Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Study (COVVHS)

Today I received this email that deserves the widest distribution

Hello all,
The Minister for Veterans Affairs, Mr Bruce Billson announced recently that; “The Howard Government will undertake world-first research into the impact of war service on the health and welfare of the children of Vietnam veterans”.

Announcing a $13.5 million research program, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Billson, said the “Vietnam Veteran Family Study provides an innovative, integrated and holistic approach to the health of veterans’ families”.

COVVHS would like to thank you, veterans and families, for the many thousands of congratulatory emails. They were very much appreciated.

The study is a great move forward for the veteran’s community; however this is only the next step in a long process.More…

COVVHS would like to give a huge thanks to Professor Hedley Peach, who has given so much of his valuable time, freely.

Professor Peach has provided expertise to both the veteran community and the Government. His unbiased contribution has provided a much needed perspective and understanding of the issues that were involved. This from a person with an international reputation in the field of Public Health and Epidemiology has been incredibly helpful not only to COVVHS but other ESO groups.

COVVHS have some questions regarding the Protocol, but feel that the time to address those questions is at the Consultative forum level as each tier of research is being prepared by the Institute that wins the tender.

We must take the Minister on “face value”. At the DVA organised telelink, he stated that this study would be “world class”. Having given 13.5 million dollars towards such a health study, we must have trust that this will be so.

We feel it is most important that the veteran community remain united to get this health study ‘off and running’ ASAP.

However there is one aspect that has not been addresses yet. That is the ongoing involvement of “the stakeholders” ie the veterans, their partners and the sons and daughters.

The conduct of the Vietnam Veteran Family Study (The Intergenerational Health Effects of Service in the Military, July 2007) should have veteran community involvement. It is important that Minister Billson now shows faith in us and appoints representative members to a Consultative Forum.

The CMVH says inter alia (see Research Protocol document; ) that it doesn’t know how to contact Vietnam veterans or their families; ……the CMVH knows that the COVVHS offer to email the nearly 30,000 email addresses that have registered on the COVVHS web site still stands.

COVVHS will write to remind Minister Billson of the veteran community requirements of a Consultative Forum.
Kind regards,
David Matheson
President, COVVHS

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