Category: Policy

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

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

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

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

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

Military Challenged to Provide Far-Forward Mental Health Care

BETHESDA, MD—For a handful of military mental health providers on the front lines, treating combat stress and trauma is an everyday occurrence. The military has begun to realize that the advice and care they furnish can often prevent acute battlefield… Read More

Surgeon General Report Details the Biology of Smoking Damage

WASHINGTON, DC—While the overall negative health effects of smoking have been common knowledge for many years, a newly-released Surgeon General’s report goes into unprecedented detail on how tobacco causes disease at a biological and behavioral level. The report gives fuel… Read More

Taking Smoking Cessation to All Care Settings, VA Lowers Smoking Rate

WASHINGTON, DC—No one has ever said that quitting smoking was easy. For servicemembers and veterans, who may already be under considerable stress, giving up something they perceive as relieving their stress can be especially tough. VA recognizes this and, over… Read More

Combining Smoking Cessation with PTSD Therapy Boosts Quit Rates

WASHINGTON, DC—Smoking cessation treatment that is made part of mental healthcare for veterans with PTSD improves quit rates, according to a VA study published in the December 8 Journal of the American Medical Association. “The smoking cessation techniques used in… Read More

NIH Director Supports Dissolution of NIDA, NIAAA and Creation of Single Addiction Institute

BETHESDA, MD—NIH is examining the possibility of creating a single institute for substance use, abuse, and addiction research. The new institute would combine the relevant research portfolios dealing with those issues currently under the purview of NIDA, NIAAA, and other… Read More

Worldwide HIV Elimination Difficult but Necessary, Leading Researcher Contends

—————————————— We Want to Hear From You Has globalization increased our ability to fight disease, our vulnerability to disease, or both?Please click here to participate in this month’s U.S. Medicine readership poll. BETHESDA, MD— “In 1981, we… Read More

IHS Tackles HIV Issues with Online Training and New Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC—Providers play an important role in HIV prevention and care, and IHS is hoping to help providers carry out that role through online training that was developed last year. IHS in collaboration with community members and Native American healers… Read More

New Training Guides Medical Personnel in Administering Mental Health Assessments

WASHINGTON, DC—DoD is providing new online training to its medical personnel for administering deployment mental health assessments to deploying and returning servicemembers. The revamped mental health assessments focus on PTSD, depression, and substance abuse problems. Officials hope that they will… Read More

IT Project Failures Spur Continued Reform in VA

WASHINGTON, DC—Concerned about several high-profile, high-cost IT project failures over the last several years, legislators called VA officials to Capital Hill last month to provide reassurance that the agency has learned from its past mistakes. While VA IT leaders could… Read More

Congress Questions DoD on Efforts to Prevent and Control MDROs

WASHINGTON, DC—A House subcommittee questioned military officials about efforts to prevent and control multidrug-resistant infections at MTFs. “The incidence of drug-resistant infections is a national and global problem … DoD and the services must remain vigilant in their efforts to… Read More

Congress Questions DoD’s Efficiency Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC—A House committee expressed concern to military officials in September about DoD’s plan to save billions of dollars through an efficiency initiative announced by DoD Secretary Robert Gates this year. That plan recommends disestablishing US Joint Forces Command, in… Read More

Few Tested Interventions for Diagnostic Error

BETHESDA, MD—“So you see a diagnostic error. That error occurs at the sharp end of medicine,” declared Dr Mark Graber, chief of medical services at the Northport VA Medical Center. “You look at where the diagnostic error occurred, you can… Read More

Holistic Lifestyle Intervention Successful in Treating Diabetes in VA Pilot Program

WASHINGTON, DC—“The whole idea is to look at diabetes as the enemy. Instead of just attacking the enemy from one end, you want to attack the enemy from all sides. Surround the enemy.” That is the message that Peter Kokkinos,… Read More

Task Force Recommends OSD-Level Suicide Prevention Policy Office

—————————————— We Want to Hear From You Do you believe that a suicide prevention office established at the OSD level, as a DoD Task Force has suggested, would improve suicide prevention efforts for the military?Please click here to… Read More

Gaps in Women’s Health Research Remain Despite Progress

WASHINGTON, DC—Research into women’s healthcare has improved over the last 20 years, but still lags in several key areas, according to an IoM report released last month. A concerted push to boost research on women’s health has had significant impacts… Read More