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January 13, 2012
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate commits to first lady’s Joining Forces initiative

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University is one of 105 academic medical centers participating in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative that will increase training and research on post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.

The initiative creates a commitment on the part of Association for American Medical Colleges and the American Associations of College of Osteopathic Medicine to create a new generation of doctors, medical schools and research facilities that will mobilize their missions to address the healthcare needs of U.S. veterans and their families that face unique health challenges, including post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

“Upstate is proud to be a part of this important initiative,” said David Duggan, M.D., interim dean of the College of Medicine. “Our close proximity to Ft. Drum, which supports the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, and our next door neighbors, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, makes it all that more important that we make a commitment to increasing our educational programming and research into these complex health issues.”

By joining the initiative, Upstate pledges to:

• Enrich medical education to ensure that current and future physicians are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families;

• Disseminate the most up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic information as it relates to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);

• Grow the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our military service members, veterans, and their families; and

• Join with others to further strengthen the supportive community of physicians, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of military service members, veterans, and their families.

“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families,” Obama said. “By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research, and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

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