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Vol. 24

No. 45

November 8, 2012

Caring for our 'Littlest Wounded Warriors' By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Journal staff writer

Courtesy photo

Army Lt. Col. Kenneth Lieuw, a medical officer in Walter Reed Bethesda's Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department, has been treating 4-year-old Emma Baker, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier this year. Emma and her family say they are grateful for the department's dedicated and welcoming staff, as well as the outpouring support they've received from a number of Combined Federal Campaign organizations.

It was a typical Sunday morning, in early May. Capt. Michael Baker and his wife were walking their five children, all under age 10, into mass. Stationed in Germany at the time, the Army officer patted the back of his 4year-old Emma's head, and felt, underneath her long, brown hair, her lymph nodes were swollen. In that moment, he knew something wasn't right. The next day, they took Emma, their second-toyoungest child, to the doctor. Shortly thereafter, on May 21, Emma was diagnosed with cancer, Baker said. Two days later, the family boarded a plane bound for the states so Emma could receive treatment from the renowned Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department at Walter Reed

National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). "Not one, but seven people's lives took a really drastic change. It was very abrupt," Baker said, explaining the whirlwind experience. "You could say [our children] grew up in Germany. They didn't know what it was really like to live in the states. We'd been [overseas] for five years." As they digested the news and adjusted to their new surroundings, Baker said they soon learned their daughter in fact had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the tissue inside the bones where blood cells are made. The disease is the most common type of cancer in children, he added, and though it can progress rapidly if untreated, it is fortunately accompanied with an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. ALL can be associated

See SMILE page 6

New Navy Exchange Opens Its Doors to Customers By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer Wounded warriors, active duty, retirees and their families won't have far to travel to fulfill most of their shopping needs when the new Navy Exchange (NEX) store opens at Naval Support Activity Bethesda Saturday. The grand opening ceremony for the 150,000 squarefoot, two-level store will begin at 10 a.m., and the ribbon cutting will open the store for business at 11:00 a.m., according to Rico J. Macaraeg, public relations manager, Northern District, NEX. "This will be the biggest [event] we have ever done in

the Navy Exchange,” said lar to the blue coats in Walter Macaraeg. “The grand opening Reed National Military Medwill be a fun-filled day full of ical Center (WRNMMC), to activities, sales and attended assist customers with information, directions, reservaby a host of celebrity guests.” Macaraeg added the new tions at the Navy Lodge or NEX is "bigger and better," local hotels, and personal offering customers more shopping assistance. "The than three times the size of sky is the limit with our amthe previous 45,000 square- bassadors," Macaraeg said. "When we did focus foot facility. groups and marketing surIn addition to a credit veys, we took all the informaunion, barbershop, beauty tion and results into account salon, optical shop, food court when building the store," and flower shop, the store Macaraeg said. "From wider will also have men's, aisles for accessibility, multiwomen's, and children's de- ple elevators, parking conpartments, as well as shoes, cerns and even a one stop jewelry, fragrance and cos- shop concept with food courts metic, electronics, computer, to dry cleaning." and appliances areas. The The new NEX has two store will also include an "ambassador service," simi- See EXCHANGE page 13

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton

The new Navy Exchange at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, which opens Saturday, has wider aisles for accessibility, multiple elevators, 501 parking spaces, and even a one-stop shop concept with everything from food courts to dry cleaning.

The Journal

2 Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bethesda Notebook

Commander's Column Veterans Day bears a special meaning here at Walter Reed Bethesda, the Nation’s Medical Center. Here we proudly serve our Nation’s heroes, many who are veterans, healing from both visible and invisible wounds, daily harnessing that fighting spirit that will enable them to rebuild and to continue on with their lives. I cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate you answering freedom’s call, both at home and abroad. Your unyielding sacrifice has enabled boys and girls, women and men to enjoy their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As we observe Veteran’s Day, we cannot forget that on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month of 1918, fighting and hostility ceased between the Allied nations and Germany, bringing to an end World War I, then called “the war to end all wars.” Following that great day, we again found ourselves as a nation called upon to offer up even greater forces of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen. Armistice Day was changed in 1938 to what we now know as Veteran’s Day to honor American veterans. Veteran’s Day honors Americans involved in all wars, but please know we also greatly appreciate and honor the sacrifices

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 regard to

Prostate Cancer Support Group

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Prostate Cancer Support Group meets Nov. 15 from 1 to 2 p.m., and again from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the River Conference Room, third floor of the America Building (Building 19) adjacent to the Center for Prostate Disease Research. For more information, contact Vin McDonald at 703-6432658 or

Federal Benefits Open Season

The 2012 Federal Benefits Open Season runs from Nov. 12 through Dec. 10. During this time, federal employees may change their healthcare plans. The Office of Personnel Management has issued several Benefits Administration Letters (BALs) in anticipation of the 2012 open season. BALs can be found at All employees are encouraged to review their current enrollment for premium changes since an increase in premiums is not a quality of life event to change enrollment outside of open season. Premium rates are available at,, and For more information, call the Civilian Human Resources Center at 301-319-8387.

of family and loved ones, who year after year provide unwavering support to the men and women of our great military. Today, as troops are coming home from our conflicts in the Middle East and we remain committed to conducting medical research that enables us to discover ways to enhance the quality of life of our veterans and beneficiaries, we at the Nation’s Medical Center will continue to honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day and every day - For we are free because you were brave.

