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Departing DoD Official Reflects on Military Health System Improvements

By Amaani Lyle DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2016 — As she prepares to step down Jan. 20, the Defense Department’s top medical official reflected on her five-and-a-half year tenure at the Pentagon, notably a comprehensive review of the Military Health System.

Dr. Karen S. Guice, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, performing the duties of the assistant secretary for health affairs, focused the MHS review on the safety and quality of health care in military treatment facilities, which provides health care for more than 9.6 million beneficiaries.

“That’s something that we can look back on as collaborative, good work that really has set a trajectory of improvement for the military health system,” Guice said in a DoD News interview.

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Study: Prostate Cancer-Vasectomy Link Weakens

Mortality, incidence, grade all unrelated to procedure

Action Points

  • One of the largest studies to date showed no association between vasectomy and fatal prostate cancer.
  • Note that the study extended the lack of association to prostate cancer mortality and the risk of developing high-grade disease after vasectomy.

One of the largest studies to date showed no association between vasectomy and fatal prostate cancer.

An analysis involving 363,726 men showed no increased rate of vasectomy among 7,451 men who died of prostate cancer. A separate analysis of 9,133 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer also showed no association with vasectomy, compared with 57,000 men who did not develop prostate cancer. Additionally, no vasectomy association emerged from an analysis limited to men who developed high-grade prostate cancer, as reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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By Sig Christenson | San Antonio Express-News | Published: September 25, 2016

SAN ANTONIO (Tribune News Service) — At the controls of a T-38 training jet high over Hondo, 1st Lt. Alex Lauer dueled at up to 485 mph against Capt. Christopher “Fiat” Umphres, who has 450 combat hours in Afghanistan.

Lauer was “shot down” just once in the mock dogfight, demonstrating his growing skills.

Lauer, 24, is near the end of an innovative 12-week course at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph that has increased graduation rates in the Air Force, which is struggling to fill a huge fighter pilot shortage as aviators burned out by deployments, budget cuts and extraneous duties flee for jobs elsewhere.

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ACP’s View on Newest Doctor-Nurse Battle

VA proposal pits nurses against physicians; does it have to be this way

by Bob Doherty, American College of Physicians

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs proposal to allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to have full and independent practice authority, preempting state laws that hold them back, has triggered another ugly fight between the medical and nursing professions. The American Nurses Association supports it, the AMA opposes it.

The fight over the VA’s proposal continues a long-standing battle that plays out regularly in state legislatures, as nurses have sought to expand their “scope of practice” and eliminate existing “physician supervision” requirements, while state medical societies have battled back.

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Editor’s corner: What the military can teach physician leaders

Like me, the national political conventions taking place these last two weeks might have you thinking more about leadership and the kind of leader the country so desperately needs right now.

But it’s not just the country that needs great leaders, it’s also healthcare. As decisions are made that will determine how our healthcare system will work in the future, it’s important the voices of doctors are heard in the discussion.

But too often, that’s not happening. Doctors don’t have a seat at the table and there’s agreement that competent, effective physician leaders are in short supply. To ensure physicians selected for leadership positions are successful, organizations must develop and support them, a message that was made loud and clear at the American College of Healthcare Executives earlier this year.


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A a big leap forward for cancer treatment.

IBM is teaming up with the federal government to bring Watson technology into America’s largest hospital and healthcare network. The initiative is one of the first public-private partnerships setup as part of Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot program.

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Wanted: 1,800 New VA Physicians

HealthLeaders Media News, June 28, 2016

Making the Department of Veterans Affairs health system an attractive place to work is a key priority in the wake of negative reports about wait times and reimbursements to physicians in the private sector.

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Allen F. Morey, MDDistinguished Contribution Awardfor outstanding contributions to the science and education of civilian and military urologists in the performance of urological reconstructive surgery as well as 18 years of philanthropic missions to Honduras.


Col. Paul A. Friedrichs, MD – Presidential Citation for outstanding leadership in the United States Air Force Medical Corps, for support of combat operations in Iraq, and for leadership in the AMA House of Delegates.


Roger R. Dmochowski, MD – Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership in the specialty of female pelvic medicine and reconstruction, and for development of AUA Guidelines.

The Defense Department is funding a device that produces 1,000 pills in 24 hours and raises the possibility that hospitals and pharmacies could make their own pills as needed.

By Martha Bebinger, WBUR. This story is part of a reporting partnership among NPR, WBUR and Kaiser Health News.

In a lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all the work that happens in a vast pharmaceutical manufacturing plant happens in a device the size of your kitchen refrigerator. And it’s fast. This prototype machine produces 1,000 pills in 24 hours, faster than it can take to produce some batches in a factory.

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A $13 billion U.S. aircraft carrier is about to hit the open seas.

It’s the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the most expensive and most advanced warship ever built. The ship was christened in November 2013 and is scheduled to be commissioned this month.

The Naval behemoth can house more than 4,500 people and weighs 90,000 tons. The CVN-78 is the lead ship in the Ford class of aircraft carriers, replacing some of the U.S. Navy’s existing Nimitz-class carriers. At first glance, both classes have a similar-looking hull, but the Ford class introduces a series of technical innovations designed to improve carrier’s operating efficiency, and reduce operating costs and crew requirements.

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The U.S. Air Force is developing a new bomber that promises to secure the U.S. advantage in modern warfare.

The next-generation long-range strike bomber, recently awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp. NOC, +0.18% for development, will not be designed to rely on as yet undeveloped technologies, as is so often the case with new aircraft and weaponry. Instead, the aircraft will combine and fully exploit existing advanced stealth technology, integrated software, ordnance and countermeasures.

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