March 2011

The power to give

“It is certainly more agreeable to have power to give than to receive.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965) I am writing this from the family member waiting room of a large American hospital as one of my daughters undergoes major back surgery.… Read More

Administration Report Outlines Efforts to Help Families Deal with Stress of War

WASHINGTON, DC—The White House recently introduced a government-wide effort to support military families outlined in its report, Strengthening Our Military Families. The report acknowledged that military families are not immune to the stresses of deployment and pointed out that the… Read More

List of Goals Guiding VA, DoD in Integrating Mental Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC—VHA and DoD have already recognized that they serve the same patients, just at different times during their lives. But it is only during the last few years that the two departments have thought of themselves as a true… Read More

Republican-Led VA Committee Sets Oversight Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC—At the top of the agenda for the 112th Congress’s House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC ) is stricter oversight of VA, something that the new Republican leader of the committee believes has been allowed to lapse. “It will be… Read More

Residential Treatment Program Offers Hope for PTSD Patients

WASHINGTON, DC—Active duty servicemembers with combat-related PTSD who have not experienced improvements in their condition in outpatient care have a new option for treatment. Overcoming Adversity and Stress Injury Support (OASIS) is the Navy’s first residential program for servicemembers with… Read More

DoD Budget Proposal Addresses Growing Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON, DC—The president proposed a $672 billion budget for DoD for FY2012 that includes a base budget of $553 billion and $117.8 billion to support overseas contingency operations, primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. The budget includes $52.5 billion for the… Read More

Military Leaders Emphasize Need to Build Resilience in Troops and Families

WASHINGTON, DC—Building resilience in servicemembers must start when they enter basic training and must include their families, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm Michael Mullen. Mullen spoke at the annual Warrior Resilience Conference held by the… Read More

CDC Reports Asthma Prevalence Remains at Historic High

WASHINGTON, DC—Although an increase in the prevalence of asthma has slowed since the mid-1990s, it still remains at historically high levels, a CDC report released this year found. In 2009, nearly 8.2% of Americans surveyed had asthma, an increase of… Read More

VA Perfecting Disease Management System for COPD

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—The difficulty with treating COPD—as with any chronic disease—is that much of the care must be placed in the hands of the patient. The patient needs to be properly educated about their illness, not just about the pathophysiology, but… Read More

Military Tackles COPD Care

WASHINGTON, DC—In 2005, CDC estimates COPD caused an estimated 126,005 deaths in people 25 years and older in the US. This was an 8% increase from 116,494 in the year 2000. Just as COPD is a concern in the civilian… Read More

Officials Examine Respiratory Issues in Theater

Has the health of servicemembers exposed to burn pit operations in theater been compromised? It is an issue of concern as servicemembers have attributed respiratory and eye symptoms to burn pit smoke. The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, the Naval… Read More

Future of Genome Research: More Therapies, Scarcer Funding

BETHESDA, MD—This past October saw the 20th anniversary of the start of the Human Genome Project; and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the publishing of the draft human genome sequence. To commemorate what it describes as the start… Read More

Staffer in the Spotlight: ICU Nurse Finds Niche in Air Force

WASHINGTON, DC—Air Force Capt Julie Petsche’s interest in medicine was first piqued when as a sick child she went to the hospital. That experience, coupled with her fondness for science, eventually took her on a trajectory from Army National Guard… Read More

Physicians Need to Use More Discretion on Twitter, Study Suggests

WASHINGTON, DC—Today’s physicians need greater accountability and more guidelines concerning their use of Twitter®, according to a study by the Washington DC VA Medical Center. The study was published in the February 9 issue of the Journal of American Medicine.… Read More

Recent Endocrinology Studies

Endocrine Studies in Health and Disease Objective: This study will evaluate healthy normal volunteers and patients with a variety of endocrine disorders to 1) learn more about conditions that affect the endocrine glands (glands that secrete hormones) and 2) train… Read More

DoD Examines Peer-to-Peer Support Programs to Assist Struggling Servicemembers

WASHINGTON, DC—Some individuals in distress may be more comfortable sharing their struggles with a peer than with a mental health counselor. Formalized peer-to-peer support programs seek to capitalize on that by training peer supporters to provide guidance and resource links… Read More

DoD Officials Develop New Psychological Policy Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC—DoD officials are developing new psychological health initiatives that they hope will fill gaps in delivering and coordinating psychological care. One initiative in development will bolster disaster mental health assistance on installations after an emergency event by requiring that… Read More

Recent Psychiatric Studies

Effects of Omega-3 EPA/DHA for Soldiers at Risk for Mood Disorders Purpose: Stress-related disorders are among the most prevalent and expensive medical consequences of participation in military operations. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA derived from fish oil are known to benefit… Read More

CDC: Many in US with High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Not Treated Effectively

WASHINGTON, DC—Two out of three US adults with high cholesterol and half of US adults with high blood pressure are not being treated effectively, according to CDC’s Vital Signs. “Heart disease is the leading killer in America, and the bottom… Read More

Surgeon General Urges Call to Action on Breastfeeding

WASHINGTON, DC—Despite ample evidence that breastfeeding a child for the first six months of his or her life provides benefits that far outweigh those gained by formula feeding, the majority of American mothers abandon breastfeeding too soon, or do not… Read More