By OCPAMarch 24, 2008
WASHINGTON (March 2008) -- This month the U.S. Army screened its 320,000th Soldier as part of the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment program.
The Army began screening Soldiers - Active, Guard, and Reserve - in August 2005.
"PDHRA has been a major step forward in improving the care of our Soldiers," said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody. "The program has proven its worth, and will be an enduring asset for the health and welfare of our Soldiers."
Soldiers who returned from a combat deployment more than 90 days ago are eligible for the three-part screening. Soldiers who redeployed after March 10, 2005, are required to complete the PDHRA as part of the U.S. Army's Deployment Cycle Support process.
Pennsylvania Army National Guard Soldier Sgt. Jose Kuilan completed the PDHRA in November 2006, four months after he returned home. "You know, I've talked to a lot of friends, and they really didn't start experiencing anything until they were home for about 30 days," Kuilan said. "So the [PDHRA] is a real good opportunity to talk about what's going on or how the Soldier's feeling," said Kuilan, who deployed in March 2005 to Ramadi, Iraq, with the 28th Infantry Division, 779th Maintenance Company.
"The PDHRA program is part of the Army's ongoing initiatives - to safeguard both the physical and mental health of our Soldiers," Cody said. " The most important aspect of the program is that it's proactive and works to identify health issues before they worsen or become chronic conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury so that Soldiers can get the treatment they need and deserve."
PDHRA is a commander's program, officials said. Commanders and other unit leaders should access resources to assist them in scheduling their Soldiers for the PDHRA, found on the PDHRA for Commanders and Leaders" Users will need their Army Knowledge Online password.
Most Soldiers complete the PDHRA as part of a unit-scheduled event 90-180 days post-deployment, and can track completion through Army Knowledge Online under "My Medical Readiness".
A three-part process, Soldiers first take part in Battlemind II Training, which emphasizes safe and healthy personal relationships and teaches Soldiers to look out for each other's health. Second, Soldiers fill out the DD Form 2900, a questionnaire that asks about physical and behavioral health concerns, and finally Soldiers speak one-on-one with a health care provider.
"The PDHRA is an opportunity for Soldiers to address health care concerns. The screening does not provide a diagnosis, but does provide follow up and additional care if necessary," said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker. "Soldiers with stress problems may be reluctant to seek the help they need. The PDHRA bypasses this reluctance or stigma by bringing the medical system directly to the Soldier. "
For more information on the U.S. Army's PDHRA program, visit http://fhp.osd.mil/pdhrainfo. Soldiers and commanders can check PDHRA status in AKO under "My Medical Readiness", or by clicking on the PDHRA Stoplight on their AKO homepage.