Los Angeles, CA (PressExposure) July 27, 2007 -- During the eve of the Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois and Director Tammy Duckworth of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) announced a pioneering program that would benefit National Guard members from Illinois who have returned from war. The program involves screening for TBI or traumatic brain injury for Illinois Veterans and toll-free round-the-clock call for psychological assistance for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Los Angeles, California, July 5, 2007 - The program also aims to increase the benefits on health care for Veterans. Later on, these benefits will become a part of the Illinois Covered insurance plan of the Governor.
There are two parts involved in the implementation of the program. Concerning the traumatic brain injury portion, screening is mandated for all the National Guard members from Illinois who are returning from their deployment. All of the Illinois Veterans, especially those returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and are also entitled to free screening.
On the other hand, on the posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD portion, a 24-hour and toll-free call for psychological assistance are offered for Veterans giving them a place to turn to for help, everyday.
The announcement of this first-of-its-kind program makes the state of Illinois the first in the nation to form a statewide TBI program that offers screenings for every Veteran and mandatory screenings for the National Guard members of the Illinois Army.
These new TBI and PTSD program will become a part of the Illinois Covered insurance plan by the Governor, which aims to provide accessible and affordable health care coverage for every resident of Illinois.
On the federal government side, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) authored the legislation in Senate requiring the Departments of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD) to impose a comprehensive program for service members and all Veterans, earlier this year. The program to implement must be focused on diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating those who have suffered from service-related TBI.
According to Senator Durbin, TBI and PTSD are the main wounds inflicted to army members in this war. It is but necessary to improve the care for Veterans on the federal level for them to have all the resources they rightfully deserve after fighting for the country. Durbin also applauded Governor Blagojevich and Director Duckworth's state - level efforts to step in and take action for the Illinois Veterans.