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Michelle Obama lauds USF in new PTSD initiative

As part of an initiative launched Wednesday tocreate doctors to treatreturning veterans, first lady Michelle Obama pointed to USF as one of three universities already on that path.

“In a time of war, when our troops and their families aresacrificing so much, we all should be doing everything we can to serve them as well as they’reserving this country,” shesaid at a press conference. “By directing some of ourbrightest minds, our mostcutting-edge research and ourfinest teaching institutionstoward our military families,they’re ensuring that those who have served ourcountry receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

Obama lauded USF for itspartnerships with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs in creating an innovative Center for Veteran Reintegration, which will be the first of its kind. She also noted the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and militaryfamilies,” she said.

According to a White House press release, USF, along with 130 other medical schoolsaffiliated with the Association of American Medical Colleges or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, pledged to train doctors to meet thegrowing needs of the returningveteran population withpost-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) and traumatic braininjuries.

Stephen Klasko, CEO for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, waspresent at Obama’s pressconference.

“We are honored toparticipate in the White House Joining Forces initiative to address the health care needs of

military service members and veterans and their families,” he said, according to a USF Health press release. “Our goal is to show these heroes that their country is there for them, no matter what they’re going through.”

– Staff report