VA official sees innovations at Vt hospitalBy WILSON RING
The Associated Press | December 20,2013WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A number of programs developed in Vermont to help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder are now being used throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital network.
Some programs are also in use by civilian treatment providers, a top VA official said Thursday.
The VA Medical Center in White River Junction, which treats veterans from Vermont and parts of New Hampshire, has also developed programs that help rural veterans who live far from the hospital, said VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers after touring the hospital and the adjacent National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“I’ve seen a level of technology adoption here that I have not seen anywhere else,” Sowers said.
He was given a demonstration of a locally developed app, called the PTSD Coach, which offers online tools to help users screen themselves for PTSD and provides techniques for dealing with stress.
Sowers visited the inpatient substance abuse treatment area, where many of the patients are also suffering from PTSD, and other sections of the hospital that focus on traditional medical care for veterans.
He also spoke via a telemedicine hookup with a veteran undergoing physical therapy in his home about two hours away from the hospital while he conducted exercises with a VA therapist.
The PTSD Coach smartphone app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times in 78 countries since its release in 2011, and the PTSD Coach Online, released in September, had 25,000 page views in October, officials said.
The center has surveyed veterans and active duty military personnel who have used the applications to see if they work.
“The bottom line, in terms of outcomes, is we have found really nice, robust, positive effects,” said Barbara Hermann, the center’s associate director for research and education.
Dr. E. Lanier Summerall, the psychiatrist in charge of the mental health and behavioral sciences section, said after meeting Sowers that even though the U.S. war in Iraq is over and the war in Afghanistan is winding down, many veterans are just beginning to seek services for PTSD.
She even hears of difficult combat situations from different service members who experienced the same event, frequently as part of Vermont National Guard deployments.
Vermont National Guard members experienced intense combat during a 2005-06 deployment to Ramadi, Iraq, or during a larger, more recent deployment to Afghanistan.
“Sometimes it does take a couple of years for people to recognize that they can’t handle the difficulties they are experiencing by themselves,” Summerall said. “So actually we still see new veterans from those deployments every day.”MORE IN This Just InWASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House unexpectedly rejected short-term funding for the... Full StoryMONTPELIER — An executive with the owner of the mothballed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sought to... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown