Region’s ‘neighborly care’ is focus at Military Medicine Conference

| May 19, 2011 | 0 Comments
Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, TAMC and PRMC, speaks during the 21st Annual Asia Pacific Military Medicine Conference, which was held May 2-6, in Sydney, Australia.

Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, TAMC and PRMC, speaks during the 21st Annual Asia Pacific Military Medicine Conference, which was held May 2-6, in Sydney, Australia.

Story and Photo by
Jan Clark
Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs 

HONOLULU — With more than 400 attendees from 24 countries, the Asia Pacific Military Medicine Conference has become the region’s major forum for military health care professionals.

U.S. Army-Pacific and the Australian Department of Defense jointly hosted the 21st annual conference, held May 2-6, in Sydney, Australia.

This year’s theme was “One Team: Partnerships, Joint Medical Operations and Wounded Warrior Care.”

“This conference provides an opportunity for regional health professionals to network, knowledge share and leverage research and medical advances within the region,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Alexander, surgeon general, Australian Defense Force, and commander, Joint Health. “Regional engagement through this conference is important in ensuring that there is an opportunity to benchmark military health services across the region.”

Alexander added that understanding contemporary health care issues facing regional neighbors is helpful in ensuring that health professionals can work effectively.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our Japanese colleagues, as they continue to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. … This event underscores the perpetual risk of natural disaster in the region, and the need for all of us to have the capability to respond locally and regionally,” said Rear Adm. Michael Mittelman, command surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command.

Fellow conference co-host, Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Tripler Army Medical Center and Pacific Regional Medical Command, echoed those comments in his opening remarks.

“The world has changed dramatically, and many events have occurred which have brought our military brethren together more closely than ever before,” he said. “Just in the past year, we have witnessed unprecedented natural disasters that devastated communities in Queensland, Australia; New Zealand; Chile; Pakistan; Haiti; Japan; and the southeast U.S.

“Although our countries are separated by a vast ocean, it is through humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief missions that our nations and armed forces are often most strongly bonded,” he continued. “The silver lining to these tragic events is the unique opportunities afforded for developing stronger relationships by learning from each other and working together to defeat ever-growing transnational threats.

“As aptly noted by Lt. Col. Gerard Wood, advisor, Royal New Zealand Nurse Corps, and (one of) our plenary speakers, when it comes to a crisis, ‘It’s always good when you know who’s on the other end of the phone,’” Gallagher added.

During the week’s program, international subject matter experts covered topics such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, synchronized operational medicine, state-of-the-art bio-prosthetics, traumatic brain injury, behavioral health, emerging infectious diseases, service member and family resiliency, veterans’ health and veterinary medicine.

The establishment of a senior noncommissioned officer/medic track was new to the conference, which focused on transformation and training, leadership in health care and medic development, and key initiatives that translate directly into benefits to Soldiers on the battlefield.

“These changes in training give gravely-injured service members at least one more day to live,” Gallagher said, “and one more day gives them the absolute greatest chance for survival ever seen in the history of combat.”

Breakout session topics ranged from preventive measures of infectious diseases in warrior care, to building resiliency in mind and body to optimize health care.

Plans are underway for next year’s conference to be held in Thailand.

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Category: Health, News

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