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By Ellen Crown U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Experts from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs gathered Aug. 14 at the Military Health System Research Symposium to discuss the future of research on mental health and traumatic brain injury.
Discussions turned toward the National Research Action Plan, which is the result of an executive order signed a year ago by President Barack Obama, to improve access to mental health services for veterans, service members, and military Families.
The plan directs DOD and the VA to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education to share resources and complete certain goals. One such goal to complete within the next year is the DOD, Center for Disease Control Brain Trauma Foundation mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI/concussion classification project to clarify what is known and unknown about mild TBI and the critical gaps that need to be addressed.
The National Research Action Plan creates a common roadmap for medical leadership to follow as we move forward to work on incredibly complex issues, said Col. Douglas Hack, Combat Casualty Care Research program director at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, headquartered at Fort Detrick, Md.
The National Research Action Plan demonstrates a dedication across multiple agencies to close critical research and care gaps, both in the military and civilian sector, said Health Affairs Director of Medical Research Dr. Terry Rauch.