July 28, 2021
AMSUS SmartBrief
Top Story
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that all of its 115,000 health care workers dealing directly with patients will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine within the next eight weeks, making it the first federal agency to mandate vaccination for employees. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said the move is intended to ensure the safety of veterans and expressed concern about coronavirus outbreaks among staff members at several VA health care centers that resulted in staff shortages and forced the VA to implement emergency measures in some cases.
Full Story: The New York Times (7/26) 
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Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Program
WRAIR/USUHS is recruiting applicants for their Accredited 2-Year Fellowship Program. Applicants must be Active Duty Army PhDs, PharmDs, Physicians board certified or eligible in any specialty. For more information contact LTC Jeffrey Livezey, MD: Jeffrey.Livezey@usuhs.edu or LTC Jesse DeLuca, DO: jesse.p.deluca.mil@mail.mil.
Military Health System
Deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy Patricia Montes Barron said during a panel discussion that food insecurity among military families is one of the department's top priorities. She noted that the department is compiling data to get a better sense of the scope of the issue.
Full Story: Military Times (tiered subscription model) (7/27) 
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This blog post examines how the Military Health System and Tricare have developed over the years, and how their successes can offer guidance for the future of VA health care. The authors suggest ways to improve health care choices for veterans to allow them to make informed choices about cost, access and provider networks to meet their needs.
Full Story: Health Affairs Blog (7/26) 
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Veterans Health Administration
US legislators and VHA executive director of geriatrics Dr. Scottie Hartronft have spoken out about an increasing need to help older veterans who want to stay in their homes instead of moving to nursing facilities. "We recognize the need to accelerate the availability of these [home care] services," Hartronft told members of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.
Full Story: WVEC-TV (Norfolk, Va.) (7/27) 
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Enduring Virtual Resources Presented by AMSUS
AMSUS offers enduring virtual resources to expand the knowledge of health professionals. This week's highlight is the Aesthetics Virtual Surgical Solutions Series with 24/7 education in Aesthetic & Reconstructive Breast Surgery and Abdominal Wall Reconstruction. Learn more now!
National Health Care
The CDC reported that US life expectancy dropped by 1.5 years to 77.3 years between 2019 and 2020, the largest decline since World War II, and researchers said the decline was driven largely by COVID-19 deaths. Life expectancy dropped by 2.9 years for Black people and 3.7 years for Hispanic males, the largest decline of any group.
Full Story: Reuters (7/21) 
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Health and Medical Research
A study of data from Medicaid enrollees, published online in Arthritis Care & Research, found that people with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder carried twice the risk for later systemic lupus erythematosus, compared with those without PTSD. Study authors noted that trauma exposure is linked to metabolic and hormonal changes that can impact the immune system and the body's inflammatory response.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (7/27) 
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Join AMSUS on Aug. 11 for the regional seminar, "Prolonged Casualty Care (PFC): Bridging the Medical Care Gap for LSCO," at Joint Base Lewis McChord in McChord, Wash. Content for this one-day face-to-face event will include presentations on INDOPACOM "Scene Setter" and Medical Planning for LSCO/MDO; PCC Gap Analysis, JTS Presentation/Discussion on PCC CPG's and Standard Training POI; Path to Prolonged Care Competency: MTSC DECM to MEDCoE; Tyranny of Time/Distance: Commander's Perspective; and the panel/discussion: Equipping for PCC: Putting It All Together (Problems and Challenges). An optional Wound Care Workshop will follow the afternoon speakers. Register today to ensure you have a seat at this in-person event! Special registration rates may be made available; contact Susan.Bachenheimer@amsus.org for more information.
The 2022 AMSUS Hybrid Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts submission platform is now open through Sept. 3. The theme is "Healthcare Transformation Starts with Medical Education and Training." The Annual Meeting will be held in person from Feb. 7-10, 2022, at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center, National Harbor, Md., and virtual content from Feb. 22-25, 2022. Get abstract submission guidelines and begin the submission process.
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