Senator Aument E-Newsletter

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Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 36th Senatorial District and look forward to working with you toward building a stronger Pennsylvania. This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout  Lancaster County and what I am doing as your State Senator in Harrisburg – I hope that you find it helpful! Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please DO NOT reply to this email; instead, please feel free to contact me here.


If you know a veteran, please forward this issue to him or her as it provides important updates, resources, and information.

  • Safeguarding Your Identity and Veterans Benefits from Theft
  • Help is Available for Struggling Veterans
  • VA Leads the Way in Improving Surgical Outcomes for Frail Patients
  • Applications Being Accepted for 2024-25 Virtual Student Federal Service Internship Program
  • 2024 NatCon Focuses on Supporting Student Veterans
  • What are Vet Centers?
  • Who is Eligible to Receive Services at Vet Centers?
  • Contacting Your Local Vet Center

Safeguarding Your Identity and Veterans Benefits from Theft

While we don’t always think about it, safeguarding your identity is key to protecting your finances. It’s also very important for veterans wanting to keep their VA benefits safe.

In the world in which we live, identity theft is a more likely occurrence than home burglary or car theft. As a veteran, you hold more sensitive information than an average citizen, necessitating careful protection of your personal accounts, Veteran ID, account login, and any benefits you may receive, such as disability compensation and education benefits. Veterans are highly susceptible to fraudulent activities, online scams, and deceitful individuals.

Identity theft occurs when hackers obtain sensitive personally identifiable information, like credit card details, to sell on the dark web or use for their own gain. Identity theft is a difficult crime to prevent, but there are several measures you can take to safeguard yourself and your VA benefits, including staying vigilant and familiarizing yourself with the frequently occurring common online scams.

You can find more information about all of that here and here. Our state government also offers plenty of helpful information about protecting yourself online and preventing identity theft.

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission here.

Help is Available for Struggling Veterans

Like anyone, veterans and their families can face unexpected circumstances that impose financial burdens.

To help veterans who are facing challenging times, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers the Veterans Temporary Assistance (VTA) Program.

The VTA provides temporary financial assistance of up to $1,600 in a 12-month period to veterans or their surviving spouses who reside in Pennsylvania for food, shelter, fuel, and clothing.

Learn more about how to qualify and apply.

VA Leads the Way in Improving Surgical Outcomes for Frail Patients

Physicians who treat elderly patients have long been aware of how a patient’s strength or frailty can affect the outcomes of surgeries and the patient’s quality of life.

For several years, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System surgeon and researcher Dr. Daniel Hall has been looking at the impacts of patient frailty and if frailty screening of patients before surgery can help to improve health care outcomes.

Recently, the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum recognized Dr. Hall’s Surgical Pause initiative with a 2023 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for its reduction of six-month mortality of patients determined to be “frail” from 25% to 8% at three VA medical centers. A 2023 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Surgery reported that from July 1, 2016, to May 31, 2019, one-year mortality fell from 20% to 16% after implementing the Surgical Pause in a sample of more than 50,000 patients.

Under the initiative, providers implemented routine frailty screening using risk analysis to identify patients at the highest risk of postoperative complications, loss of independence, and death. For patients found to be frail, a brief “pause” permits further evaluation. For patients who pursue surgery, multidisciplinary care plans are implemented to reduce frailty-associated risks before surgery, shifting the paradigm and effort to strengthening the frail patient and mitigating potential complications before they happen.

Since its initial use at three VA medical centers, the initiative has been implemented at 50 VA facilities and is rolling out across the nation.  

Applications Being Accepted for 2024-25 Virtual Student Federal Service Internship Program

The VA, in collaboration with the Department of State, has opened applications for the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) Internship Program for the 2024-25 academic year.

This virtual internship opportunity is designed for U.S. citizens who are passionate about serving our nation’s veterans while gaining professional experience in digital communications and beyond.

Hundreds of positions are available, with the internships covering a wide range of things, including but not limited to writing and editing articles, digital media research, graphic design, prompt engineering (AI), web analytics, social media content creation, social media management, and analytics, leadership, and project management.

More information about the internship program can be found here.

2024 NatCon Focuses on Supporting Student Veterans

The 2024 Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference, also known as NatCon, was held in Nashville in January to continue its efforts supporting student veterans.

The annual conference serves as a focal point during the academic year to share ideas, best practices, and networking opportunities for student veterans, military-connected students, and their families, supporters, and allies, including government, corporate, and nonprofit partners.

According to the organizers of the SVA NatCon, the conference offers the opportunity for student veterans to connect with like-minded people with shared experiences. It helps to foster a sense of community that encourages student veterans to build relationships with peers who understand the unique challenges they face. This support network plays a vital role in their transition from military service to higher education.

You can find more information about Student Veterans of America or find a chapter near you here.

What are Vet Centers?

VA vet centers provide free and confidential readjustment counseling for war-zone veterans and their families, from World War II to the current Global War on Terror.

Vet centers are small, non-medical, counseling centers conveniently located in our region. They’re staffed by highly trained counselors and team members dedicated to seeing you through the challenges that come with managing life during and after the military.

Our region is served by the Lancaster Vet Center, which is one of 12 vet centers in Pennsylvania and more than 300 across the country. Whether you come in for one-on-one counseling or to participate in a group session, at vet centers you can form social connections, try new things and build a support system with people who understand you and want to help you succeed.

Who is Eligible to Receive Services at Vet Centers?

Vet center services are available to veterans at no cost, regardless of discharge character, and without the need to be enrolled in VA health care or having a service-connected disability. If you are a veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, you can access vet center services if you:

  • Served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Experienced military sexual trauma (regardless of gender or service era).
  • Provided mortuary services or direct emergent medical care to treat the casualties of war while serving on active military duty.
  • Performed as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Accessed care at a Vet Center prior to Jan. 2, 2013 as a Vietnam-era veteran.
  • Served on active military duty in response to a national emergency or major disaster declared by the president, or under orders of the governor or chief executive of a state in response to a disaster or civil disorder in that state.
  • Are a current or former member of the Coast Guard who participated in a drug interdiction operation, regardless of the location.

Contacting Your Local Vet Center

Even if you are unsure if you meet the criteria to receive services from a vet center, please contact a center.

Center services are also available to family members when their participation would support the growth and goals of the veteran or active-duty service member. If you consider them family, so does your local center. Bereavement services are also available to family members of veterans who were receiving vet center services at the time of the veteran’s death, and to the families of service members who died while serving on active duty.

The Lancaster Vet Center, located at 1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster, PA 17601, can be contacted at 717-283-0735 or toll free 24/7 at 1-877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).

The other vet center locations in Pennsylvania are:

  • Bucks County Vet Center, 2 Canals End Road, Suite 201B, Bristol, PA 19007, 215-823-4590
  • DuBois Vet Center, 100 Meadow Lane, Suite 8, DuBois, PA 15801, 814-372-2095
  • Erie Vet Center, 240 West 11th Street, Suite 105, Erie, PA 16501, 814-453-7955
  • Harrisburg Vet Center, 1500 N. Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102, 717-782-3954
  • Norristown Vet Center, 320 East Johnson Highway, Suite 201, Norristown, PA 19401, 215-823-5245
  • City Center Philadelphia Vet Center, 801 Arch Street, Suite 502, Philadelphia, PA 19107, 215-627-0238
  • Northeast Philadelphia Vet Center, 101 East Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19120, 215-924-4670
  • Pittsburgh Vet Center, 2500 Baldwick Road, Suite 15, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, 412-920-1765
  • Scranton Vet Center, 1002 Pittston Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505, 570-344-2676
  • White Oak Vet Center, 2001 Lincoln Way, Suite 280, White Oak, PA 15131, 412-678-7704
  • Williamsport Vet Center, 49 East Fourth Street, Suite 104, Williamsport, PA 17701, 570-327-5281

For more information, please visit

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