DoD Launches Tomadachi Radiation Registry Website WASHINGTON-A new registry and website was launched by DoD this month to provide location-based radiation dose estimate reports for troops and their families and DoD civilian employees that were impacted by the massive earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11, 2011 in Japan. A DoD statement said that none of the nearly 70,000 members of the DoD-affiliated population who were in the area between March 12 and May 11, 2011, are known to have been exposed to radiation at levels associated with adverse medical conditions. More
Obama Announces Efforts to Improve Mental Health Access for Veterans WASHINGTON-More mental health services are on the way for struggling veterans, the White House announced. President Obama signed an executive order recently to expand suicide prevention and mental health resources for veterans. The ramped up efforts come as lawmakers and leaders acknowledge that more must be done to help returning troops and veterans who are struggling. Speaking at the 2012 annual DoD/VA Suicide conference this year, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said that aggressive outreach to veterans and their families is critical. More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE
Orthotist Scott Gray adjusts a prosthetic leg.
Patients Will Get Prosthetics Ordered By Their Physicians WASHINGTON — It should always be what the doctor orders. That was the message that VA delivered to a House subcommittee concerned about procuring the best prosthetics for patients who need them. Legislators had questioned whether, under a new VA policy requiring prosthetic items that cost more than $3,000 to be purchased by a contracting officer, physician judgment would still be honored. More
Army Research Psychiatrist Maj. Gary Wynn, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
FORT DETRICK, MD — In the wake of a memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson, MD, expressing concern about potential over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army and VA have launched an interagency research program to evaluate the effectiveness of several other medications to treat common PTSD symptoms. The most pressing need, according to Army officials, was a better understanding of how sleep problems are treated. More
Controversy Sparked by VA ‘Watchful Waiting’ Study for Early Prostate Cancer MINNEAPOLIS — New research out of the Minneapolis VAMC finds that radical prostatectomy does not significantly reduce the risk of death in prostate cancer patients, when compared to observation over more than a decade. While that study confirms other major research on the topic, the controversy about how to treat early-stage prostate cancer continues. The results came from the Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT), partially funded by VA and led by Timothy J. Wilt, MD of the Minneapolis VAMC. More
Rana Pullatt, MD, director, VISN 7 Bariatric Surgery Program
CHARLESTON, SC — With bariatric surgery becoming more common and reliable, VA medical centers are employing the treatment more often in patients previously unable to lose weight and reverse co-morbidities associated with obesity. Questions remain, however, about the surgery’s long-term effects. The bariatric surgery program for Veterans’ Integrated Service Network (VISN) 7 at the Charleston, SC, VA Medical Center is trying to prevent complications in obese patients who can’t lose weight by other methods. More
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA
I do not think it is possible to spend any time in the military without hearing this quote at least once. A friend recently purchased a T-shirt at the Pentagon with the adage proudly displayed. It is a mark of pride among servicemembers that they can endure hardship and harsh conditions with stoic acceptance.
This is a key and essential attribute of the men and women in our armed services, particularly because our society demands so much from the 1% that guards our freedoms. When it comes to health and the practice of effective medicine, these same attributes that we depend upon for success on the battlefield can greatly interfere with the rehabilitation and recovery of our wounded. More