Diwali Hindu Festival

The Department of Pastoral Care will host a program to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, on Nov. 16 in the chapel in Building 8, first floor, from noon to 1:30 p.m. For more information, email Chaplain (Capt.) Pratima Dharm at

Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting

Commander sends, Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks MC, USN Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

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, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. News copy should be submitted to the Public Affairs Office, Bldg. 1, 11th Floor, by noon one week preceding the desired publication date. News items are welcomed from all WRNMMC complex sources. Inquiries about news copy will be answered by calling 301295-1803. 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.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meets Mondays (except for the first Monday of the month), Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 12:50 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Building 8, Rm. 2230 (Chaplain's Conference Room). For more information, call 301-503-1210.

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda Commanding Officer: Capt. Frederick (Fritz) Kass

Fleet And Family Support Center


Public Affairs Officer NSAB: Joseph Macri Public Affairs Office NSAB: (301) 295-1803

WRNMMC Ombudsman Julie Bondar


NSAB Ombudsman Jojo Lim Hector


Journal Staff Staff Writers

MC2 John Hamilton Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder Katie Bradley Helen Hocknell

Managing Editor

MC1 Ardelle Purcell

NSAB Editor WRNMMC Editor

MC3 Nathan Parde Bernard Little

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

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Naval Support Activity Bethesda page: Walter Reed National Medical Center page:

The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Four Years After Its Inception, Trio Galilei Continues to Perform By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde NSAB Public Affairs staff writer On any given Friday at the Warrior Café (in Building 62) at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, you can hear free, live music presented for the wounded warriors and others in attendance. Carolyn Surrick, who plays the viola da gamba, began visiting the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Mologne House in November 2008, and was joined shortly thereafter by Sue Richards on the Celtic harp and Ginger Hildebrand, a classical guitar and violinist. Together, these three professional musicians make up the ensemble, “Trio Galilei.” The trio’s repertoire ranges from Bach to traditional Scottish and Irish music. The music is offered in the hopes of extending peace to Soldiers and service members who may have had unsettling experiences or injuries during their time of service, said Surrick. “It is calm, beautiful music,” she said. “Mothers find solace, Soldiers find peace, and they sometimes find a place to go in their mind that is more about beauty than war. They say it helps, and I believe them.” Surrick said it is a small time commitment for the members of the ensemble to perform at the Warrior Café, but it can potentially have a big impact on an individual’s life. “The theory is: We do what we can do,” she said. “As musicians, we practice every day. Why not practice in a place where it can change the world? Or at least change part of the world for warriors and their families.” Shortly after they began performing on base, “Trio Galilei” found they began to form relationships with the wounded warriors and visitors there. “We made friends with the patients and their families, the staff, and Pierre, the chef, who always had

a smile and a hello for us,” said Surrick. “The music was so soothing that the Soldiers asked if we could come back at night to help them fall asleep. That wasn’t possible, so we made them a CD.” Surrick and “Trio Galilei” pulled a few strings within their professional circles and found collaborators who were willing to donate their services to record and produce their CD, “Above and Beyond.” The first 2,000 disks were manufactured for free, and then the trio used the proceeds from their other concerts to fund the continued production and distribution of their music on base. Over the past few years, Hildebrand estimates they have given away approximately 3,000 CDs to the wounded warriors and visitors here. Army Specialist Greg MacDonald, a wounded warrior and resident on base, has attended the group’s performances at the Warrior Café for the past three months, and said he has found the trio’s music to be very comforting. “I am here mostly for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and I found their music [to be] very calm and soothing,” said MacDonald. “I have their CD and listen to it every night, and it helps me sleep better.” MacDonald added that, just like the name of their CD, the trio goes ‘above and beyond’ by coming to perform on base every week. “They are very nice and kind,” he said. “Not only do they drive out of their way to play here every Friday, but they have used their money to produce books and CDs to give away for free.” “Mrs. Hildebrand even lent me one of her guitars to practice on until I could get my own, and she has given me a 30-45 minute lesson on the guitar every Friday for the past few months.” However, after performing for nearly four years at the café, Surrick has found that the wounded warriors are not the only ones who benefit from these weekly visits.

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde

Ginger Hildebrand on the classical guitar and violin, Sue Richards on the Celtic harp, and Carolyn Surrick on the viola da gamba make up the ensemble, "Trio Galilei," and have performed for wounded warriors on base for the past four years. “The days that I have spent with these men and women, and their families have completely changed my life,” said Surrick. “To all of them, I send my best wishes, and thanks.”

Army Specialist Greg MacDonald and his mother listen to the sounds of the ensemble "Trio Galilei" in the Warrior Café at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. 1032953

“Trio Galilei” performs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday at the Warrior Café. All wounded warriors, staff and visitors are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

The Journal

4 Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Walter Reed Bethesda Begins Lung Cancer Screening By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer


Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) will provide lung cancer risk assessments for veterans and military beneficiaries beginning today during a Lung Cancer Screening and Awareness Day. All military beneficiaries and District of Columba Veterans Affairs (VA) veterans may participate in the screening at WRNMMC today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Internal Medicine clinic located in the America Building, first floor, according to Lt. Cmdr. Corey A. Carter, of Hematology-Oncology at Walter Reed Bethesda. "The event is just the kick-off," Carter added. "Screening will be per-

