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Georgetown Medical School Partners with First Lady to Combat PTSD

First Lady Michelle Obama announces major coordinated effort by America’s academic institutions to combat PTSD & TBI.

By Shaun Courtney

Georgetown University School of Medicine is one of 130 medical schools and research facilities that committed to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s new Joining Forces initiative. The institutions promise to train future physicians to meet the distinct needs of military and veterans communities, including combatting traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  

“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,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a news release. 

Other local insitutions joining the initiative include both George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the Howard University College of Medicine.

“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,” said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, in a news release.

Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., the Dean of Georgetown’s medical school, said Georgetown will do its part to answer the call through its Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program and in partnership with the D.C. Veteran’s Affairs medical center.

“As a veteran myself, I am proud  to have been one of nearly 100 deans who joined the First Lady in Richmond this week, for the launch of the  ”Joining Forces Initiative,” to provide help for soldiers and their families from these wars and approach PTSD and TBI through research and compassionate care through academic medical centers and the union of AAMC and AACOM,” said Mitchell in a statement.

Mitchell was the former recipient of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) with the United States Air Force.

According to the press release, these organizations are committing 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.

Mitchell added that the iniative “is consistent with the Catholic, Jesuit value of cura personalis—care of the whole person. We welcome this coordinated effort and look forward to serving those who so bravely serve us.”

More information is available at: www.JoiningForces.gov.

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