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Country United symposium explores collaborative future of military medicine

Rockville, Md. (Sept. 28, 2009) Renowned military, government and civilian medical experts will discuss advances in posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, humanitarian assistance and global infectious disease and explore the collaborative future of health advancements at the Partnership for Military Medicine Symposium on Nov. 6 at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C.

The meeting will kick off a two-day event, "Country United: Advancing Medicine from the Frontlines to the Homefront," a partnership that includes The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., Tug McGraw Foundation, and Grammy-winning country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The event includes the Nov. 6 symposium and the Country United Gala on Nov. 7. TriWest Healthcare Alliance is Country United's presenting sponsor.

The symposium aims to encourage public/private collaborations to accelerate advances in care for wounded, ill and injured warriors and civilians. General James F. Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, will present the morning keynote address. A Naval aviator by trade, Amos commanded the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in combat during Operations Iraqi Freedom I and II from 2002 to 2004, then took command of the II Marine Expeditionary Force from 2004 to 2006. He subsequently served as the commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and as the deputy commandant, combat development and integration, from 2006 to July 2008. Amos was promoted to his present rank and assumed the duties of assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in July 2008.

Faith Hill will offer the luncheon keynote address and will be joined by Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Gadson, who lost his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007. He was the first amputee to be outfitted with a next-generation prosthetic knee that features artificial intelligence and sensor technology that makes it possible for above-the-knee amputees to walk with increased confidence and safety and a more natural gait. A West Point graduate and Army football player, Gadson was the honorary chaplain for the New York Giants. His talk with the team is credited with helping to motivate the NFL team to win their division and ultimately Super Bowl XLII.

Other symposium speakers include:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Dr. Robert Ursano, founding director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • Dr. W. Craig Vanderwagen, former assistant secretary for preparedness and response, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. James Kelly, director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence
  • Dr. Stephen Cozza, director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Child and Family Programs
  • Dr. Jasmeet Pannu Hayes, assistant professor of clinical psychology, Duke University, and OIF/OEF Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at Durham VA Medical Center.

The Country United Gala, to be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, will celebrate the achievements of researchers, clinicians and others working to advance medical care for, and improve quality of life of, the nation's wounded warriors and citizens. The gala will include an awards dinner, as well as live and silent auctions, culminating with a performance by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, the Warren Brothers and other guests. Emmy-winning sports commentator Bob Costas will emcee the event.

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, will present the Visionary Award at the gala. Kamen and his company, DEKA, have partnered with military researchers to create advanced new prosthetics, including a robotic arm. "I can personally attest to the tremendous value and effectiveness of military-civilian collaborations," Kamen said. "By working together, we can create incredible advances in medical technology that benefit not only our military men and women, but also civilians."

David J. McIntyre, Jr., president and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, noted, "While only one percent of the U.S. population volunteers to serve in our armed forces, it is the responsibility of the remaining 99 percent of us, as they protect and defend our freedom with their lives, to assure they receive the best possible care. It is an honor for TriWest to serve our nation's military population and their families in the West, and our support of the Country United effort is a direct extension of our belief in the importance of ensuring that all who serve have access to the best care possible."


Contact: JoAnn C. Sperber
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

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