UF, VA Joining Forces

Joining Forces

North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Heath System, UF join first lady’s effort to help veterans


As part of first lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative, the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System and the UF College of Medicine have committed to creating a new generation of doctors, medical schools and research facilities that will make sure our heroes receive care worthy of their service.

Recognizing veterans and their families’ sacrifice and commitment, the UF College of Medicine pledged to partner with the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System to train the nation’s physicians to meet veterans’ and their families’ unique health care needs, including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join with the VA to address the health care needs of our military, our veterans and their families as part of the Joining Forces Initiative,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “Through our strong affiliation with the VA, health care trainees have the opportunity to receive clinical training while serving the heroes who have dedicated their lives to keeping our country safe.”

The initiative focuses on key priority areas — employment, education and wellness —while raising awareness about the service, sacrifice and needs of America’s veterans and military families.

First lady Obama and Jill Biden, Ph.D., created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support veterans and military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. The initiative aims to educate, challenge and spark action from all sectors of society to ensure veterans and military families have the support they have earned.

“I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families,” Obama said. “By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research, and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

Together, the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System and the College of Medicine — with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine — will work to enrich medical education to ensure that physicians are aware of the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military members, veterans and their families.

The group also aims to develop new research and clinical trials on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, share information and best practices through a collaborative web forum created by the AAMC, and grow the body of knowledge that leads to improvements in health care and wellness for military service members, veterans and their families.

“The NF/SGVHS has many nationally recognized physicians and staff who specialize in re-integration issues for veterans and their families, along with treating veterans with TBI and PTSD,” said Bradley Bender, M.D., North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System chief of staff. “By providing opportunities in the classroom and patient encounters, new physicians will learn about the specific medical needs our returning combat veterans face.”

More information is available at www.JoiningForces.gov.