Warrior Care: Defense Department Highlights Efforts in November
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2008 Citing Warrior Care as both a top priority and a solemn obligation, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates designated November as “Warrior Care Month” to communicate the Defense Department’s commitment to quality care to the nation’s servicemembers and their families.
Through the department’s Warrior Care Web portal at www.WarriorCare.mil, Warrior Care Month is aimed at increasing awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill and injured servicemembers, their families, and those who care about them, and reinforcing servicemembers’ trust in DoD’s commitment to their well-being, officials said.
Pentagon officials cited four principles of Warrior Care Month:
-- A Pledge to Our Servicemembers and Their Families. The Department of Defense will provide the highest quality of care to all wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers and their families for as long as necessary, regardless of location.
-- A Commitment to Quality Care. Consistent and quality care is provided by the Department of Defense to servicemembers throughout the continuum of care (recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration) in conjunction with other government entities. Each service has also instituted programs to provide personalized medical and non-medical assistance to wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families.
-- Transforming Warrior Care. Warrior Care today includes new facilities, skilled and dedicated care providers, training and career opportunities to assist in the transition to new roles in the military or to civilian life, and a new partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to launch pilot programs to align medical records and establish a single Disability Evaluation System.
-- Simplifying Access and Establishing Channels for Reporting Problems. The Web site www.WarriorCare.mil is the gateway to the department’s Warrior Care resources through which visitors can easily identify and access individual programs and resources to meet their needs.
-- In addition, the Wounded Warrior Resource Center was established for servicemembers and their families who encounter difficulties during their recovery process to receive the assistance they need immediately.
The WWRC is accessible by calling 800-342-9647 toll free, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the Web at www.woundedwarriorresourcecenter.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Officials noted several key changes that have improved Warrior Care:
-- New partnerships have been developed with the Department of Veterans Affairs to streamline the transition between DoD and VA.
-- New programs to care for and support wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers have been instituted.
-- The department has implemented new approaches in the treatment of psychological health and the challenge of traumatic brain injury.
-- A concerted effort has been made in improving customer care.
In the future, officials said, the Defense Department will continue to work with VA to craft improvements tailored for those grievously wounded in combat, make rapid improvements in dealing with TBI and psychological health, improve service quality and consistency to the families of the wounded and the fallen, and support the Guard and Reserve with the same quality and consistency provided to active forces and their families.