VA to hold second national Access Stand Down


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On Saturday, Feb. 27, VA will hold its second National Access Stand Down event.

A team of clinical leaders, administrators and volunteers will be on site at every VA medical center from 9 a.m. to noon to reach out to all Veterans waiting for urgent care and make sure we are meeting their health care needs. Veterans should contact their Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) with questions about the urgency of their condition.

Our first-ever National Access Stand Down event last November was a great success, and now we want to keep the momentum going.

Saturday, Nov. 14, was an important day for VA to show our Veterans and the nation how serious we are about ending the access crisis. But our journey of improvement is just beginning.

It takes much more than a one-day event to fix our access issues and achieve our goal of providing Veterans same day access for primary care and urgent specialty care.

On Feb. 27, at VA medical centers across the country, hundreds of the men and women of VA will give up part of their weekend to demonstrate our commitment to providing timely access to health care for our Veterans.

VA’s ability to meet the urgent health needs of our Veterans remains a priority for VA and the nation. As long as there is even a single Veteran with an urgent care need that we are not meeting in a timely fashion, we will not be satisfied.

Although we have greatly increased access since last June, our demand has also significantly increased, and we still have Veterans waiting longer than they should for care. That’s why we’re holding another National Access Stand Down.

Many of our federal, community, and academic partners have been recruited to pitch in and help us resolve any outstanding urgent appointments at the one-day Access Stand Down. This event will demonstrate to you, our Veterans, and the nation how serious we are about ending the access crisis.

And our efforts to fix the access issues will continue after Feb. 27. We will not rest until we fix our systemic problems in addressing the health needs of those who need our help the most.

VA is committed to providing timely access to Veterans as determined by their clinical needs. We strive for all Veterans to have safe, high-quality, personalized, and timely care wherever they receive their health care services.


Dr. David ShulkinAbout the Author: Dr. David J. Shulkin is the Under Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Author

David Shulkin

Comments

  1. Netta "Jeannine" DiCristina, LCSW    

    I have a Master’s Degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. I’ve wanted to work for our local VA facility or anywhere along the Southeastern U.S. for many years. My father was enlisted in the Army during his late teens early 20s.
    Please inform me of any vacancy needed?
    Netta Jeannine DiCristina, LCSW
    Metairie, LA.

    1. Mark NAnsley    

      I have high blood pressure. Sometimes I can’t catch my breath.Why does it take 3 months to get an appointment to see my primary care,?

      1. Salvatore Caridi    

        High blood pressure doesn’t necessarily need to be seen by primary care. Consider asking to be consulted to the home telehealth program.

    2. larry williams    

      Go to usa.jobs, vacareers.va.gov this I hope helps. We as vets, need more patriots like you, to help with our care. Thank you and good luck.

    3. Manuel Cabrero    

      I don’t know what “crisis access” issues means to the VA, but I can’t get my (PACT) team at the 23rd St VA hospital in New York City to respond to my requests to give me information about my blood lab results. Voice mails go unanswered and no one ever picks up the phone when I call. I hope the VA’s access concerns spread to other areas of their hospitals.

      M. Cabrero

    4. Daniel Van Winkle    

      I would like to know why cant all veterans get an affordable health care. I spent 14 years in the national guard and my friend spent 12 years during this time we was nerver called to active duty. However we would have went in a moments notice. We understand we are not entitled because lack of active duty time and we are not asking for it to be free. But we still served our county. So don’t we count?

  2. wyatt grace    

    will that stand down be in the state of Georgia and if so where?

  3. Samuel M Gringeri    

    I am living proof Veteran’s lives matte, the VA has provided me with great health care I know I earned it yet still I am great full ! I have a number of serious problems, struggling with many sometimes conflicting medications,several times I have approached deaths door. Without the dedication of the Nurses and Doctors I would not still be here! The Sepulveda VA. And Doctors like DR. Arthur Gomez have done their best! My only wish is that every single Veteran must receive this top notch elite spree decorum quality of care! Dr. Shulkin can you do it ? Do it for us?

  4. Dr. David D. Hatfield    

    And a one-day notice is not sufficient for getting the word out to all the veterans who need this access urgently! This notice came out at 16:09 EST on Thursday, 25 February, leaving veterans only Thursday evening/night and Friday to check their e-mail for the link to this blog announcement, hope they will be in town or somewhere near a VA Hospital, and hopefully have had access to a PACT.

