The Medical Society of New Jersey and the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Team up to Offer Special Program to Returning Veterans
Lawrenceville, NJ – Today, the Medical Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) unveiled their plans to join forces in launching the “Healers and Heroes (2H)” Program. This unique program is designed to bring awareness, solutions and healthcare linkages for issues affecting New Jersey’s service members and veterans during and after their time of service to our country.
Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General, said the Healers and Heroes Program will create a special bond between healthcare providers and their patients.
“By using physicians with military experience, the Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard will be reassured their doctor understands their needs,” Rieth said.
The 2H program has been established for physicians interested in assisting service members and veterans obtain necessary, timely and proper medical care. Through this program, service members will be linked to volunteer physicians promoting an open dialogue in which to discuss health-related matters confidentially. This consultation can be held at MSNJ headquarters in Lawrenceville or in the physician’s office.
“The program’s goal is to have our service members and veterans find relief and comfort in knowing the physician they are speaking to really understands their specific situation and is in a position to refer them to the proper channels for follow-up,” said Michael T. Kornett, CEO of the Medical Society of New Jersey.
For the first year of implementation, the 2H program will only be available to service members of the New Jersey National Guard who have been deployed in the last 18-months. Plans to expand the program in the future to include more service members in New Jersey are being addressed at this time.
MSNJ is recruiting physicians with military experience to participate in the 2H program, developing a voluntary support panel for the New Jersey National Guard population.
There is no question there have been barriers for service men and women in obtaining essential healthcare services. Research studies conducted by the RAND Corporation Center for Military Health Policy indicate that approximately 20% of service members who have been deployed return home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or depression, with only half seeking care. The reasons for not seeking care fall into several categories: the absence of community linkages, stigmas associated with care and costs associated with treatment.
“I know we can count on our members that have served our country to step up and volunteer to participate in this program,” said Donald Cinotti, MD, President of MSNJ. “This one-on-one conversation with veteran physicians, who understand their position, will deliver something special to these heroes who serve our country with pride and dignity.”
Materials detailing the program will be distributed by DMAVA throughout its statewide network and by accessing its website at www.njhealersandheroes.com.
For more information about the 2H program, kindly contact MSNJ at (609) 896-1766 x203 or visit www.msnj.org.