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Army National Guard (ARNG) Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA)

What is it?
The PDHRA is a commander’s program that is a health related force protection process designed to enhance the deployment-related continuum of care. The program was mandated in March 2005 by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and is designed to identify and address health concerns. The PDHRA is mandatory for all Soldiers who have returned from a combat deployment since March 10, 2005 and is highly recommended for all Soldiers who served in combat prior to March 10, 2005.

Research shows that our Soldiers may experience unrecognized and undiagnosed medical conditions that surface after release from active duty. The PDHRA helps leaders identify and resolve deployment-related medical issues, especially those related to Soldiers’ behavioral health as they readjust back to life in their communities. Ideally, the PDHRA should be completed between 90 to 180 days after returning from deployment, but individuals past this window are still eligible.

Key elements of the PDHRA include: outreach, education and training, screening, and assessment by specially trained health care providers, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up.

In addition to screening for deployment-related health concerns, the PDHRA brings needed healthcare resources to our Soldiers in geographically dispersed locations to include outreach specialists from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Battlemind II Training Program, part of the educational portion of the PDHRA, was developed for Soldiers and their Families by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to alert them about potential challenges of reintegration and to de-stigmatize behavioral health issues.

What has the ARNG done?
Currently, more than 110,000 Soldiers have completed the assessment and many additional Soldiers are scheduled to participate in PDHRA during FY09.  The Army National Guard (ARNG) currently has more than 7,500 Soldiers eligible for the assessment. To facilitate the education process and to increase awareness, the ARNG has developed a comprehensive site for publicly accessible resources such as a commander’s toolkit, Battlemind training, and available references and resources for Soldiers and their Families.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The Director, ARNG provided funds to continue the program in FY09. The funds provided manpower infrastructure to manage the PDHRA program and for pay and allowances for Soldiers referred for medical care. The funding also helped augment lost income from civilian employment, which can create additional hardships during the reconstitution phase of deployment.

Why is this important to the Army?
The ARNG is committed to the long-term success of the PDHRA program and the long-term health and well-being of our Soldiers. The PDHRA program directly impacts the retention and well-being of our Soldiers and their Families and is critical to future deployment strength.

 
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