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Vol. 26

No. 2

January 16, 2014

Bonsai Workshop, a Warriors Path Towards Patience, Peace, Beauty By Sharon Renee Taylor WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer After his third deployment to Iraq in 2007, Warrior Transition Unit Headquarters, Headquarters Company Commander Army Capt. Jason Ewing found peace and relaxation with potting soil, scissors, pruning shears, wire, a chopstick and a tiny “tree in a pot,” also known as a Bonsai. He recently shared his hobby with a group of wounded, ill and injured warriors at Walter Reed Bethesda in a workshop where they each learned to create their own Bonsai. “This workshop is an alternative method used to reduce stress in today’s fast-paced society,” explained Lori A. Roettger, a social services assistant with Battle Company, Warrior Transition Brigade, who helped organize the workshop with Ewing and James Elliott, a certified licensed clinical social worker with Battle Company. “There is a deep philosophy in the spiritual dimension of the art as the grower,” she said. “As you trim, prune, re-pot, water and so on, it takes your mind elsewhere and allows you to focus on these simple tasks.” “I’ve been doing this as a hobby for about five years and I’m not a master by any means,” Ewing explained. A collection of Bonsai he has grown and trained, fill his office. The Soldier said the art helps him focus and release anger. The root of anger is pain and that pain can stem from anything: grief, trauma, a whole host of things, Elliott said. “People get stuck and when they get stuck they kind of lose their way.” Elliott claims his primary focus is cognitive behavioral therapy, cultivated in workshops like Bonsai gardening. Ewing discovered Bonsai gardening during an assignment in Korea, an extension of his studies in Buddhist philosophies. He said Bonsai first started in China and moved to other countries like Korea and Japan when the Buddhist monks discovered it as a way to bring outdoor trees they liked inside, adding an ornamental quality and distinct ceramic pottery. He explained

Photos by Sharon Renee Taylor

Army Spc. Jonathan Thomas D. Wightman twists wires around a plant to influence the way it will grow. Army Sgt. Sergio W. Cano focuses on the trim he makes to a Bon- lar kind of plant but I guess it’s not sai during a workshop for wounded, ill and injured warriors at Wal- - it’s basically any plant,” said Spc. ter Reed Bethesda. Kerry “Bart” Bartholomew, who grew the connection between Bonsai and the Warrior Code. “The Samurai, considered the great warriors of Japan, incorporated Bonsai gardening as part of their kharma ritual to make them well-rounded individuals,” Ewing said. They needed to be able to fight, and have some artistic abilities - some chose writing poetry, others painting, or gardening - incorporating both beauty and discipline. “In a way, it’s a form of meditation for me,” said Ewing. “In my mind, these plants start to become like a ‘pet’ to me, so it was a way for me to take care of [something]. And it’s an art, so it was a way for me to [express] my artistic side, along with going out on patrols and all that fun stuff.” A group of seven joined Ewing for his first Bonsai Workshop recently at Warrior Transition Brigade. Elliott believes the small size of the group helped promote interaction.

“While it’s in the pot, you want to start shaping it based on the prettiest side, removing leaves, trunks and branches to make it look the way you want it,” Ewing told them. “I don’t want to hurt it,” said Spc. Wilbur Robinson, Jr. Major Nekita D. Hunter, who said she enjoys gardening, chose a smooth, green pot for her Bonsai. She carefully pinched and snipped her small tree. Hunter came to the workshop seeking peace. “Figure out what your plants like: [the amount of] light, water or fertilizer,” Ewing told the group. “I’m excited. I can’t wait to see if mine survives,” Hunter said. “I’d clean that up right there,” Ewing said, pointing to a twig. “It’s all about what you want that tree to do.” “I want the tree to live,” Robinson replied. “I thought the Bonsai was a particu-

up farming in Kansas. “I hope to get into aquaponics when I leave Walter Reed Bethesda, so [the Bonsai workshop] goes right along with it. And, my wife loves Bonsai too,” he said with a smile. Bonsai gardening is new for Sgt. Sergio W. Cano, as well. The Soldier said he decided to try Bonsai gardening, “because it’s a relaxing thing for me.” Cano explained he generally doesn’t participate in workshops offered, but was drawn to the activity for its calming qualities. Ewing hopes to offer the workshop again in February for cadre, as well as ongoing sessions for the recovering service members. For more information about workshops and programs hosted by the Warrior Transition Brigade, contact James Elliott, Battle Company Social Worker, WRNMMC WTB: or 301-400-0421.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Journal

