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TriWest and Montana VA Launch PTSD Video Conference to Reach Rural Health Care Providers
Date:9/11/2007

Community providers learn to recognize combat stress symptoms in returning

troops

PHOENIX, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their continuing efforts to address the needs of returning Guard members, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the Department of Defense's TRICARE contractor in Montana and the VA Montana Health Care System have partnered to launch the first Combat Stress Video Conference. The conference, being held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2007, will bring together nearly 150 community-based health care providers that care for the thousands of returning Montana National Guard troops throughout the state.

The conference will be broadcast simultaneously to providers in nine locations including Billings, Culbertson, Glasgow, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell and Lewistown. It is intended to help rural providers identify deployment-related symptoms such as combat stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and traumatic brain injury, as well as providing treatment methods.

The Montana National Guard consists of more than 3,700 members who live in nearly every corner of the state. Since 2001, more than 80 percent have been mobilized for active duty.

"Family practitioners and community-based health care providers are integral in helping Montana'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 is 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 Rosa F. Merino, MD, Chief of Behavioral Health, VA Montana Healthcare. "Getting clinical combat stress i
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SOURCE TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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