“It is certainly more agreeable to have power to give than to receive” Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA.
I am writing this from the family member waiting room of a large American hospital as one of my daughters undergoes major back surgery. Admittedly, this view of the American medical experience is foreign to me and sobering.
In my 46 years I have yet to undergo any surgery or medical care of significance beyond the occasional bad tooth or cut that requires sutures. I have always been on the ‘giving’ end of medicine. More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MARCH ISSUE
Administration Report Outlines Efforts to Help Families Deal with Stress of War WASHINGTON, DC— Military families are not immune to the stresses of deployment, and the cumulative impact of multiple deployments is associated with more emotional difficulties among military children and more mental health diagnoses among spouses, according to a White House report, “Strengthening Our Military Families.” In response, President Obama recently introduced an initiative to support military families, noting it was the first time ever that the well-being of military families will be a priority not just for DoD and VA, but all across the federal government. Please read the full article and participate in this month's online opinion poll about families dealing with the stress of war.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 said that the military cannot wait until it has enough mental health professionals, otherwise it will be waiting “forever.” The new initiative, Total Force Fitness, will focus on eight areas of fitness for both servicemembers and their families: psychological, physical, behavioral, social, nutritional, medical, spiritual, and environmental. More
Technology Issues Top VA Committee’s Oversight Agenda Stricter oversight of VA leads the agenda for the 112th Congress’s House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC). Rep Jeff Miller, (R-FL), who took the reins of the committee in January calls that the “top priority.” An oversight plan, released last month, lists 79 specific items that will bear the brunt of focus from HVAC and its three subcommittees. Many of the items concern technology issues such as implementation of a lifetime electronic health record and avoiding security breaches. More
Residential Treatment Program Offers Hope for PTSD Patients WASHINGTON, DC—Active duty servicemembers with combat-related PTSD now have a new option for treatment if their conditions have not improved with outpatient care. Overcoming Adversity and Stress Injury Support (OASIS) is the Navy’s first residential program for servicemembers with combat-related PTSD. Located on the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) campus at Naval Base Point Loma, the 10-week residential program was created in response to servicemembers’ request for more intensive care for PTSD. 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 a recent issue of the Journal of American Medicine. The Physicians on Twitter study set out to describe how self-identified physicians use Twitter with a specific focus on professionalism. More
DoD Budget Proposal Seeks to Rein In Health Costs WASHINGTON, DC—The FY2012 DoD budget, proposed by President Obama, includes $52.5 billion for the Military Health System as well as initiatives to rein in healthcare costs. Budget documents said DoD would improve patient access and services through the implementation of the patient-centered medical home model for primary care as well as the addition of urgent care centers and behavioral healthcare providers. It will also expand access to health information through a nationwide Nurse Advice Line and enhancements to TRICARE Online. More
List of Goals Guiding VA, DoD in Integrating Mental Health Care WASHINGTON, DC—While VHA and DoD may always have recognized that they serve the same patients, just at different points in their lives, only now are they beginning to offer a true continuum of care, especially where mental health care is concerned. That is one of the results of a senior oversight committee, co-chaired by VA and DoD deputy secretaries, which issued more than 400 recommendations focusing on psychological health and traumatic brain issues. More