Augusta, Georgia is unique for a number of reasons. Perhaps you notice the heaping piles of azaleas, or that golf course, or the downtown with much character and few people. Perhaps you notice that the city is “well laid out with wide and spacious streets”, as George Washington once did. Perhaps you notice the paper factory, and it’s none-too-pleasing aroma that drifts with the wind. You might, if you’re in healthcare, notice that there are several major hospital systems in a relatively small town. If you’re in healthcare or the military, what you should notice, is the VA Active Duty Rehabilitation Center.
Augusta’s Uptown VA Medical Center is home to the nation’s only Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit located within a VA facility. It’s integrated. It’s also closely associated with Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, the Army’s home for the Southeast Regional Medical Command. Many injured soldiers come to visit Augusta, and for good reason. The cooperation has garnered the interest of Congress as a model for care. Make sure to visit Laurie Ott and the CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project, who are major advocates of this unit.
The national media also has taken note. This week the unit was featured on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. Also featured was MSgt. Thomas Morrissey, a wounded veteran, and former patient of mine. He is an amazing man who survived a harrowing ambush in Afghanistan, and I’m happy to share his story here. Tom was kind enough to acknowledge the benefit of the OT and PT components of his recovery. The unit is cool, Tom is cool, and I’m proud to see it highlighted on a national platform!