September 2018 Council and Chapter News
Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Register for MOAA’s Annual Meeting
Registration now is open for MOAA’s 2018 annual meeting in Phoenix Nov. 1-2. Events include the Levels of Excellence Award dinner; annual meeting of the membership; informational workshops; and the Chairman's Luncheon, with keynote speaker Gen. Norton Schwartz, USAF (Ret), former chief of staff of the Air Force.
Learn more and register by Sept. 21 at www.moaa.org/2018annualmeeting.
Enrolling in Dental Coverage Through FEDVIP
If you have TRICARE's Retiree Dental Program and want to maintain dental coverage in 2019, you must take action between Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.
TRICARE's Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will cease coverage Dec. 31, and you will not be automatically enrolled in a new dental plan. However, if you were covered under TRDP, you are eligible to enroll in dental coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
To maintain dental coverage in 2019, you must take action between Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. That four-week window from November to December, known as open season, gives you the opportunity to enroll in the dental plan that will meet your needs in 2019. Learn more in “ Here's How Military Retirees Can Prepare for FEDVIP Open Season.”
Tell Us About Your August Recess
National MOAA wants to hear about your experiences — both good and bad — with meeting your legislators during August recess.
During the month of August, most elected officials returned to their home districts to meet with constituents. Did you visit your legislators’ local offices and advise them of your concerns on some of MOAA’s national priorities? If so, we want to hear from you.
Chapter members are the local faces and voices of MOAA. Your work directly affects the lives of thousands of servicemembers, veterans, and military retirees and survivors and their families throughout your state. We sincerely appreciate all your hard work to improve the lives of those in the military community.
Tell us about your experiences, both good and bad. We want to know how receptive your legislator’s office was to your visit, your thoughts on the resources MOAA provided, and what tools we can provide to make your next visit even more productive. We might use your experience as a testimonial in future publications. Please email your feedback to email@example.com.
Updated “Why MOAA?” Video
National MOAA recently updated its “Why MOAA?” video — a tool designed to help you easily share with colleagues and prospective members the value of MOAA membership. Visit www.moaa.org/whymoaa to view and share the video.
Surviving Spouse Corner: Treating Hearing Loss Enhances Quality of Life
By Anne Hartline, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee
Ranking behind only heart disease and arthritis, hearing loss is the third largest public health issue in America. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 48 million Americans (20 percent of the population) have some degree of hearing loss. Left untreated, it has been shown to impact overall health and quality of life, sometimes leading to social isolation, depression, and dementia.
Among the causes are aging, chronic exposure to loud noises, damage to the inner ear, heredity, and infections. Some medications and illnesses also can cause hearing loss. Available treatments include hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices. To determine the most appropriate treatment, it’s best to be checked by a hearing professional.
Hearing loss that occurs gradually with aging is common. About 25 percent of people in the U.S. between the ages of 55 and 64 have some hearing loss. Roughly half of Americans over 65 experience some hearing loss. A major study published in the July 17, 2018, issue of The Lancetidentified “midlife hearing loss” as the highest total changeable risk factor for dementia. According to JAMA Internal Medicine, cognitive decline occurs more quickly among adults with hearing loss compared to those without. Several studies have confirmed hearing loss was significantly associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages.
At least 10 million Americans may experience hearing problems caused by loud noises. Many military veterans, construction workers, farmers, musicians, airport workers, and landscape workers have hearing problems even in their younger and middle years because of exposure to loud noise. Young people ages 12 to 35 around the world are at risk of hearing loss due to noise exposure in recreational settings.
Treatment depends on factors causing the hearing loss as well as the needs of the individual. Most hearing aids today provide better sound quality and speech understanding than recent models. Hearing aids can be worn in or behind the ear and can be adjusted through a smartphone. Cochlear implants are small electronic devices surgically implanted in the inner ear that provide a sense of sound to people who are profoundly deaf or hard-of-hearing. Assistive listening devices include telephone and cellphone amplifying devices, smartphone or tablet apps, and closed-circuit systems in places of worship, theaters, and auditoriums.
Better hearing can dramatically improve quality of life, provide more self-confidence and closer relationships, lessen of depression, and improve outlook on the future.
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From the Field
MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.
- The New Hampshire Chapter hosted Capt. David S. Hunt, USN, commander, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, as its summer luncheon guest speaker June 23 at the Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club. Hunt has served on USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629) and USS Bluefish (SSN-675), among many others. He previously was assigned to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) as the Military Deputy for Shipyard Operations until assuming command of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 2016.
- Tampa (Fla.) Chapter members Lt. Col. Robert F. Sawallesh, USA (Ret), and Mary Ellen Harlan co-lead a four-year effort for a traffic signal on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in front of James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. In addition to creating a website, the two gathered 750 petition signatures and lobbied decision-makers. The Hillsborough County Commission approved the project in early August, and the VA will pay the $1.4 million cost of the project, which includes installation of a traffic signal, modification of turn lanes, and adding pedestrian safety features.
- The Sarasota (Fla.) Chapter partnered with the Baltimore Orioles to host Veterans Appreciation Day Aug. 14 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Veterans and their families received free parking and admission to the Gulf Coast League Orioles game, and representatives from 30 veterans service organizations were on hand in the entrance corridor to the stadium to provide information about the community support available to veterans.
The game kicked off with the presentation of the colors by a nine-member color guard from the Sarasota Military Academy; the singing of the national anthem by Lauren Nielson, a runner-up for Miss Florida; and a parachute jump into the stadium by Special Operations Command Para-Commandos.
Throughout the game, the stadium big screen displayed the MOAA logo.
- The Northern Arizona Chapter made a monetary donation to the 100 Club of Arizona to honor the memory of Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Trooper Tyler Edenhofer, who was shot and killed in the line of duty July 25. Edenhofer served in the Navy before joining AZDPS in September 2017. The 100 Club of Arizona’s mission is to provide financial assistance to families of first responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty and provide resources to enhance their safety and welfare.
- The Keystone Capital (Pa.) Chapter supported the fourth annual Capital Area Veterans Expo and Job Fair Aug. 28 at the Radisson Hotel in the greater Harrisburg area. The chapter was among nearly 100 event exhibitors, which included business, organizations, and other service groups. In addition to chapter members meeting fellow veterans, including a World War II bomber pilot who also flew in the Korean War, they also recruited several new members.
- The Louisville Chapter hosted Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, Aug. 22. Bono began by discussing how she and her family transitioned into life in the military and then spoke about how her present job affects so many people and the importance of making sure it is done right. She fielded questions about TRICARE, including recent changes, and then spoke about the upcoming open enrollment period.