February 2011

Outreach and Communication Key to Fighting Vet Homelessness

WASHINGTON, DC—When VA Secretary Eric Shinseki took his post nearly two years ago, he learned that veterans lead the nation in homelessness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. “It was like a punch in the gut,” Shinseki told attendees at a… Read More

Improvements Made to Tracking Mild TBI Documentation

WASHINGTON, DC— The Army Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) electronic medical record systems are being upgraded to help providers better document mild TBI patient data in theater. The MC4 system is used in facilities in deployed environments, such… Read More

NIH Funds Help DCVAMC, Partners Tackle Health Disparities

WASHINGTON, DC—“Historically, it takes many years and lots of research money to go from the initial concept—an idea created in a lab—to the few of those trials that are successful and actually change clinical practice,” said Marc Blackman, MD. Blackman,… Read More

New Law Creates National Plan to Combat Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON,DC—For the first time since federal research agencies began conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), there is a national plan designed to focus those efforts. Last month, President Obama signed into law a bill creating a National Alzheimer’s Project within… Read More

Air Guard Takes On CCATT Mission

WASHINGTON, DC—The Air National Guard is lending its expertise when it comes to transporting severely injured servicemembers in the aeromedical evacuation system. Last month, the Air National Guard added the Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT) mission to its responsibilities… Read More

Workshop Focuses on Post-deployment Issues Facing Servicemembers and Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC—Asking servicemembers and veteran patients about sleep can serve as a segue to conversations about other post-deployment issues that these patients might be experiencing, said Paula Domenici, PhD. Domenici is a licensed counseling psychologist who heads the Division of… Read More

US Air Force Pharmacy

The Pharmacy Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General advises Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) leadership and staff regarding pharmacy related issues. In my additional role as the Associate Corps Chief for Pharmacy, I serve on various selection boards and… Read More

Pharmacogenomic Advances Result in Label Changes Decades after Approval

BETHESDA, MD—Even drugs that have been on the market for years, sometimes decades, are not immune from reexamination and relabeling brought about by new scientific discoveries. In the field of pharmacogenomics especially, new opportunities are presenting themselves to use new… Read More

Targeted Messages Aim to Stop Flu Spread in VA

WASHINGTON, DC— Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) swept across the globe in 2003 with a near 10% mortality rate. VA patients over the age of 65 were particularly vulnerable, and faced a 50% mortality rate. Since hospitals are prime vectors… Read More

Regulations, Infrastructure Hinder Drug-Resistant Malaria Treatment

BETHESDA, MD—Drug-resistant malaria strikes the hardest in countries with fragile economies and fractured healthcare infrastructures. Fighting the disease in these countries requires a complex solution, which includes the development of new drugs. But delivering drugs that work is only one… Read More

Foodborne Diseases Cause 48 Million Illnesses Annually

WASHINGTON, DC—Foodborne illnesses continue to be a problem in the US. According to CDC, about one in six Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses. These figures are the first comprehensive estimates since… Read More

Navy Medical Researchers Tackle ETEC Vaccine

WASHINGTON, DC—Diarrheal illnesses are among the most common nonbattle-related illnesses that troops experience when they go overseas, yet there is no vaccine against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a common cause of bacterial diarrhea. Researchers at the Naval Medical Research Center… Read More

Military Battles Multidrug Resistant Infections

WASHINGTON, DC—Preventing the spread of infection from multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) is a battle being fought, not just in civilian healthcare settings worldwide, but in the military healthcare system as well. Described by military officials to a House subcommittee in… Read More

Study Finds Increasing Trend in CDI Among Hospitalized Children

WASHINGTON, DC—Hospitalized children in the US are becoming infected with the bacteria Clostridium difficile (CDI) more frequently, according to researchers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The findings of the… Read More

Clinical Briefs

Most Hospitals and Doctors Plan to Adopt Electronic Records Four-fifths of the nation’s hospitals, and 41% of office-based physicians, currently intend to take advantage of federal incentive payments for adoption and meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology,… Read More

Staffer in the Spotlight: Clinical Informatics Expert Helps Usher in Unprecedented Sharing of Patient Records

Graham Nixon arrived on US shores 30 years ago from Britain as a newly minted RN. Now, Nixon is a clinical informatics specialist, playing an instrumental role in the development and implementation of virtual lifetime electronic records. From Nursing to… Read More

Interagency Tribal Listening Sessions Address Suicide Prevention

WASHINGTON, DC—IHS, SAMHSA, and the Department of the Interior’s Indian Affairs have been holding tribal listening sessions across Indian country to seek input on how the agencies can most effectively work within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities to… Read More

Study Finds Soldiers Benefit from Pre-deployment Screening and Coordination of Care in Theater

PENTAGON—A newly published study shows that psychiatric and behavioral health disorders were reduced by 78% in Army brigades that underwent a pre-deployment health screening program that focused on screening and then linking soldiers to care in theater, if needed. The… Read More

Recent Women’s Health Studies

A Randomized Controlled Trial on Women’s Substance Abuse Treatment (WPR) Purpose: To examine the efficacy of an evidence-based gender-specific treatment model for women veterans with substance use disorder (SUD). Sponsor: Department of Veterans Affairs ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00734903 Olaparib in Combination… Read More

Recent Immunology Studies

Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment Objective: To find out if the chance of developing a serious illness or of getting AIDS is less if patients start taking HIV medicines at a time when their CD4-positive cell count is still fairly… Read More