Bethesda Notebook

Commander’s Column Monday, we will celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. King and is a celebration of his life and achievements. One of the main messages that Rev. Dr. King espoused is that of mutual understanding and tolerance. Although there was urgency to his effort for equality, he advocated internal patience with one another. He is quoted to have said, “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” If you will allow me some poetic license to expand upon this theme beyond the struggle for racial equality, I would ask that you consider the following extension of his message and application today. In today’s world of instant gratification, automatic response, instant messaging, Twitter©, Facebook©, Skype™, etc. I believe we are losing, or have lost, our sense of mutual understanding and tolerance. We are losing, or have lost, our ability to be patient with one another. Think of the day to day encounters that you have in your own sphere. You have the ability to decide or determine your action and reaction in each of those encounters. In our individual word, “you make the call”. Will you smile at the person who cut you off on the beltway or will you salute them with some other gesture? How will you respond to the person who is short with you on the telephone? Will you yell back at them or respond with a soft calm tone? You get to decide and what you decide puts energy in to the world. Will your energy be positive or negative? You get to decide. The Rev. Dr. King talked about and emulated a sense of service to one’s neighbor and to that extent it is suggested that his day be celebrated through service. The Mar-

Published by offset every Thursday by Comprint Military Publications, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877, a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Navy, under exclusive written contract with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. This commercial enterprise newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services. Contents of The Journal are not necessarily the official views of, nor endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Navy. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense or Comprint, Inc., of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without re-

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Observance

The Bethesda Multicultural Committee will host an observance celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the atrium (piano area) of the America Building. The event will feature performances by staff members, as well as cake and refreshments. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Lt. Irina Roman at 301-319-0177.

tin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to become engaged in service activities to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through supporting volunteer projects. The Rev. Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we “will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and nagging question, he said, is `what are you doing for others?’” Certainly, your sense of and action to service is evident daily, by your military, government, or government contract service. You understand what that means and how important it is to the success of our military and our country. But, that sense of service doesn’t stop at the end of the work day. We all need to take that home with us and apply it where we live. Thank you for what you do every day. Thank you for what you can do every day. You can make the difference in someone’s life in large and small ways. You make a difference every day at Walter Reed Bethesda as you care for patients and their families. You make a difference every day keeping us safe at the entry control points. You make a difference every day researching the next treatment or cure. You make a difference every day educating someone to be better than they were the previous day. Live and spread the Rev. Dr. King’s message of mutual understanding, tolerance, and patience. You get to decide!

Commissioning Briefing

U.S. Army Recruiting Command commissioning briefings will be held at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Jan. 29 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in Building 10’s Clark Auditorium; 11 a.m. to noon in Building 5’s Room 3039; and noon to 1:30 p.m. in Building 5’s Room 3038. The briefings are for those interested in being a nurse, physician assistant, physician, dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, clinical or counseling psychologist or a leader who wants to guide subordinates in career options in the Army. Topics to be discussed include the Interservice Physician Assistant Program, the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program, the Health Professions Scholarship Program, Masters in Social Work and Physical Therapy. Registration is not required to attend the briefings. For more information, contact Dr. Eddie Thomas at 301-319-4606 or eddie.d.thomas@

All ahead flank, Capt. David Bitonti Naval Support Activity Bethesda Commanding Officer

gard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. Editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the Public Affairs Office, Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Md. News copy should be submitted to the Public Affairs Office, Building 11, lower level, Room 41, by noon one week preceding the desired publication date. News items are welcomed from all installation sources. Inquiries about news copy will be answered by calling 301-400-2488. Commercial advertising should be placed with the publisher by telephoning 301-921-2800. Publisher’s advertising offices are located at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877. Classified ads can be placed by calling 301-670-1700.

