Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

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Loyola Helps Bridge the Gap for Future Military Health-Care Professionals

Loyola University Chicago is playing an integral role in providing specialized training and support for students in health sciences who are preparing to serve as health-care professionals in the U.S. military. Loyola offers a targeted mentor program and lecture series twice a year that provides insight into the unique role of caring for the health needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“The structure of the military and caring for fellow soldiers and their families is very different than caring for the civilian population,” said Patricia McNally, Ed.D., assistant dean, medical education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and faculty adviser for military medical students. “Just by the nature of what they are doing, whether they are serving with a deployed unit or on base, their environment, patient population and lifestyle, will be very different than their colleagues who are not in the military. We hope to help bridge that gap in their training so they are better prepared to serve the men and women of the military."

This year’s lecture series will focus on a multidisciplinary approach to treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD has been determined as an area in critical need of education for current and future health-care professionals.

Special guest presenter Col. Peter G. Napolitano, MD, MC, USA, who is a Stritch grad, will use Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (STEPPS) to help students understand their role as military health-care professionals in team building. The Department of Defense Patient Safety Program developed the Team STEPPS program to produce highly effective teams that optimize the use of information, people and resources to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

Two lectures will be offered. Nurses, doctors, social workers and other caregivers are invited to attend the lecture on Nov. 9. Medical school students from throughout northern Illinois have been invited to the Nov. 10 lecture.

Started four years ago, the program helps future military health-care professionals better understand, diagnose and treat the needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“This is not an easy road and I have the greatest respect for these men and women who have made this choice. It is an honor to be able to serve them,” McNally said.

If you are a health-care professional and wish to attend the Nov. 9 lecture, please contact Dr. Patricia McNally at pmcnally@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-4998.