Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

First Lady Puts Vets' Brain Care in Spotlight

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

First Lady Puts Vets' Brain Care in Spotlight

Article excerpt

RICHMOND, Va. -- First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday told military members and veterans that more medical schools are teaming up to boost training and research about brain injuries and post- traumatic stress disorder.

Mrs. Obama told an audience at Virginia Commonwealth University that 105 U.S. medical schools and 25 schools of osteopathic medicine are bolstering their efforts to train students in treating brain injuries, PTSD and other mental-health issues affecting service members.

To that end, the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine have pledged to devote research, education and clinical care to address military service members' specific health care needs.

The initiative is part of the Joining Forces campaign, an effort by the first lady and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, to focus on issues that affect veterans and their families.

Earlier Wednesday, the first lady challenged assertions that she has forcefully imposed her will on White House aides and said people have inaccurately tried to portray her as "some kind of angry black woman."

At her university appearance, Mrs. Obama cited research examples already under way at universities, including VCU, which is undertaking a project to provide resources and training to health care providers, volunteers and community members across Virginia to help veterans.

University of Pittsburgh researchers are developing a new imaging tool that lets physicians see high-definition views of the brain's wiring, helping to diagnose a traumatic brain injury, Mrs. Obama said. The University of South Florida has linked with the Defense Department and VA to create a Center for Veterans Reintegration -- a research, treatment and education center for veterans and families.

She told VCU medical students that the profession they've chosen is "the essence of true service," adding: "This country is counting on you --no pressure."

Mrs. Obama thanked the troops for their service, and noted that anyone experiencing mental health difficulties shouldn't be ashamed. "Seek help, don't bury it," she said. …

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