving about the circle. Many people are
    not used to the normal flow of traffic here in the SCI Center,
    so be careful. We have asked the VA to increase security to
    prevent accidents.
    I would like to extend a very special thank you to all of
    Reflections VII’s artists, donors, Sam Bass, Pamplemousse
    Grill, Café Japengo, San Diego Catering Concepts, and              Kelly Price Noble
    Classic Wine of California: A Division of Bronco Wine Co.,         Executive Director
    Forest Glen Winery for supporting this annual event. The
    event, however, could not have taken place without the guid-
    ance of Featured Artist and Cal-Diego PVA member and
    Event Chair Philip “Moki” Martin. His sense of detail and
    humor has made this event what it is today. Personal thanks
    must go out to Kim Martini. Though her title in the office
    is Administrative Assistant, she is far more than that. Each
    year, Kim organizes the artists and their pieces with seamless
    effort. Her commitment to Reflection’s and her dedication
    are invaluable!
    Cal-Diego PVA’s Scholarship Program will close 23 June
    2006. For more information, please call the office or visit
    the website. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of a
    3.0 average and be accepted or enrolled as fulltime students
    in a degree program at an accredited college or university, in
    the United States or Abroad. Additionally, applicants must

 Page 4
                                                           PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA


      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      CONTACT: David J. Uchic
      April 13, 2006                                                                                      (202) 416-7667
                                                                                                     (202) 368-7633 (cell)

                           VA Reports Records of 26.5 Million Veterans Stolen
  Washington, DC — On Monday, May 22, 2006, the                        PVA will work with the VA as well as Congress to ensure
  Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that records of         that proper protections are put in place to ensure that
  more than 26.5 million veterans were stolen from an employ-          this type of incident does not occur again.
  ee’s home. A VA employee had taken home an electronic data
                                                                       Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA),
  file that contained veterans’ names, birth dates, and social
                                                                       is the only congressionally charteredveterans service
  security numbers as well as some spousal information and
                                                                       organization dedicated solely for the benefit and represen-
  some disability ratings. The burglary reportedly occurred on
                                                                       tation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease.
  May 3, 2006. The VA employee has been placed on adminis-
                                                                       PVA is a dynamic, broad-based organization with more
  trative leave pending the outcome of investigations by the
                                                                       than 21,000 members in all 50 states, the District of
  FBI and local law enforcement officials.
                                                                       Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about PVA,
  PVA President Randy L. Pleva, Sr. expressed concern for              visit its Web site at
  these recent events. “I find it deeply troubling that the VA
  has allowed the personal information of so many millions of
  veterans to be compromised,” stated Pleva. “Even more trou-
  bling is the fact that the VA did not notify the public about
  this incident until nearly three weeks after the information
  was stolen.”
  The VA has reported that no electronic health records or
  financial information was taken. The VA intends to send out
  notification letters to all veterans affected. Veterans can also
  go to as well as to get more
  information on this matter. Additionally, the VA has estab-
  lished a manned call center that veterans may call to get
  information about this situation and learn more about con-
  sumer identity protections. That tollfree number is 1-800-
  FED-INFO (333-4636). The call center will be open begin-
  ning today, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EDT),
  Monday-Saturday as long as it is needed.
  “PVA hopes that the VA holds all individuals involved in this
  matter properly accountable for their actions,” Pleva empha-
  sized. “Simply placing this individual on administrative leave
  for jeopardizing the lives of so many veterans is wholly unac-

                                                                                                                 S MIDWAY

                                              60th Annual Convention in San Diego
                                                                Cal-Diego Paralyzed Veterans Association is
                                                                hosting this year’s Annual Convention. We are
                                                                looking for PVA members who served on The
                                                                Midway. If you or anyone you know did serve, please
                                                                contact this office at
Page 16
Cal-Diego PVA June 2006                                                                    Executive Directors Message