Courtesy photo

formed every day, just like mammograms are performed every day." "This important new lung

cancer screening program for military and veterans at high risk has the potential to save lives and decrease


death from lung cancer," said Army Col. (Dr.) Craig Shriver, chief of General Surgery Service and interim

director of the U. S. Military Cancer Institute at WRNMMC. "The Cancer Center at Walter Reed Bethesda is proud to be the first military medical center to offer this unique program to our beneficiaries." The screening is being held in conjunction with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, observed annually during November. The observance began as Lung Cancer Awareness Day in 1995, and expanded to a month-long observance in order to draw greater attention to the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association. Annually, approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than

See LUNG page 9

The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Driving Safely Through the Holiday Season By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs With Thanksgiving only two weeks away, it is safe to say the holiday season is upon us. Many people have plans for a long-distance trip to be with friends and family, to decorate homes and to prepare holiday meals. Unfortunately, this is the same time when most driving mishaps occur. Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) is offering tips, so that you can avoid the holiday driving mishaps and have a fun and safe holiday celebration. "Pre-plan your trip and make sure you have an alternate route, especially if there is going to be a lot of traffic on the roadways for the holidays," said Ronald Kunz, NSAB emergency manager. "Give yourself plenty of time to go – don't try to race in there. I think a lot of our mishaps occur when people are going faster because they're not use to curves, intersections, steep grades or blind spots. If it's unfamiliar roadway, bring your speed down. "Make sure that you let your friends and families know when they can expect

Courtesy photo

you. That's something safe to let them know ahead of time, so if you're running late they can start anticipating that you may be having problems." Part of pre-planning your trip is making sure your car can survive the winter weather before making that trek. "It's important to make sure that the car has an oil change, and check the tires for proper inflation, as well as tread wear," said Kunz. "Make sure the windshield wipers work properly and the blades are good. Make sure

the headlights are bright. Sometimes plastic coverings over the headlights get dulled out, so you either need to replace them or clean them. Make sure all the lights on the vehicle work properly such as break lights, tail lights and license plate lights. Check and make sure the seatbelts are working properly. It's not only the law, but it also prevents ejection from a vehicle in a crash.� The cold weather brings with it hazardous driving conditions such as iced or snowy roads. Having the

right gear on hand in your vehicle will allow you to circumvent some of the frustration caused by winter weather. "Having an emergency kit in the car is very important because you never know when an unexpected accident or vehicle stalls or traffic due to inclement weather can stop you," said Jarrod Greene, NSAB emergency management specialist. "Some of the items that should be in your emergency kit include a flashlight with batteries, and

some kind of lighting device to let people know that you are there in case its dark, especially with more hours of darkness in the winter than in the summer. Nonperishable snacks. I would recommend bringing your camping shovel in case you get stuck in snow and then you would be able to dig yourself out. Other things would be an extra set of gloves and warm weather clothing just in case you forget your regular stuff." Winter weather affects the vehicle by exposing it to uncommon hardships, from the exterior to the interior. Checking your fluid levels and making sure your vehicle is clean of debris will extend its longevity. "Cold weather can affect your tires and cause them to deflate over a period of time through a normal process called permeation," said Greene. "Tires without enough air in them will not get as good of traction and poorer gas mileage. So, it is important to check the pressure in your tires regularly throughout the winter months." For more information regarding safe driving practices during the winter months, contact the Naval Safety Center at

Uniform Inspection Service members from all branches of the U.S.Armed Forces participate in a uniform inspection recently at Walter Reed Bethesda in front of the historic Tower on Naval Support Activity Bethesda.

Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor

The Journal

6 Thursday, November 8, 2012

SMILE Continued from 1 with bruising, bleeding, severe bone or joint pain, and weakness, Baker continued. Aside from Emma's enlarged lymph nodes, he said their otherwise happy, energetic girl showed no other signs. "She looked so healthy," he said. "This is something you never, in a million years, think is going to happen to you." Baker said his family received outpouring support from a number of Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charities, which lifted the burden of their transportation and housing needs, allowing their family to focus on Emma's treatment. "They mitigated a lot of the burdens placed on a family that's dealing with such a traumatic situation," he added. CFC organizations also frequently decorate the department's outpatient infusion room, organize holiday parties, and bring in snacks and toys, lifting the spirits


of the children and their families. Baker went on to note the generosity of WRNMMC's Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department. "That was another thing that made it easier for us to make our transition here. They're completely warm and inviting," Baker said. "You can see they're involved, and they care about what they do. We didn't feel like we were just another patient. I wouldn't want my daughter to be anywhere else." WRNMMC's Pediatric Hematology Oncology department provides inpatient and outpatient services for children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer, tumors and bone marrow failure syndromes, said Dr. Thomas Newton, the department's division chief. The pediatric oncologist explained the department's staff members do their best to keep kids out of the hospital as often as they can, even if it means working late, after their shift ends. Whenever possible, they administer treatments on an outpatient basis, and/or al-

low them to take their treatments at home, so they can try to have a normal life, Newton added. "Our priority here is taking care of our patients," he said. Each year, Walter Reed Bethesda's Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department admits approximately two or three dozen new patients, most of whom must continue to come in for treatment for a number of years, he said. Compared to large, children's hospitals, the department's patient load is rather low, and that allows far more personalized care, Newton explained. "We're able to provide very personalized and very supportive care," he said. The department includes a check-in area, as well as a conference room where families can meet privately with their providers, he continued. Additionally, there are three exam rooms, allowing patients to conveniently come in and out, should they only need a quick treatment. Filled with bright colors, festive decorations, toys and


games, the outpatient infusion room is divided into six bays, where patients may receive infusion treatments such as chemotherapy. In addition to the department's involvement in research, they have nutritionists, social workers, and a child life specialist, dedicated to providing art, games and entertainment, he said. Newton went on to explain the benefits of bringing military children into their care. Many of the staff members are serving on active duty, and can relate to their needs. "We know how to get them over here, get their family re-situated as quickly as possible, [and] get the active duty [member] lined up with a new position in the area," Newton said. "We understand the needs of the active duty member. We do our best to keep them on track," he said, in terms of their military career. "They still have those opportunities, but at the same time, they're able to be here for their children, and their children get the care they need."

