April 2014 Direct



A New Campaign Seeks to Raise TBI Awareness

WASHINGTON – The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) has launched a new Initiative to increase awareness about brain injuries. The multi-year initiative, “A Head for the Future,” seeks to make troops, their families and veterans “more aware of the signs and symptoms of TBI and encourage them to seek medical attention when needed and take proper safety precautions to prevent TBIs,” a DVBIC statement explained. Since 2000, more than 294,000 servicemembers have sustained a TBI, with 80% of them occurring in a non-deployed environment, according to the DoD.




Soldiers, family members and civilians run to raise awareness of suicide prevention

Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

CAMBRIDGE, MA – About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study. In fact, pre-enlistment mental disorders are significant contributors to suicide risk in the Army, the authors pointed out. That was just one area of research results, drawn from the largest study of mental health and resilience ever conducted among U.S. military personnel and reported in a series of three articles recently published.


VA Notes Major Demographic Trends in Strategic Document

WASHINGTON – The VA is facing a tide of demographic and technological changes that will affect the way it will provide care in the next decades. While today’s 22 million veterans are predominately male and white, with the largest cohort having served during the Vietnam War, according to the VA’s recently-released 2014-2020 strategic plan, those demographics will change over time. Within 30 years, as Gulf War veterans overtake Vietnam veterans as the biggest group, women will be nearly 20% of the veteran population and 35% of all veterans will be nonwhite.

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Mark Clemens, MD

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

HOUSTON – Even four decades later, veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have twice the risk of developing unusually invasive non-melanotic skin cancers compared with the general population, according to a recent study. Previous studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between 2-, 3-, 7-, 8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, the highly toxic contaminant in Agent Orange and nonmelanotic invasive skin in animals.


Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

SILVER SPRING, MD – Military research is raising a new question about an old issue: Why do African-Americans have higher incidence rates of hypertension compared with servicemembers of other races and ethnicities despite equitable access to healthcare within the armed forces? According to a report in Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, black, non-Hispanic servicemembers had a rate of 24.4 new diagnoses of hypertension per 1,000 person-years (p-yrs), almost 50% higher than all other racial and ethnic groups studied. The analysis was conducted by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.



From the Editor-in-Chief:

“In the sick room, 10 cents worth of human understanding equals 10 dollars’ worth of medical science.” — Martin H. Fisher, MD (1879-1962)

Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III,


It is a particular pleasure in federal medicine to have an opportunity to talk with our patients concerning their lives. Through the eyes of my patients, I have visited the D-Day beaches of Normandy, served as a B-17 tail gunner over Berlin, experienced the chaos following the USS Cole bombing and felt the helplessness during the Taliban raid on the airfield at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. While I appreciate the advantages much of the modern electronic paraphernalia provides in managing patients, I feel like it all is conspiring to prevent meaningful communication between patients and their caregivers. The sad fact is, the patient stories I enjoy so much are becoming a rare luxury.

More U.S. Medicine Articles…
Brenda L. Mooney

Editorial Director,U.S. Medicine

[email protected]

39 York Street

Lambertville, NJ  08530


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