Late Breaking News
WASHINGTON, DC—Legislators are concerned that a lack of detailed knowledge about the environmental hazards that troops are exposed to during deployment will result in health consequences further down the line. Specifically, they are concerned as to whether DoD is collecting enough data and whether that information, if it exists, is being transferred in a swift and detailed manner to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where it will be useful in the treatment of sick veterans.
WASHINGTON, DC—Secondhand-smoke exposure increases the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks. Smoking bans reduce the risk, according to an Institute of Medicine report commissioned by the CDC. “It’s clear that smoking bans work,” said Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Lynn Goldman, chair of the committee of experts that wrote the IoM report. “Bans reduce the risks of heart attack in nonsmokers as well as smokers.
WASHINGTON, DC—The Department of Defense is planning to increase access to mental health services for beneficiaries living in rural areas through telehealth mobile units.
WASHINGTON, DC—Military and civilian medical facilities are collaborating to improve care and treatment for servicemembers who have sustained major extremity injuries in a newly established extremity trauma research consortium.
WASHINGTON, DC—Military providers are concerned about how the stress of war may be affecting the mental health of teenagers of military parents. Colonel Kris Peterson, the Army Surgeon General’s Consultant for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Chief of Psychiatry at Madigan Army Medical Center, says studies on military children show that they are experiencing increased anxiety and depression.
WASHINGTON, DC—It is recommended that physicians screen for depression in diabetic patients because the combination of diabetes and depression can be dangerous. “When a person has diabetes and they experience depression, there is a whole host of complications that can occur if the depression is not treated,” said Dr Michelle Owens-Gary, PhD, a behavioral health scientist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
WASHINGTON, DC—It can take upwards of 15 or 20 years to develop an evidence-based therapy, clinically prove its effectiveness, and then disseminate pertinent information across the population of patients that need it. When that population involves the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, which serves four million veterans throughout hundreds of facilities, it might be expected that dissemination of information could take much longer.
WASHINGTON, DC—The ancient Greeks called it fear-shedding. In the Civil War it was known as Soldier’s Heart. In the first World War, it was shell-shock. After Vietnam, it was combat fatigue. And after the Gulf War, it was known first as post-traumatic stress syndrome, and then PTSD, explained Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the kick-off to the joint VA/DoD mental health summit held here last month.
BETHESDA, MD—The National Institutes of Health kicked off the month of October by announcing that $5 billion in Recovery Act funds have been allocated to research in the form of about 12,000 grants. Funding is being channeled into research devoted to autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease and other high priority areas. The $5 billion being dispersed is a portion of the total $10.4 billion that NIH will receive through the Act over the course of two years. That, in turn, is part of $100 billion included in the Recovery Act for investment in science and technology.
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