For the Baker family, their outlook remains positive, Baker said. Right now, Emma receives various chemotherapies and steroids. She is in a delayed intensification phase, during which she must be closely monitored, as her immune system is weak and where they anticipate blood transfusions. The brighteyed toddler will continue her treatment for about two more years, and once she's been in remission for five years, odds are the cancer will not return, Baker said. "If there's a way of treating her, [the staff members] are going to find it, and they're going to use it. That's it," he said. "You're still going to have your moments, but you really just trust that this is where you are, and we're in good hands." To keep up with Emma's journey, visit An email address must be provided to enter. For information on how to donate to the CFC, which runs through Dec. 15, visit

The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Sexual Assault Focus of Women's Leadership Forum By Sharon Renee Taylor WRNMMC Journal staff writer Each month, during the Walter Reed Bethesda Women's Leadership Forum, female service members from all branches, enlisted and officers, gather to discuss topics impacting their lives and careers. More than a dozen women joined the forum's chair, Chief Charlotte Gee, and co-chair, Chief Tamika Figgs, to discuss sexual violence at the group's meeting recently. Gee explained why the focus of the October forum was important, saying some people don't know "the true meaning" of sexual assault. "They think only rape is considered sexual assault. It's more than just rape." Sexual assault is a range of criminal behaviors, the forum attendees learned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reported

Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor

Anton Altman, a sexual assault response coordinator and domestic abuse victim advocate at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, leads the discussion at the recent Women's Leadership Forum. the results of a 2010 national sexual violence survey, an average 24 people per

minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner

in the United States. Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime while 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. It's also possible for a woman to rape a man, according to Anton Altman, who serves both as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and domestic abuse victim advocate at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB). Altman led the discussion at the Oct. 24 Women's Leadership Forum. Altman said men in the military are more likely to report being a victim of sexual assault than their civilian counterparts. He presented a video used to train police officers. Altman explained police officers and service members share similar pressures and experiences. The video helps show men how easily they can become victims of sexual violence, just as women can, and to empathize with all victims.

"It's important to be sensitive to these issues, important to treat people the way you want to be treated," Altman said. Confidentiality is crucial, as well as ensuring the victim the right to determine whether or not they want to report the crime, so it's important for the persons they tell to know what to do, Altman said. They should call one of two numbers: 301442-8225, the 24-7 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) hotline number, or 877-995-5247, the DoD Safe Helpline, the global military sexual assault hotline. "That's all they need to do, they don't need to do anything else," Altman said. "There's nothing else to remember: just call the number and we'll take care of the rest." Leaders who take action before calling a SARC may make the matter an unre-

See FORUM page 13

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The Journal

8 Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce By Bernard Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer and Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs staff writer In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Walter Reed Bethesda Multicultural Committee hosted an event recently in Tranquility Hall (Building 62) to provide wounded warriors and their families information regarding employment and transition assistance. “We are basically saying, ‘Thank You,’ and providing some transition information and free food to the wounded warriors,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Zielske, chair of the Walter Reed Bethesda Multi-

cultural Committee. “The purpose of the event [was] to provide awareness that people with disabilities can be productive employees and contributors to society. We hope this event can shed some light on potential contributions and production from persons with disabilities and create an all-inclusive atmosphere.” This year’s theme for the observance was “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can You Do?” “‘What Can You Do’ is certainly a question [that is] wide open to interpretation,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary, U.S. DePhoto by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton partment of Labor Staff Sgt. Orlando Cooper, squad leader for WarriorTransition Brigade, participates in the (DoL), Office of Disabil- National Disability Employment Awareness Month as he chooses from the selection of ity Employment Policy foods provided by the Walter Reed Bethesda Multicultural Committee recently. (ODEP), while discussing this year’s was established in 2001, reach and scope, stated It offers purpose and parents instilled in her theme for NDEAM in a it assumed responsibili- DoL officials. the opportunity to lead and her siblings an exvideo message on DoL’s ty for NDEAM, and has “For most people, es- an independent, self-di- pectation of work, “and website. When ODEP worked to expand its pecially adults, the an- rected life for all people, that has made all the swer [to what can you including [individuals] difference in our lives. do] usually pertains to like me with disabili- The importance of work their occupations or ties,” added Martinez, actually extends far beemployment,” Martinez who is blind. “I say that yond the individual. continued. “That’s be- with certainty, because When all people are able cause work is funda- I am one of the millions to contribute and be recmental to a person’s of people with disabili- ognized for their skills identity. It means much ties in this country.” and abilities, society as a more than a paycheck. Martinez said her whole reaps the benefits. Local economies are bolstered. Communities are strengthened. This important principle is the premise behind this year’s National Disability Employment Aware-


