Currently our team has three core functions: AMSARA, DESAR and funded epidemiologic projects. Our scope of work is constantly expanding to incorporate new relevant data, predictors, outcomes and analytical methods.
Accession Medical Standards Analysis and Research Activity (AMSARA)
In 1995, the Surgeon General of the Army (Research and Development) established AMSARA, at the request of ASD (HA), as a mechanism to provide the DOD with evidenced-based evaluations of accession medical standards. Under the guidance of the Medical and Personnel Executive Steering Committee (MEDPERS) and the Accession Medical Standards Working Group (AMSWG), our AMSARA team issues annual reports and publications to include comprehensive analyses of Service Member accession and attrition data, allowing DOD stakeholders to make informed policy decisions. Our support includes, but is not limited to, producing the following results:
- Distribution, patterns and determinants of medical disqualifications necessary to understand medical readiness, fitness and temporal changes in the recruit applicant pool
- Identification of specific health issues, their magnitude and impact to prioritize needs for intervention
- Summarization of study findings in areas of specific interest to the AMSWG
- Utilization of longitudinal cohort study design and related approaches to evaluate the long-term impact of policies, procedures, and medical waivers on military service
- Validation of historic, recently modified, and newly implemented standards
- Evaluation and/or comparison of accession screening tests as predictors of adverse attrition
- Investigation and analysis of medical conditions in existed prior to service (EPTS) data
Main Objective: Inform DOD accession policy decisions, which allow for the selection of the most likely candidates to be successful Warfighters, thus decreasing adverse attrition cost.
Disability Evaluation System Analysis and Research (DESAR)
In 2009, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) requested our AMSARA mission be expanded to include audits and studies of the Disability Evaluation System (DES), establishing the Disability Evaluation System Analysis and Research (DESAR). Under the guidance of the Disability Advisory Council (DAC), our DESAR team issues annual reports and performs the following tasks:
- Examination of tri-service disability evaluation systems using existing AMSARA databases
- Evaluation and description of certain aspects of the military disability evaluation systems
- Design and execution of epidemiologic studies to identify risk factors associated with disability retirement from the military
Main Objective: Inform DOD retention and disability policy decisions to improve readiness and lethality by reducing attrition, streamlining the Warfighter’s disability evaluation process, and decreasing replacement time and cost.
Funded Epidemiologic Projects (FEP)
Our team’s deep understanding of the types of analyses necessary to inform evidence-based policy, our ability to collect and transform complex military data and our expertise in conducting epidemiological research and analytics has allowed us to partner with other DOD agencies, outside research organizations and universities.
Research results stemming from these collaborations and external funding sources have provided novel information on factors related to certain diseases, disorders, and injuries, identified patterns and risk factors for health-related or end of service outcomes, and provided evidence for, or validated policy changes.
FEP Main Objective: Establish partnerships to advance the science for optimizing the health, readiness and lethality of the Warfighter.