DoD to Host ‘Warrior Care in the 21st Century’ Symposium

Oct. 18, 2016 | BY Paige LaPlant, DoD Office of Warrior Care Policy

Despite an increase in the severity of injuries, troops on the battlefield are surviving better than ever before. U.S. military officials and their allies have made a priority of taking care of those wounded returning from war.

That’s why the Defense Department is hosting the second annual Warrior Care in the 21st Century symposium Oct. 25-27 in Tampa, Florida, to discuss policies and programs.

“Medical advances and research have led to decreased fatality rates of service members, but new challenges require innovative, yet proven, solutions,” said Dr. Karen Guice, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and the principal medical advisor to the secretary of defense. “Warrior Care in the 21st Century is a significant step toward building partner capacity, improving interagency interoperability, and expanding delivery of medical and nonmedical treatments and therapies to wounded, ill and injured service members who have sacrificed so much.”

Senior military and civilian representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, NATO and others will join DoD and Department of Veterans Affairs officials at the meeting. The group will discuss current and future care for service members, veterans, families and caregivers.

Global Sharing of Best Practices

Established in 2015, the Warrior Care in the 21st Century coalition simplifies global sharing of warrior care best practices and lessons learned. Health providers are then able to identify viable and innovative solutions to current and future challenges in the areas of resilience, recovery and rehabilitation, and reintegration.

Three in-person work groups – led by Australia (resilience), the United Kingdom (recovery and rehabilitation), and Georgia (reintegration) – will address key topics in each focus area to adjust the coalition’s long-term strategy. Force readiness modeling and simulations, and a telehealth demonstration at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital will also ensure technology is at the forefront of symposium discussions.

“It is vital that the Department of Defense continues to support our wounded, ill, and injured service members through adaptive and flexible policies and programs,” said James Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary of defense for warrior care policy and Warrior Care in the 21st Century coalition co-chair. “The international relationships we’ve developed over the past years are critical to maintaining an ongoing discussion about common challenges and determining what is necessary to enhance and develop meaningful and measurable solutions for all.”

Those who wish to follow symposium updates, view event photos and join in on the warrior care conversation can do so at Twitter @WarriorCare and Facebook @WarriorCare and with the #WarriorCare21 hashtag.