See WORK page 14



The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012

LUNG Continued from 4 150,000 people die from this disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Deaths from lung cancer represent about one out of every six deaths from cancer in the U.S., according to the CDC. The CDC cites smoking causes 80 to 90 percent of cases of lung cancer. Carter explained the purpose for the lung cancer screening is for a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer death. Veterans may be among those with the highest risk for lung cancer, he added. "Smoking is the biggest risk factor. Added to this, many of our veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, [in addition to] occupational exposure to jet and diesel fuel," Carter said. At Walter Reed Bethesda, the lung cancer screening will include an evaluation to verify a patient is at high risk for the disease, Carter explained. Those at risk will be enrolled into a screening program that will conduct annual low dose chest CT scans, he added. Carter said the five-year survival rate for a person diagnosed with lung cancer is 15 percent. "We are hoping to diagnose lung cancer earlier, at a curable stage." He added it's important people understand their risk factors for lung cancer. According to the CDC, lung cancer risk factors include: - Smoking - Secondhand smoke from other people's cigarettes - Radon gas in the home - Things around the home or work that, include asbestos, ionizing radiation, and other cancer-causing substances - Medical radiation exposure to the chest - Chronic lung disease such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis - Increased age Carter went on to note people should understand the risk factors, and get screened. "We will offer an appointment with a medical home team member to screen all of our beneficiaries for risk

factors and determine if they would benefit from screening. "Walter Reed Bethesda is leading the nation by forming a multidisciplinary screening program and will offer it to our high risk patients," Carter added. According to the CDC, not everyone has the same symptoms for lung cancer."Some people don't have any symptoms at all when first diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer symptoms may include: - Shortness of breath - Coughing that doesn't go away - Wheezing - Coughing up blood - Chest pain - Repeated respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia These symptoms can happen with other illnesses, which is why Carter encourages veterans

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and beneficiaries to participate in the screening beginning Nov. 8. The CDC also states people can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer in several ways, including the following: - Don't smoke. If you do smoke, quit now - Avoid secondhand smoke - Have your home tested for radon and take corrective actions if high levels are found - Be aware of your exposure to radiation from medical imaging. Ask your doctor about the need for medical tests that involve images of the chest. - Follow health and safety guidelines in the workplace when working with toxic materials. - Avoid diesel exhaust and other harmful air pollutants. To participate in the lung cancer screening at WRNMMC or for additional information please email, or call 301-295-0196.

The Journal

10 Thursday, November 8, 2012

Walter Reed Bethesda Staff Recognized for Wounded Warrior Care By David A. Dickinson WRNMMC Journal staff writer A physician's assistant (PA), the Orthotics and Prosthetics Service, and Physical Therapy Amputee Section at Walter Reed Bethesda were recently recognized for the care and support they provide wounded warriors, patients and their families. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) recognized MerriBeth Cully, lead PA for the Orthopedic Surgery Service, as well as both the prosthetics service and physical therapy amputee teams with 2012 Community Heroes Individual and Group Awards Oct. 30 at MOAA's annual meeting in Arlington, Va." "This is our annual celebration of those who are true community heroes because they are taking care of our wounded and injured," said retired Adm. Steve Abbot, chair of MOAA's board of directors. Last year, MOAA began honoring those who aid in public-private outreach efforts in order to support

wounded warriors, active duty, veterans and their families. The awards are intended to recognize and highlight individuals and groups within the military and civilian communities, who exemplify service to the wounded military and veteran populations, explained Clayton Hinchman, deputy director for contract services and marketing for MOAA. "The Community Heroes Award is in alignment with President Obama's and first lady Michelle Obama's efforts to organize public-private outreach and support," Hinchman said. Although she received an individual award, Cully said "team" is always on her mind and essential to providing care to wounded warriors returning from theater. She works with the trauma team providers, and is among the first to work with wounded warriors when they arrive at the Nation's Medical Center. As lead PA for orthopedic service, Cully directs, coaches and supports five PAs while ensuring all clinics that have a PA assigned to them, and is credited with

directly assisting more than 1,700 Operation Enduring Freedom cases, scheduling and verifying more than 2,000 cases and 6,900 operative procedures. "It's good seeing my patients on Main Street having lunch," Cully said. "They don't know that I worked with them, and sometimes, I like to tell them how good it is to see them up." Army Capt. Bradley Ritland, a physical therapist in Walter Reed's Physical Therapy Amputee Section, said his team "works passionately to ensure the real heroes suffering limb loss from combat related events are getting the world's greatest care. We take our role in their recovery very seriously, and understand we are one piece of the entire medical team." The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's (WRNMMC) Physical Therapy Amputee Section is the Department of Defense's largest amputee-care rehabilitation facility, providing more than 18,000 patient care visits a year. Since Operations Iraqi Freedom, En-

See WARRIOR page 16

Courtesy photo

Merri-Beth Cully, lead physician's assistant for the Orthopedic Surgery Service, recently earned the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) 2012 Community Heroes Individual Award, for the care and support she provides wounded warriors at the Nation's Medical Center,Walter Reed Bethesda.

