International Leaders to Discuss 21st Century Military Health, Warrior Care Priorities

Despite an increase in the severity of injuries, troops on the battlefield are surviving better than ever before. U.S. military officials and their allies have made a priority of taking care of those wounded returning from war. That’s why the Department of Defense (DoD) is hosting the second annual Warrior Care in the 21st Century symposium Oct. 25-27 in Tampa, Florida, to discuss policies and programs.

“Medical advances and research have led to decreased fatality rates of service members, but new challenges require innovative yet proven solutions,” said Dr. Karen Guice, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the principal medical adviser to the Secretary of Defense. “Warrior Care in the 21st Century is a significant step toward building partner capacity, improving interagency interoperability, and expanding delivery of medical and non-medical treatments and therapies to wounded, ill, and injured service members who have sacrificed so much.”

Senior military and civilian representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the NATO and others will join DoD and Department of Veterans Affairs officials at the meeting. The group will discuss current and future care for service members, veterans, families and caregivers.

Photo of international flags lined up at the 20-15 Warrior Care in the 21-st century symposium

National flags representing the 13 countries that attended the 2015 Warrior Care in the 21st Century symposium were on display at last year’s event in Bethesda, Maryland. The second annual symposium held in Tampa, Florida, on Oct. 25-27, 2016, will provide the next in-person forum for participating nations to elevate and address key challenges to warrior care. (Courtesy photo)

Established in 2015, the Warrior Care in the 21st Century coalition simplifies global sharing of warrior care best practices and lessons learned. Health providers are then able to identify viable and innovative solutions to current and future challenges in the areas of resilience, recovery and rehabilitation, and reintegration.

Three in-person work groups – led by Australia (resilience), the United Kingdom (recovery and rehabilitation), and Georgia (reintegration) – will address key topics in each focus area to adjust the coalition’s long-term strategy.

Force readiness modeling and simulations, and a telehealth demonstration at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital will also ensure technology is at the forefront of symposium discussions.

“It is vital that the Department of Defense continues to support our wounded, ill, and injured service members through adaptive and flexible policies and programs,” said James Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy and Warrior Care in the 21st Century coalition co-chair. “The international relationships we’ve developed over the past years are critical to maintaining an ongoing discussion about common challenges and determining what is necessary to enhance and develop meaningful and measurable solutions for all.”

More information on the Warrior Care in the 21st Century coalition and symposium is available at www.health.mil/WarriorCareSymposium/.

Follow symposium updates, view event photos, and join in on the warrior care conversation Oct. 25-27, 2016 on Twitter @WarriorCare and Facebook @WarriorCare, and with the hashtag #WarriorCare21.