Country Music Stars Lead Effort to Benefit Military Medicine
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2009 Grammy Award-winning country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are teaming up with civilian and military medical experts to further medical innovations and quality-of-life research for America's battle-wounded, ill and injured warriors.
The country stars and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine will present "Country United," a symposium and awards gala here Nov. 6 and 7. TriWest Healthcare Alliance is sponsoring the two-day event.
"While only 1 percent of the U.S. population volunteers to serve in our armed forces, it is the responsibility of the remaining 99 percent of us -- as they protect and defend our freedom with their lives -- to assure they receive the best possible care," said David J. McIntyre Jr., president and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
The Nov. 6 symposium will bring together leading experts to help expedite innovations in military medical treatment and research. Military and civilian researchers and clinicians as well as policymakers will engage in panel discussions on post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, military and civilian efforts in humanitarian aid and disaster response, and joint efforts to combat global infectious diseases.
The medical experts will include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Ursano, founding director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Dr. W. Craig Vanderwagen, former assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. James Kelly, director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence; and Congressman Joe Wilson, member of the House Armed Services Committee and Congressional Brain Injury Task Force.
"I can personally attest to the tremendous value and effectiveness of military-civilian collaborations," Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway personal transporter, said. Kamen and his company, DEKA, have partnered with military researchers to create advanced new prosthetics, including a robotic arm.
"By working together, we can create incredible advances in medical technology that benefit not only our military men and women, but also civilians," he said.
The symposium also will encourage public and private collaborations to accelerate advances in care for wounded, ill and injured warriors and civilians, officials said.
Faith Hill will be the luncheon keynote speaker, joined by Army Lt. Col. Gregory Gadson. Gadson, who lost his legs to a roadside bomb in Baghdad, was credited by the New York Giants as the inspiration for their victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Military and civilian heroes will be recognized the following evening at the Country United awards gala hosted by Emmy Award-winning NBC and HBO Sports broadcaster Bob Costas. The gala will include an awards dinner, with a “Visionary Award” presentation by Kamen, and silent and live auctions, culminating in performances by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, the Warren Brothers and friends.