Recovering Warrior Task Force to Visit Walter Reed Bethesda By NSAB Public Affairs The Recovering Warrior Task Force (RWTF) will be visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) from Nov. 13 though Nov. 15 to meet with senior leadership and to conduct focus groups with wounded warriors and their family members. The Recovering Warrior Task Force was chartered on Nov. 18, 2010 and consists of 11 Department of Defense (DOD) and nonDOD members. The RWTF was formed in order to gather and analyze information to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Defense on how to best support wounded warriors and their families. The visit will cover all aspects of support and recovery from medical care, in-

Courtesy photo

cluding legal services and transition assistance. The task force is seeking a diverse representation of recovering warriors to include individuals with different types of injuries, all services and ranks in order to better meet the needs of all recovering warriors. The focus groups will be conducted as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6:30-8 p.m. – Family Members of recovering warriors of all services, Building 62, 2nd floor Soldier and Family Assistance Center Wednesday, Nov. 14, 8:3010 a.m. – Mid-grade noncommissioned officers, Special Operations recovering warriors grades E5 to E9, location to be determined

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m.-noon – Army recovering service members, non-commissioned officers grades E5 to E9, location to be determined Thursday, Nov. 15, 1-2:30 p.m. – Marines grades E-4 to E-5, location to be determined Thursday, Nov. 15, 3-4:30 p.m. – Marines grades E-6

to E-9, location to be determined Those interested in participating in the focus groups can contact their service liaison. Those who would like more information on the RWTF can visit their website at http://dt

The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Base Personnel Volunteer to Beautify Baltimore By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs staff writer Service members from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center volunteered their time Saturday to aid in the beautification efforts of the City of Baltimore. The Cylburn Arboretum, the only arboretum in Baltimore, had trails ravaged by the severe storms of the summer and was in need of debris removal, gardening and trail cleanup. However, with a staff of only four, the arboretum needs the help of volunteers to help aid in the majority of the large-scale cleanups. "I recruit volunteers and a lot of people come on their own," said Karen Goldstein, director of volunteer programs at Cylburn Arboretum. "They are very inter-

Photo by Karen Goldstein

The volunteer team aided in the clean-up process at Cylburn Arboretum, providing a total of 21 hours of volunteer service.The team cleared trails of fallen debris and moved downed trees that were the result of the severe storms of the summer. ested in the fact that you can learn so much about working here with our gardeners and people are interested in the trails. I actually have a group that are serious run-

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K Hamilton

Hospitalman Apprentice Phrenil Shah, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Main Operating Room, Hospitalman Clyde Harris, WRNMMC's Dosimetry Center and Hospitalman Apprentice Nicholas Ramos WRNMMC's client services lab, clear the trails at Cylburn Arboretum of sticks, debris and fallen trees.

ners and they like to run back here, so sometimes they give me volunteer time to keep the trails clear. "Word of mouth too, people come here they see the place they see the need and they are very generous about getting involved and giving us their time and their effort. They become members, they become donors and they become volunteers and it really keeps things going." In 1982, Cylburn Park officially became Cylburn Arboretum, thereby clarifying its mission for Baltimore City as the city's horticultural center for the preservation, maintenance and expansion of Cylburn's existing trees and shrubs as well as maintenance of its woodlands and gardens. The park is open to the public and conducts numerous events throughout the seasons that are typically free of charge. "It's wonderful for families, because we are in the city limits of Baltimore, so we are the only green space that a lot of Baltimore city residents get to enjoy," said Goldstein. "We are free of charge, it's a public park and a lot of our educational programs and events are also free of charge for the community. We are very serious about supporting the community which needs this as a green space [and for] environmental education, conservation and nature education." Hosptal Corpsman 1st Class Elizabeth Patterson leading petty officer of Naval

Post Graduate Dental School/community relation volunteer program coordinator said going out and helping the community makes her feel good because she is helping those who may be less fortunate. "It makes the environment and the community friendlier," said Patterson. "It makes me feel good to do this stuff because it doesn't just benefit me; it benefits the community as a whole." The community relation program at Walter Reed Bethesda has been a huge success totaling hundreds of hours of volunteer service for the community. "Last month we did four events and we had a total of 70 volunteers that committed 246 hours of volunteer service to the surrounding community, which is about the average for every month. In the summer months things quiet down a bit, because that is when the community relation program ends their calendar. So, they are doing all of their administrative work and counting out their numbers for the year. But this time of year through June we probably average about three to four events per month.� The next upcoming volunteer event will be at the Armed Forces Retirement Home for National Family Volunteer Day on Nov. 17. "For the volunteer day, it depends on the age of the volunteer, because the intention for the National Family

Volunteer Day is to encourage families to get out and volunteer together and instill volunteerism into children at an early age. They are doing a craft project inside for the children and some holiday decorating, wheelchair cleaning and organization within the retirement home. Outside there will be some landscaping and they have canals on the property that need to be cleaned out.� Goldstein was very appreciative of the service members that volunteered their time for the preservation of the park and encouraged them to come back to enjoy the arboretum in a non-volunteer capacity to experience the beauty in a whole new way. "It's a phenomenal place I'm amazed at how many people have lived in Baltimore all their lives and never heard of this," said Goldstein. "But, when people come they seem to fall in love with it. It's a very unique place. "I just can't overstate the importance of volunteers and the tremendous service they give us - we are always appreciative of the effort. You [today's volunteers] have helped it be beautiful, safe and environmentally aware, so come back and enjoy it." For more information about volunteer opportunities on base contact Patterson at 301-319-8576 or

