• Experts Talk Knowledge Translation, Benefits for Military Health System
    Graphic courtesy of the Defense Health Agency

    Researchers from all over the globe gathered this week at the annual Defense Department Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS). Known as the top military medical conference in the world, it is an academic-based venue for professionals to talk, learn and share with each other. The focus of this year’s event was how military medical experts use cutting-edge research to improve care for the warfighter.

    Dr. Richard Stoltz, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) acting director, spoke at this year’s MHSRS. Along with colleagues, Stoltz introduced the knowledge translation process developed at DCoE. He focused his discussion on how using a systematic approach and best practices can impact military psychological health challenges.

  • Knowledge Translation: What is it, How Will it Help?

    Researchers gather at the annual Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) to share new discoveries from military-unique research. This event is the only meeting that focuses on the specific medical needs of the warfighter. One topic of discussion at this year’s symposium is knowledge translation.

    On average, it takes over a decade before medical research is accepted and put into clinical practice at hospitals or clinics – too long a wait for those who need treatment. Knowledge translation can help speed that up. It’s basically a process to take medical research findings and put them into evidenced-based treatments in a more timely and useful way. A successful process is one that is standardized and adaptable.

    Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) and Defense Health Agency are working together with other agencies to standardize knowledge translation processes for the Military Health System (MHS). The overall goal is to ensure service members and veterans continue to have access to the latest and best treatments available.

  • Don’t Let TBI, PTSD Keep You from Academic Success
    Chalkboard with the words back to school on it
    Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

    Returning to school after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be overwhelming. Noisy settings may become problematic, complex tasks may become hard to follow, and socializing with instructors and peers may not come as easy. But if you are a student living with TBI or PTSD, you can still achieve academic success. 

    Common Struggles for Students

    Depending on your injury and where you are in the recovery process, you will likely perform at a different level than before your injury. You may notice new challenges with learning and studying that you didn’t have before. .


  • Back to School: Resources Available for Teachers, Military Kids
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

    From grade school to high school, children in military families face unique challenges when starting a new school year. By maintaining a watchful eye, teachers can serve as their first lines of defense to help students avoid academic pitfalls.

    New School, New Standards, New Friends

    On average, military children move six to nine times during a school career, making them more susceptible to academic challenges and emotional stress. By high school, they might have attended more than four different schools with four different sets of education standards and curriculums.

  • People with PTSD May Have Overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ Response
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua

    Imagine you are in a life-threatening situation. You survey your surroundings and play out various scenarios in your mind. You have seconds to decide how to protect yourself. Do you run away or do you fight your way to safety? How you react to this situation is your intuitive “fight or flight” response.

    What is ‘Fight or Flight’?

    Your fight or flight response occurs when tough situations or stressors challenge or threaten your mind and body. Although the fight or flight response is “normal”, service members and combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have an elevated fight or flight response.

  • Improve Your Mental Health with Time Away from Work
    Sailboat sailing between two naval vessels
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan B.Tabios

    If you caught the flu or broke your arm, you would probably take time off to rest and recover. Your mental health requires the same amount of care and attention. While taking a day off may present challenges, especially if you’re on active-duty, planning a vacation is a good way to maximize mental health self-care. Studies show that taking time off can benefit you and your loved ones. It can also increase your work performance and job satisfaction.

    You may think that you can’t afford to take time off, but overworking yourself can be worse for your mental health. Most of us build up stress day to day, and constant stress can have negative impacts on your health.