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda Commanding Officer: Capt. David A. Bitonti Acting Public Affairs Officer NSAB: John Epperson Public Affairs Office NSAB: 301-400-2488 Staff Writers

Journal Staff

MC3 Brandon Williams-Church Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder Ryan Hunter Katie Mollet Katrina Skinner

Managing Editor

MC2 John Hamilton


Bernard Little

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Office of Media Relations 301-295-5727

Fleet And Family Support Center NSAB Ombudsman Michelle Herrera Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Hotline

301-319-4087 240-370-5421


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Thursday, January 16, 2014


CFC: Bidding for a Good Cause By Katrina Skinner WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer “It’s a good way to donate and get something for it.” These were the words of Army Capt. Janeen Mathies as she persuaded passersby to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Charity Fair Extravaganza, Jan. 8 in the America Building atrium. Mathies, chief of physical readiness training service at Walter Reed Bethesda, was campaign coordinator for 2013’s medical center CFC. She coordinated keyworker training and other activities for the campaign with a goal of ensuring that everyone eligible to contribute to CFC were contacted and given the chance to do so. “The silent auction is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness about CFC,” added Chief Hospital Corpsman Lisa Hovde, another campaign coordinator. She called the auction the campaign’s “last bash to generate funds.” Although this year’s drive officially ended yesterday, more information about CFC is available at,

Photo by Katrina Skinner

Walter Reed Bethesda 2013 Combined Federal Campaign coordinators, Army Capt. Janeen Mathies (right) and Chief Hospital Corpsman Lisa Hovde (center) assist Brenda Harper in placing a bid for a theme basket during the silent auction at the CFC Charity Fair Extravaganza on Jan. 8 in the America Building atrium. and html/cfc_hist.asp. Last week’s CFC charity fair at Walter Reed Bethesda included themed baskets donated by departments in the medical center. Baskets were auctioned

off to the highest bidder with proceeds going to CFC, Mathies explained. Brenda Harper, a Defense Health Agency employee, helped out the worthy cause by placing a bid on the “relaxation bas-

ket” donated by the Behavioral Health Department. “I’m bidding on this basket for my brother,” she said. “There are some good things in here so my plan is to wait around and be the last to bid on it so that I win.”

For more than 50 years, CFC has been a vehicle for federal, postal and military employees to make charitable donations to approved organizations under the CFC umbrella, making it the largest, most successful and only approved workplace charity campaign in the federal government. Over the years, federal employees have donated billions of dollars to eligible charities. Since its inception in 1964, the CFC has raised $7 billion to help charities assist those in need throughout the world, according to CFC officials. Last year, Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical raised approximately $314,000, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Angela Thompson, JTF CapMed’s 2012 CFC campaign manager. Walter Reed Bethesda raised approximately $191,000; Fort Belvoir Community Hospital raised nearly $87,000; and the Joint Pathology Center raised nearly $23,000. More information concerning CFC is also available at http://

Navy Temporarily Expands Tuition Assistance Availability By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Williams-Church NSAB Public Affairs staff writer The Navy’s Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) temporarily expanded the availability of tuition assistance (TA) for all eligible Sailors recently. The program which authorizes command-approved TA requests for classes that have a start date in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2014, ends March 31. “Tuition assistance is an offduty education financial assistance program provided by the Department of Defense to assist service members in attaining their college degree,” said Master-at-Arms Chief Marty McQuagge, Security Department leading chief petty officer and TA approver for Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB).

The program is opperated on a “first come, first served” basis, so TA requests will be approved in the order that they are received, said CPPD’s Commanding Officer Capt. John Newcomer. “We strongly believe that Sailors who take the initiative to develop personally and professionally through Navy voluntary education programs are better equipped with strong analytical skills and the ability to make informed decisions that benefit their command and the Navy,” said Newcomer. In order for a Sailor to be approved for TA, he has to meet certain criteria beforehand. “Some of the basic eligibility requirements for the approval of TA include that Sailors must attend an accredited school, receive counseling from the Navy College Office and not be within their first year of their first command,” said McQuagge. Before Sailors can begin any classes, they must know the status of their TA requests and

