HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education and the American Hospital Association together with more than a dozen other organizations have established Joining Forces, an initiative to increase awareness among medical professionals and others about the medical, social and emotional challenges of veterans and their families when veterans return from military service.
Through a series of online programs, Joining Forces will provide medical professionals with the education they need to manage the medical issues of the nations troops. The national initiative is an extension of an effort begun in Minnesota in 2007. In a news release, the AHA and HealthPartners said the initiative will be a four-part series that focuses on the most common issues of returning soldiers.
The American College of Emergency Physicians, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Federation of American Hospitals, Catholic Health Association and National Council of Churches are among the partner organizations for Joining Forces.
Separately this week, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, along with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake requesting more information about a VA program that would lease, rather than renovate or construct, new facilities. In the letter, Akaka and Rockefeller note that the VA has proposed 22 sites for this expanded leasing program. If it is true that the VA is considering closing particular facilities across the country as a cost-saving measure, I have serious concerns and I would like a response to our letter as soon as possible, Rockefeller said in the release. -- by Jessica Zigmond