Category: Department of Defense (DoD)

Uniformed Pharmacists Take Half of Next Generation Pharmacist Awards

By Annette M. Boyle LAS VEGAS, NV — Of the 30 finalists in this year’s Next Generation Pharmacist awards, 30% worked in military or public health pharmacies, the strongest representation seen in the awards program. Even more telling, uniformed pharmacists… Read More

VA Backlog Elimination Slowed, Not Stopped by Government Shutdown

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Despite dire warnings by VA officials, last month’s 16-day government shutdown did not halt progress on eliminating VA’s disability claims backlog. In fact,the number of pending claims list declined despite the appropriations cut-off, although the… Read More

Legislators Call on VA to Stop Over-Prescription of Powerful Painkillers

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In the wake of accusations that veterans are over-prescribed powerful painkillers, a House of Representatives subcommittee chairman called on VA to adopt more effective pain management protocols.  “The stakes are too high for VA to… Read More

New ‘Roadmap’ Seeks Better Tools for PTSD, TBI, Suicide Research

By Sandra Basu FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — The newly released National Research Action Plan has created a “common roadmap” for federal agencies to tackle mental health research to include PTSD, TBI and suicide, DoD and VA officials said recently. “It… Read More

Conference Cancellations Push DoD, VA Clinicians to Find Other CME Sources

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With stricter oversight of government conference spending, medical and pharmacy components within DoD and VA are working to ensure providers are still getting their necessary continuing medical education. “In response to government-wide financial constraints on… Read More

Novel Use of Technology Helps Decrease Impact of Wounds of War

By Stephen Spotswood SAN ANTONIO, TX – That soldiers come back from the battlefield bearing permanent reminders of their time there – scars they will live with for the rest of their lives – is taken as a heavy but… Read More

Higher Risk of Brain Lesions For High-Altitude AF Pilots

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN ANTONIO — High-flying U-2 pilots may be paying a neurological price for their service. The elite Air Force pilots flying at high altitudes increase their risks for developing brain lesions, according to a new study,… Read More

Simulation Training Duplicates Experience of Shipboard Trauma Care

SAN DIEGO — When a servicemember experiences physical trauma during deployment, it’s usually during circumstances that are loud, chaotic and happening at a speed too quickly to be followed by the untrained eye. The same is true of treating trauma… Read More

CPAP Shows Promise for Ending Disrupted Sleep/Nightmare Cycle in PTSD

By Brenda L. Mooney JACKSON, MS – For veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disrupted sleep and nightmares can be a vicious cycle — one feeding the other. Now, new research in the relationship between PTSD and disordered sleep… Read More

Too Little Sleep Raises Women’s Risk of Coronary Events

SAN FRANCISCO – Too little sleep, especially early awakening, plays a significant role in raising unhealthy levels of inflammation among women with coronary heart disease, according to a new study. Interestingly, the elevated inflammation affected only women, not men, even… Read More

Increase in Brain Cells with Histamine Linked to Narcolepsy

MISSION HILLS, CA — An excess of a certain type of brain cell, those containing histamine, may be the cause of the loss of hypocretin cells which has been found in narcolepsy patients, according to a new study. Previous studies… Read More

Some PTSD Sleep Medications Intensify Negative Memories

RIVERSIDE, CA – A new study could have significant implications for servicemembers suffering from insomnia related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sleep researchers from University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego found that a widely prescribed prescription sleep… Read More

Increasing Military Suicide Rates Unrelated to Deployment, Combat

By Brenda L. Mooney Cynthia A. Leardman, MPH SAN DIEGO, CA – Despite common misconceptions, increasing suicides by military servicemembers do not appear to be related to combat experience or deployment – or even multiple deployments, according to a new… Read More

DoD Furloughs Reduced This Year, but Sequestration Remains a Future Threat

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – In welcome news for DoD’s civilian employees, including medical personnel, the number of furlough days was reduced from 11 to six this year. That effectively ended the furlough period last month for most employees. The… Read More

Obama Calls VA Claims Backlog ‘Unacceptable,’ Says Waits Are Improving

By Sandra Basu ORLANDO, FL – Amid months of criticism of his administration’s handling of the VA disability claims backlog, President Barack Obama directly addressed the issue here last month, telling veterans that the longer waits are “unacceptable.” “Part of… Read More

Death at Bronx VAMC Leads to Nationwide Recall of Nuclear Medicine Equipment

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – An investigation is ongoing “to determine a definitive cause” of an accident in which a veteran died from injuries sustained when a portion of a nuclear medicine system fell during a scan, according to the… Read More

Military Trauma Advances Also Help Civilians, Must Be Maintained

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Margaret Knudson, MD, was on duty in July when injured passengers began flowing in to San Francisco General Hospital from Asiana Flight 214, which hit a seawall in front of a runway at San Francisco… Read More

New Research Shows Increased Cardiovascular Risks for TBI, PTSD Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI – New research on short- and long-term cardiovascular risks from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could present significant challenges for the VA and the Military Health System. More than… Read More

New Procedures for Navy Pharmacy Save More than $35 Million, Improve Care

By Annette M. Boyle Capt. Edward C. Norton, MSC, pharmacy specialty leader for U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery FALLS CHURCH, VA — After saving $22 million in Phase One, the Navy Pharmacy Financial Improvement Program has expanded from… Read More

VA’s MOVE! Program Touted as Model for Combating Diabetes, Obesity

By Stephen Spotswood ATLANTA – Can lifestyle changes be achieved in a large-scale healthcare setting, with patients maintaining improvement over several years? An Emory University study of VA’s Managing Obesity and Overweight Veterans Everywhere! (MOVE!) program suggests that they can.… Read More