    Not nearly as helpful as it could have been had it been announced last week, or even last weekend or Monday of this week, at the latest.

  5. James Thomas Tyson    

    My Name is James Tyson and I was denied service connected disability from the VA for over 50 years and I still have it under appeal which they have dragged out for an unreasonable time. My wife and I both are totally disabled as well as our age demands help! I am 73 years in a three months and it looks like the VA is hoping I will die before getting the help they owe me and my family. I have sent the VA all the medical records proving my case but they refuse to listen to that.
    I was assaulted by a drill instructor during basic training at Lackland Air Force Base Texas in 1962. I sent the VA a notarized letter from another Airman who witnessed the attack. I sent the VA letters from my Doctor and my Cardiologist stating that in their opinion, my Heart related problems with open heart surgery was caused by PTSD stress; resulting from the two incidents I experienced in the Air Force. The VA doctors also diagnosed me with PTSD. The VA after 50 years finally gave me health care but refuse to service connect me with a disability payment which we really need at this time.
    What can be done to help me get someone to pay attention to facts and do the right thing?

    James Tyson Sr.

    1. Kimberly    

      Mr. James Tyson, please, please see a service officer ASAP as well as contact your local State Representative and or Congressman/Congresswoman. You didn’t state if you had an accredited service officer helping you or not. If you diagnosed with PTSD are you being treated by VA and if so add that to your file.
      Find out where your case is and have your elected representatives to help you.
      As one person stated, it does work! Each local legislative office has Veterans Special interest representatives.
      I wish you the best of luck.

      Kimberly A. Napoleon
      US Army, Retired

  6. Chester    

    Will the volunteers be at the local clinic sites or only at the regional centers?

    1. Loretta steffy    

      You have to contact your congressman they are very willing to help, problems with VA for benefits ect. For my daughter I reached out several times and YES they were able to help her!
      Good luck and thank you for your service.
      Loretta

      1. dennis Putt    

        this is a JOKE!! the congressman in Ga FEAR the Va and will not help. I have been waiting 5 months and still have not been seen. The Va says call the vet Choice Program. the Choice program says call the Va….
        these people are not giving up their time because they care, they have been chosen/directed to partcipate.

  7. Arnold Cabral    

    My belief why a Veteran that is 100 percent service connected can’t get get Cosmetic dentistry and at Veterans Mental Health Clinic don’t have a Meeting for Non Combat Veterans Thanks Semper Fi. My name is Arnold Cabral

  8. Lucille Silva Luciano    

    I am Lucille Silva Luciano and served in 1951-55. I am now 87. The VA Sepulveda doctor
    will not give me my medication, I have blood cancer. She gives it to me only if I travel 200 miles round trip.
    which is a 12 round trip on the VA bus. I received a letter that I am untitled to CHOICE which means
    I have a local specialist that my own insurance pays and he prescribes my pills. With that according to
    CHOICE the VA is supposed to send me my pills. Yet the lady physician in Sepulveda said she will not
    give my RX unless I come there in person. She knows about CHOICE and my doctor’s prescription but
    she will not grant it and says, I travel there every three months or no pills.

    I don’t know how they can keep this physician on the VA payroll the way she treats patients. Actually
    she is not going according to the VA rules. Can anyone tell me who to write to in the VA? I was a nurse
    in a squadron bringing home the wounded out of Japan in 1951 and thru ’55.

    God Bless. Lucille

    1. rich crandall    

      send your RX to Express Scripts and see if they will honor your request

  9. DannyBarnes    

    iv been waiting on a appeal for over a year and iv not heard a word from any one

  10. Charles Edward Skaggs    

    I find it very interesting the VA seems to believe a one day effort will fix the problem. Moving seemingly healthy patients from an annual visit to 15-18 months between visits was another secretly initiated scheme to mask the problem of failing to provide service. We all know it will take a major revamp of management to successfully get the veterans a timely medical service.

