Post Traumatic Stress Disorder research center to be set up in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder research center to be set up in Albany

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July 26, 2007

Dougherty County -- The Defense Appropriations Bill allocates seven million dollars for improvements at Albany's Marine Base. Part of that money will go toward a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder center at Phoebe Putney Hospital.

Hospital officials are already seeing South Georgia military men and women in need of their help. Experts say up to 35 percent of the military men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 And South Georgia veterans are victims of it. Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick said "we have also noticed in our V.A. Clinic here that there has been more and more demand for mental health counseling. So this is another thing that is telling us there is a need there."

The horrors of a war with no front lines and an often unseen enemy, has given many citizen soldiers returning home disorders, often long after they have left the military. Phoebe Vice President for Administration Lynda Hammond said "we do see a lot of it coming after the fact, they may have been home three months, six months, a year sometimes. And it can be shortlived, but it can go on for a long time."

Because of their central location to many military bases, Phoebe has worked for 15 months to host a Technical Regional Center to study and treat PTSD. Phoebe's plan is to treat patients outside a military hospital setting. Wernick said "to be part of the research of it, so we can make a community setting real convenient for people in this region to come to, as opposed to potentially having to go onto a military base."

The Appropriations bill allocated two million dollars to Phoebe to establish the PTSD Center. Still very much in the planning stage, Phoebe officials don't know exactly where the center will be housed, but they say they know they have to find the best treatment for America's troops. Hmmond said "so that we can get advice from the best experts in the world, and partner with others to make sure we are doing the best that we can."

 The M.C.L.B. Base in Albany was allocated five million dollars in the Appropriations bill, to set up advanced technology, information, and data centers to better control the Marine Corps equipment, which is monitored and tracked worldwide from Albany's base.

Congressman Sanford Bishop is a member of the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Defense, which allocates the 459 billion dollars in Defense Funds.

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