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...
Anahid’s Story

Anahid’s Story

There are students who are passionate about their studies. And then there is Anahid Ebrahimi. The University of Delaware grad student exudes an enthusiasm for her research that’s hard to miss, much like her ever-present smile. From her work in the BADER Lab at the University of Delaware’s Health Sciences Complex to the time she spends with her UD faculty advisors, Ebrahimi is focused on applying what’s she learned in the classroom to improve the lives of others. It’s no wonder why Ebrahimi was recently selected as the recipient of the Graduate Student Achievement Award by UD’s Mechanical Engineering Department faculty. She also was chosen for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, a recognition awarded to only 2,000 students from among more than 16,000 applicants. “Ana clearly illustrates what is possible as a graduate researcher,” said Dr. Steven J. Stanhope, director of the BADER Consortium and one of Ebrahimi’s co-advisors. “She not only raises the bar, but inspires others.” In her research, Ebrahimi analyzes the mechanics of unimpaired individuals, as well as those with lower-limb amputations, walking under varying gait intensities. She is co-advised by Stanhope and Jill Higginson, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She’s been interested in body mechanics from an early age. “Growing up as a competitive gymnast, I was captivated by the small movement adaptations that could drastically improve human performance,” she said. “During my undergraduate education, I recognized the gap in our understanding of the mechanisms of musculoskeletal adaptations. Through my graduate research, I seek to expand our scientific understanding of locomotion biomechanics and disseminate this new knowledge to help...
A Tutorial on Casting

A Tutorial on Casting

A Tutorial on Casting: UD Orthotics and Prosthetics Club hosts casting workshop The University of Delaware’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Club casts a unique vision to inspire its members. Last month, the club learned how to cast prosthetic limbs during a workshop with staff from Independence Prosthetics Orthotics, one of the BADER Consortium’s partners. The workshop gave students the opportunity to learn from professionals working in the field. The event took place in the University of Delaware’s Integrated Science and Engineering lab, where attendants used their own limbs as models. “They showed us how to properly mark the subject’s limb and then wrap and set the limb in the desired position,” said Bretta Flystra, a senior member and founder of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Club. “All the students had the opportunity to practice on each other to get a hands-on feel for what an orthotics and prosthetics clinician does.” The registered student organization is celebrating its one year anniversary this spring. The club recruits students from various majors, including biomedical engineering, speech pathology, nursing and exercise science. Students come together with the goal of creating opportunities for professional development while learning best practices to help people with limb loss and limb difference. During the workshop, the IPO staff also showed club members what it looks like to be an orthotics and prosthetics clinician on a daily basis. Students tried on different prosthetic devices to get a feel for how artificial joints work with the body to give patients their mobility back.They even got to wear an orthotic with a locking knee joint, an eye-opening experience for Flystra, who learned how...