  11. Dennis Reuss    

    I have the answer to most of these VA medical problems. Pay into Medicare like I do and receive wonderful on time medical care. I went to my doctor on Oct. 18, 2010. Had quadruple bypass surgery Oct 22 and suffered a stroke during surgery. Pace Maker implanted on Oct 28 and transferred to Spalding Rehab Center on Oct 29, 2010. Released from Splading on Nov 12, 2010. On Dec 29 we were informed that my wife had Ovarian Cancer stage 4. She entered the hospital on Jan 14, 2011 and on Feb 3 around noon she was transferred to The Denver Hospice where she passed away at 5 AM on Feb 4, 2011.
    All of this happened to me in three and a half months and the total for all of this care was almost $750,000. That is almost three quarters of a million dollars. I do not have one complaint against the medical care in this great country that I served in the Air Force for twenty and a half years. Then I worked in Civil Service with the last twelve year in Federal Bureau of Prisons, yes protecting the citizens of this great country.. None of my medical problems were battle connected so I have never registered with The VA. Only battle connected illnesses should be taken care of by The VA. Just because people served in the military and then became ill in their senior years should not be VA qualified. Most of these complainers should be paying for their medical care through private health insurance or Medicare. VA is nothing more than Socialized Medicine at it’s worse.

    1. Michael Davis    

      During a training exercise a 500 lbs iron bomb exploded near my squad and I was injured and so where others, are you saying since it was not combat related I should not receive VA Health Care?

    2. PG Kee    

      Dennis what you say is true. When it came time for me to decide if I wanted to start paying for Medicare Part B I asked the VSO(vet’s service officer) at the local VA clinic if I was going to if I need to start paying for it.
      He told me yes, I should start paying for Part B of Medicare. That was the correct advice because now I can have a second Dr. with a second opinion and little wait time if needed.

    3. richard Martarano    

      Dennis, you are 100% correct. Meanwhile, millions with their hands out only because they didn’t care enough to plan early. How sad….21 yr retired Army Joe…..

  12. Curtis lee denson    

    my belief is its not all the VA’s fault I have sent in maybe 20 different requests for information on the years that I was involved in Vietnam my previous Reserve duties at Everett Washington and my medical records from Vietnam and Japan and Bremerton Washington all of these were Navy related so far today nobody has sent any information back no matter what form I filled out this has to be typical and it is also why so many veterans are not served by the VA the other part of the problem is if they make a determination of which I am 80% disabled and I ask them what they based it on, I want their the VA information they are not forthcoming nor do they supply it why? IT IS all so much rubbish that they are not an adversarial with the people applying that leads me to the second opinion that I now have the 400,000 or so suits are probably unnecessary except to keep lawyers busy the determinations could be properly done if they would just release the previous war records indivules cost records After Action reports that I am sure the Navy still holds on my boat comrivron15 ATC10 Dongtam Vietnam 1968-69 and anything else having to do with the VA constituents history, there are far better medical records on both sides of the Civil War than any war where people are still alive just my opinion.

  13. dennis Putt    

    It is a sad state of affairs when people like Robert Mcdonald and David Shulkin can make statements like this, fool the public into thinking veterans are being taken care of and get away with it. Even more, they sleep at night! I have been waiting 5 months to see a doctor. the Atlanta Va said to call the Veterans Choice program as they cant see me. the Veterans choice program says call the VA. Now when I call the Choice Program says they are waiting on authorization from the VA. What is a choice if you dont have a choice??? They are telling you who you can see and when. They even sent me to one doctor months ago that doesnt deal with my issue. Bet he got paid! That is govt waste at its finest.

    Hope our new president makes the choice program just that. If a vet meets the criteria, he goes to his/her CHOICE of physicians.

  14. Brenda Petrie    

    2016, Feb. 25, I took a close friend who is a Vietnam Veteran to the Colorado Eastern VA Med Center in Denver for care. His PCP was awful at the Aurora Medical Center and he has repeatedly asked for a new PCP to no avail. I took him to the Denver VA with issues of high blood pressure, severe pain in his legs and feet. He has been exposed to Agent Orange but that doesn’t seem to matter to VA. After registering him in the ER, we waited over 2 hours in the Urgent Care dept. to be seen by a NP not a real DO. She tried to help but she told he needs to seen by neurology. We went directly to Neurology to try to set up an appointment. Can’t make appointments in person, only by phone is what we were told. WHAT A JOKE!!!! REALLY!!!! The NP tried to help but said due to the nature of his pain, she is unable to assist him. I called yesterday twice and left VM, called again today and left another VM. No reply yet. I did say it was an urgent care matter. Seems to me VA needs to find additional assistance with their specialty depts. Not very happy with them right now. He is in several pain and getting no help. Seems to me we still don’t care about of Vietnam Vets. I am quite frankly sick and tired of watching our Vets get third world care at our VA centers. Our government should be ashamed of themselves. Lets put Congress, the President and the rest of our Federal Governement in the VA healthcare system and I bet it would change quick. These men and women put their lives in harms way for the USA. Then our government says “we are looking at the matter”. What a joke. I don’t give up easily and I am not afraid of them.

