The New Normal of Military Medicine

The New Normal of Military Medicine

BADER Consortium and the Thought Leadership and Innovation Foundation recently collaborated on a special supplement to Military Medicine, the International Journal of AMSUS. We hope you’ll check out the issue. The focus is the “New Normal” of military care – namely, how the military and civilian sectors are flexing to care for servicemembers with orthopedic combat injuries. During the five operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, more than 1,640 members of the U.S. Armed Forces have suffered a traumatic injury requiring a limb amputation. These men and women require high-level, multidisciplinary care that addresses their needs in the short and long term while also helping them reach their highest level of function possible. Addressing these varied needs of injured service members requires the development of strategic infrastructures that integrate patient care and clinical research. This is the work of the BADER Consortium. The Military Medicine supplement talks about the challenges and successes in fostering this “New Normal” approach. It includes insights gleaned from a recent gathering during the AMSUS Annual Continuing Education Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. “WARfighters Receiving Innovative Orthopedic Rehabilitation  (WARRIOR) Symposium: Research and Treatment of Patients with Extremity Trauma and Amputation” discussed how state-of-the-art programs are using research to impact the care of people with limb loss. This event was a first in bringing together military, civilian and industry representatives to talk about ways to partner in the future. John Shero, director of the Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs Extremity Trauma and Amputee Center of Excellence, or EACE, called the gathering “a brain trust” of people he had never before seen together. For the BADER Consortium and others invested...
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...
What BADER does

What BADER does

We’ve already told you about the history of BADER Consortium, including the way the name plays off the heroism of Sir Douglas Bader, a Royal Air Force fighter who lost both legs in a plane crash. He not only continued to fly during World War II, he shot down 22 German planes before being taken as a prisoner of war. Now we’re going to share how BADER Consortium – which stands for Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation – aims to help today’s wounded military not only recover from their limb injuries but live a life as full as possible. That means making sure injured and recovering warriors are not just getting around with their prostheses, but finding their optimal level of function, whether that’s returning to active duty, running or competing against other athletes with limb loss. The goal of BADER – funded through a five-year, $19.7 million medical research grant from the Department of Defense – is to continue the advancements in the treatment of military amputees and create a culture of research in musculoskeletal trauma and limb loss across the the participating institutions. To do that, BADER works with four military treatment facilities to strengthen evidence-based orthopedic rehabilitation care. They are: San Antonio Military Medical Center/Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Tex.; Naval Medical Center San Diego in California; Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. In addition, BADER is partnering with six clinical rehabilitation sites: Spaulding National Running Center in Cambridge, Mass.; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn; the University of Delaware; the University of Texas...
New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users

New fitness app available for lower limb prosthesis users

Getting the appropriate prosthesis is critical to help patients with a lower limb amputation improve their outcomes and return to an active lifestyle. But just as important is whether the user can make the most of what the prosthesis is able to do. Even when given instruction by a trained therapist, it can be hard to duplicate the activity independently. But a smartphone app created by prosthetics manufacturer Ottobock aims to help leg amputees improve their strength and mobility. Although it was developed by Ottobock, the exercise programs do not require specialized equipment and are not tied to a specific manufacturer. Otto Bock Healthcare is one of several industrial collaborators with BADER Consortium. Within the app there are 16 exercises separated into two different programs. One focuses on strength and endurance, demonstrating exercises that focus on the legs, stomach, back and arms while the user is not wearing the prosthesis. The second program emphasizes balance and coordination while wearing the prosthesis. Here, the exercises focus on simple sequences of movement to help users stand confidently and exert better control over their prostheses in their activities of daily living, whether that’s at work, at home or on the go. And there are three progessive levels of difficulty so you don’t have to worry about not being able to complete some of the tasks. The first level is intended for those who recently received a prosthesis while the third level is intended for use by those confident in using their prostheses. The app is available for iPad and iPhone users for free here or by visiting  iTunes by searching “Fitness for...