Bill Harding: A better solution

— The following was published in the Craig Daily Press newspaper. Permission is granted to use any of this information in support of veterans' interests.

If you are getting standard blood work at the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center and are tired of getting up before the sun rises in order get blood work before your primary care appointment, there is a better solution.

You can call your primary care provider nurse/clerk and ask to have the blood work done at the Craig Telehealth Clinic.

It can then be scheduled here prior to your appointment and then you just need to get to the VAMC for your primary care appointment. I asked that the RN staff at the Telehealth Clinic list the lab work that they can or cannot do.

Here is what Dave Newman has written.

"Bill, you asked me for a list of labs that we can draw at Craig. I don't know how much this will help as most patients probably don't know what is being drawn. But anyway, we regularly do:

• Urines for urine analysis.

• CBC

• Hg A1C (a diabetic lab)

• Chem 7 and Chem profile: which looks at blood sugar, electrolytes, kidney functions, liver functions

• Fasting Lipid profile: which is cholesterol related

• PSA levels: which looks at the prostate

• Coagulation related tests: such as PT, PTT and INR can be done

• Hepatitis testing

• HIV testing

• Some drug levels, such as digoxin

• Thyroid stuff, such as TSH and T4

"It might almost be easier to say what we do not or cannot do.

"Many of the cancer-related labs cannot be done: such as Flow Cytometry, SPEP and so on. Some of the liver studies cannot be done, such as ammonia and AFP. We've not yet been able to do cultures for blood, urine or other things. Some specialty things can be done, but we have trouble, such as a B-12. We cannot do ABGs (arterial blood gases).

"We do not do finger stick blood sugars. We do not have a rapid strep test. Additionally, but not lab related, and as a reminder, we have no X-ray capabilities; and our drugs are limited to flu vaccine, hepatitis vaccine and a couple similar ones."

Vietnam Moving Wall scholarship

Although the three semifinalists have been chosen by the high school teacher panel for the Vietnam Moving Wall scholarship and those entries will be presented at the Veteran meetings next week, there were 10 entries that were submitted that need to be recognized.

I want to publish those essays in this column during the next few months. Those students who submitted entries but didn't make the semifinalist grouping were: Teren Wilkey, Meghan Innes, Nora Cazares, Becky Meek, Lindsey Browning, Kirsten McAlexander, Angelia Simpson, Michael Zehner, Kaycee Stagner and Monika Baron.

I wish to thank them for their time and effort in addressing what the "Moving Wall meant to me."

All the articles submitted had statements that displayed personal growth and insight to the sacrifices of the fallen.

WIA program training funds

Veterans may qualify for Workforce Investment Act training funds. There are several criteria that must be met to qualify. Stop by your local Colorado Work Force Center for information and enrollment; or come see me at 480 Barclay Street to determine if you are qualified and that your goals can be helped with this funding.

Jonny A. Murray

Employment Service Specialist/Veterans Representative

Colorado Work Force Center

480 Barclay, Craig, CO 81625-2721

(970) 824-3246 ext 15

Fax: (970) 824-7108

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only. Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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