Human Performance Optimization (HPO) has drawn considerable attention within the Department of Defense (DoD). In January 2004, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum stating that the Military Health System (MHS) must develop programs to optimize human performance. This statement generated significant interest, and was again emphasized in the DoD Quadrennial Review Report 2006, with specific dictates for the MHS to address gaps in the area of human performance enhancement, in particular as directly related to mission requirements. In May 2005, the director of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) distributed an innovative report entitled "Human Performance Optimization and Military Missions." This report was based upon interviews with various operational units, as well as discussions among various medical and research persons within the Department of Defense who were working in the area of human performance. The ONA report resulted in Health Affairs requesting Uniformed Services University (USU) to host a conference to initiate the development of a strategic plan for HPO in DoD. The conference was held 7-9 June 2006. The conference concluded with specific recommendations identifying urgent requirements to organize, coordinate, and integrate the HPO process in the DoD. This report was presented to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness was asked to address the principal questions of where does HPO in the DoD need to go, who will do it, and how will it be done. On 14 and 15 November another ONA sponsored meeting was held to discuss HPO in DoD. Multiple DoD agencies and services were assembled and the group consensus validated the USU-generated HPO report. USU faculty members Francis G. O'Connor, COL, MC, and Dr. Patricia Deuster, PhD, MPH, have been actively involved in the Health Affairs planning process that is presently charting a future course for HPO in the military. Drs. O'Connor and Deuster have forwarded a detailed proposal to nominate USU as home to a future HPO "clearinghouse", envisioned as a state-of-the-art translational research center. Together with the DoD movement in the area of HPO, this report outlines a proposal to organize and structure the University's effort in this arena, and to move forward in our continuing effort to "Care for those in Harm's Way".
The mission of USU is to support the readiness of America’s Warfighter and the health and well-being of the military community by educating and developing uniformed health professionals, scientists and leaders; by conducting cutting-edge, military-relevant research, and by providing operational support to units around the world.
Since our first graduating class in 1980, the USU's MDs. Nurses and graduates in biomedical sciences provide exceptional service through service in the U.S. Military and civilian careers of distinction. Today, America's Medical School has 691 enrolled students and 5,043 graduates. Over 1,300 graduates in Biomedical Sciences lead aggressive research in medical research. Today's 663 graduates of the School of Nursing blend science, research and field training in advanced practice and PhD degrees. The USU's Postgraduate Dental College provides advanced degree's to the military's dental community, graduating 72 students since establishment.
Research At USU
The University's research program covers a range of clinical and other topics important to both the military and public health. Infectious diseases, trauma medicine, health maintenance, and cancer are areas of particular strength. Researchers are also making important new efforts in state-of-the-art fields that cut across disciplines, such as genomics, proteomics, and drug-delivery mechanisms.
USU is home to many different Centers and Institutes, which help advance the university's research, education and public service missions. Faculty members and students collaborate with other leading experts at USU's Centers and Institutes on projects that push incredible boundaries across manifold disciplines of biomedical science. Their work is shaping military medicine and world health in many positive, powerful ways.
Military At USU
The USU's military unique curriculum is supported by military professions from all services who teach USU's military and civilian students. All military personnel are supported by the USU Brigade, the Brigade staff are managed by the Military Personnel Office.
AFRRI At USU
AFRRI mission is to preserve the health and performance of U.S. military personnel and to protect humankind through research that advances understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation.
To these ends, the institute collaboratively researches the biological effects of ionizing radiation and provides medical training and emergency response to manage incidents related to radiation exposure.