The Centers of the Uniformed Services University (USU) featured in this report align their investment and expertise to the research, education, and public service missions of the university, as well as to the requirements of the Military Health System (MSH) and the broader Department of Defense (DOD). These Centers undertake a diversity of research, training and education efforts in order to deliver an array of knowledge and materiel products that close identified gaps in the MHS. This year marks the second anniversary of the USU Council of Center Directors, a committee established to highlight the work of the Centers and to improve collaboration and create efficiency among this diverse group of investments. The Council has also completed an 18-month study resulting in a first-of-its-kind policy to formalize a framework to define a Center and provide a pathway by which to more consistently and effectively manage efforts in various topic areas.
Always mindful of an imperative to develop solutions, and as a means to press this goal, this 2019 report can be found here and features recent deliverables from the Centers. As one can see in this report, the mission space of the Uniformed Services University is broad and ranges from global health engagement to the development of radiation countermeasures and identification of, and treatments for, infectious diseases; from simulation-based training to more effective ways to enhance warfighter performance and resilience; from the innovation of critical-care decision support tools to improvements in diagnosing and mitigating traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and the risk of suicide; from dental and nursing research to the human genome.
The Uniformed Services University serves as the leadership academy for military health. It is also the academic hub that supports and advances military medicine and the health of U.S. forces around the globe. The USU Centers play a vital role in these missions. They are always at the ready to tackle new challenges and priorities of the DOD. We hope that you enjoy this year’s report. We encourage you to take time to learn more about our university or even visit one or more of our Centers in the near future!
Todd E. Rasmussen, MD, Colonel, USAF Medical Corps
Professor & Associate Dean for Clinical Research Chair
Council of Center Directors
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
The Center for Deployment Psychology was developed to promote the education of psychologists and other behavioral health specialists about issues pertaining to the deployment of military personnel.
As the duration and frequency of military deployments increase, service members and their families are faced with increasing behavioral health difficulties associated with or exacerbated by deployment. The Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), an innovative Department of Defense training consortium, has been established to better meet the deployment-related mental and behavioral health needs of military personnel and their families. The CDP is a tri-service center funded by Congress to train military and civilian psychologists, psychology interns/residents and other behavioral health professionals to provide high quality deployment-related behavioral health services to military personnel and their families.
The Center for Global Health Engagement (CGHE) was established in 2016 to provide operational support to DoD global health engagement in fulfillment of national security objectives. The center provides GHE training courses to active duty and reserve personnel, federal civilians, interagency and other partners, while maintaining reach-back global health engagement expertise to combatant commands.
The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine was established as a collaborative intramural federal program involving the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Institutes of Health developed to bring together the expertise of clinicians and scientists across disciplines to catalyze innovative approaches to traumatic brain injury (TBI) research.
The Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR) was established to advance the rehabilitative care for service members with combat-related injuries, particularly those with orthopedic trauma, limb loss and neurological complications. The goal of CRSR is to support synergistic research projects within the Military Healthcare System (MHS) to enhance new discovery and optimize rehabilitation strategies to promote successful recovery, return to duty and community reintegration of military beneficiaries. The CRSR works directly with other DoD/VA Centers of Excellence to provide a unique platform for fostering innovative research by incorporating advanced technology, partnering with industry and academic institutions, and disseminating knowledge to the future leaders of military medicine.
As part of the Department of Psychiatry of our federal medical school, USU, CSTS was established in 1987 as a public private partnership of USU and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. The center’s approach integrates science, clinical care, community needs and the health of the nation. Its team is multi-disciplinary with expertise in disaster psychiatry, military medicine and psychiatry, social and organizational psychology, neuroscience, family violence, workplace preparedness and public education.
CHAMP is the DoD Center of Excellence that works to optimize the health and fitness of our warfighters. By combining the efforts of research, medical, and operational communities, working with all branches to implement changes, and developing policy with DoD leadership, CHAMP creates practical solutions that ensure a healthier force.
The Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management was established in 2003 and formally moved to USU in 2013. The DVCIPM is organized within the USU Department of Military and Emergency Medicine (MEM) and supports Tri-Service and Veterans Health Administration collaborations in clinical practice, research and education.
