Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Supporting Our Veterans
The Amputee Coalition is proud to partner with the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that our Veterans and active duty service members who lose a limb get the very best rehabilitative and prosthetic care they need to live a full, productive life.
Each year, more than 7,000 amputations are performed in the Veterans Health Administration. Like the general population, most of these amputations result from complications from diabetes and vascular disease. The Amputee Coalition and the Veterans Health Administration have partnered to bring the core components of our Amputee Resilience Program to its Amputee System of Care, ensuring that peer support and self-management education classes are available to our Veterans who lose a limb.
The Amputee Coalition and the VHA also have partnered to ensure that caregivers of Veterans with limb loss receive the support they need. Being a caregiver can be extremely stressful. To support these caregivers, we have developed training and resources to help them manage the stress as well as provide tools to enhance their ability to provide for their loved ones.
Supporting Our Active Duty Service Members
Since 2001, more than 1,800 active duty service members have lost a limb while fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In partnership with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Amputee Coalition has worked to ensure that our returning war fighters who lose a limb in combat receive the very best care possible. Our peer visitor program has been adopted as a part of the rehabilitation program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, Brooke Army Medical Center/Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, TX, and Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA. Each of these facilities has its own Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitor Trainers to ensure that it has a cadre of Certified Peer Visitors to welcome home our Wounded Warriors. These Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitors visit thousands of service men and women who are recovering from losing a limb in combat to ensure they get the support they need.
In addition, we have served as advisors on the development of the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Lower Limb Amputation and the Care of the Combat Amputee. These publications have set the gold standard for amputee care and rehabilitation in both the military and civilian healthcare systems.
Working with the Wounded Warrior Project
Our commitment to our active duty service members and Veterans extends beyond our work with the Veterans Health Administration and Department of Defense. We have worked closely with the Wounded Warrior Project to bring our programs and services to Wounded Warriors who transition out of active duty, incorporating our peer visitor curriculum into the training for their peer mentors.