Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Is Army Shutting Down River Hospital When It Works Wonders?

PTSD Program Will Continue At River Hospital - At Least For Now

‘It saved my life and my marriage’: Soldiers object to Army cutting River Hospital PTSD program
Watertown Daily Times
“Ever since I left the River Hospital, my life has turned around amazingly,” he said. “I would stand on top of a building and yell it for that place.”

ALEXANDRIA BAY — When Charles R. “Chuck” Wilkerson graduated from River Hospital’s Community Wellness Program in the summer of 2013, he was a changed man.

Mr. Wilkerson, who served in the 10th Mountain Division for 11 years, had spent about 100 days in the program to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. He said his healing process took slightly longer than those of others in the program, but his transformation was incredible.

“If it wasn’t for the River Hospital,” he said, “I would be dead today.”

On Thursday, River Hospital CEO Ben Moore III announced that the Army was pulling the program from the hospital to create a similar program on post at Fort Drum.

The announcement, which came in a letter from Fort Drum Medical Activity Commander Col. Matthew E. Mattner, shocked River Hospital officials, Mr. Wilkerson and other members of the program and community.

“How can they take away something that saves people’s lives?” Mr. Wilkerson said over the phone from his home in Lexington, Ky.

Mr. Wilkerson said the River Hospital program was able to provide him care that the Army could not.
The River Community Wellness Program, which is the only civilian institution in the country to offer an outpatient treatment program for soldiers with PTSD, came to River Hospital in February 2013 at the request of the Army.
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