Is Adult Stem Cell Therapy
On August 26, 2008, Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times reported in her
article: Home From War, Veterans Say Head Injuries Go Unrecognized that, “…[Sergeant
Wood’s] TBI has impacted [his] ability to get a good job… adding that he fears the best
position he can get now is as ‘a greeter at Wal-Mart.’” This year, DoD initiatives on
Resilience, Recovery, and Reintegration through the Defense Centers of Excellence for
Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) do nothing to change this likely
outcome. The Department of Labor’s “Heroes to Work” Campaign, part of DCoE’s
reintegration effort, relies on initiative from the veteran/active duty soldier suffering from brain
injury, post traumatic stress disorder and/or depression that is most likely non-existent. Even
the change to security clearance process, which started in May 08, no longer requiring
applicants to report mental health treatment for combat-related injuries, only opens doors. It
does not walk them through. Why is the United States government so unequipped to handle
veteran outrage? Afterall, a foreshadowing of this problem came as far back as 1972 when
Senator Thomas Eagleton was briefly a Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, sharing the
ticket with Senator George McGovern.
In 2008, The JMA Foundation developed and proposed a Veteran Community
Reintegration Program (VCRP), which modified DCoE’s approach to community reintegration
through a 24 month employment program that introduces veterans/active duty soldiers to the
proven results of adult stem cell therapy. At its core, the VCRP is an aggressive employment
training program combined with individualized physical/cognitive rehabilitation that ultimately
creates a support network for Afghanistan/Iraq war veterans affected by brain injury, post
traumatic stress disorder and/or depression. Hope, a valuable word in the mental health
community, is returned to our deserving soldiers.
JMA’s congressional earmark: the VCRP and three-year Study, would have
focused on two principal gaps that currently exist in our knowledge of, and efforts concerning
long term community reintegration. 1.) As evidenced by bills such as HR. 2201 which calls for
a new study of this matter, we do not know enough about the care our wounded veterans are or
are not receiving. 2.) The JMA Program began to address community reintegration through an
aggressive employment program.
Though Senate bill S. 1233 is designed to address some of the known issues in
long term integration efforts for these veterans and authorizes $48 million specifically for
community integration programs for veterans with brain injury, many of the measures called
for in that bill will require some time to begin to make a difference in the care that our veterans
are receiving. Nor is there a call for an “independent” study of the problem.
Long term employment is the best indicator of reintegration success. Consequently, the
Veteran Community Reintegration Program would have developed ongoing relationships
between government agencies, independent organizations serving U.S. veterans, corporate
America, and veterans suffering from brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder and/or
Last year Senator Domenici’s legislation requiring insurance plans to treat mental
health patients on par with those who have physical ailments became part of the bailout bill.
Although a significant step forward, this legislation looses much of its appeal since a possible
solution to many of the concerns related to mental health already exists, but is just not being
implemented. Our Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans would have been well served had money
been appropriated last week to fund the Veteran Community Reintegration Program.