December 2011




First Woman Becomes Army Surgeon General
WASHINGTON – Maj. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho assumed command of the U.S. Army Medical Command on Dec 5th and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and sworn in as the Army’s 43rd Surgeon General on Dec. 7th. She replaced former Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen Eric Schoomaker, who has served as commander since December of 2007. Her new role has historical significance. She is the first woman and first nurse to command the Army’s largest medical organization. More

Stopping “Brain Tsunamis” in Head Injury Patients
WASHINGTON – Treating “brain tsunamis” or “killer waves” could stop additional brain damage in some patients who have sustained a serious head injury. In the study, partially funded by a DoD grant, researchers found that of 103 patients undergoing neurosurgery following major head trauma, 58 experienced a phenomenon called cortical spreading depolarizations, or “brain tsunamis.” More

VA Opens Fifth Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center
SAN ANTONIO, TX – VA has dedicated a new polytrauma rehabilitation center (CRC) at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) here. The state-of-the-art, $66 million inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation center will treat veterans and active-duty servicemembers with multiple, traumatic injuries. This is VA’s fifth polytrauma center nationwide. More


Inconclusive Report Does Little to Cool Down Burn-Pit Controversy
WASHINGTON – Whether exposure to war zone burn-pits causes long-term health issues has created heated debate among military officials, veterans, Congress members and currently deployed troops. Unfortunately, a long-awaited report does little to provide definitive answers or cool down the controversy. Still, some medical experts maintain that a high rate of respiratory problems is occurring.
Please read this article and participate in this month’s online opinion poll about whether DoD is doing everything reasonably possible to protect deployed troops from adverse health consequences from burn-pits? More

Oct. 1, 2013: Circle the Date for Massive Coding Changeover at VA, Elsewhere
WASHINGTON – Oct. 1, 2013, might mean little to most clinicians now, but, this time next year, healthcare providers are likely to have the day circled on their calendars – in red. It is the date that healthcare systems across the nation will switch from ICD-9 coding to ICD-10, and the learning curve is steep.

Legislators Skeptical about Improvements at Problem-Plagued Miami VAMC
WASHINGTON – Only a few weeks after members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs expressed skepticism about testimony that the problem-plagued Miami VA Medical Center (VAMC) is now running smoothly, the facility’s director was removed from her position. Reassurances that the facility is taking steps to improve safety and regulatory practices were not well-received by committee members, who expressed concern that those efforts were not quick or comprehensive enough to salvage the hospital’s reputation. More

Suicide Prevention Not Working; Returning Troops Could Increase Problem
WASHINGTON – Efforts to prevent suicides among servicemembers are not working, according to a new report that warns that the problem is likely to get much worse as more troops return from deployment. A report released last month by the Center for New American Security (CNAS) stated that from 2005 to 2010, troops took their own lives at a rate of approximately one every 36 hours and, although only 1% of Americans have served in the military, former military personnel represent 20% of suicides in the United States. More

Key Concepts in Pain Management for the Federal Healthcare Professional
Read this complimentary CME/CE publication to review findings of the Pain Management Task Force, sponsored by Washington Hospital Center and Med-IQ, Learn about effective and integrative pain management plans to reduce pain and to prevent acute pain from progressing to chronic pain in the military population. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.

Read Today

From the Editor-in-Chief:

“Winning is the science of being totally prepared.”

Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA

When this issue of US Medicine reaches our readers, we will be well into the holiday season and drawing 2011 to a close.

Like many, I often find myself using this time of year to reflect on the previous 12 months, new directions, challenges, successes and failures. It would be hard for any federal-medicine practitioner not to pause and reflect on marking the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 this past September.

So much of my life, professionally and personally, has been defined by that event. More

More U.S. Medicine Articles…

Brenda L. Mooney
Editorial Director,U.S. Medicine
[email protected]
39 York Street
Lambertville, NJ  08530

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