12 Thursday, November 8, 2012


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Continued from 1

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parking levels providing customers 501 total spaces, according to Macaraeg. He also explained the new store was constructed employing several energy-saving concepts to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards at the GOLD rating. The store will include natural lighting as well as light sensors (to adjust with the natural lighting) to help conserve energy. Also to meet LEED standards, the NEX used recycled materials where applicable to reduce the cost and production of new material, he added. Topping the store is a green roof with grass and vegetation to help insulate the building and keep it cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter. "The grass roof helps efforts in reducing carbon foot print by gathering rain water in an effort to reduce water runoff and keep water usage down by having it water and maintain the greenery on the roof," Macaraeg explained. Regular hours for the store will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Holiday hours will be extended, according to Macaraeg. "We will adjust hours to support our customer needs," he said. "I think the opening of the new NEX is a wonderful idea," said Sgt. Rodrigo Santos, a Walter Reed Bethesda wounded warrior with B Company, 3rd Platoon. He said he is looking forward to be able to shop closer to where he lives on base. Sgt. Julio Larrea, a below-the-

stricted report, which may jeopardize both the victim's privacy and choice whether to report the crime. An unrestricted report means Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Criminal Investigative Division, or others may get involved, and the victim is put on the spot whether they want to report the crime. A restricted report empowers the victim to make that decision. "A lot of times in panic we do too much instead of pausing and calling the subject matter expert," Altman added. Gee said she knows individuals who were sexually assaulted at her previous command. "They didn't want to report it because of what people [may have thought] about them or their chain of command - they [were] just scared to report." Both male and female service members and civilians can attend the next training class Jan. 21-25 to become a victim advocate at NSAB. Please contact Anton Altman or Kim Tobiere-Agnew at 301-319-4087 for more information on how to become a member of the SAPR team. Female service members interested in attending the November Women's Leadership Forum can contact Chief Charlotte Gee at 301-295-5161 or charlotte.l.gee.m

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton

The new Navy Exchange is more than three times the size of the previous 45,000 square-foot facility. knee amputee Soldier who continues on active duty, agreed. "I am all in favor of having such a facility open locally.” He added, "Competitive prices [to stores off base] would be outstanding." He noted family members must consider expenses when they are here taking care of their loved ones in recovery. "I can't wait until Nov. 10 gets here," said retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Leathers, program manager for Contingency Resources in the Office of Emergency Management at Walter Reed Bethesda. "We've been waiting a long time to see what the new NEX will bring to WRNMMC. I was not here to see the previous NEX, but this one is going to be much larger and will offer more products to meet our shopping needs. I'm also glad to see the new garage that was

built to support the customers." Leathers said he looks forward to the convenience and quality merchandise the NEX will offer. "We will be able to stop off and buy that quick item as we leave the base. Even more, we do not have to travel long distances to another NEX, Base Exchange (BX) or Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) for our shopping needs.” Macaraeg said the store has introduced over 200 new positions into the local economy of Bethesda, full-time, part-time and flex, with several job fairs and encouraging people to apply online at and clicking on the link, "Work For Us." For more information about the NEX, Rico Macaraeg the public relations manager may be reached at at


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14 Thursday, November 8, 2012

Continued from 8 ness Month theme.” She said the theme reaffirms everyone has a role to play and can benefit from the increasing employment opportunities of people with disabilities. “We encourage employers of all sizes and all industries to foster workplaces [that are] welcoming to employees and potential employees with disabilities. The responsibility doesn’t stop there. Those of us with disabilities ourselves must understand the intrinsic value of work and the skills and talents we have to offer. Youth with disabilities must grow up with the expectations of employment.” She added parents and others must reinforce those expectations “by cultivating a clear vision of work and community participation.” “Put simply, America’s future success requires us to capitalize on all talents of

all segments of our population, and the responsibility for making that happen must be shared,” Martinez said. “There is something everyone can do every day of every month to increase employment of people with disabilities.” Jim Lefebvre, Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) center manager, said his job is to help service members progress to a successful transition out of the military and into a private sector, federal or state job that meets their needs and also meets the needs of that employer. “Your disability is not something that automatically disqualifies you – don’t let that nonsense set in,” said Lefebvre. “We are here to help you with internships and all those sort of programs, but a lot of work is going to come from you. The more work you put into it, the better off your results will be.” Lefebvre suggests coming to see them as soon as possible, as having ample time

usually leads to better results. “One thing for any disabled person, is starting as early as you’re ready to do so,” said Lefebvre. “If you have a year or 18 months left on your transition process, we will have a lot better success with you. Utilize all of the programs that are out there. There is a wonderful wounded warrior mentor project that’s associated with the program here at Walter Reed. That’s where people like myself work with you on a one-onone basis much more frequently than you can in the staff world here. [As] staff, you have some individual time, but this is time above and beyond that people donate to the individual or wounded warrior so we can make sure he or she is getting the type of assistance they need.” Representatives from the ACAP, as well as the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Fleet and Family Support Center participated in the Walter Reed



Bethesda’s NDEAM event. ACAP’s goal is to ensure all Soldiers who leave the Army with more than 180 days of active duty comply with legal and regulatory requirements to receive pre-separation counseling on available transition assistance services and benefits as early as possible. TAP was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services, according to TAP officials. TAP is designed to help service members within 180 days of separation or retirement and their spouses make the initial transition from military service to the civilian workplace with less difficulty. For more information about TAP, visit http://www.dol.g ov/vets/programs/tap/mai n.htm. In proclaiming NDEAM 2012, President Barack Obama stated, “In the 22 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabil-

ities Act, we have made significant progress in giving all Americans the freedom to make of our lives what we will. Yet, in times of prosperity as well as challenge, people with disabilities have had fewer opportunities in our workplaces than those without. As we work to revitalize our economy, it is essential that each of us can bring our talents, expertise, and passion to bear in the marketplace. But a stronger economy is not enough; we must ensure not only full participation, but also full opportunity. All Americans are entitled to an accessible workplace, a level playing field, and the same privileges, pursuits, and opportunities as any of their family, friends, and neighbors. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the rights to equal employment opportunity for all people.”

