The Research!America weblog (blog) connects its readers to policy in Washington, DC that affects research to improve global health. Colonel Kent Kester, former WRAIR commander, participated in a panelist forum hosted by Research!America on 28 July 2011 to discuss the Department of Defense's role in global health research and development.
The other panelists included Dr. Karen Remley, the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health; Dr. Stephen Morrison, the director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Karen Goraleski, the executive director of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; and Dr. Peter Hotez, the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
The panel examined the history of the DoD's involvement in global health research and development. Dr. Stephen Morrison highlighted the crucial impact, though under-resourced and under-acknowledged in global health research and development, that six DoD overseas medical labs have had within the communities and regions in which they operate. These medical research units include the WRAIR laboratories operating in Thailand with satellite sites elsewhere in southeast Asia and in Kenya with additional research and treatment sites in Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. Infectious disease expert and military medical researcher, Colonel Kester commented, "Health threats don’t discriminate and diseases don't wait," as he noted a portion of the DoD's health force protection mandate for expansion on research efforts to identify, address, and eliminate these threats.
Both Dr. Morrison and Colonel Kester participated in the CSIS report launch of "The Defense Department's Enduring Contributions to Global Health: The Future of the U.S. Army and Navy Overseas Medical Research Laboratories" this past June. The report was a year-long, independent examination of U.S. Army and U.S. Navy overseas medical research laboratories to increase public and private awareness, which was previously exclusive to research groups, about their mission, accomplishments, and contributions to global health.
The Research!America briefing was co-hosted by American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. It was an honor for Colonel Kester to represent the WRAIR in its many accomplishments and contributions to global health as it serves our Nation in medical diplomacy around the world.
To learn more about the event and Research!America blog, please visit: