Department of Veterans Affairs officials have launched a Paralympic Program website as part of the VA’s ongoing commitment to support the rehabilitation and recovery of disabled veterans through participation in adaptive sports.
Members of the Air Force wheelchair basketball team compete May 18, 2011, at the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. One of the highlights of the new Veterans Affairs paralympic program website is the "Success Stories" page, which features disabled veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios)
“Adaptive sports participation among disabled veterans has many proven benefits such as increased independence, reduced dependency on pain and depression medication and stress reduction,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Providing resources for disabled veterans to participate or compete in adaptive sports supports the holistic wellness of veterans, which is a key component of VA’s veteran-centric care.”
One of the highlights of the new website is the “Success Stories” page, which features disabled veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives. Veterans who participate in adaptive sports at any level, as well as Paralympic competitors, are encouraged to submit their stories and share their challenges and triumphs with the entire veteran community. (more…)
Captain Kevin Russell
Navy Capt Kevin Russell is the Director of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC). The AFHSC works to promote, maintain and enhance the health of the military and military-associated populations by providing relevant, timely and comprehensive surveillance information.
The recently-released movie “Contagion” could easily be dismissed as purely Hollywood fantasy about a pandemic that kills millions of people in a few months. Yet, many of us at federal agencies know first-hand the panic and devastation that can ensue when a pandemic like the swine flu-scare a few years back grips the world.
At the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), one of our primary goals is to support global health surveillance and response to emerging infectious diseases. Effective global disease surveillance, timely detection of outbreaks and appropriate responses to control epidemics are the essential tools to our service members and the global health community.
That’s why AFHSC, through its division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS), recently funded the development of two new kits cleared by the Food and Drug Administration that will increase the speed and accuracy of diagnosing influenza among military personnel in deployed settings.
By Lt Col Terry Carpenter, Special Projects Officer, AFPMB
The Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB), an office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment with offices on Fort Detrick’s Forest Glen Annex, recently celebrated the certification of their Monarch butterfly Waystation.
MAJ Jason Meckel, CAPT Stanton Cope, Col William Rogers, and Ms Marianne Radziewicz unveil the Certified Monarch Waystation sign in front of the Building 172 on Forest Glen Annex. CAPT Cope is the Director, Col Rogers is Deputy Director and MAJ Meckel is the Deputy Chief of the Operations Division, and Ms. Radziewicz is the office administrator of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (photo by Lt Col Terry Carpenter).
Each fall, millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to northern Mexico and southern California where they hibernate until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. One of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the migration is threatened by habitat loss in North America. Urban development, roadside management techniques, and genetically modified crops are reducing the native habitat of monarchs, threatening their numbers, and their ability to migrate. To offset the loss, Monarch Waystations provide food necessary for monarch butterflies to produce successive generations and sustain their annual migration, which takes them from northern Mexico to southern Canada and back again each year, through three to four generations along the way. Waystations provide milkweed plants, which are the essential food source for Monarch caterpillars, and nectar-producing flowers to fuel the adult butterflies’ journey. In addition, the Waystation provides a pesticide-free, protected place where the monarchs can rest, feed, mate, and breed in peace. By creating the Waystation, the AFPMB contributes to Monarch conservation, helping ensure the preservation of the species and its spectacular seasonal migration. (more…)
Carla Voorhees is a web strategist at the Defense Media Activity.
Cell Press 125 (Courtesy Image, DARPA)
Today the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced an effort to coordinate research to develop a platform for more effective testing of drugs and vaccines between itself, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Through the Microphysiological Systems program DARPA intends to develop a platform that uses engineered human tissue to mimic human physiological systems – allowing them to model the interactions that candidate drugs and vaccines might have with t he human body. As a result, those drugs and vaccines with toxic or ineffective results can be weeded out quickly, and only those which are safe will move forward. (more…)
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) is hosting its monthly webinar on September 22nd, this time focusing on Case Management of Mild TBI.
The webinar will emphasize the need for a collaborative approach to treatment and the role of the case manager. Speakers will provide resources and tips to assist military case managers with service members experiencing persistent symptoms related to concussion/mTBI.
Scheduled speakers include:
Lisa Perla, MSN, ARNP, CNRN
National Polytrauma Coordinator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Susan Kennedy, RN, BSN, CCM
Case Management Consultant
Altarum, TBI Clinical Standards of Care Directorate
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
Jennifer Audette, LCSW, CCM
OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager
Albany VA Medical Center, N.Y.
To register, be added to the distribution list or for more information, email DCoE directly at DCoE.MonthlyWebinar@tma.osd.mil
Dr. Claire C. Gordon, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Anthropology at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA.
This is a guest post from Dr. Claire C. Gordon, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Anthropology at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA. Dr. Gordon is responsible for basic and applied research dealing with the accommodation of human physical variation in the design, development, and fielding of military systems. She provides scientific input/advice to senior managers, represents Natick in scientific forums, and mentors Natick scientists and engineers. This post is specifically focused on her vision for the Army’s Anthropometric Survey (ANSUR II).
When the uniform just doesn’t fit and there aren’t enough of the right sizes, what’s a Soldier to do? Well, the Army’s ANSUR II program will have some answers to that. For starters, anthropometry is defined as the measurement of the size and shape of the human body. Periodically, the US Army conducts detailed measurement surveys of its Soldiers as a way to understand the impact that changes in Soldier body size have for the design, fit and sizing of virtually every piece of clothing and equipment that Soldiers wear and use in combat. The database of Soldier body sizes is maintained at NSRDEC in Natick, MA. The current anthropometric database (ANSUR, 1988) contains body size information on Active Duty Soldiers only, and it is now over twenty years old.
Anthrotech employee Marshall Gravley-Novello takes a Bicristal Breadth measurement on a Soldier at Ft. McCoy while another Anthrotech employee, Tony Hartshorn records the data. (US Army photo)
With more than 50 percent of today’s force in the Reserve and National Guard, it’s important that the Total Army is represented. In the beginning of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, supply officials ran into difficulty acquiring the correct sizes of chemical gear and body armor for troops. This led the NSRDEC team to conduct a pilot study of anthropometric change in 2007. The results of this 2006/2007 pilot study on 2,811 Active, Reserve, and Guard Soldiers showed that increases in body weight since 1988 (with virtually no increases in body height) are so significant that subjects in the 1988 ANSUR database cannot represent today’s larger, heavier Soldier. (more…)
Doc Bender on top of the Ziggurat of Ur in Southern Iraq, in February 2009.
Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.
It was an action-packed week recently as I was in Washington, D.C., for the American Psychological Association (APA) annual convention. I joined about 12,000 fellow psychologists to discuss a variety of topics, including the psychological health of service members and programs highlighting our latest research.
I presented at the workshop, Serving Those Who Served: Partnering with Returning Veterans to Aid Transitions, which was a forum for psychologists to become aware of information, resources and techniques to use when assisting this increasing population. As we know, military and civilian psychologists have an important role: as troops return from deployment, many will seek their help to cope with issues that may arise upon their return home. (more…)
An onlooker surveys results after a natural disaster strikes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jette Carr)
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) will host its latest webinar, “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Natural Disasters,” Aug. 25, 2011, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (EST).
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) not only affects service members who experience traumatic events while deployed, it can also affect civilian communities, particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the tornadoes that tore through the southern United States.