  15. Gualberto Rivera    

    I understand the process of evaluating a Claim And all the amount of claims there should be in process . But I also seen claims that take as long as 40 years to be accepted and be approved . What I desagree is that lots of time when that veteran is compensated , he is near death . I seen it . That is absurd because is the veteran who suffered the sacrifices a war brings , not to say the family also suffers but not as that human being that sees his life in continuos threat and danger to his life !

  16. Malcolm Bradley    

    My comment is if you are serviced connected if you are 10%or100% why do you have to be over30% to get traveling pay ? I f a patient go to Va to see his primary care Dr for check up and he gets 30% and I go for the same thing he gets traveling pay and I do not because I am not getting only 20% . I know that he is getting 10 % more but it cause me more to drive than him because gets 30%. Thank you

  17. John Frederick Bjorge    

    I’ve been on medication for High Blood Pressure for a number of years. Since this is not a “Service Connected’ disability I am charged $8.00 each for a 30 day supply for two medications. The VA tried to send a bill to my Insurance company but they would not pay for more then a 34 day supply. Why didn’t anyone at the VA Puget Sound contact me about this? Why can’t the VA work out these type of problems? After I did some research with my Insurance provider I contacted my Doctor at the clinic in Mount Vernon and got a paper prescription, now I’m paying less then $4 for both medications for a 30 day supply. Why is the VA overcharging for minor medications?

  18. William L. Hicks    

    It may seem to those outside the VA community that this is a great effort. For this to be a success don’t you think more advance warning should’ Service is being held tomorrow but it isn’t published until the day before. I am one of those with issues that were VA incurred but because my need to pay out of pocket for medical treatment I have to work to pay the bills. Scheduled to work tomorrow and can’t call boss and say I might be seen at VA between 9 and 12. Good show for those not in the loop. Please get REAL!!

  19. Penny Stillway    

    My husband was hospitalized six times between October and January. Each time he was discharged with instructions to follow up with the clinic specialist by the time we got an appointment he was back in the hospital. The VA hospital in Northport, N.Y. Is supposedly a teaching hospital and every Four weeks the Doctors and residents change. Each change caused a different treatment even though it was for the same problem. My husband was 100 percent disabled, paralyzed on the left side from a stroke suffered after bypass surgery. He had numerous medical problems. I was told by one of the residents that specialists ie: gastroenterologist or cardiologist are not called in consultation when you are inpatient. My husband died on January 27, 2016 . I believe that there were many indications that the treatment they were using caused them to miss the problem that killed him. New Doctors do need to learn but should not have total control of a case.

  20. Deborah Hattis    

    What do you do or who do talk to for services for vets. Who do you talk for help? My father seem to have dementia I have know support. He was in the Army for 23 years. I am in Maryland next to Andres Air Force Base. He is from NJ I had to bring him to my home because he can not live alone anymore. I have asked question on base I got nothing,

  21. I    

    Thanks for helping those of us veterans that need care but can’t get it. My biggest problem is that I live in Yuma,Az. and it’s very hard to get any VA doctors to be assigned here. I have multi serious medical/mental conditions but I don’t have a doctor that I have met yet. I must use tv to talk to VA Medical Center in Tucson I am unable to drive their due to spinal injury that has gotten worst over time. I can’t feel the pedals on my car and that is unsafe to try and drive the 280 miles to the medical center. The VA has been good about giving me the patch I have to wear for pain, also the pain meds for neuropathy which is very blad and getting worst. It comes down to this I have Adhevise Spinal Arachnoiditis and I don’ think the VA knows how to treat me. I also have 6 stints in my blood flow system which puts a monkey wrench into it. If there is a very professional Doctor out there that reads this and has some suggestions I am all for it. I could use the help since I am more or less house bound. Thank you PS Send a few folks out here to help urgent need veterans I know I am not the only one!!!

