(a)The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Health, shall establish in the Veterans Health Administration a Committee on Care of Severely Chronically Mentally Ill Veterans. The Under Secretary shall appoint employees of the Department with expertise in the care of the chronically mentally ill to serve on the committee.
(b)The committee shall assess, and carry out a continuing assessment of, the capability of the Veterans Health Administration to meet effectively the treatment and rehabilitation needs of mentally ill veterans whose mental illness is severe and chronic and who are eligible for health care furnished by the Department, including the needs of such veterans who are women. In carrying out that responsibility, the committee shall—
(1)evaluate the care provided to such veterans through the Veterans Health Administration;
(2)identify systemwide problems in caring for such veterans in facilities of the Veterans Health Administration;
(3)identify specific facilities within the Veterans Health Administration at which program enrichment is needed to improve treatment and rehabilitation of such veterans; and
(4)identify model programs which the committee considers to have been successful in the treatment and rehabilitation of such veterans and which should be implemented more widely in or through facilities of the Veterans Health Administration.
(c)The committee shall—
(1)advise the Under Secretary regarding the development of policies for the care and rehabilitation of severely chronically mentally ill veterans; and
(2)make recommendations to the Under Secretary—
(A)for improving programs of care of such veterans at specific facilities and throughout the Veterans Health Administration;
(B)for establishing special programs of education and training relevant to the care of such veterans for employees of the Veterans Health Administration;
(C)regarding research needs and priorities relevant to the care of such veterans; and
(D)regarding the appropriate allocation of resources for all such activities.
(1)Not later than April 1, 1997, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the implementation of this section. The report shall include the following:
(A)A list of the members of the committee.
(B)The assessment of the Under Secretary for Health, after review of the initial findings of the committee, regarding the capability of the Veterans Health Administration, on a systemwide and facility-by-facility basis, to meet effectively the treatment and rehabilitation needs of severely chronically mentally ill veterans who are eligible for Department care.
(C)The plans of the committee for further assessments.
(D)The findings and recommendations made by the committee to the Under Secretary for Health and the views of the Under Secretary on such findings and recommendations.
(E)A description of the steps taken, plans made (and a timetable for their execution), and resources to be applied toward improving the capability of the Veterans Health Administration to meet effectively the treatment and rehabilitation needs of severely chronically mentally ill veterans who are eligible for Department care.
(2)Not later than June 1 of each year through 2012, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing information updating the reports submitted under this subsection before the submission of such report.
2008—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 110–387substituted “through 2012” for “through 2008”.
2003—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 108–170substituted “June 1 of each year through 2008” for “February 1, 1998, and February 1 of each of the six following years”.
2000—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 106–419, substituted “six following years” for “three following years”.
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