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June 5, 2010

IDVA Hosts “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon II”
Conference for healthcare professionals to effectively diagnose, treat PTSD/TBI in combat veterans

BURR RIDGE - The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a daylong conference today for primary healthcare professionals on effectively diagnosing and treating anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in combat veterans returning from deployment.
Healthcare professionals from around the state gathered in Southwest suburban Burr Ridge for “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon II,” held in conjunction with Alexian Brothers Hospital Network. The event ran from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Chicago Marriott Southwest at Burr Ridge and featured IDVA Director Dan Grant and a host of subject-matter medical and military experts on combat-related anxiety, PTSD and TBI.
“Many combat veterans returning from deployment now will often see their primary care physicians first, even before going to a VA hospital. Therefore it is crucial that primary healthcare providers have all the information they need to accurately assess and treat combat-related illnesses like PTSD and TBI that don’t always show up immediately and can be difficult to detect,” said Director Grant.
Other speakers included: Patrick McGrath, director of the Center for Anxiety and OCD, which includes the Virtual Iraq Program at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital; Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former psychology professor from the United States Military Academy and author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated On Killing; and Sgt. Debbie Hall-Cole, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran and readjustment counselor for the Evanston-Rockford Vet Center, specializing in Military Sexual Trauma and PTSD, among others.
“Our goal is for primary healthcare professionals to best be able to meet the unique needs of their patients who are veterans, and we believe that the group assembled here today has done a tremendous job of educating them to do that,” Director Grant said.
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