Pain Management Task Force
SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING
"Everything we do in the Army, even managing a toothache, is all in compliance with national standards ... what we want to do is set the bar higher."
- Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, Army surgeon general, reference to higher standards include offering alternative treatments to medication such as acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback and yoga, the lack of which has been addressed in the The Pain Management Task Force Report
Army looking at yoga, acupuncture to treat pain
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"It's not soft. It's just different and the physical training has become a lot more regimented and more battle-focused. It's focused on training more people to achieve that initial basic training standard while mitigating injuries."
-Capt. Kyle Lippold, commander of G Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, reinforcing that the warrior tasks and battle drills, for training future Soldiers, have been refined and are now geared toward training fewer and more relevant tasks, well.
Army transforms recruit training
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Pain Management Task Force
What it is?
The Army Surgeon General, LTG Eric Schoomaker, chartered the Pain Management Task Force (PMTF) in August 2009 to provide recommendations for an Army Medical Command comprehensive pain management strategy that is holistic, multi disciplinary and multimodal in its approach, utilizes state of the art/science modalities and technologies and provides optimal quality of life for Soldiers and other patients with acute and chronic pain.
What has the Army done?
The PMTF Report was completed in May 2010 and contains 109 recommendations on improving and standardizing pain care in the Army. The report outlines the innovative steps the Army will take to better care for Soldiers and family members who suffer from chronic pain. Some of the PMTF key recommendations are: (1) Focus on the warrior and family-Sustain the Force; (2) Synchronize a culture of pain awareness, education and proactive intervention (medical staff, patients and leaders); (3) Provide tools and infrastructure that support and encourage research advancements in pain management; (4) Build a full spectrum of best practices for the continuum of acute and chronic pain care.
Another recommendation is the requirement to integrate the Army's pain management strategy with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, the Army Suicide Task Force recommendations and other Army and DoD initiatives with the objective to improve health and well-being of our Soldiers and families.
What does the Army have planned for the future?
The MEDCOM will soon execute a long-term Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign Plan (CPMCP) focused on prompt, appropriate treatment of acute pain to minimize chronic pain issues for Soldiers and Families. Initial efforts will focus on the complex and high risk Soldiers within Warrior Transition Units but will ultimately be expanded to all Soldiers and Family members.
Why is Pain an Important issue for the Army?
Pain continues to be the number one reason people seek medical care in the U.S. The transient nature of the military for patients and providers makes continuity of care a challenge for the Army and the Military Health System (MHS). Our nation expects Army and the DoD to provide the highest level of care to those carrying wars' heaviest burden-our Soldiers and other service members and their families.
MEDCOM web site
Pain Management Task Force Report
Video: Pain Management Task Force
Related articles: Army looking at yoga, acupuncture to treat pain
Army takes a hard look at chronic, acute pain
ABOUT THE ARMY
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- Group: Militants killed Afghan charity workers (CBS)
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- Gates urges 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' survey response (The U.S. Army)
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- Afghan army offensive goes 'disastrously wrong' (BBC)
- U.S. military to urge Barack Obama to slow down Afghanistan withdrawal (London Daily Telegraph)
- Lebanon defiant over U.S. aid freeze (Al Jazeera)
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