AMSUS 2015

AMSUS 2015

Members of the BADER Consortium are in San Antonio, Tex., this week for the 2015 AMSUS Continuing Education meeting, where federal and military health professionals are discussing how healthcare is flexing to meet the changing needs of its patients. The conference features top leadership from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense Health Agency and others talking about health and scientific issues under the theme, “The New Normal.” AMSUS is a non-profit organization for federal and international health professionals that helps advance healthcare knowledge and effectiveness among its members. It includes the uniformed services along with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary of Health for the VA, will provide an update on the current and future state of the VA and also describe his vision for veterans’ healthcare. Medical and clinical operations, global health, and military health system updates are among the educational tracks. In addition, BADER Consortium is co-sponsoring the WARRIOR Symposium, a preliminary session that will be held from 1-5:30 p.m. today. The symposium will discuss rehabilitation needs for servicemembers and civilians following amputations or extremity trauma. WARRIOR stands for WARfighters Receiving Innovative Orthopedic Rehabilitation. The symposium is intended to offer a comprehensive look at the issue of orthopedic rehabilitation, from a military and civilian perspective. It will include a discussion of the findings of the Defense Health Board report issued earlier this year, which made recommendations for the sustainment and advancement of amputee care. Participants in the WARRIOR Symposium include Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, MD, director of the Defense Health Agency, discussing the “Roadmap for Change;” Maj. Gen. George Anderson,...
The New Normal

The New Normal

It’s great to see so many people on social media giving thanks on Veterans Day for the service and sacrifice of strangers and loved ones who served in the military for our protection.  And while those accolades are important, it’s also critical that we make sure these brave men and women have access to state-of-the-art technology and treatment to ensure they are reaching the highest level of function possible. Veterans with traumatic limb loss are learning what it means to return to their work and home lives following an amputation. But they aren’t altering their life goals or downgrading their plans – rather, they are relying on state-of-the-art technology and advancements in patient care to help them reach optimal clinical outcomes, whether it’s running again or attending to activities of daily living. They are veterans like Travis Mills, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant and one of five Afghanistan war veterans to survive a quadruple amputation. There’s many words to describe him, but one of the most powerful ones is runner. Fitted with specially made running blades, Mills can now run more 1 1/2 miles. He plans to do a 5K. In a story for Runner’s World, he describes his first experience on the blades this way:  “I was so excited to get running, I broke one in half one of the first times I put them on. I drove two hours that same day to get it replaced. I wanted to keep at it.” Mills is an example of a veteran seeking the highest level of function possible – a goal that should be the norm for all people with limb loss. It’s this “new normal” that offers...