Newswise — Bethesda, Md. – Leading experts in pediatrics and psychiatry, along with key DoD leaders and representatives from military child advocacy organizations, will be meeting to address the current needs and challenges of military-connected kids on April 26.  The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) will host the virtual “Military Child Health Research Symposium,” strategically scheduled during the Month of the Military Child, which will feature panel discussions with the experts and a keynote address by Dr. Terry Adirim, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

The event will kick off with a panel discussion on health priorities for children, focusing on the most pressing issues and questions that military children and families are facing, and what increased research and knowledge can do to improve their lives. This panel discussion will be moderated by Army Col. (Dr.) Patrick Hickey, chair of USU’s Department of Pediatrics. Panelists will include Mrs. Hollyanne Milley, a nurse, military families advocate and wife of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley; Patricia Barron, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Community and Family Policy; Dr. Becky Porter, CEO and president of the Military Child Education Coalition; Ellen Huck, with the National Military Family Association; and Army Col. (Dr.) Catherine Kimball-Eayrs, USU’s School of Medicine commandant and consultant to the Army Surgeon General for General Pediatrics.

This panel discussion will be followed by another focused on research and the effects of parental deployment, parental injury and death, and military moves, on military children and their families. Panelists will include Dr. Elizabeth Hisle-Gorman, associate professor in USU’s Department of Pediatrics; Dr. Steven Cozza, associate director of USU’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress; Dr. Shelly McDermid Wadsworth, with Perdue University’s Military Family Research; and Drs. Ava Marie S. Conlin and Valerie Stander, with the Naval Health Research Center.

The event will conclude with a discussion featuring all of the event’s panelists on how research and advocacy can work together to support military connected children and families that will also be moderated by Hickey.

"The military child experiences amazing opportunities but also unique social and health challenges. It not only fills our moral obligation as physicians and scientists to deliver the most effective and high quality care possible, but it is also important for military readiness,” said Hickey. “The deployed warfighter not only expects cutting-edge health care for themselves when deployed, but also for the same world-class health system to care for those they leave behind. The U.S. military, and its families, answers the call to serve our nation around the world and 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, and Military Pediatricians are there with them."

“There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of military-connected children, and we are proud to be part of this inaugural partnership,” said Porter. “MCEC looks forward to collaborating on future research opportunities specifically designed to address the needs of our military-connected children and lead to sustainable results that will allow us all to better serve the children of those who serve us all.”


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About the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences:

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, founded by an act of Congress in 1972, is the nation’s federal health sciences university and the academic heart of the Military Health System. USU students are primarily active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service who receive specialized education in tropical and infectious diseases, TBI and PTSD, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, global health, and acute trauma care. USU also has graduate programs in oral biology, biomedical sciences and public health committed to excellence in research. The University's research program covers a wide range of areas important to both the military and public health. For more information about USU and its programs, visit