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be certain that they know the restrictions to ensure positive results, said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Stacy O’Leary, NSAB command career counselor. Among the restrictions, Web TA applications must be command-approved, received by the Virtual Education Center and approved prior to the course start date, TA cannot be used to pay for books or course material, TA will not fund school enrollment fees and TA

will only be approved for courses scheduled for one academic term at a time, according to the Navy College Program website. “For Sailors aboard NSAB, the first stop should be the Navy College office located in Building 17. They provide free academic counseling and information that is specific to our location. Mrs. Elizabeth Baker and her staff are very knowledgeable and welcoming,” said McQuagge. TA is an essential tool Sail-

ors can take advantage of to “get ahead of the curve” in their Navy career and in the civilian sector, said O’Leary. “TA is one of the greatest benefits we have in the military,” said McQuagge. “We all have different goals in life but a college education should be somewhere near the top on all of our lists. Frankly, getting education for free is almost unheard of in the civilian sector. Off-duty education not only improves us as individuals, it provides for a more educated and capable force for the Navy.” “If you are eligible, take advantage of it,” said O’Leary. “That’s what [TA] is there for. Education is important whether you are in the military or not, so go for it! It helps you promote in rate and it benefits your evaluations. It shows that you are going ‘outside of the norm’ in order for you to advance.” For more information about TA visit


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Journal

NWW-SH Modernizes to Provide a More Personalized Level of Care By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs staff writer Navy Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor (NWW-SH), the Navy’s sole wounded, ill and injured program, has recently regionalized its infrastructure to provide a tailor made level of care. The evolution divided NWWSH into six areas of responsibility: Navy Regions; North West, South West, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South East and Naval Distric Washington (NDW). “We are hoping to provide better service now that decisions will be made at the regional level as opposed to the old structure where decisions were made for the entire country from one centralized location,” said Cmdr. Dante Terronez, regional director, NWW-SH NDW. “As a result of regionalization the system has evolved to allow [each of the six designated]regions to develop their own infrastructure and contacts to meet the specific needs of the service members in their specific region to allow


for faster, better and more efficient service to the member.” Judith Carlisle, recovery care coordinator for NWW-SH NDW, said one of the greatest benefits of regionalization is that it allows the director of that region to get a better understanding of that population’s needs. “I think the services will be more personalized to the wounded warriors just as a result of having our leadership right in the mix with the nonmedical care managers and recovery care coordinators,” said Carlisle. “Policy really affects everything that we do,” she added. “Our director being hands-on and really interacting with our wounded warriors gave him great insight into what works and what doesn’t to ensure that they not only have a smooth transition but they are also able to come out with good jobs, adaptive athletics and other things to look forPhoto by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Parde ward to.” Rear Adm. Markham K. Rich, Commandant, Naval District Washington (NDW) The program is responsible Deputy Commander, Joint Forces Headquarters National Capital Region visits for coordinating the non-medi-

Naval Support Activity Bethesda to check on the welfare of the wounded warriors See CARE page 8 as he takes charge of the Navy Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor NDW program.


The Journal

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Is Your 2014 Personal Data Current? when children go off to college. If a service member’s status should change, for example a marriage, divorce or if there is a change in number of dependents, your next of kin and life insurance information should be updated to reflect this as well. Ron Kunz, the NSAB emergency manager, advises, updating personal information an additional two times a year. He recommends checking and changing information before the summer hurricane season and winter when natural disasters are prevalent and emergency contact information is vital. “Anytime something changes, whether it is email, phone numbers or anything like that, all that information needs to be updated,” said Kunz. “There are folks

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By Ryan Hunter NSAB Public Affairs staff writer Navy service members and military families should ensure that their personal information is up-to-date, said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class DeMario Stackhouse Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) administration clerk. Keeping personal information up to date is imperative for service members to receive the correct pay, awards, promotions and ensures the safety of a service member and their family. “These systems are important,” said Stackhouse. “If they’re not right it can mess up a lot of things for you.” According to Stackhouse, there are several good times to update your personal information. Anytime a service member, dependent or spouse changes location, service records should show where to send help or aid. Stackhouse stressed that this includes instances



that move offices on the base here and their phones still have the last occupant in the office on their caller ID and in their records. We can’t reach you if we don’t know how.” Most of a Sailor’s personal information can be located and updated through the following online reporting and recording systems: • Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) -; • Service Member Group Life insurance (SGLI);

