MVHR Forum Leads the Way in Military and Veterans' Health

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Dr. Harry Kowal, Principal of the Royal Military College of Canada, Dr. Stephanie Belanger, RMC faculty member and Associate Director of the Canadian Institute for Military Veterans Health Research, Captain Simon Mailloux, RMC Alumni and first Canadian Armed Forces member to return to active service as an amputee, Brigadier General Al Meinzinger, Commandant of RMC.

By Captain Yvette Grygoryev

The 4th Annual Military Veterans' Health Research (MVHR) Forum was held from November 25 to 27 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta. The MVHR Forum was organized by the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) with the aim of setting up ideal conditions to allow for collaboration and networking on high-impact research projects aimed at improving the mental, physical and social wellbeing of active military members, veterans and their families.

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research is closely linked to the Royal Military College of Canada through the Associate Director and RMC faculty member Dr. Stephanie Belanger.

"We are so proud to be able to bring together this unique group of researchers and presenters," said Dr. Belanger. "The work being done in research benefitting military members, veterans and their families is critical and this forum provides important dialogues so that research can continue," she added.

"There is a great deal of energy here among the researchers and presenters and a great sense of purpose with the work that they are doing," Dr. Belanger also said.

The forum included the research abstracts of more than 125 researchers working in a variety of areas including The Role of the Military Family in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Ill and Injured Military Members and Low-Load Cervical/Shoulder Exercise Program for RCAF Aircrew to name only two of the projects presented at the forum.

Invited as an impressive keynote speaker at this year's forum was RMC alumnus Captain Simon Mailloux the first Canadian Armed Forces member to return to active service as an amputee. Captain Mailloux continues to speak about the injury he sustained in Afghanistan in 2007 and has become an advocate for the ability rather than the disability of injured veterans. Captain Mailloux returned to serve in Afghanistan after his injury.

The Honourable Romeo Dallaire also spoke to the symposium and joined the roundtable discussion on the needs of military families and the Minister of Veterans Affairs the Honourable Julian Fantino also addressed the delegation.

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