By Wendy Sarubbi | October 24, 2013 3:35 pm

Military veterans, their healthcare providers and UCF College of Medicine students will identify better ways to serve the medical needs of those who serve and protect our country at a “Joining Forces” event November 12.

The forum, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the medical education building at Lake Nona, is open to all. The event will include discussions of the unique physical and mental health needs of veterans returning from combat and veterans will provide personal reflections on coping with health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

One of the event leaders is fourth-year medical student Casey deDeugd, who enlisted in the U.S. Air Force through the Health Professions Scholarship Program and hopes to do her residency at a military hospital. During an orthopedics away rotation this year, Casey worked at the Center for the Intrepid at San Antonio Military Medical Center, a research and treatment facility for war veterans with limb amputations.

“I was inspired every day because although their bodies were injured, their spirits were so strong,” Casey said of her experience treating combat veterans. “I look forward to proudly serving as military physician in order to support these heroes in their recovery during or after returning from war because I know that their sacrifice is the reason that we as Americans enjoy freedom every day.”

The College of Medicine’s American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) representatives teamed up with the M.D. student Military Medicine Interest Group to hold the event during November’s National Joining Forces Wellness Week, designed to focus on health concerns of veterans. The students received a $450 grant from the AAMC to help organize the effort. During the event, organizers also hope to promote “Orlando Veterans Stand Down,” an annual program in the spring that supports veterans who are homeless or in need.

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