See DATA page 10


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Journal

Observance Salutes the Real Knockout Kings

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Beth Aban (right) administers anesthesia and monitors a patient during a procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 13. By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer In recognition of their profession’s commitment to exceptional patient care, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) at Walter Reed Bethesda and across the country are celebrating the 15th annual National Nurse Anesthetist Week, Jan. 19-25, with this year’s theme being “Our Priority, Our Passion, Our Patients.” The theme of this year’s observance emphasizes the high standards to which CRNAs adhere when administering anesthesia and the quality of care they provide their patients, Army 1st Lt. Kevin Fagan, a CRNA at Walter Reed Bethesda, explained. “CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified health care professionals,” Fagan said. “CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities.” Fagan added although the profession has its challenges, it’s also extremely rewarding. “One of the many rewards of

being a nurse anesthetist is providing patients with the comfort of knowing that we will be by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics to ensure a pain free and safe anesthesia experience,” the lieutenant said. “It is particularly rewarding working with the men and women who serve or have served our country and their dependents, as well as those who have made life-changing sacrifices while serving in wartime theater operations.” He said gaining the confidence of patients is important as a CRNA. “One thing that remains constant is the rapport we have to create with the patient before surgery,” said the nurse anesthetist. “We have very little time to gain their confidence and [show] we are capable and competent to provide a quality anesthetic. Many patients are more nervous undergoing anesthesia rather than the surgical procedure itself - so gaining the confidence of the patient is as important as managing a quality anesthetic.” Fagan said there are 19 active duty, 11 full-time contractors, and 11 part-time CRNAs providing exceptional patient care at Walter Reed Bethesda every day. “A typical day begins with setting up the operating room with the equipment and drugs necessary for the scheduled surgical procedures for the day. We then meet our patients in the preoperative area to start

an IV, have them sign a consent for anesthesia, as well as obtain a history and physical tailored for their anesthetic.” He said once consent is provided for the procedure, the CRNAs accompany the patient to the surgical suite where the nurse attaches monitors to the patient necessary to begin the induction of anesthesia. “After the induction phase, we maintain the patient under the anesthetic method appropriate for the procedure and maintain communication with the surgical team for important surgical events and the duration of the procedure. “Once the surgical team is finished with their portion of the procedure, the patient undergoes the emergence phase of the anesthetic where the patient is awakened and transported to the post anesthesia care unit. Nurses then monitor the patient and keep a close eye on the patient until they are fully recovered from the anesthetic.” Fagan added to become a CRNA requires a minimum of seven years of education and training from the beginning of a candidate’s professional education in nursing. “As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs receive their specialty anesthesia education in more than 100 accredited graduate programs offering a master’s degree,” he explained. “The anesthesia curriculum covers advanced anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology; biochemistry and physics related to anesthesia; advanced pharmacology; and principles

Photos by Bernard S. Little

Army Maj. Jimmie Foster, a certified registered nurse anesthetist checks the anesthesia being administered to a patient during a procedure at the medical center on Jan. 13. of anesthesia practice, plus hours of hands-on experience in a variety of cases and techniques. Upon graduation from an accredited program of nurse anesthesia education, the individual must successfully pass a national certification exam to hold the CRNA credential. Thereafter, the CRNA is committed to lifelong learning, with one requirement being 40 continuing education hours every two years for recertification.” “I enjoy almost every aspect of the job,” said Navy Cmdr. David S. Markell, also a CRNA at Walter Reed Bethesda. “I love the patient care, the autonomy and the critical thinking involved with being a CRNA. Coming from an emergency room and intensive care unit background, nurse anesthesia takes all of the best aspects of those jobs, ranging from triage to invasive monitoring.” “No two days are alike,” Markell added. “You could have five or six short cases in your room, or you could have a sin-

gle eight-hour case. You could have a few healthy people, one sick person with lots of medical problems, a healthy patient having a serious surgery or a sick patient having a minor procedure. You just really never know what the day is going to hold and you certainly never know when the unexpected is going to happen. In this line of work, we must always maintain vigilance and be prepared. Providing anesthesia can be challenging even on the best of days. It is really a constant exercise in human physiology and pharmacology.” The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists started National Nurse Anesthetist Week in 1999 to inform and educate the public about the nurse specialists’ contribution to health care. According to the association, nurses have been providing anesthesia for 150 years, and CRNAs provide more than 34 million anesthetics in the United States each year.

