BU School of Medicine Launches Military Health Center

It will address service-related trauma among local veterans.

The list of mental and physical health issues often suffered by American veterans is notoriously long; from PTSD to rising suicide rates, it’s no secret that the lingering effects of military service can far outlast a war.

The Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is making a public effort to alleviate veterans’ struggle by launching the Center For Military and Post Deployment Health. The center, which opened its doors in October, will be a home base for BU’s experts in military-related trauma, stress, brain injuries, and suicides.

Existing programs focusing on military medical issues at BUSM will now coordinate all of their research within the center, as announced at Tuesday’s fourth-annual Joining Forces Conference, which showcased new efforts in the field of military healthcare.

Projects made possible by the center might include a new, veteran-focused curriculum for medical, dental, and social work students, as well as the integration of that curriculum into existing ROTC programs throughout the university. This way, students who wish to enter the field of veteran and military care can better understand the nuances of traumatic brain injury and PTSD before they’ve even left school.

According to a statement from BUSM dean and provost Karen Antman, blueprints for a military health center have been in the works for more than a year, drawing more medical faculty members to planning workshops than any other campus-wide program. “Our faculty have substantial expertise in trauma, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, environmental exposures, blast ear injuries, suicide, and gender issues in deployment health, and are clearly committed to serving active duty and veteran military families,” she said in the statement.

The Center For Military and Post Deployment Health will be headed by Dr. Anna DePold Hohler, a BU associate professor of neurology, assistant dean of clinical and strategic affiliations, and an eight-year Army veteran.