Our mission is to conduct infectious disease clinical research of importance to the military through a unique, adaptive, and collaborative network, to inform health policy and practice and disseminate findings in peer reviewed literature
“The Murtha Cancer Center Research Program (MCCRP) is a Uniformed Services University (USU) Center and is chartered by USU. It is established to conduct and support basic and advanced cancer research and translational cancer research programs aligned with public and private partnerships to improve the outcomes of Active Duty members and DoD beneficiaries with cancer and cancer risk factors. MCC is supported by the Defense Health Agency via USU and is affiliated with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). In addition to WRNMMC, MCC also affiliates with other DoD Medical Treatment Facilities throughout the Military Health System."
The Murtha Cancer Center (MCC) is a Uniformed Services University (USU) Center chartered by USU. It is an integral part of the USU School of Medicine (SoM) and Department of Surgery (DoS) as well as reporting to the Chief of Staff Office at Walter Reed NMMC. The MCC is designated by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs as the only DoD Cancer Center of Excellence. It is established to conduct and support basic and advanced cancer research, translational cancer research, and education programs aligned with public and private partnerships to improve the outcomes of Active Duty members and DoD beneficiaries with cancer and cancer risk factors. The MCC is built on the robust foundation of the integrated National Capital Region tri-service clinical cancer services and the three multidisciplinary translational cancer research Centers of Excellence (TRCoE): Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR), GYN Center of Excellence (GYN CoE) and the Clinical Breast Cancer Project (CBCP). These four components: MCC, CBCP, CPDR, and GYN CoE are administratively organized as a single entity under the MCC through the USU and the DoS. Together, they form the nexus of the DoD Cancer Clinical Trials Network which supports DoD Service Members and dependents.
The MCC focuses on the prevention, screening, treatment, rehabilitation, and survivorship of Service Members (SM) who suffer from cancer, including translating research and development (R&D) into novel and innovative treatment and rehabilitation options. As indicated by the ASD(HA) Initial Capabilities Document 2017 resulting from the Cancer Care Capabilities-Based Assessment, the ultimate MCC goal for the Military Health System (MHS) is that cancer is prevented, screened for, detected, treated, cured, and rehabilitated, or impacts of cancer and cancer treatment are mitigated so SMs are returned to duty, re-classified to a new duty position, or reintegrated into civilian/VA life with highest possible quality of life. MCC's clinical, educational, and cancer research capabilities are designed to enable the MHS to effectively and efficiently support a medically ready force and provide world class cancer services for the MHS.
The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) is an academic center tasked with leading federal, and coordinating national, efforts to develop and propagate core curricula, education, training and research in all-hazards disaster health. It was established in 2008 by Homeland Security Presidential Directive-21 as a Center of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and receives additional program support from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.
By establishing core curricula and competencies in disaster medicine and public health education, the NCDMPH will better prepare the nation to respond to natural and man-made disasters or other catastrophic public health events.
The Surgical Critical Care Initiative (SC2i) is a USU research program established in October 2013 to develop, translate, and validate biology-driven critical care. SC2i largely builds upon legacy efforts to provide care that is centered on an individual patient’s biology and oriented to both long and short term outcomes.
To realize its vision, SC2i draws considerable expertise from the premier academic centers and research-focused organizations which form its core: Uniformed Services University of Health, Duke University, Emory University–Grady Memorial Hospital, the Naval Medical Research Center, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Decision Q.
Facilitating tissue acquisition and data analysis for improved decision-making algorithms are SC2i's principal focuses. Once validated, it is expected these efforts will subsequently lead to the rapid integration of these data streams into clinical practice, maximizing outcomes across any discipline requiring complex medical decision-making, including surgery, critical care, emergency medicine, orthopedics, transplant, and oncology. Approaches developed by SC2i are expected to simultaneously improve the quality and reduce the cost of care in critically-ill patients, for the benefit of both military and civilian healthcare systems.
The Tri-Service Center for Oral Health Studies (TSCOHS), a service of the Postgraduate Dental College, is chartered by the Department of Defense TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) to provide research and data collection services relating to the provision of dental care to all beneficiaries in the Department of Defense. The Center provides consultative services to students and other faculty in the Uniformed Services University regarding oral health research topics, general dental and oral health subjects, and data sources relating to dental care in the military.