VA FY 2007 Appropriations
By: Wayne Landon

       espite the inability of the House to pass its FY                 Legislation to Repeal Prohibition on Lawyers
       2007 Budget Resolution, the House Appropriations
       Committee completed part of its FY 2007                          The legislation (S.2694-the Veterans' Choice of
appropriations bills.                                                   Representation Act of 2006), if enacted, would repeal restric-
                                                                        tions that prevent the nation's 24 million living veterans from
The House Appropriations Military Quality of Life and                   being prohibited from hiring a lawyer to help them navigate
Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee approved the FY 2007 appro-              the Veterans Affairs system. Currently, it is only after a veteran
priations bill that will fund the Department of Veterans                has spent months and even years exhausting the extensive VA
Affairs (VA). The details on the legislation that have been             administrative process that the veteran then may retain coun-
released are only a summary of the bill states that the VA              sel - a process that often takes three or more years to com-
health care system will receive $25.4 billion for Medical               plete. Under the current appeals system, about 85 percent
Services. This is approximately $600 million less than the              of veterans choose to be represented by Veterans' Service
recommendations of The Independent Budget and $100 mil-                 Organizations or state veterans agency personnel.
lion less than what the President recommended earlier this
year. The $100 million was shifted by the subcommittee from
Medical Services to the Medical Administration account.
Thankfully, in a large part do to the work service groups such
as Cal-Diego, the appropriations bill does not include the
proposed $250 enrollment fee or increase to $15 in prescrip-
tion drug co-payments recommended by the Administration.
The President’s Budget Request projected that these proposals
would generate $795 million and force as many as 200,000
veterans to leave the system. Fortunately, Congress has cho-
sen to reject these proposals once again this year.
The bill also increases funding for Medical and Prosthetic
Research to $412 million, an increase of $13 million over the
Administration’s request, but $48 million less than the
Independent Budget recommendation. Research is a vital
part of veterans’ health care and an essential mission for our
national health care system. VA research has been grossly                 Wayne Landon
under funded in comparison to the growth rate of other feder-
al research initiatives.
                                                                          Government Relations Director

The VA now has to compete with Department of Defense
(DOD) programs contained in the same bill. The bill
includes funding for military construction and DOD health
care. The allocation for all of the programs that the subcom-
mittee oversees was actually $800 million less than the
President’s Budget Request.
Program to Make Disabled Veterans' Homes Accessible
The International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) has launched
its Project H.E.R.O. (Homes Eliminated of Restrictions and
Obstacles) Program. The program brings together building offi-
cials, architects, engineers, businesses and other volunteers to help
make the homes of veterans with disabilities more accessible. The
Foundation is teaming with the American Institute of Architects,
the American Institute of Building Designers, the Disabled
American Veterans, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and other
organizations on Project H.E.R.O. to assist disabled veterans.

                                                                                                                           Page 5
                                                                                   National Service Officer’s Message

Working through the Federal Entitlement Maze:
Understanding Your Benefits
By: By Sherman Gillums, Jr. PVA National Service Officer

