SOURCE: Sergeant Sullivan Center
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Confronting and Eradicating Post-Deployment Illnesses
There has been much exciting news this month, with coverage about our mission on the front page of The Washington Post and an invitation along with other advocacy groups to provide testimony to the Defense Health Board on deployment related lung disease in June. We also are pleased to announce our second $10,000 challenge grant, covered in the Washington Post story over Memorial Day Weekend, to Georgetown University Medical Center to work towards developing a blood biomarker test for Gulf War illnesses - unexplained multi-symptom illnesses that are debilitating and have been found to effect veterans of the post-9/11 wars as well as the '91 war.Our Marine Corps Marathon Team recruitment is still underway and we continue to accept applications for our Veteran Fellowship for Mission Leadership -- a position which will remain open until filled. Please spread the word about our work and consider signing up to be a Sergeant Sullivan Center Ambassador for the Do More 24 campaign to help us get the most number of individual donors on and win a $15,000 grant from the United Way.Thank you for your support,### The NEWS ##
The Washington Post Covers Sergeant Sullivan Center on Front PageOn , Memorial Day, a front page story about The Sergeant Sullivan Center appeared in The Washington Post. The story, by Michael Ruane, focused on the establishment of the Center's initiative to fund research for unexplained veterans' illnesses. The story will reach the Post's circulation of over 500,000 readers.Unexplained post-deployment illnesses are one of the most significant physical health problems plaguing veterans. Last year, the Institute of Medicine reported unexplained chronic respiratory, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal (multi-symptom) illnesses affect post-9/11 veterans as well as one in three 1991 Gulf War Veterans.Over half a million post-9/11 veterans in the VA system have unexplained symptoms (seehealthcare utilization records); this number continues to grow. Independent, dynamic research is essential to unravelling the mysteries of these illnesses. The Sergeant Sullivan Center began funding private research to improve diagnosis of deployment related illnesses last year with a grant for biomarker research to the Center of Excellence on Deployment Related Lung Disease at National Jewish Health, followed by a grant challenge to Georgetown University Medical Center for Gulf War illness biomarker research earlier this year.
Defense Health Board to Hold Meeting for Public Comment on Deployment Related Lung DiseaseAfter receiving a letter from The Sergeant Sullivan Center, the Defense Health Board considered "the possibility of having a meeting in which interested members of the public" may "address concerns or provide information" and now has scheduled a public comment meeting for . The meeting was announced recently in theFederal Register.
According to the announcement, "The purpose of the meeting is for the Public Health Subcommittee members to receive public comments concerning deployment pulmonary health during an open forum. The Subcommittee is reviewing evidence relevant to deployment-related pulmonary disease in Service members and veterans. Comments from the public range from insight on deployment-related pulmonary health issues to personal accounts and objective input."
The Sergeant Sullivan Center will make a statement at the meeting and has also provided travel support to enable the executive director of BurnPits360, Rosie Torres, to provide testimony regarding her personal experience and work. Torres along with her husband, veteran Le Roy Torres, operate a private online registry for veterans with deployment related lung disease and other health issues who, at present, have nowhere else to turn to report their conditions in association with exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. An official registry to record lung and other health problems after exposure to deployment airborne hazards has not yet been implemented despite legal requirements for the VA to establish this registry several months ago. Torres reports she has now received over 3,000 entries on the Burnpit360 registry.
Get Involved in Do More 24
The Sergeant Sullivan Center is recruiting Ambassadors to help with the Do More 24 Challenge - Raise the most individual donations on and win a $15,000 grant from the United Way. This is an exciting challenge and there will be more information sent about it next week.
But it's more than just fundraising. Ambassadors will play a key role in spreading information about post-deployment illnesses and healthcare options to veterans across the country and will receive a chance to win prizes, as well as an Ambassador's information toolkit and tote bag. Register to Be a Sergeant Sullivan Center Ambassador Today!
SAVE THE DATE - !The Annual Sergeant Sullivan Center Awards Ceremony for Excellence in Deployment Health Science will be held onat the Pew Charitable Trusts Conference Center in Washington, DC. This year our honoree is Dr. Steven S. Coughlin. Dr. Coughlin, a former VA epidemiologist, provided testimony to Congress last year about VA's treatment of data related to Gulf War and post-9/11 illnesses that will help generations of veterans get the help they need and lead to improved systems for data sharing and research related to the toxic wounds of war.Read About Our Honoree:"Epidemiologist says VA hid and manipulated data regarding burn pits and Gulf War syndrome," by Kelley Vlahos in The American Conservative.
The SSC needs your help. Do you know a veteran who is suffering? Do you know a surgeon, medical doctor, or researcher? Send them our way-we need to connect every provider, every victim. And more than that, we need your support, in time and money. Every dollar you donate is more than tax deductible, it leads to tangible results and saving lives by supporting grants to the nation's preeminent research institutions, advocacy to create better healthcare, and outreach to sick veterans. More @ http://sgtsullivancenter. org/get-involved/.