Two University of Arizona student veteran groups intent on drawing attention to the need to focus more readily on health-care needs of returning veterans are hosting a public forum.
Med Vets and Law School Vets are co-hosting "Putting a Face on Veterans' Healthcare," scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. April 12 in the Kiewit Auditorium at The University of Arizona Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell Ave.
Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the U.S., is slated to speak at the forum, which is free and open to the public.
Carmona, also a trauma surgeon, is founding trauma director for the UA's trauma care system. He also is a Distinguished Professor with the UA's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also is a decorated Green Beret who twice earned the Purple Heart and other decorations for his nation.
The forum is among numerous other units and initiatives at the UA and UA South meant to draw attention to the particular needs of returning veterans, and to specifically aid them.
Others include the UA's Veterans Education and Transition Services and the Student Vets Center, Veterans Court, Serv-Transition Courses for Veterans and range of student-led clubs. Resources also exist for employees who are veterans.
Med Vets and Law School Vets are student organizations within their respective colleges – the College of Medicine and the James E. Rogers College of Law.
The forum is designed to draw attention to the particular needs and experiences of returning veterans. In particular, veterans may have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life and experience feelings of alienation, depression, anxiety along with higher instances of suicide and homelessness, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports.
The UA student groups hope that by drawing attention to the particular needs of veterans' health care, it will provide members of the general public and also current and future health-care providers with a greater understanding of what veterans and their families have experienced.
Students in both groups are primarily veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and share a joint goal of helping returning veterans at UA and elsewhere. Another priority for both groups is exploring ways to build a stronger rapport between practitioners and patients.