                                                                     countable income for purposes of increasing pension benefits. To

A       s a veteran with a disability, there is a good chance that
        you rate a combination of VA Compensation, Pension,
        Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security
Disability Insurance (SSDI) entitlements. Understanding the var-
ious programs and how they affect each other can be overwhelm-
                                                                     be deducted from income, un-reimbursed medical expenses must
                                                                     exceed 5% of the VA Maximum Annual Pension Rate. The annual
                                                                     total of UMEs should be the same year to year to avoid pension
                                                                     reductions due to overpayments. Since VA Pension benefits are
ing to many, especially when the danger of overpayment, reduc-       affected by income, it is this benefit where the potential for over-
tion of benefits and changes in entitlement must be heeded. In       payment lies.
the following, we will discuss each program and how they inter-
relate.                                                              VA Compensation/Pension & Supplemental
                                                                     Security Income (SSI)
VA Compensation & Social Security Disability Insurance               Supplemental Security Income is based on need and is affected by
(SSDI)                                                               other sources of income. Generally, the more income you have, the
A veteran receives VA Compensation for a service-connected dis-      less your SSI benefit will be. The SSI Federal Benefit limits are
ability and will be entitled to receive Social Security Disability   $603 for an individual and $904 for a married couple. For exam-
Insurance if that veteran earned enough work credits to qualify,     ple, a single veteran who is rated at 30% disability receives $337
the number of which changes each year. In 2005, a veteran            and will get an additional $266 in SSI for a maximum monthly
earned one credit for each $920 of wages or self-employment          income of $603. Since VA benefits are considered unearned
income. Once he or she earned $3,680, a yearly maximum of            income (any income you receive other than wages or earnings
four credits were earned for the year. Generally, a veteran needs    from self–employment), if your VA Pension is over the SSI Federal
40 credits, 20 of which earned in the last 10 years ending with      Benefit limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits. In order to qualify
the year of disability. That said, younger disabled veterans may     for SSI, a veteran must be disabled or 65 and over, and have
qualify with fewer credits.                                          $2000 or less in countable resources if single or $3000 or less if
                                                                     married (not including home, and in some cases car, insurance, or
Neither VA compensation nor SSDI is based on income since            personal property). Earned income, or wages, reduces SSI one dol-
recipients are paid to compensate for a loss. The amount of VA       lar for every two dollars earned; unearned income such as VA
Compensation paid can vary depending on the disability rating        Pension and SSDI reduces SSI one dollar for every dollar of
which can be between 0% and 100%, while SSDI requires total          unearned income; and in-kind income, like free money for food,
disability. Recipients should be aware that VA Compensation and      shelter and clothing, reduces SSI by one-third. Additionally, some
SSDI can be received simultaneously with any possibility of over-    of your income may not even count as income, such as the first
payment.                                                             $20 of most income or first $65 of earnings received in a month,
                                                                     food stamps, income tax refunds, grants, scholarships, fellowships
Being that a claimant must have paid into social security for at     or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses, etc. Finally,
least 5 years or earned enough credits before drawing the SSDI       since the SSI benefit is affected by income, care must be taken to
benefit, spouses who also function as a veteran’s caregiver should   avoid overpayment of SSI.
consider paying into the social security system as a “paid atten-
dant” so that the care giving spouse will be entitled to SSDI in     Continued on Page 15...
the event that the spouse becomes disabled.
VA Pension & SSDI
A wartime-period veteran will be entitled to VA Pension for a
non-service connected total disability not due to willful miscon-
duct or after reaching age 65, and cannot work in either case.
The same work-credits criteria for SSDI applies to veterans
receiving pension, except in this case that same veteran’s SSDI
based on work credits earned (a minimum of 20 needed to quali-
fy) will affect his or her pension payments. For example, a veter-
an receiving VA Pension with a spouse and in receipt of Aid and
Attendant can only make $1743 a month, which can consist of
an SSDI payment of $1000 and a pension payment of $743.
While many will agree that even a family of two will find it very
difficult to live off of $1743, especially in San Diego, SSDI can     Sherman Gillums, Jr.
be offset by un-reimbursed medical expenses (UMEs), such as           PVA National Service Officer
monies paid for medicine, attendant care, mileage to medical
appointments, etc. Medical expenses may be used to reduce other

  Page 6
                                                                                            Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

Working through the Federal Entitlement Maze (continued from page 6)
A Few Words on Healthcare
Depending on which federal benefits a veteran receives, there are a number of healthcare options available. Veterans receiv-
ing VA Compensation or Pension are entitled to healthcare at any VA medical facility. For those who get SSDI, they are
entitled to federal health insurance, called Medicare, after 24 months of receiving the benefit. Finally, those veterans who
receive at least $1 of SSI can also receive state Medicaid, which provides basic health insurance with no co-payments or
deductibles. Low-income Medicare recipients may qualify to also receive Medicaid benefits. For veterans who are eligible
for full Medicaid coverage, the Medicare health care coverage is supplemented by services that are available under their
state's Medicaid program.
And Now You Know
The bottom line is that recipients of VA benefits should exercise care to prevent overpayments by accurately reporting their
amount of or changes in their VA entitlements when applying for or receiving social security benefits. The Computer
Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 allows federal agencies, like the VA and Social Security Administration, the
ability to cross reference the application and receipt of federal benefits; which is often times the reason that changes in enti-
tlement can lead to delayed but eventual changes in benefits received. If you are a veteran who relies on every dollar
received in benefits, it would behoove you to closely note how any financial changes, no matter how slight, might impact
what you receive every month. For more information, call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 or log onto the Department of
Veterans Affairs Homepage at; and the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or log onto
Social Security Online at

