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TriWest and Alaska VA Hosted First-Ever PTSD State-Wide Seminars to Reach Rural Health Care Providers
Date:10/3/2007

Community providers learned to recognize combat stress symptoms in

returning troops

PHOENIX, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their continuing efforts to address the needs of Alaska National Guard members, TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Alaska VA Healthcare System partnered to host their first-ever "Combat Stress Conference" throughout the state from Sept. 12-29. The seminars reached nearly 200 community-based health care providers that care for the thousands of returning Alaska National Guard troops throughout the state.

Conferences were presented in six locations including Juneau, Sitka, Barrow, Bethel, Nome and Dillingham. They were intended to help rural providers identify deployment-related symptoms such as combat stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and traumatic brain injury, as well as provide treatment options and reintegration methods.

The Alaska National Guard consists of more than 3,800 members who live in nearly every corner of the state. Currently, more than 1,000 of them have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Family practitioners and community-based health care providers are integral in helping Alaska's returning National Guard troops cope with the emotional and mental health issues resulting from serving in combat," explained David J. McIntyre, President and Chief Executive Officer of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. "This video conference was the first of its kind to combine the resources of the VA and TriWest to reach rural providers caring for these service members as they reintegrate into mainstream civilian life."

"The onset of emotional or mental health symptoms is unpredictable. Symptoms can manifest immediately or take months or years," said Barbara Martin, LCSW, chief of social and behavioral health service, Alaska VA Healthcare System. "Getting clinical combat stress information into the hands of community-based providers who are delivering ongoing health care is vi
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SOURCE TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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