Improving military healthcare is goal of medical school program

January 17, 2012  |   |  1 Comment
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medical students in surgical gowns

John A. Burns School of Medicine students

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine is taking part in a White House Joining Forces initiative to improve healthcare for the country’s active duty military, veterans and their families.

JABSOM, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine seek to create a new generation of doctors, medical schools and research facilities that will ensure our military personnel receive care worthy of their service.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Burgess, professor of surgery and director of the Telehealth Research Institute, will coordinate JABSOM’s response.

The partnership will work to ensure that physicians are aware of the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for the nation’s war fighters. Specific emphasis will include new research and clinical trials involving Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, to better understand and treat these conditions. The Defense Department estimates nearly 213,000 military personnel have suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2000.

“We are honored to participate in the White House Joining Forces initiative to address the health care needs of military service members and veterans and their families,” said JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges. “We are working to develop additional curriculum for our medical students and researchers to better serve those who have served our country for so long.”

Joining Forces Announcement

First Lady Michelle Obama said, “I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families. By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research, and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

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  1. barbara melamed says:

    Dr. Hedges,
    Congratulations on your continuing appointment. I would enjoy helping with a curriculum on assisting the Medical School on serving our active duty and military veterans and families. Feel free to pass the Special Issue I edited “Strengthening OUr Soldiers” (SOS) and their families to Army Colonel Lawrence Burgess. I have worked extensively with our mTBI and PTSD soldiers and Colonel Melba Stetz, who did most of the telehealth and Virtual Reality would really be of assistance. She is retiring from the Army and looking for a position suiting her skills. She would be a great addition to your faculty program in this area. Also I presented on NATO Invisible wounds of War conference which was just held in Turkey. Dr James Spira, who directs our VA PTSD Center in Honolulu has a great telehealth program and many of his research scientists are doing excellent work. Several of the articles I wrote were jointly written with Colonel Carl Castro head of Medical Research at AMEDD Fort Meade, MD and Retired Colonel Burgess would definitely benefit from reading the summary chapter of my journal which I left for you with Tracey. Feel free to pass it on. Barbara Melamed, Ph.D. ABPP
    My service at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Brecksville Ohio gave me clearer insight as to the needs of those war veterans. I pulled one off the 4th floor fence about to jump in the Ala Moana Mall. I think the suicide rate of those who served and did not kill are just as important. Guilt is a big issue right now.

    Contact me at [personal information deleted--ed.] if I can be of service

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