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Assisting the Military Impaired Health-Care Provider: An Advocacy Program Developed by the Army Medical Department

Assisting the Military Impaired Health-Care Provider: An Advocacy Program Developed by the Army Medical Department


ASSISTING THE MILITARY IMPAIRED HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER: AN ADVOCACY PROGRAM DEVELOPED BY THE ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT David J. Anna, R.N., M.S.N., Lieutenant Colonel, Anny Nurse Corps Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia S. m e activities of the U. Army Medical Department are reviewed as it monitored the development of impaired health-care provider initiatives in the private sector and subsequent determination of a need for a military program specific to its unique needs and circumstances. A brief history of the research into civilian projects describes the identification of elements most successful and applicable to the Army as it created an eight-element advocacy program which was implemented in 1985. An overview of each element is presented, which conveys the intent and application of the provisions to Anny healthcare providers. Slightly more than 10 years ago, a relatively unknown and often minimized topic began to appear in the journals of the health professions all across this country. Not immediately embraced by the various disciplines, it sparked lively controversy as well as later research. The topic now so frequent and accepted is that of the health-care provider whose professional practice is impaired by alcohol or other drug abuse or
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