April 2011

Is IRB A Four-Letter Word? Federal Medicine Needs Centralized System With Clear Guidelines

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan (1934-1996) Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA. I began my fascination with the scientific method and the process of research early in college. Decades… Read More

For Pharmacist Working with HIV Patients, Medication Adherence Is Key to Success

WASHINGTON, DC—One of the biggest challenges for Lt. Cdr Heather Huentelman, USPHS, Pharm D, is not providing treatment to HIV patients but making sure the patients actually adhere to the sometimes complex drug regimen. “It is the patients that have… Read More

Trying to Get Rest For The Weary: Managing Sleep Disorders In Returning Servicemembers

WASHINGTON, DC—Returning servicemembers are among the some 40 million Americans who suffer from chronic long term sleep disorders, and, for reasons ranging from disrupted sleep during deployment, battlefield stress or even hyper vigilance, their sleep problems can be especially challenging… Read More

Blue Button Feature Offers Quick Access to Health Records for Military Patients, Providers

WASHINGTON, DC—Military health care beneficiaries currently can access their own health data by choosing the web-based “Blue Button” feature on TRICARE Online (TOL). In an upgrade that will be available before the end of the year, they also will be… Read More

Union Says Budget Proposal Increase Won’t Ease Strain on VA Medical Personnel

WASHINGTON, DC—Even though the overall 2012 budget request for VA includes $50.9 billion for medical care— a net increase of $240 million over the 2012 advance appropriations request of $50.6 billion in the 2011 budget—union representatives are worried that cost-cutting… Read More

While Most Central Line Bloodstream Infections Decline, Kidney Dialysis Bucks The Trend

WASHINGTON, DC—With a decline in the number of central line associate bloodstream infections in intensive care units, the focus is turning to an area where such infections are burgeoning – kidney dialysis clinics. The CDC reported last month that there… Read More

Benefits of Robotic Stroke Rehab May Be Less Than Anticipated

WASHINGTON, DC—This time last year, a group of VA-funded researchers at MIT announced that they had developed a robot-assisted therapy for stroke patients that greatly improved patient outcome without significantly raising costs. In chronic stroke survivors, robot-assisted therapy led to… Read More

VA Facilities Exception to Rule with Stroke Belt Mortality

WASHINGTON, DC—Higher risk for post-stroke mortality in the so-called “Stroke Belt” does not seem to apply in VA facilities, according to recent research which cited increased awareness and best practice guidelines as making the difference. Researchers have recognized since the… Read More

Progress Notes

HARU OKUDA, MD, HAS BEEN NAMED NATIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR for the VA Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program. Okuda leads a staff of clinical simulationists and educators in conducting research, developing curricula and best practices and coordinating acquisitions… Read More

Researchers Explore Enzyme That Can Both Increase, Decrease Memory

BETHESDA, MD—A new study into the biochemical mechanisms that control memory has added to the hope that someday scientists will be able to strengthen a person’s ability to remember through chemical intervention. NIH-funded researchers at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center… Read More