                                                                                                                       Page 15
Cal-Diego PVA June 2006                                                                 April 06 Trapshoot

  1. Please rate each of these Cal-Diego PVA programs in order of importance to you. One being the most important.
       a. Liaison/Service                                                                  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       b. Transportation                                                                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       c. Research & Education                                                             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       d. Sports & Recreation                                                              1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       e. Veteran Benefits                                                                 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       f. Advocacy & Legislation                                                           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       g. Administration                                                                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       h. Communications                                                                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       i. Fundraising                                                                      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
       j. Membership                                                                       1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  2. Have you ever participated in any of the programs or fundraisers?
       a. Trapshooting
       b. Ride, Strive & Roll
       c. Reflections Art Show
       d. Rolling & Bowling for Dollar$
       e. Deep Sea Fishing
       f. PVA Awareness Week
       g. Operation Desert Fun
       h. Candy/Bake Sales
  3. Would you be interested in participating or volunteering for any of these programs?
       a. Trapshooting
       b. Ride, Strive & Roll
       c. Reflections Art Show
       d. Rolling & Bowling for Dollar$
       e. Deep Sea Fishing
       f. PVA Awareness Week
       g. Operation Desert Fun
       h. Candy/Bake Sales
  4. Do you own a computer?               Yes   No
  5. Do you have internet access?         Yes        No
  6. Do you have an e-mail address? Is yes, may we please have it? ________________
  7. On what areas of operation would you like to see Cal-Diego PVA work?

  8. What could we do to get you more involved with Cal-Diego PVA activities?

 Please cut out and return this questionarre to Cal-Diego PVA. Thank you.

  Page 14
    Using the Pharmacy Refill System                                                           Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

  How can I get my medications refilled at the VA?
  • Over the phone                                                     •Drop off refill slips at the Medical Center
  • Drop off refill slips at the Medical Center                        • New Online through the Internet
  • Through the mail                                                   • New Online through the Internet
  Refilling over the phone
  •For Touch-Tone Phones
  Dial (858 552-4390 or (858) 552-7450 24 hours a day and 365          When you call, you should have your social security
  days a year.                                                         number and prescription numbers (RX #)
  •For San Diego & Imperial Counties Dial toll-free 800-331-           ready. Press the pound key (#) after your entries.
  8387 (VETS).
  Refilling through the mail                                           Mail your refill slip to:
  If you want to refill your prescription through the mail, you
                                                                       VA San Diego Healthcare System
  need to sign the refill slip that comes with each prescription.
                                                                       Pharmacy Service (119)
  Then you need to mail the refill slip in.
                                                                       3550 La Jolla Village Drive
                                                                       San Diego, CA 92161

  Dropping off refill slips in person at the VA
  You do not need to wait in line to drop off your refill slips!       Drop the signed refill slips in the “Mail Out Prescription
  Sign your refill slips. Bring your signed refill slips to the VA     Drop Off ” box. This box is located to the left of the
  Pharmacy. The VA Pharmacy is located on the 1st floor of the         Pharmacy. It is near the “Pick-up” counter of the Pharmacy
  VA Medical Center.
  What if my prescription has expired or I have no more refills?
  Most prescriptions are only good for 1 year from the date the        prescription. Pharmacy can’t give you extra medication.
  doctor writes it. Some prescriptions are only good until all the     Your doctor must prescribe it. Patients in the FIRM Clinic
  refills are used. It depends on which occurs first. Your prescrip-   can call the Primary Care Call Center. They can reorder the
  tion may expire. You may run out of refills. If so, you need to      prescription. Their phone number is (858) 552-7475
  contact your provider or clinic. They will need to reorder the       Monday - Friday 7:30am - 4pm.