The Journal

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Reaching Out to Maintain Matters of the Mind By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer To help service members face the challenges of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other “invisible wounds of war,” the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury maintains a 24/7 outreach center, providing psychological health and TBI information, resources and referrals. “Anybody can call if they need information on psychological health or traumatic brain injury (TBI),” said George Lamb, outreach chief of DCoE. The outreach center is for anyone, not just the military. “War is an extraordinarily stressful environment, both mentally and physically,” said Dr. Anand Veeravagu, chair of the recent Secretary of Defense symposium on TBI. He added the military has been “out in front” of the challenges of TBI for a very long time. “As service members come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, we have to be ready to support them in a multitude of ways. In my opinion, there is no greater entity, no entity that really understands TBI, more so than the United States military.” DCoE comprises the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) and National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). DCoE serves as the “principal integrator and authority on psychological health and TBI knowledge and standards for the Department Of Defense (DOD),” according to Lamb.

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“DVBIC is seen as the epicenter for DOD Traumatic Brain Injury research,” said Kathy Helmick, DVBIC’s deputy director. The organization was established in 1992 by congressional mandate. Helmick said DVBIC has contributed to many advancements in TBI care that have transferred to civilian medicine. “For instance, some of the protocols developed to evaluate individuals who may have sustained a concussion on the battlefield are also being used to evaluate head trauma in those injured in football, soccer and other contact sports,” she explained. The DVBIC website is at Another component of the DCoE,

the DHCC, has been working to improve deployment-related health care, including behavioral health treatment for more than 15 years in the Military Health System. Its website is at www. DCoE’s third arm, T2, was established as a DOD organization at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in 2008 from the Army Behavioral Health Technology Office at Madigan Army Medical Center. It is comprised of clinical psychologists, researchers, interactive designers, and technical specialists who develop behavioral health assessment, screening, reference and treatment tools for the military community. Its mission is to lead

in the development of telehealth and technology solutions for psychological health and TBI. Its website is at www. In January 2013, T2 launched, an interactive website designed to help military children with unique challenges of the military lifestyle. Another of T2’s web applications,, is designed for service members, veterans and families to provide an online, anonymous self-care solution and offers multiple access points to learn behavior-change strategies. Other T2 Apps include the T2 MoodTracker, which is designed to identify triggers and improve mood, and Breathe2Relax, a portable stress management tool that uses breathing techniques to reduce stress, according to Lamb. DCoE Outreach Center is available 24/7 and staffed by health resource consultants who provide information, resources and referrals for service members, veterans and families. The tollfree number is 866-966-1020, and the website is at Help.aspx. DCoE’s email is resources@ “It’s free, and information has been vetted by DOD,” Lamb said of DCoE resources. He added callers in crisis can connect to trained clinicians who work with suicide prevention teams or local authorities and maintain contact with the caller until help arrives. The outreach center is also available to clinical staff members who can in turn provide

See BRAIN page 9

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure By Katrina Skinner WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer Breast health and care are yearround initiatives of Walter Reed Bethesda’s John P. Murtha Cancer Center Breast Care Center (BCC), not just during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity, according to the BCC, which offers detection and follow-up screening, pre- and post-operative breast care, physical therapy, educational resources, case management, social work services, counseling and breast cancer research. “The most important things a person can do to reduce their risk is to Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor limit daily alcohol intake to one drink Radiologist Dr. Pryia Bhandarkar examines mammography images per day, maintain an active lifestyle by in the John P. Murtha Breast Care Center at Walter Reed National exercising at least five days a week for Military Medical Center. 60 minutes a day, maintain a healthy

weight and eat a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables,” said Walter Reed Bethesda genetic nurse and higher risk educator, Anne Forsha. Forsha explained that an individual risk assessment is provided based on the patient’s family history and individual education is given to patients who are at an elevated risk in the BCC at Walter Reed Bethesda. “By educating our patients to the risk factors of developing breast cancer and risk-reducing strategies, [beneficiaries] are then aware of the preventative measures they can take to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” she said. “We assess each patient at their initial appointment, yearly thereafter for their risk of developing breast cancer and we give appropriate education and follow up,” Forsha added. Prevention before the diagnosis is

