Servicemembers returning from deployments with combat injuries, and their families, may benefit from a recent Department of the Army grant awarded to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USU, and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, or CSTS.

The $6.5 million grant will be used to operationalize research designed to help military service members reintegrate following deployment.

"This is a challenging, yet important study that will hopefully help us to better understand and care for our wounded service members and their families following a deployment," said Stephen Cozza, M.D., USU professor, department of psychiatry and associate director of the CSTS. "For the first time, we'll have the ability and support to see our research in action to really identify the most effective means to support our service members who return from deployment with combat injuries, and their families, who may need assistance reintegrating with their communities."

Initially the grant, funded by the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, will support efforts associated with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio; and Madigan Army Medical Centers, Tacoma, Wash. The program will seek to identify needs of service members, families and children. It will set into action appropriate interventions, filling a gap in existing comprehensive medical care. The grant was awarded based on the belief that Cozza's project will contribute significant understanding of psychological health, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and other areas relevant to the DRMRP.

"USU is dedicated to innovative research in military medicine and nursing as well as public health," said Larry Laughlin, M.D., Ph.D, dean of the F. Edward H├ębert School of Medicine at USU. "Our research programs, devoted to preventive medicine, infectious disease, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, are relevant both locally and globally. The benefits of this grant will impact military families serving throughout the world who may need support following their deployments."

As little data exists to suggest how members, families and their children adjust in the aftermath of an injury, one goal of this research dedicates itself to finding that data.

Located on the grounds of Bethesda's National Naval Medical Center and across from the National Institutes of Health, USU is the nation's federal school of medicine and graduate school of nursing. The university educates health care professionals dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Public Health Service. Students are active-duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service, who are being educated to deal with wartime casualties, natural disasters, emerging infectious diseases and other public health emergencies. Of the university's more than 4,200 physician alumni, the vast majority serve on active duty and are supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, offering their leadership and expertise.

Source: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

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