“Joining Forces” with Michelle Obama to Assist Veterans and their Families

UCSF School of Nursing “Joining Forces” with Michelle Obama to Assist Veterans and their Families

The UCSF School of Nursing is an active participant in the Joining Forces campaign, a commitment from nurses across the country to serve veterans and military families.  The initiative, announced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in a recent meeting with nurse leaders, includes a broad, coordinated effort to further educate our nation’s 3 million nurses to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families.

CAPT C.B. Cooper II, USN, Executive Director of Joining Forces, notes, “Partnering schools will integrate into their curricula teaching the unique health challenges, as well as best practices, associated with caring for this distinct patient population,” including content on common problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and depression.

In February the School, under the leadership of Dr. Shirley Evers-Manly, sponsored a joint conference with the Bay Area Black Nurses Association and the UCSF Medical Center that emphasized the Joining Forces initiative and pledged its commitment to joining the effort.  One conference presenter, Dr. Sandra Weiss, UCSF Nurse Scientist and Robert C. & Delphine Wentland Eschbach Endowed Chair in Mental Health is the recipient of the 2009 Editor’s Award for Most Frequently Cited Article - "Neurobiological Alterations Associated with Traumatic Stress" published in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care.  

Under the direction of current American Psychiatric Nurses Association President-Elect, Bethany Phoenix, PhD, RN, CNS, the Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing program at UCSF is recognized as a leader in developing curriculum related to the psychological effects of traumatic experience. A previous HRSA training grant, “Mental Health Nursing Care for Victims of Trauma,” funded development of coursework and clinical training on trauma-related mental health problems. 

The School of Nursing is currently evaluating how existing curricular resources related to combat-related trauma can be adapted for use in multiple programs across the School.  The School is building partnerships with clinical agencies serving the military community to discuss how UCSF Nursing faculty and students can best master the clinical competencies needed to care for these “wounded warriors” and their families.