Each year, G2G attends the Military Health Systems Research Symposium (MHSRS) which brings together military, government, academia, and industry experts to share their latest research findings and challenges on topics, including combat casualty care, military operational medicine, clinical and rehabilitative medicine, medical simulation and information sciences, military infectious diseases, and the radiation health effects. For G2G, this is an opportunity to learn about what is most important to the Department of Defense (DoD) in military medicine to best position current and future clients to meet the needs of our Warfighters. It is also a fantastic networking opportunity to reconnect with and meet new key players in all branches and divisions of military medicine.
As we approach the end of MHSRS, we are appreciating the amazing conversations we’ve had over the past few days. Some include meeting with Matt Hepburn, Chief Medical Officer at Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and formerly on the Office of Science and Technology team at the White House (and Operation Warp Speed and DARPA before that so a true expert!). He talked about how his office is focused on accelerating rapid development and biomanufacturing through partnerships with the private sector. Another great meeting was with the head of the Military Women’s Health Research Interest Group. We discussed areas to expand research in women’s health and sex-based data gathering and analysis.
G2G also met with MAJ Elaine Por, PhD, Military Deputy Director, Combat Casualty Care Research Program. We discussed four portfolios including: tactical combat casualty care, blood products, en route care, and autonomous care and evacuation. As CCC works to move capabilities far forward to improve return to duty without increasing footprint, she explained key priorities are addressing acute battle fatigue, testing novel analgesics, treating acute pain without mental and performance side effects, understanding acute pain and physiology, and developing therapeutics for pain that do not compromise warfighter performance.
At lunch, we sat with COL Stuart Tyner, former Director of the Military Infectious Disease Research Program (MIDRP), which is focused on medical solutions that prevent, predict, and treat infectious disease threats. He shared that MIDRP is currently focused on wound infection, emerging and infectious diseases, including Dengue, Lassa, Hantavirus, and norovirus (a major problem in the Navy for which seeking immunoprophylactic solution). In terms of vaccine development, MIDRP is most focused on efficacy. While speed is important, a vaccine must be 80% effective to be considered and an ideal vaccine is cell free.
G2G attended presentations as well. In Managing Casualties Across the Continuum of Care in Distributed Operations by COL James Jones, Director of Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate (MED CDID) three priorities were outlined. COL Jones invited industry to help with:
1) Maximizing return to duty
2) Optimizing evacuation via ground, air and sea, and
3) Addressing contestable logistics (e.g. get supplies far forward and movement through echelons). He recommended reading Army Medical Modernization Strategy (May 2022) and Army Futures Command Concept for Medical 2028 (AFC Pamphlet 71-20-12) for more information.
G2G also attended Development of a Research and Acquisition Framework for Navy Expeditionary Medicine led by Montrell Smith, M.S., Principal Assistant, Program Manager Expeditionary Medical Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). It stressed stakeholder alignments in developing requirements documentation, noting there are more requirements than funding, and prioritizing funding modernization of legacy systems and the development of new capabilities.
We closed the day packing up our booth and attending the MTEC reception that was well attended and included many presenters, program managers, researchers and industry partners. The final day of MHSRS is much quieter with fewer attendees but G2G will capture insights and share tomorrow. Stay tuned!