Category: 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

Inexpensive Toolkit Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s-Related Home Safety Problems, Mishaps

WASHINGTON, DC—A simple $76 toolkit with items typically found at any neighborhood hardware store has shown promise in increasing home safety for Alzheimer’s disease patients and reducing the strain on overburdened caregivers. It could be solution to one of the… Read More

Indian Tradition of Family Care Can Delay Diagnosis, Help for Caregivers

WASHINGTON, DC—Risks for dementia are on the rise among American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), but cultural traditions sometimes have led to delayed diagnosis and, therefore, inadequate help for family caregivers, according to Indian Health Service (IHS) experts. “I think… Read More

Even Veterans With mTBI More at Risk for Dementia

WASHINGTON, DC—Since an Institute of Medicine report in 2008, there has been significant consensus that penetrating and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases the risk for dementia later in life. The evidence was not as strong linking mild TBI (mTBI)… Read More

TBI Symptoms, Severity Differ for Women Veterans But Cause Remains A Mystery

WASHINGTON, DC—As more data is emerging on the short and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), researchers are discovering that the injury affects women differently than it does men. Most notably, there seems to be a differential pattern of… Read More

Statewide Initiative Uses VA Model To Improve Cardiovascular Care

BETHESDA, MD—Due to its ability to track patient health data within its system and to orchestrate initiatives inside what is essentially a unified healthcare program, VA has played a pioneering role in showing how chronic disease treatment, such as for… Read More

Technology Makes For Efficient Application Of New mTBI Policy

WASHINGTON, DC—Last summer, DoD issued a policy designed to speed detection of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) on the battlefield. Now, using new technologies to make the process as efficient as possible, the policy is being implemented in theater, according… Read More

Public Health Officials Optimistic About Dengue Fever Vaccine in A Few Years

WASHINGTON, DC—With two-fifths of the world’s population at risk for dengue fever, a severe flu-like illness which sometimes leads to fatal complications, the development of a vaccine has long been an important, albeit elusive, goal in managing the disease. Now,… Read More

US Army Pharmacy

Col. Carol W. Labadie MS USA is Pharmacy Program Manager and Pharmacy Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. Pharmacy today is an exciting, challenging profession, and Army Pharmacy is no exception. Uniformed and civilian Army pharmacists and technicians provide world-class… Read More

Legislators Call for Hearings On VA Infection Control Lapses, Hepatitis Cases

DAYTON, OH—In the latest VA infection control lapse to come under public scrutiny, Ohio-based legislators are pushing for both U.S. House and Senate investigations into practices at a Dayton VAMC dental clinic that may have resulted in nine cases of… Read More

Strategies Help Military Health Providers To Prevent Compassion Fatigue, Emotional Burnout

WASHINGTON, DC—Health care providers who work with traumatized patients are at risk for their own type of mental condition with symptoms that closely parallel post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The malady, known as “compassion fatigue” can lead to emotional burnout and… Read More