January 2014 Direct



DoD Announces New Sexual Assault Prevention Director

WASHINGTON – DoD announced this week that Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow will become the new director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in January 2014. Maj. Gen. Snow currently serves as the Army’s director of Strategy, Plans and Policy. During his 30 years of service in the Army he has taken on various assignments, including serving multiple tours in Iraq. He will replace the current director, Maj. Gen. Gary S. Patton, who plans to retire next spring after nearly 35 years of Army service, according to a DoD statement.




U.S. Army paratroopers relax between patrols

Effective Treatments Touted for Insomnia in Returning Troops

PITTSBURGH, PA – Insomnia and other sleep disorders, which affect one out of every two servicemembers or veterans who have been involved in recent military operations, complicate co-morbid conditions and can be difficult to manage. A new report, however, offers reassurance to clinicians that tools exist to treat insomnia and sleep disruption.


VA’s Possible Change in Advanced Nursing Roles Sparks DebateWASHINGTON – Amid heated controversy, the VA is considering a proposal that would require VA’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to be designated as independent practitioners, regardless of individual state regulations. The proposal, included in a draft copy of VA’s nursing handbook, is designed to “reduce variability in practice across the entire VA health care system,” among other issues, according to VA. Many physician organizations have denounced the proposed change.

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Should the VA standardize practice across all facilities for nurses with advanced training?

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Lakhmir “Mink” Chawla, MD

For Veterans, Acute Kidney Injuries Are More Lethal than Heart Attacks

WASHINGTON – Veterans discharged with a diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) have twice the mortality rate of those diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), yet a lack of awareness and treatment options limit physicians’ ability to manage the condition. Acute kidney injury, which most often occurs following major surgery, trauma or severe infection, frequently has no symptoms, but it often has long-lasting repercussions, according to the recent study analyzing records of nearly 37,000 veterans discharged with either acute kidney injury or acute myocardial infarction.


From the Editor-in-Chief:

“Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error.”

~ Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

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


Benjamin Disraeli was a British conservative politician who knew a thing or two about politics, serving twice as prime minister of the United Kingdom. I have been thinking about great political blunders and came across this quote while searching the Internet using the word “mistakes.” Readers of this column will not be surprised that I am a supporter of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962), also known euphemistically as “Obamacare.” Not since President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed Medicare and Medicaid into law in 1965 to provide access to healthcare for the indigent and elderly, has such a sweeping overhaul of healthcare finance law occurred. From my perspective, there is much good in this bill.

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Brenda L. MooneyEditorial Director,U.S. Medicine

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