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Oct. 27 symposium focuses on rehabilitation challenges facing military personnel, veterans and their dependents

Dr. David Cistola
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Oct. 8, 2008)   —   East Carolina University will host a symposium Oct. 27 focusing on the challenges of wartime military personnel returning from deployment. Some challenges are health-related, such as recovery from blast injuries and post traumatic stress syndrome. Others include employment, financial difficulties and the stress of readjusting to family and community life.

"Operation Re-Entry: Rehabilitation Challenges Facing Military Personnel, Veterans and Their Dependents" will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the Health Sciences Building, College of Nursing wing, Lecture Hall 1102 at the intersection of West Fifth Street and MacGregor Downs Road. Registration deadline is Oct. 17.

Speakers and panelists will include health care and military affairs experts from Camp Lejeune and its Naval Hospital, Fort Bragg and Womack Army Medical Center, the Durham VA Medical Center, Fayetteville State University, ECU faculty and staff. Sessions will target physical, psychosocial, vocational and educational aspects of rehabilitation.

"The military health care system is overwhelmed and understaffed, particularly in addressing mental health issues with returning soldiers and Marines," said Dr. David P. Cistola, associate dean for research and professor of clinical laboratory science in ECU' College of Allied Health Sciences and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Brody School of Medicine. "East Carolina University and its sister institutions stand ready to help by offering our expertise in cutting edge research, workforce training and clinical care. This meeting will bring military and academic experts to the same table to discuss innovative partnerships for serving those who have served our country."

Objectives of the conference are to inform members of the academic community of the rehabilitation-related challenges facing military personnel and the military and VA health care systems; to familiarize members of the military and VA systems with the rehabilitation-related resources and expertise at ECU and its sister institutions in the region; and to identify opportunities for collaboration and partnership between the academic, military and VA systems to address critical needs in rehabilitation. Posters also will be presented.

The symposium is sponsored by ECU, the Regional Rehabilitation Center of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and the Eastern Area Health Education Center.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Fee for the symposium is $35. For conference details and online registration, go to For questions, call Allied Health and Public Health Education at Eastern AHEC at 252-744-5205 or e-mail Individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at 252-328-6799 (V) or 252-328-0899 (TTY).


Contact: Crystal Baity | 252-744-3764