Though hostilities have ceased in many parts of the world, the men and women of our armed forces continue to deal with the aftermath of their service, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. The Department of Defense has reinforced its position that the nation has a moral obligation to give veterans the care, benefits and job opportunities they so richly deserve.
Washington State is already hard at work serving the needs of veterans in numerous military hospitals, from Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Hospital Oak Harbor to Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis McChord. These medical centers are joined by hospitals and clinics throughout the state, which not only provide ongoing care, but engage in health education and research.
Washington is famous for its robust life sciences sector, anchored by the University of Washington, Washington State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Infectious Disease Research Institute. Together, these organizations have been awarded nearly 2,000 research grants by the National Institute in Health, focusing on everything from new interventions in the treatment of cancer to new prosthetics that give amputees a new lease on an active life.
Innovation and cutting edge research
Our critical mass of world-class research facilities, nimble life sciences companies and global health organizations are discovering new ways to treat veterans and their families, providing new opportunities for businesses in the life sciences field who want to become part of a collaborative, can-do culture of innovation and invention in Washington State. These research labs and companies work closely with local organizations such as The Brain Injury Alliance of Washington and the University of Washington Brain Injury Model System to bring new insights into injuries and conditions experienced by our fighting forces as they return from service.
Washington is already looking to the future of defense health. Researchers, educators and military leaders are looking into new research capabilities in the state, including the creation of a TBI/PTS Research Facility that would bring brain and psychological trauma research under a single roof. The University of Washington is seeking new research monies to further its studies of defense health, including a request for the Defense Health Program’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.
The unique ecosystem of Washington State combines some of the greatest minds in medicine and research with new ideas emerging from our robust information and communication technology sector, resulting in exciting breakthroughs that blur the lines between medicine and technology. This creates an efficient, technologically advanced medical care ecosystem that allows the military to deliver on its sacred contract with the latest in medical innovation and treatment. Washington businesses have the opportunity to support this mission with new products and services while working in a collaborative, inventive environment where new ideas not only become the new gold standard in medicine, but greatly improve the quality of life of our servicemen and veterans.