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Release No: 451-96
July 31, 1996


The Admiral Boorda Center for Families with Special Needs has been established at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. This memorial program, administered by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, is a tribute to the former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jeremy Mike Boorda, USN, who died May 16 in Washington, D.C.

In announcing establishment of the center, Dr. James A. Zimble, president of the university said, There were only two issues of major importance to Mike Boorda - a deep commitment to the Navy and to family. I can think of no finer tribute to this superb naval leader. I discussed the concept with Bettie Boorda, the admiral's wife of 40 years. She not only fully supports the concept but has expressed a strong interest in being personally involved in this program.

Boorda not only had a personal interest in and special understanding of the needs and concerns of families with children with special health care needs, he also had a deep interest in ensuring and improving quality of life issues for all military members and their families. Boorda had joined the Navy at age 16, rose through the ranks to petty officer first class, was commissioned and became chief of Naval Operations in 1994.

The Admiral Boorda Center for Families with Special Needs, is intended to be a living legacy in the admiral's name and will have a direct impact on military families within the Department of Defense. The university's department of pediatrics will develop and run the program. A board of directors, composed of a member of the Boorda family, representatives of the military service families, and from each military department's surgeons general offices, as well as DoD. The board will help develop the day-to-day projects and activities of the center. It will target the following types of activities:

Respite Care: Developing training programs for respite care

providers to military families. Respite care is in-home

or center-based care for family members with special needs

or disabilities. This program gives family members, who are

the usual care givers, time off from their 24-hour

responsibilities of monitoring and responding to the family

member's special needs. This time off provides the

opportunity to see a movie or go shopping, attend a

sibling's athletic event, or have undisturbed time together.

Expansion of Resources: Expand toy libraries at Exceptional

Family Member Program treatment sites to improve

availability of toys for the appropriate cognitive level and

learning style, sensory or motor impairment, and interests

of the child. Currently, a small number of military sites

have parents working as paid toy librarians serving children

at-risk, as well as children with disabilities.

Parent Involvement Programs: Establish funds for parent

attendance at (national, regional and local) parent self-

help group conferences.

Research: Develop research programs in the area of special

health care.

Faculty: Fund full-time faculty positions at the Uniformed

Services University for a parent(s) of a child with special

health care needs and disabilities. This individual will

serve as a mentor for medical students and coordinate visits

to homes of military service members with significant

illness or disabilities. In working with medical students,

the goal will be to develop physicians that have person- and

family-centered, rather than disease-centered skills.

Speakers Bureau: Train and provide parents as contributing

speaker resources for local regional and national

conferences, such as the annual Exceptional Family Member

Program conferences held by the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Personal and organizational contributions may be made to the Admiral Boorda Center for Families with Special Needs at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, using the following address:

Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Attn: Admiral Boorda Center for Families with Special Needs

1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600

Rockville, MD 20852

Established by Congress in 1972, the Uniformed Services University is located in Bethesda, Md. It is the nation's only federal medical school, and graduates approximately 160 physicians each year for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, and U.S. Public Health Service, and offers a graduate program in the basic sciences and nursing to outstanding health professionals and scientists. The university is recognized world-wide as a preeminent center for the study of military and preventive medicine, tropical disease, disaster medicine, adaptation to extreme environments, and medicine for the special needs of the military family.

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, located in Rockville, Md., is a private, non- profit organization chartered by Congress in 1983 to support medical research and education throughout the military community. It supports military medical research and education at the Uniformed Services University and more than five dozen military research institutes and treatment facilities. The foundation also has developed a recognized curriculum for child care providers who work with children with special health care needs and disabilities.

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