Summary: S.2679 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2679. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/15/2016)

Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act

This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish a center of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions relating to exposure to open burn pits and other environmental exposures in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The VA shall, in selecting the center's site, consider entities that:

  • are equipped with the specialized equipment needed to study, diagnose, and treat health conditions relating to such exposure;
  • have a publication track record of post-deployment health exposures among veterans who served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom;
  • have collaborated with a geosciences department that has a medical geology division;
  • have developed animal models and in vitro models of dust immunology and lung injury consistent with the injuries of members of the Armed Forces who served in support of such operations; and
  • have expertise in allergy and immunology, pulmonary diseases, and industrial and management engineering.

The VA shall ensure that the center collaborates with the Department of Defense (DOD), institutions of higher education, and other appropriate public and private entities to:

  • provide for dissemination within the VA of best practices for the treatment of such conditions and the training of health professionals;
  • provide guidance for the VA and DOD health systems in determining the personnel required to provide quality health care for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with such conditions;
  • establish, implement, and oversee a comprehensive program to train VA and DOD health professionals in the treatment of such conditions;
  • facilitate advancements in the study of the short-term and long-term effects of such exposure;
  • conduct basic science and translational research on such conditions for the purposes of understanding the etiology of such conditions and developing preventive interventions and new treatments; and
  • provide medical treatment to all veterans identified as part of the burn pits registry established under the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012.

The center shall have access to and make use of the data accumulated by such registry.