See PREVENTION page 10


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Journal

CARE Continued from 4 cal care of seriously wounded, injured or ill; Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and their families. Through proactive leadership, the program provides individually tailored assistance designed to optimize the success of a shipmate’s recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration activities. “When you get sick or injured, that entire process can be daunting,” said Carlisle. “Once a wounded, ill or injured service member comes to this base and has a medical board, there are so many details, administrative nuances and things that can happen along the way. We have years of experience dealing with these types of obstacles and have created a needs assessment checklist that will help identify the things that will be coming their way as a result of being wounded, ill or injured that they can’t possibly anticipate. We try to advocate for them and make them aware of these things as we point them in the right direction.” “In the Navy construct it is a small niche of people that have to deal with either transitioning out of the military, navigating the medical system or trying to return to duty,” said Terronez. “In that small niche, very often, are people who are dealing with situations that are unfamiliar to them


in an environment that is also unfamiliar. At that point they need some guidance. It’s our job to help with that situational awareness and at the very least act as an advocate for them so that they are not missing out on their entitlements and certain kinds of care that they are eligible for, but might not have been aware of.” Terronez said one of NWW-SH’s main goals for the New Year is to push outreach and inform people that there is a Navy wounded warrior program that is specifically for Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. “Unlike the other services, we don’t have a unit identification code that service members get assigned to,” said Terronez. “It’s a volunteer program, so we have to do outreach and ask people to tell us their story and see if they are eligible. Typically those eligible for enrollment are all seriously injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen who took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation New Dawn, liberty accidents and serious conditions such as trauma, cancer or severe post traumatic stress disorder.” Interested members who want to find out if they are eligible for enrollment can contact a NWW-SH recovery care coordinator: Carlisle at 301-4000147 or by email Judith.b.carlisle.civ@ and Jeannine Beal at 301295-6602 or by email Jeannine.l.beal.

The Journal

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BRAIN Continued from 7 the resources and information to service members. DCoE also manages the inTransition program to ensure the continuum of care for service members who receive psychological health care when they move from one duty station to another, deploy or transition from DOD to the Department

of Veterans Affairs or other care. “Even if the war was to end today, our service members still have the injuries that they’ve incurred in combat and their family members are still going to have questions for years to come,” Lamb said. “It’s going to be enduring.” He said this is why DCoE and its resources are important to service members, veterans and their families so they can continue their care in transition. For more information call 1-866-9661020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach. org.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Journal

DATA Continued from 5 • Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) - https:// Service members can update these systems by submitting hardcopies of the required documents to their nearest personnel office or the Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) located in Building 17. However, many of these reporting and records systems can also be updated electronically utilizing the Transaction Online Processing System (TOPS). “TOPS is a secure web-based system that allows interchange of documents submitted from the Customer Command and Support Office and in-

PREVENTION Continued from 7 about maintaining a lifestyle of little alcohol, lots of exercising, eating right and maintaining a healthy weight, the nurse educator concluded. Breast cancer survivor Janet Copulos has been cancer-free for more than

dividual Sailors to PSD,” said Fredrick Clem, the director of PSD. “We receive documents through TOPS and submit it to wherever it needs to be.” According to Clem, once a TOPS report is sent to PSD, the department pulls information from the form to update NSIPS, SGLI, Defense Enrolment Eligibility Reporting System and many other information systems at once. However, a TOPS report does not update NSIPS, as the system is directly controlled by individual commands. To access TOPS visit https://twms. or talk to your command pass coordinator. For more information on updating service records online, visit the Navy Personnel Command website at http://www.public. nine years. She said her breast cancer made her more aware of health issues and she still does self-exams and regularly attends support group meetings. She tells those who face a diagnosis of breast cancer, “Hang in there. It gets better and before you know it, you are past treatment and living life again.” For more information about breast cancer prevention, call the Breast Care Center at 301-295-3899.




The Journal

Thursday, January 16, 2014



Thursday, January 16, 2014




The Journal

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Journal 011614