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Miami Dade College Joins Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to Support Veterans and Military Families

Miami Dade College’s School of Nursing will train nursing students on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the coming years
MichelleObama1

Miami, April 13, 2012 - Miami Dade College’s (MDC) School of Nursing has committed to further educate its nursing students so they are prepared to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families by joining a broad, coordinated effort recently announced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. At the event was Dr. Valerie Browne, academic chair in the School of Nursing and one of only 20 nursing school representatives nationwide invited to attend.

Led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, nursing organizations and schools have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other combat-related issues, in ways appropriate to each nurse’s practice setting. More than 150 state and national nursing organizations and over 500 nursing schools are joining in the effort.

“Whether we’re in a hospital, a doctor’s office or a community health center, nurses are often the first people we see when we walk through the door. Because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the frontline of America’s health care system,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “That’s why Jill and I knew we could turn to America’s nurses and nursing students to help our veterans and military families get the world-class care that they’ve earned. It’s clear from today’s announcement that the nursing community is well on its way to serving our men and women in uniform and their families.”

“Nurses are at the center of providing lifesaving care in communities across the country -- and their reach is particularly important because our veterans don't always seek care through the VA system,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve.”

According to Amy Pettigrew, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, Dean, “Miami Dade College’s School of Nursing is currently revising curricula to ensure that adequate time is spent helping our students to understand the significant and long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Our students are witness to the symptoms every day as they care for veterans as patients at the VA hospital, as residents of the homeless shelter, those in the community who are not currently in treatment, and family members or friends who too are suffering the long-term consequences of combat-related issues. Our goal is to ensure the highest quality care for our returning servicemen and women and their families.”

The invisible wounds of war, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), have impacted approximately 1 in 6 of our troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq – more than 300,000 veterans. And since 2000, more than 44,000 of those troops have suffered at least a moderate-grade traumatic brain injury. 

Veterans seeking care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are often treated by health care professionals who have received extensive training in mental health issues.  But the majority of veterans in the country seek care outside of the VA system -- they usually visit their local hospital staffed by nurses and doctors in their communities. That’s why today’s announcement will be so significant for our troops and their families. America’s nurses are trusted partners in providing lifesaving and life-sustaining care in nearly every community and every setting where health care is delivered. They can make a dramatic and positive impact on the long-term health of hundreds of thousands of veterans. And they are eager to understand the needs of those who have served, to recognize the warning signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or suicide, and to know where to send them for help.

Nursing leaders have also committed to disseminating effective models for care and to sharing the most up-to-date information on these conditions across academic and practice settings.   By working to expand the body of clinical knowledge in this arena and by partnering with other health care providers and institutions, nursing leaders across the country will continue to advance high quality treatment for these conditions in every community. 

MDC’s School of Nursing has committed by 2014 to:

·         Educating future nurses to care for veterans, service members, and their families facing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other clinical issues;

·         Enriching nursing education to ensure that current and future nurses are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and

          their families;

·         Integrating content that addresses the unique health and wellness challenges of our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families into nursing curricula;

·         Sharing teaching resources and applying best practices in the care of service members, veterans, and their families;

·         Growing the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our service members, veterans, and their families; and

·         Joining with others to further strengthen the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and healthcare providers dedicated to improving the health of service members, veterans, and their families.

 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist




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