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Military Connection: High Tech Health Care for Vets

give an hour

By Debbie Gregory.

When one looks at technological advances in the last 10 years, numerous discoveries in medicine and engineering may have been expected, but who could have known IT technology would fast path into our daily lives as it has. The internet was exploding, and while social media and commerce were finding their part in society, the potential for healthcare to be high tech was still somewhat “sci-fi”.

Impressed by the way people connected via the internet with forums and message boards, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen was forward-minded in realizing the applications this medium could take in areas such as mental health. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Van Dahlen was very aware of the challenges, especially as it pertained to our military troops and families, in addressing acute and chronic conditions with professionals in their demographic region or specific to their health needs.

With this inspiration, Van Dahlen founded Give an Hour (GAH), a network of volunteer professionals in areas of mental health, offering resources and advice to the military, particularly those affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, GAH serves military families with video chats, connecting them with services that might otherwise not be available in their area. Give an Hour partners with Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the US government, to analyze data and ultimately deliver better services.

On Give an Hour’s horizon, the organization is hoping to create an alliance with Doctors on Demand, offering an app for families to reach healthcare professionals in a virtual environment. It is Dr. Van Dahlen’s goal to raise higher awareness of the needs of the military and their families in order to break the barriers that still exist around mental health.

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen and her team are tireless advocates for destigmatizing the mental health issues that plague our nation’s heroes, allowing them to get the help they need, and ultimately, saving and rebuilding lives. Military Connection and CEO Debbie Gregory are proud to continue their partnership with Give an Hour.

As the Department of Veterans’ Affairs faces the undertaking of updating their overall healthcare system, Dr. Van Dahlen’s mission is even more imperative to bring a much needed high tech approach to mental healthcare.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: High Tech Health Care for Vets: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: PTSD Suspected in AF Vet’s Suicide

Jamie Brunette

By Debbie Gregory.

Air Force Reserve Capt. Jamie Brunette went to war for her country. In her 11 year Air Force career, Brunette deployed twice to Afghanistan. She was named Contracting Officer of the Year by the Air Mobility Command for her work overseeing nearly $80 million in security contracts. She also worked to open Orangetheory Fitness with a husband and wife team, while taking on a new role in the Reserves. Brunette also suffered from PTSD, and sadly, on February 9th, she committed suicide.

Twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Recent research has suggested that while women veterans are far less likely to commit suicide as compared to their male counterparts, they are three times more likely to commit suicide than women that have never served the Armed Forces.

Upon returning home, the 30-year-old began to withdraw and seemed reluctant to talk about her deployment. Heather Milner, Brunette’s roommate, had spoken to Brunette about her career previously, as she was considering joining the Air Force. Brunette told Milner that a normal day in Afghanistan was “pretty scary.” Brunette said her troop would be under mortar attacks on a daily basis and that they had to run and hide in the bunkers.

Brunette’s friends and family are also questioning whether Brunette might have been the victim of a sexual assault while she was in the military.

“I knew that she was at one point getting counseling from the VA, but I didn’t know when she started going or how often she was going,” Milner says.

Capt. Brunette’s family and friends gathered to honor her memory and raise awareness about PTSD. Milner hopes her friend’s tragic story will help other’s overcome their battles and seek help when needed.

“Jamie was full of life, and I think if she’s looking down right now, I really think that it would make her so happy to know that her story can help someone else,” Milner says.

Jackie Leverich, Brunette’s sister, said, “Jamie had a passion for life and a contagious smile. She was always upbeat and positive and had a way of making your bad day good with a cheery word or a good laugh. I wish we would have known she was hurting so badly, and maybe we could have done something to help her.”

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: PTSD Suspected in AF Vet’s Suicide: By Debbie Gregory