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Geisinger hosting national conference to help rural veterans cope with combat stress

DANVILLE, PA. With the war in Iraq in its sixth year and a new generation of veterans requiring care, Geisinger Health System will host a conference May 13 that brings together military and civilian experts to better understand and meet the unique challenges faced by rural soldiers and their families.

The goal of the conference, Combat Stress Injuries/Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Implications for Rural Veterans and Their Families, is to encourage regional healthcare workers to work together to triage vulnerable rural soldiers to the VA and other community agencies.

We can improve the dissemination of behavioral healthcare in rural areas through partnerships and shared resources, said Geisinger President and CEO Glenn Steele Jr., MD, PhD. This is an approach that could work nationally.

Today, rural soldiers returning from a deploymentand eager to get homeoften find themselves miles away from the closest government facility. As a result, many postpone needed behavioral care.

The conference will focus on making sure rural soldiers receive timely care from the appropriate source. Attendees will include doctors, nurses, social workers, mental health counselors and veterans.

Florida State University Traumatology Institute Director Charles Figley, PhD is the keynote speaker. Retired U.S. Army officer and former Wilkes-Barre television news anchor Keith Martin will serve as the conference moderator.


Contact: Patti Urosevich
Geisinger Health System

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