Saturday, 22 September 2012

U.S. Navy Surgeon General Highlights Warrior Care at Military Medicine Symposium

The U.S. Navy Surgeon General kicked off a day-long symposium focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress (PTS) at the Hilton Washington, D.C. Rockville Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, Sept. 20.

Surgeon General of Navy and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, addressed an audience of 250 attendees at the symposium hosted by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.

The symposium focused on clinical manifestations and management of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress.

Nathan spoke of the critical importance of collaborating with one another to find innovative ways to address these issues for our service members.

"They are counting on us to chart new paths and frontiers that are unknown," said Nathan. "We must figure out how to change the game and take care of those who are serving now, veterans and their families. They are precious resources of our nation."

Congress authorized the creation of the foundation in 1983 to serve as a focus for the interchange between military and civilian medical personnel.

John W. Lowe, president and CEO for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, spoke about the importance of bringing together representatives from the military, government and private sector to further promote the exchange of information.

"It an honor to have Vice Adm. Nathan here today as our keynote speaker," Lowe said. "His opening remarks underscore the importance of advancing collaborative care for our wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and their families."

Nathan spoke of some of the challenges physicians must overcome in order to treat and provide appropriate care.

"One of the issues we wrestle with is stigma," said Nathan. "We must get to the point where service members don't believe it's a weakness to seek help."

"Successful recovery and rehabilitation requires we all work together to eliminate the stigma," said Nathan.

The symposium was designed to educate attendees about state-of-the-art clinical care for service members and veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD of varying levels of severity. The purpose is to impart an overview of evidence-based clinical practices that are known to best help to restore wounded, ill and injured warriors to good health.

The event also included speakers from a wide spectrum of medical-related fields, including services of the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, civilian agencies, community leaders, advocacy groups, clinical experts and academic institutions. Panel speakers, presentations, and real-life vignettes focused on research, diagnosis and treatement of TBI and PTSD, in-theater care, the continuum of care, rehabilitation, and the reintegration process of service members back into the community.

"We come together with such diverse experiences and knowledge," said Nathan. "It is critical that we build these bridges to facilitate more interaction to advance the care for our service members."

Nathan leads a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

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