Sunday, September 21, 2014

MCG event will educate students about the health needs of active duty military, veterans

NoraZeidanwebfrontStudents at Georgia Regents University can spend their lunchtime Veterans Day-week learning more about the unique health needs of active duty military personnel, veterans and their families.

Joining Forces Wellness Week begins with a noon discussion Nov. 11 about military life and culture and concludes that Friday with a drive to collect hygiene kit materials, such as razors and toothpaste, for homeless veterans in the Augusta area.

The program, open to all GRU students, was organized by Medical College of Georgia Sophomore Nora Zeidan, Vice President for Community Affairs for the Class of 2016; Dr. Kimberly Halbur, MCG Associate Dean for  Student and Multicultural Affairs; and Dr. Walter Moore, MCG’s Senior Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs and Graduate Medical Education.

It’s being held in conjunction with a national effort by the Association of American Medical Colleges to support the White House’s Joining Forces initiative established in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. All sessions will be held at noon in Lecture Hall 1103 on the first floor of the Hamilton Wing of the Sanders Research and Education Building on Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Zeidan received a $500 grant from the AAMC to support the MCG project. She also was selected to give a presentation about MCG’s upcoming program to a focus group of the AAMC’s Office of Student Representatives during the AAMC’s 2013 Annual Meeting Nov. 1-6 in Philadelphia.

“We hope this will help give us the back story for this important group of patients that will enable us to provide better care to them and really to all patients,” Zeidan said. An avid volunteer who was inspired to become a pediatrician by her work at summer camps for children with medical conditions such as diabetes, Zeidan was motivated to take on the Joining Forces project when she heard about it at a recent AAMC medical student gathering.

Daily sessions and presenters include:

Nov. 11 – Understanding Military Culture as an Aspect of Diversity will provide insight on culturally competent care. Panelists include Moore, who has served as Deputy Commander for Clinical Services and Chief of the Rheumatology Service at Eisenhower Army Medical Center; and completed a residency and fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Dr. Ines H. Berger, Chief of the MCG Section of Pain Medicine and Director of the Pain Medicine Fellowship, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom; and Dr. Chris White, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics who spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, including serving as Director of Medical Student Education for Walter Reed, a year working as a pediatrician in the 121st Medical Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, and four months in Somalia as a general medical officer during Operation Restore Hope. MCG’s 22 Health Professions Scholarship Program students, who are committed to serving as a commissioned medical officer after medical school, also will be honored.

Nov. 12 – The Combat Veteran will provide insight on conditions such as traumatic brain injury and amputee care. Speakers include Dr. Christopher Hines, Chief of Outpatient Behavioral Health and Chairman of the Hospital Ethics Committee ; and Dr. Scott Mooney, lead neuropsychologist; both at Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

Nov. 13 – Those Left Behind will include a family’s perspective and be led by Shawn Williams, Army Community Service Mobilization and Deployment Program Manager; and Kashieem Averill, Family Readiness Support Assistant, both at Eisenhower.

Nov. 14 – Women in the Military will cover specific concerns such as reproductive health risks of military service and posttraumatic stress disorder in women, led by Dr. Janis S.
Coffin, Medical Director of the Family Medicine Center at GR Health System, an expert on women’s health issues who served in the U.S. Army on active duty from 2001-05 as a family medicine physician, including one year in Iraq as a physician with the 4th Infantry Division.

Nov. 15 – Hygiene Kit Drive to collect toothpaste, razors, combs, brushes and others hygiene items that will be given to the Uptown Division of the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center for distribution.

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