First Lady to Announce Initiative to Help Veterans with PTSD

Associated Press–WASHINGTON – Michelle Obama has gotten a new commitment from medical schools to boost training and research for the treatment of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health injuries. The initiative is part of the first lady’s Joining Forces campaign, which focuses on issues affecting veterans and their families. Mrs. Obama was to announce the commitment from more than 100 medical schools during an appearance Wednesday at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The schools are agreeing to step up training for medical students in how to treat PTSD and traumatic brain injury, increase research into the conditions and share new information and best practices. Aides said Mrs. Obama will emphasize that while most troops come home from combat with few or no mental health issues, those who do should not see it as a source of shame or weakness. The Defense Department estimates that nearly 213,000 military personnel have suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2000. An earlier report by the Rand Corp. think tank estimated that 300,000 veterans of both conflicts suffered post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. Fewer than half had sought treatment for PTSD over the preceding year and nearly 60 percent of those reporting a probable brain injury weren’t evaluated by a physician for one. “This is a long-term issue for the nation,” said Brad Cooper, the executive director of Joining Forces. There is no new funding associated with the initiative, and medical schools will make their own decisions about how to integrate more training and research into PTSD and traumatic brain injury into their curriculum. The first lady will also headline fundraisers in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday to raise money for the Democratic National Committee and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP