Mercer University’s School of Medicine is one of 105 of the nation’s top medical schools that have recently pledged to improve health care for military personnel and veterans by participating in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Initiative. The initiative is in conjunction with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
By participating in the initiative, Mercer pledged to focus on education, research and clinical to train physicians to meet veterans’ and their families unique health care needs such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 400,000 of the 2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury. The schools involved with the initiative have committed to providing courses, fund research and expand care for combat-related injuries.
“We are honored to participate in the White House Joining Forces Initiative to address improvements in the health care of military service members, veterans and their families,” said Dr. Bina, in a recent Mercer press release.
Dr. William Bina, dean of the School of Medicine, is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served aboard nuclear submarines before entering the medical field as a family physician.
The initiative will advance the current School of Medicine’s curriculum by teaching about the unique clinical challenges associated with military service personnel and veterans, focusing on the psychological health conditions as well as working to improve the overall health care and wellness.
“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families,” said Obama in an address at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring those who have served our country receive the first-rate care they have earned.”
Joining Forces Initiative was created by Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support veterans and military families. It focuses on key areas such as employment, education and wellness while raising awareness about the service and sacrifice. For more information visit www.joiningforces.gov.