BY TOM HESTER SR.
Four New Jersey medical schools are among the 130 nationwide that the Obama administration hopes will help create a new generation of doctors, medical schools, and research facilities to provide medical care to veterans and their families.
The medical schools, which are associated with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osterpathic Medicine, have pledged to train physicians to meet what is described as the unique health care needs of the military and veterans communities.
Taking part in the White House Joining Forces initiative are the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s New Jersey Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and School of Osteopathic Medicine
“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in Richmond Wednesday. “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.”
The 130 medical schools have committed to:
• Train their medical students as well as their current physicians, faculty, and staff to better diagnose and treat our veterans and military families;
• Develop new research and clinical trials on PTSD and TBI so that we can better understand and treat those conditions;
• Share their information and best practices with one another through a collaborative web forum created by the AAMC; and
• Continue to work with the VA and the Department of Defense to make sure that everyone is providing the best care available.
“Because of our integrated missions in education, clinical care, and research, America’s medical schools are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in this important effort,” Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said. “Medical schools have long recognized the sacrifice and commitment of our military, veterans, and their families. The relationship between the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and academic medicine dates back to the end of World War II and serves as a model for successful partnerships between public and private institutions. Our work with the White House on Joining Forces is a natural extension of our efforts in this area and renews our commitment to the wellness of our nation’s military.”
“A central component of the White House Joining Forces Initiative is wellness, and I am pleased to announce AACOM’s participation in a new Joining Forces effort that could have a significant impact on the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.” Dr. Stephen C. Shannon, president and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, said.