Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May 13 conference to focus on needs of rural vets

With the war in Iraq in its sixth year and a new generation of veterans needing care, Geisinger Health System of Danville, Pa., will host a conference May 13 with military and civilian experts to increase understanding and meet the unique challenges faced by rural soldiers. The goal of the conference, "Combat Stress Injuries/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Implications for Rural Veterans and Their Families," is to encourage regional health care workers to work together to triage vulnerable rural soldiers to the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies. (Encarta map)

Today, rural soldiers returning from a deployment — and eager to get home — often 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, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker. Retired U.S. Army officer and former Wilkes-Barre television news anchor Keith Martin will be the moderator.

Geisinger Health System says it is one of the nation’s largest integrated health services organizations and serves more than 2 million residents of central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

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