For American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, chronic back pain is an all too common complaint.
Its estimated that in the Army alone, back injuries affect more than 150,000 active-duty soldiers a year.
The Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch is trying to ease that burden. The center is offering a free consultation and physical therapy session to servicemen and women who have been on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan and suffer from chronic back pain. Those who need surgery or other forms of therapy may also qualify for reduced-cost care.
Soldiers can develop serious back problems as a result of carrying heavy equipment and sitting or crouching in the same position for long periods, said Dr. Edward Mkrdichian, a neurosurgeon at the institute.
Mkrdichian especially wanted to help injured soldiers because of his ties to Iraq. He fled Iraq with his family in 1971, he said.
“I wanted to give something back to these people who went there and sacrificed their life, let alone their health and family, to liberate Iraq,” he said.
For more information, call 800 411-2466
HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr today announced the release of $13.4 million for loan repayments to nurses who agree to practice in facilities with critical shortages and for schools of nursing to provide loans to students who will become nurse faculty. The funds were made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed Feb. 17, 2009, by President Obama.
“The need for more nurses is great. Over the next decade, nurse retirements and an aging U.S. population, among other factors, will create the need for hundreds of thousands of new nurses,” Deputy Secretary Corr said. “The awards from these two HRSA programs will help us meet projected demand for their services.”
The awards come from two programs administered by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program and the Nurse Faculty Loan Program.
Funding announced today under the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) totals $8.1 million. Those funds, awarded competitively, will help 100 registered nurses pay their nursing education debts. The program repays 60 percent of the loan balance of registered nurses in exchange for two years of service at facilities with a critical shortage of nurses. (For a list of facilities employing the first 100 NELRP award winners from ARRA funds, see the attached table.) Participants may be eligible to work a third year and receive additional repayment assistance.
Funds announced today under the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) total $5.3 million. Those funds go to schools of nursing to support the training of 500 masters and doctoral nursing students who plan to become nurse faculty after completing their education. Following graduation, loan recipients may cancel up to 85 percent of the loan principal and interest in exchange for four years of service as a full-time nursing faculty at a school of nursing.
Approximately 50,000 individuals interested in going to nursing school are turned away due to insufficient capacity at schools of nursing. The two main factors limiting the ability to train more nurses are a faculty shortage and insufficient clinical training sites.
For additional information about the Loan Repayment Program and other Recovery Act programs for health care professionals, visit the HRSA website.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov
HR3200 House Bill / Health Care Plan 2009