                June Birthdays
JohnJ Addario               Faraj A Haddad             Harry L Porter
                            Richard P Haynie           Richard D Postell             Notary Service is now available
Daniel L Amoroso
Michael G Beuoy             Lyle E Hufford             Charles D Romero               in the Cal-Diego PVA Office
Harrison G Butler           Francis M Insera           William K Smith
Peter C Carbullido          Michael E Kenney           Shannon L Snowhill
Jimmy L Carter              Major Lewis                Marie Stotts-Munoz           •Taking Power of Attorney
Christopher S Collins       Debra Linder               Clarence L Suggs             •Certifying a copy of a Power of Attorney
Pernell M Cooper            Bruce M Lodge              Richard E Thompson
Colleen J Cretsinger        Dion V Long                Joseph C Tuck                •Taking an Advance Health Care Directive
Daniel J Cronin             Lawrence     C Marcum      Richard W Turbeville         •Certifying Copies of Journal Entries
Timothy P Curtner           John     D Martin          Darren G Westervelt
Efrain Davila               Ferman       McPhatter     Richard E Woodworth          •Taking Depositions
Amos Davis                  Anthony P Mezzadri         Andrew T Yankowski           •Demand Debts or Protest Non-Payment.
Barry J Flynn               Philip E Miller
Tom F Gunn                  Antonio A O'Campo

                                                                                                                      Page 7

An Exhibition of Fine Art by Artists with Disabilities
Photos By: Dean Cummings and Tom Marshall

 May 31, 2005                                                                                         For the fifth year in a row,
                                                                                                      Sam Bass of Radio KYXY,
 It is amazing to see a blank canvas and then see what an artist                                      96.5 graciously volunteered
 can do with it. This can be said about Reflections. You start                                        his time to serve as Master-
 with a blank room and watch the transformation of the room                                           of-Ceremony and
 once the artwork arrives.                                                                            Auctioneer. Noted for his
                                                                                                      fine voice, quick wit and
 The seventh showing of Reflections a fine art exhibition by                                          dedication to Reflections
 artists with disabilities was again, a tremendous success. This                                      and people with disabilities,
                                      annual art-show was pre-     Sam was outstanding in entertaining and fundraising through-
                                      sented by CAL-Diego PVA      out the night.
                                      and was on display in the
                                      Santa Fe Room of the         The auctions, both live and silent, were fun events this year.
                                                                   Most of the displaying artists donated a piece of art to be auc-
                                      Balboa Park Club from May
                                                                   tioned to the reception guests with the proceeds going to Cal-
                                      27 through June 4, 2006.     Diego PVA. Auctioneer Sam Bass did an outstanding job in
                                      Reflections VII was also     holding the audience’s attention while raising the prices of the
                                      made possible by the City    auction pieces. The crowd’s favorites were a painting by Geer
                                      of San Diego’s Parks and     Morton and a decorated gourd art piece by Jim Russell, both
                                      Recreation Department.       Cal-Diego PVA members.
 Over 600 people attended this year’s event.                       This year’s Featured Artist Featured artist was Cal-Diego
                                                                   PVA’s own Moki Martin of Coronado, California. Moki is
 The reception for the artists evening was a delightful event of
                                                                   known for his watercolors, paintings and drawings of still lifes
 fine art, fine food and wines, music and company. Chef and
                                                                   and sea birds.
 owner Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grill in Del Mar pro-
 vided his usual fine assortment gourmet food. Executive Chef      Reflections VII showcased two and three-dimensional fine art,
 James Montejano of Café Japengo Restaurant also served his        which was judged for awards in eight different divisions with
 wonderful hors d’ouvres. The wines were provided by               1st ($100), 2nd ($50) and 3rd ($25) picked in each division.
 California Wines a division of Forest Glen and pianist, Isabel    A Best of Show and Best of Show Runner-up were also picked.
 Catania added the final touch to the evening with great music.    Both Sam and Moki presented the awards to the winning artists.
 The exhibition had many returning artists from years past as      The Best of Show Award went to “Lochness,” a beautiful
 well as ten new artists who joined the fun. One artist has        painting by Kathleen Thompson. Best of Show Honorable
 already started working on next year's art show. 116 pieces       Mention was an acrylic painting by Cal-Diego PVA’s own,
 representing seven divisions were displayed.                      Alan Johnson.
 Cal-Diego PVA members Billy Birch, Don Hyslop, Alan
 Johnson, Lee Lopez, Peter Mirche, Amir Pishdad, Rolla Rich,       Best of Show:            Lochness by Kathleen Thomson
 Jim Russell, and Moki Martin all submitted a variety of art-
 work in a variety of Medias.                                      Honorable Mention:       Old Friends by Alan Johnson
                                     Art exhibition judges,
                                     Marty and Tom Tiedeman
                                     of Escondido, volunteered     Acrylic:          1st Magnolia by Nina Robinson
                                     their time to judge the                         2nd Lone Cool Woman by Rolla Rich
                                     show. They were amazed                          3rd Blue Bush Hair by Paul Brogden
                                     at the quality of art to be
                                                                   Oil:              1st The Arch of Aruba by Ray Zambo
                                     judged and stated it was
                                                                                     2nd Indian Summer by Rolla Rich
                                     difficult job to perform.
                                                                                     3rd Still Life on Striped Cloth by
                                                                                         Kathleen Thomson

