News Release

Monday, September 15, 2008

NIH, DoD, and VA host two day conference on Trauma Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gender, Race & Other Socioeconomic Factors, October 1-2, 2008

As we know from history, health innovations developed in the civilian and military contexts are synergistic; what is learned in each context has relevance to the other and contributes greatly to improved health of all citizens. The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is pleased to collaborate with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DoD/DCoE) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on a two day scientific conference entitled "Trauma Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gender, Race & Other Socioeconomic Factors."

The conference will be held at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH Campus on October 1-2, 2008 from 8am to 5pm each day. This event will address what is known and what needs to be learned about the role of gender, race, and other sociodemographic factors in the identification and treatment of gender and race factors in traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury-related adjustment conditions. Identifying and closing knowledge gaps in these areas is a shared goal of the sponsoring agencies as they relate directly to health and quality of life for civilian, military, and veteran populations as well as their family members. Selected speakers will include S. Ward Casscells, M.D., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD; RADM Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., Acting United States Surgeon General; Brigadier General Loree S. Sutton, M.D, Director, DCoE; Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director NIH; Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., Director, ORWH; the Honorable Margaret Gianinni, M.D., F.A.A.P, Director, HHS Office of Disability; Joel Kupersmith, M.D., Chief Research and Development Officer (CRADO), VA Office of Research and Development (ORD); and Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff Family Foundation.

Brigadier General Loree Sutton, M.D., Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury noted "this conference is a tremendous opportunity to partner with other organizations to improve the lives of our Warriors and their Families. Partnerships and collaboration, especially in the areas of research and identifying best practices, will be vital to addressing the psychological health needs of our Warriors."

Conference participants will review the best existing science on trauma spectrum disorders related to military deployment such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. In addition to exploring how research can lead to improved care, the conference will help in identifying evidence-based strategies o better assess and treat psychological health issues and traumatic brain injury. During the conference, invited speakers and guests will explore gender and other factors specific to: a) psychological health needs of populations exposed to high stress, traumatic events, and deployment; b) traumatic brain injury (TBI); and c) treatment outcomes.

Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health said "by bringing together the best in research the NIH, the DoD, and the VA have to offer, this trans-federal initiative will provide a forum for civilian and military researchers to share experiences from both the laboratory and field." She further noted that these efforts will in turn "develop better research strategies to address how gender and race/ethnicity may affect the identification, prevention, treatment, and long term care issues related to trauma stress disorders. ORWH is pleased to work with its NIH IC colleagues as well as sister agencies in the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs on such an important and vital concern to all Americans."

For registration and agenda information, please go to:

NINDS ( is the nation's primary supporter of biomedical research on the brain and nervous system. Information from the NINDS about cerebral palsy is available at

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) mission is to reduce the burden of mental and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. More information is available at the NIMH website,

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute's Web site at

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. For more information about NIH's Office of Research on Women's Health, visit

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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