Quinnipiac launches veterans rehabilitation center

Air Force flight surgeon visits campus

Dr. Amy Coleman, a retired U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, delivered the lecture, “Making a Difference from Wherever You Are," as part of the celebration for the launch of the new Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation.

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uinnipiac University celebrated the launch of its new Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation with several events in November.

On Nov. 9, Dr. Kara Gagnon, CEO and president of Braveminds: Peace of Mind Brain Injury Services, presented the lecture, “Military Caregivers Coping with Their Loved Ones Deployment: Challenges and Resources,” in the auditorium in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, 370 Bassett Road.

Braveminds is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of spouses, children and loved ones of U.S. military personnel, veterans and civilians who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gagnon, an assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology at the Yale School of Medicine, described how Braveminds provides programs and resources and is building a support community aimed at identifying and meeting the needs of the caregivers.

This event was sponsored by the Joining Forces initiative in the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, which was launched in 2013 as part of a national initiative to educate faculty and health professionals about the needs and issues faced by our veterans, and Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.

On Nov. 10, the university screened, “When War Comes Home,” by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael King, a New London native, in the auditorium in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven Campus.

Quinnipiac also recognized Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, with a flag-raising ceremony on the North Haven Campus and on the Mount Carmel Campus in Hamden. In addition, Dr. Amy Coleman, a retired U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, delivered the lecture, “Making a Difference from Wherever You Are," at the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Coleman is CEO of Wellsmart, a Georgetown, Kentucky, organization with a mission to revitalize and restore primary care by empowering patients with accessible, relevant medical education and by teaching health care providers how to embrace the choice to stay in medicine with renewed passion and inspiration. She also is the author of “Discovering Your Own Doctor Within.”

Veterans Day concluded with a “Salute to Veterans Night,” in which the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team wore camouflage uniforms during the game against Dartmouth at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Located on Quinnipiac’s North Haven Campus, the Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation will strive to improve the function, level of independence and quality of life of veterans who have disabilities brought about by injuries sustained in war.

"The Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation will enhance the lives of our veterans by addressing the clinical and psychological issues impacting their medical rehabilitation as well as the barriers to delivering optimal care,” said Dr. Robert Krug, the William and Barbara Weldon chair and director of the Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation at Quinnipiac. “We will also provide education and programs to improve their quality of life and we will advocate on their behalf for policies and programs that address the services they so richly deserve. The well-being of our veterans will be the primary focus of everything this center has to offer,” said Krug, who also is president and CEO/medical director of Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Hartford.

“The Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation will enhance the lives of our veterans by addressing the clinical and psychological issues impacting their medical rehabilitation as well as the barriers to delivering optimal care.”
Dr. Robert Krug, the William and Barbara Weldon chair and director of the Center for U.S. Veterans Rehabilitation at Quinnipiac.

As veterans of the armed forces return from Iraq and Afghanistan with unparalleled levels of physical and psychological injuries, a national focus on rehabilitation medicine is required to develop long-term, sustainable approaches to address the health care needs of our veterans. By drawing upon the rich resources of Quinnipiac University’s School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine and its clinical affiliates, the institute stands to become a nationally recognized center addressing the needs of our returning veterans.

The university’s emphasis on primary care and rehabilitation medicine, its renowned programs, state-of-art facilities and central location collectively serve to move the Center for Veterans’ Rehabilitation to national prominence.

Learning to cope

Dr. Kara Gagnon, CEO and president of Braveminds: Peace of Mind Brain Injury Services