The director of the Veterans Administration Health Services in Central Alabama says he has eliminated paper waiting lists, added staff and worked to bring stability to an operation that has some of the longest patient waiting lists in the country. A recent VA audit report of the Montgomery and Tuskegee facilities shows an average wait time of 7 days. James Talton attributes the waiting time, in part to difficulties recruiting physicians and the VA salary cap. He said the Central Alabama VA has added 85 positions to improve services. Talton has served as director of the Central Alabama VA since July 2012.
The Montgomery Police Department is temporarily under new leadership as Chief of Police Kevin Murphy takes some time off to be with his family after the death of his twin brother. Public Safety Director Chris Murphy says Chief of Staff John Brown has taken the primary leadership role of the police department while Kevin Murphy is away. Mayor Todd Strange said he talked with Chief Murphy the Tuesday after his brother's death and suggested he take some time off to grieve.
The city of Montgomery has added the title of All-America City. The designation comes from the National Civic League at an awards ceremony held in Denver Sunday night. A delegation from Montgomery said the city won the title of an All-America City based on its wellness and health initiatives, which includes the River Region Obesity Task Force.
UAB Cancer Study
Researchers at University of Alabama Birmingham are looking for African-American cancer survivors in the Lowndes County area to participate in a program to achieve a healthy weight. It is called the Journey to Better Health project. Director Claudia Hardy said there is a link between obesity and recurrence of cancer. The number for more information is (334) 590-5694.