The Journal

Thursday, November 8, 2012


OB/GYN Earns Top Accreditation, Sweeps District Competition By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Journal staff writer At Walter Reed Bethesda, the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) Department continues to pave the way in women's health care and research. Last month, the department's residency program showcased its expertise, achieving noteworthy accreditation while its residents swept a regional research competition. Recognizing their accomplishments, Walter Reed Bethesda Commander Rear Adm. Alton Stocks congratulated the OB/GYN department, its staff and residents, in a recent command-wide email. "This is more proof that everyone at Walter Reed Bethesda rises above all challenges and provides outstanding health care, education and training. You are what makes this Medical Center great. What you do matters," Stocks stated. Following an extensive review process that began in July, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) awarded the OB/GYN residency program its third consecutive, five-year accreditation, on Oct. 17, said Air Force Col. John Fischer, program director of the Uniformed Services Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The five-year accreditation is remarkable because it is the maximum length of accreditation awarded by the ACGME, he added. The accreditation process involved a site inspection, during which all aspects of the program were closely examined, including patient cases and educational components, Fischer explained. Overseen by the Graduate Medical Education/National Capital Consortium (GME/NCC), the residency program met the ACGME's extensive list of standards, related to patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, research and academics, as well as communication and systems-based practice, and support from the command, he continued. Also this month, the pro-

courtesy photo

gram's residents picked up a number of wins at the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) Armed Forces District meeting, Oct. 6-10, Fischer continued. According to the ACOG's website, the organization is dedicated to education for women's health and developing standards for residencies. It is divided into a number of districts by location, each holding annual meetings to showcase research and award residents for their outstanding work. This month's Armed Forces District Meeting, also called the District X Meeting, culminated the residents' research that they've been working on for years, Fischer said. At the start of their residency, OB/GYN interns may first present their research, as a case report, at Walter Reed Bethesda's annual Resident Research Day. During this event, held each May, second year residents present research proposals. Third and fourth year residents then go on to present their research at the ACOG's annual district meeting, he explained.

At the district meeting, residents presented their research focusing on a variety of areas, such as oncology, detecting precancerous cells, and surgical procedures, taking first place for their scientific papers, as well as poster and oral presentations. "We had 29 poster and oral presentations out of the total 119, almost 25 percent of the presentations. This is truly significant when you remember we are only one of eight facilities with an OB/GYN training program," Fischer said. "The meeting opened with six highlighted [research] papers. Five of the six were from the NCC, two [of which were] from residents, three from fellows." Among the winning residents, Kristen P. Zeligs, MD, was awarded best oral presentation. The Air Force captain and fourth year resident said she began working on her research project in 2010: a DoD-wide retrospective review of patients at the medical center diagnosed with vaginal dysplasia, from January 2002 to January 2012. The study

reviewed all women diagnosed with this condition, in which precancerous cells are found in the vagina, to evaluate patients' history and risk factors for normalization, persistence, and recurrence, she said. "It was a wonderful feeling to see the project to completion and present the results at the annual meeting. Additionally, it's always exciting to receive positive feedback on a research project that has consumed many hours of hard work on the parts of all those involved," Zeligs said. Fischer attributes these accomplishments to the program's dedicated residents, who are committed to their own education and success. He also noted the hardworking faculty members, mentoring the residents and fellows and leading them to success. "[The faculty members] are also dedicated to the education and success of the residents, and students are always willing to dedicate extra time and effort to mentor and support our residents." Many of the faculty

members serve on international and national committees, including the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOC), the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO), as well as the ACOG. Several also have been awarded Professor of the Year at the annual Armed Forces District Meeting. Also of note, he said, all of the program's subspecialties are nationally recognized as outstanding programs in their own right, to include gynecologic oncology, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and minimally invasive surgery. "I think we have not only one of the best OB/GYN residency programs in the military, but across the nation as well," said Fischer. "Above all, I feel the residents and faculty try to live by treating their patients as they would want someone to treat their mother, their wife, themselves, their sisters or their daughters."

16 Thursday, November 8, 2012

WARRIOR Continued from 10


during Freedom and New Dawn, it has treated more than 1,000 service members. Dave Laufer leads the WRNMMC Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, which has managed the prosthetic care of nearly 1,000 veterans. The facility provides functional outcomes to all amputees. An example of its hard work and diligence is the facility routinely provides new sockets for amputees to attach their prosthetics in 48 hours, while the standard in the civilian community is two weeks, Laufer stated. He added the facility has also developed devices to enable wounded veterans to continue on active duty, as well as skydive, run, swim, mountain climb and more. Saluting Cully, prosthetics service as well the physical therapy amputee team for earning the MOAA awards, Walter Reed Bethesda Commander Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks stated, "This reflects the outstanding service you give every day to our wounded warriors, and all our patients here at the Nation's Medical Center. What you do matters."

The Journal

Blankets of Love

Photo by Bernard S. Little

Evelyn Flott, 92, gives one of her hand-knitted blankets to Spc. Calvin Todd recently. On each of her visits to Walter Reed Bethesda during the last six years, Flott has brought with her hand-knitted blankets she's made for wounded warriors and their families. During her visit on Oct. 26, she gave away the 100th blanket she hand-knitted for wounded warriors.

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18 Thursday, November 8, 2012

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