  22. ted rogers    

    My local VA facility is closed on weekends, well played VA…well played.

  23. Karen J Cramer    

    I am a veteran. I have had to wait almost 2 months to see a female psychiatrist at my VA as there is now only one. 2 female docs have left in the last 6 months. We need more female docs!!!

    We need more facilities and more staff!

    Thank you
    Gainesville, Florida

  24. Michael Schwind    

    My calls about my health care at the Pensacola VA Clinic also go unanswered. Have called VA Gulf Coast as requested for Choice Care Assistance and have been told I need to talk to a different person. They are always to busy to return calls or never get answered most of the time. I have wasted hrs. on the phone on hold only to have the line go dead most of the time. Am not pleased at all with the VA Health Care I have had so far.

  25. keith a. nordeng    

    Sadly once again VA has failed the veteran in the Oklahoma City area. I arrived at the Oklahoma City Medical Center at 930 am. There was no notices posted on where the event was to be held in the facility. I then proceed to the ER thinking they may know where it was being held as the volunteer information desk was closed. I ask the ER desk about where it was being held and was told he never heard of it. I should him this posting and he shrugged and said “What do you expect from the government”. If this is the attitude of a VA employee it is a prime example of the distrust that the veteran has with VA. He did call the head staff nurse who never heard of it and she did say they were having a day today to catch up on gastro procedures.

    All in all it does indeed show that VA at the local level are doing what ever they want when they want. Intersesting though when it come to employee appriciation and Nurse Appreciation day how well the events are planned.

    Secretary McDonald I dare you, you being a veteran also to personally to come to the Oklahoma City Medical Clinic and really see what is going on. Talk to the vet, not the guy they role out to you. Visit the inner workings without notice to anyone.

    Thank you for the thought, but what is expected from employees that are only worried about a paycheck.

  26. Clifford C. Cook    

    Over the past year or so I have become increasingly frustrated and disappointed that the hitherto outstanding primary care department here at the Lexington, KY VA facility has become increasingly difficult to get acute appointments for emerging illnesses and for other non-emergency care. Yesterday, Feb. 26, I learned the reason why: loss of primary care providers coupled with a massive influx of new patients have (so I was told by an employee in a different clinic) left our local primary care clinic swamped. They now only see us at most once or twice a year for routine physicals. For all our other treatment needs we’re referred to the Emergency Room

    This situation needs to be corrected, and soon. I first came to the Lexington VA in 1987. At that time it was not at all unusual to spend 12 or more hours waiting to be seen here at the ER. Following major political intervention from Congress, VAMC Lexington changed dramatically, into a hospital I’ve been proud to boast to anyone who would listen was competitive on quality of care with any private hospital in the region.

    I do not want to see a return to 1987-style care here. I DO want to see this medical center return to providing the same high standard of care we have enjoyed here for the past twenty years. Please take action to get a handle in this situation before the wheels come of our facility, as has happened at other VA facilities we’ve all heard about in the news.

  27. James Schneider    

    Today 2/27/16 three veterans from my home town drove 70 miles one way to attend the” stand down” at the VA regional hospital in West Palm Beach Florida only to be told that there was no such thing scheduled and that no one there knew anything about this at all. Oh well so much for the friendly and informative VA.

  28. Kim L Hall    

    I have been hurting very bad sinse jan 6th. VA finally did tests a CT scanin jackson MS
    found on Feb 7th.
    3 hernias, diverticulitis, a vaccuun disk?, and a stone in my gall bladder. Nothing has been done sinse they found it! I was refered to TriWest they took my info and so far nothing done. I have no other INS except VA. Any Help would be appreciated!

    Quitman MS

  29. Jackson    

    One day notice for Access Stand Down?
    Would have been to attend if I’d have known about it.

  30. Jackson    

    One day notice for Access Stand Down?
    Would have been nice to attend if I’d have known about it.