                                                                                           Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

 20th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
 By: David Smith

“Miracles on a Mountainside” was the theme of this year’s National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, held April 2-
9. DAV sponsored this wonderful event held every year in Snowmass, CO. The title which this event bears - Winter
Sports Clinic (WSC) encompasses it all. Events offered include: downhill skiing, cross country skiing, trap shooting,
archery, fencing, rock climbing, scuba diving, gondola rides, yoga, snowshoeing... the list just goes on and on. Everyone
agreed, there was something for everyone. When not involved in the active sporting events there was always plenty of
entertainment in the evenings with big-name stars appearing like Clay Walker. Nightly entertainment and dancing took
place, provided one had enough energy left to take part.
For 20 years, the Grand Junction VA Medical Center has hosted this event. Needless to say, they have become very expe-
rienced and organized, making the event a phenomenal experience for all. The expertise, care and efficiency demonstrated
by the Denver Elks lodge, the Grand Junction VA medical Center, and the hundreds of wonderful volunteers is simply
Our San Diego Beachcomber team started out as slightly more than casual acquaintances and by the end of the week we
felt like we were with our best friends. It must have something to do with the positive atmosphere and the things that we
overcome while being encouraged to participate in an action sport at real speed. As they say, the mountain doesn’t build
character, it reveals it.
I would like to say thanks to the SCI Recreation Therapy Department and Cal Diego PVA for helping to fund our trip.
Also a special thanks to Lani Dagley, our awesome coach, and Carrie and Lynda the fabulous attendants. Without all of
your wonderful help we may never know how much fun this could be.
If you would like more information on the Winter Ski Clinic there is a great web site with pictures of many activities at

                                          Please join us in welcoming the new RT!
                                          Lani Dagley joined the SCI Recreation Therapy Department in March and is
                                          absolutely thrilled to be here. Lani studied Recreation Therapy at Brigham Young
                                          University in Provo, UT. Following her studies, she completed her internship under
                                          the direction of Kelli Kaliszewski in the SCI Center. She desired to stay in San Diego
                                          and worked in a private hospital setting after graduation. One year later, Lani was
                                          offered a job in the Long Term Care setting of the San Diego VA main hospital. She
                                          was then selected to fill the opening in the SCI Center in March.
                                          Ms. Dagley shared her thoughts on her new position. She said, “My great Aunt is con-
                                          sidered to be one of the pioneers of Recreation Therapy in the VA system. I knew
                                          right away there was no other place that I would want to work, following her foot-
                                          steps. My heart lies with the VA and the veterans. I couldn’t be happier. I have reached
                                          an amazing place in my career and I am the luckiest Recreation Therapist in the world!”

                                                                                                                    Page 13
Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

 By: Kelly Kaliszewski

       n February of this year, San Diego VA SCI Recreation Therapy was given an opportunity to host a group of Cal-
       Diego PVA veterans to attend the first annual ski clinic held in Durango, CO. In conjunction with the Adaptive
       Sports Association, Inc. (ASA) and the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Club, six skiers and three support staff were sponsored
   to attend this incredible event.
   Every day the skiers were greeted with volunteers who donated their time and vehicles to transport the group up and
   down the mountain. At the ASA Ski School, we were welcomed each morning by its friendly and skilled staff. Scott
   “Grizz” Kelley was there to make sure things ran smoothly each day and the lunches that the school provided were deli-
   cious. At the end of each day we were served a hot meal sponsored by local organizations and caring individuals at our
   host hotel, the Hampton Inn. This was topped off with the Hampton Inn’s free yummy cookies and a game of
   Dominoes or Spades.
   And the skiing was truly intense! It included four, six - hour days of skiing lessons and adaptive ski equipment rental.
   “Being with my veteran brothers at the ASA clinic was a very unique opportunity to have a more intimate family skiing
   experience,” stated skier Darol Kubacz. The mountain was challenging and I guarantee everyone left a little skin on
   his/her favorite ski run.
   Special thanks go to Al Kovach and Ross Ehrhardt for making this event a true success. If you would like to learn more
   about ASA and its adaptive sports opportunities, you can visit the website at

      troops outside ASA ski school                                    Volunteer Mike Lee Lopez, Darryl Kubacz and Ken force

       Kelli • Brianne • Carylnn Dutton                                 Sam • Kelli • Wan

 Page 12
                                                                    Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

Reflections CONT’D
Watercolor:      1st In Memory of H. Bosch by Wayne
                 2nd Museum of Man by Don Hyslop
                 3rd Glowing by Nina Robinson
Drawing:         1st Hotsey-Totsey VI by P.L. Moki

                 2nd The Sentinel by Rolla Rich
                 3rd Halloween-Karin by Kyle Cooprider
Mixed Media: 1st     Dye on Paper by Wayne Hoska
                 2nd Determination by Amir Pishdad
                 3rd Windchimes by the Sea by Billy Birch

Sculpture:       1st Symbols by Alice Schonfeld
                 2nd Ventanas by Jim Russell
                 3rd Circles of Life by Jim Russell
Photography: 1st     Kaleidoscope by William Stothers
                 2nd Hero’s Hill by Paul Brogden
                 3rd Sago by Peter Mirche
A very special “Thank You” goes out to Cal-Diego PVA, the
Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities
and the many volunteers throughout the Reflections VII event
who helped to set up and take down the art show.
The other volunteers are Elizabeth Kaplan, Kevin Starks, Sarah
Wood, Paula Hendrix, James Miller, David Smith, Dean &
Kristi Cummings, Kim Korenek, Dave Urban, Marie Munoz,
Bill Miller, Joe Garrett, Callie Martin, Katie Estrada, Amanda
Gour, Robbie Bender, Teddy Reece, Kevin Fucella, and all the
sitter volunteers of Reflections VII.
The Cal-Diego PVA Art committee members who made
Reflections VII possible are Al Kovach, Kelly Price Noble, Kim
Martini, and Moki Martin. Kim and Moki served as jurors,
accepting the artwork for Reflections VII.
Reflections VII was a great art exhibition that displayed won-
derful art by artists who just happened to be disabled.
For more information on Reflections VII and next year’s exhi-
bition, please visit Cal-Diego PVA’s web- or call Kelly Price Noble or Kim
Martini at 858.450.1443 or at

Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

 Reflections photos

                          Cal-Diego PVA June 2006

Reflections photos (continued)


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