  31. Gabe Pruitt    

    I am the only son of an 100% service connected disabled Vietnam veteran. I have reached out to the VA and have contacted a social worker about issues and continually see not enough support or work put into my fathers ailing health. He has been bed ridden at home since November 2015. I am a full time college student and only child taking care of him while juggling things back and forth at school. I see issues with not enough allotted time with home aid services with veterans, and too long wait times for at home primary care currently. It befuddles me to think that the VA has done enough in comparison to the sacrifice this man has made for his country, and myself. I understand this system is broken, but not to the point that it is leaving me in a position to give up my current life to do things that the VA is not. Leaving home is not an option for him any longer and I am working as hard as I can to make ends meet. What are you guys doing over there, besides the 3 hours given up this past weekend? Should I find my Senator, because this has became a real issue, and I know I am not the only individual.

    #YourVAcareNow

  32. richard wilson    

    i went to the conroe va clinic for years seeing different dr’s constantly, been going to the va since i had a deuce and a half dropped on me in 1989 crushing me lost all the feeling in my left leg 8 years ago i finally got the best md and mental dr’s in my history of the v/a i Doctor that spent more than five minutes with me. his wife also worked there and she took care of my mental heath, together they cut my meds in half, and neither had God syndrome , she didnt try and force me on antidepession meds, and my md finally got my pain and anxiety disorder, and insomnia. i never felt better but because the Doctor spent to much time with his patients he was constantly getting hounded, so he went into private practice. me and many other veterans left the v/a clinic and followed him. his wife also left.i continued to see him for the last 7 years. He got promoted to wound care and bio-chamber care at the hospital recommended another doctor gave us three months of medication refills until we could get in. That dr filled up to fast for me to get in to see so two weeks ago i went back to the conroe v/a clinic, only to find out how barbaric, they are!!!!! i cant feel my left leg my spine is crushed i am in a power wheelchair, i said could you please just put me back on the same meds i was on. I have to have help getting up out of bed ,help getting showered,,help getting my wheelchair loaded, and unloaded, i live alone so have to get help from a friend, my daughter, or x-girlfriend, or my son to come help me. i final made it to the conroe v/a clinic, only to find out they changed the laws on pain management, couldnt get any of the same medications i was on 7 years prior and 24 years prior to that. instead the new doctor said i would have to go to 7 different appointments in houston tx, to get on the same medications ive been on 31 years, ive had numerous epidurals, Cant have anymore surgery’s on my back since then ive have two seizures, I had a stroke years ago from taking a depo testostrone shot one night the v/a gave me, woke up with my entire right side paralyzed was taken to the local ER ended up with a $23000.00 medical lien against me, i asked to speak to the patient advocate was told if i had problems with the doctor contact my congressman. i can not even get to my congressman my wheel chair lift the v/a installed on my vehicle fell off my truck the hitch my power chair i paid for broke ive waited a month for them to come replace my broken lift, they did send a man to my house to half ass fix my power chair its like pushing a shopping cart with a broken wheel the chair was drug a block before iwe could stop so there is a bald spot on the wheel and the seat adjuster is still broke. i called to get it replaced sent letters from 2 private local doctors that both said it needed replaced. was told i had to go to Houston mobility clinic. how in the hell am i suppose to get there !!!!! catch 22 no lift cant get there missed last 4 appointments so i just lay here waiting for a lift or to die from seizures and strokes. i also didnt get my clothing allowance two years ago, always got it before that, fillied a notice of appeal , denied told to file an appeal, filled out an i-9, which i had to turn into the same guy that denied me,never heard but on appeal, got denied again this year, call told the houston prosthetic dept the day my ridge back brace was ordered nov 3rd 2012 the day i was fitted nov 20th 2012, the day it was issued dec 3rd 2012, sent a picture then went and showed it to steven, he said it couldnt see it on his computer the patient advocate in houston called him told him the date and Mrs C an executive at the Houston V/A hospital whom was very nice and i believed would help me, would. i was wrong steven told me this year to file a notice of disagreement and another i-9 for this year. talk about the wolf guarding the hen house, i still had not heard anything from the appeal the year before. ITS BARBARIC TREATMENT I HAVE ALL THE RECORDS SECURE MESSAGES RECORDS AND COPIES OF THE PAPERWORK. ILL JUST KEEP PRAYING SOMEONE HAS THE ABILITY TO FIX THESE PROBLEMS.,

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