Saturday, December 13, 2008

Civil Military Operations Conference

Good Evening All,

We had a very busy week. Yesterday we had our Civil Military Operation Conference. We had a number of dignitaries who attended and we spent the day getting to know a variety of physicians from Iraq and several political and tribal leaders. The purpose of the conference was to help facilitate the transfer of medical care and assets to the Iraqi's. We absolutely need to develop a self-sustaining Iraqi health care system. This conference was the step in that direction. I was pleased to be able to present the State Departments Brief on the military medical capabilities and assets as well as presenting the local physicians with our medical matrix. The idea behind this is to share information on how to begin to develop the foundation of a medical health care system. Below are some pictures of the conference. I would like to thank Dr. Andy Altman for helping me with my portion of the conference and I would also like to thank Sgt. Easom who took these photos for us. She is perhaps the most talented and hard working medic in our clinic.

Those in attendence at the conference included the Mayor of Balad, the Deputy Minister of Health for Iraq who by the way used to serve as the Iraqi Surgeon General under the Saddam Hussein Regime. Additionally, we had the regional Sheik who is the tribal leader of the area, we had the Chief of Police and the Balad City Council President. In addition to the above dignitaries we had three newspapers who were covering the event and a number of physicians who will be responsible for structuring the future Iraqi Health Care system.

Picture 1: Dr. Altman and the Balad's hospital administrator. He serves as the administrator but is also an orthopaedic surgeon.

Picture 2: The lady on the left in uniform is one of our OB/Gyn docs. The lady in the middle is an OB/Gyn as well and the lady on the right is their interpreter.

Picture 3: Andy and Dr. Bakkan who is one of our two neurosurgeons.

Picture 1: Myself, Andy, and our boss, Dr. Schoup. He is our division surgeon.

Picture 2: Dr. Bakkan talking to some of the Iraqi physician. The older gentleman in the middle is Dr. Sami. He served as my interpreter for my presentation. He is a very capable man.

Picture 1: The men in uniform are our Battalion Commander and our Battalion Sgt. Major. They are talking to a couple of Iraqi physicians.

Picture 2: The man on the right is the Director of Medical Services for the Department of State. The lady in the middle is an interpreter and the man on the left is Dr. Sami.

Picture 3: Dr. Bakkan and myself having a discussion prior to the start of my presentation.

Picture 1: Dr. Altman and Dr. Bakkan. Dr. Altman was upset because he didn't have a walkie talkie like Dr. Bakkan has. Surgeons get all the good equipment.

Picture 2: The State Dept. Medical Director and the Mayor of Balad on the left.

Picture 1-5: Just me starting my presentation. Dr. Sami is interpreting for me. The last picture I started singing, "I should have been a cowboy" Based on the blank stares, I'm not sure they got it.

Picture 1: This gentleman is the current Deputy Health Minister of Iraq. He was Saddam Hussein's Surgeon General. He is a very nice man and is extremely motivated to get the Iraqi health care system up and running.

Picture 2: Just me, blah, blah, blah. The last picture I am laughing because the Iraqi's have a good sense of humor.
Picture 3: The political leaders of Iraq.

Picture 1: The young lady in the middle is a registered dietician and our public health officer. She shared the importance of preventative medicine measures when establishing a health care clinic.

Picture 2: Going over some information.

Picture 1: The gentleman dressed in the traditional robes is the area's tribal leader. He actually has more authority and power than the politicians do. I am in the back talking to Dr. Sami. He shared so much information with me concerning the medical history of the Iraqi health care system and was of great help to me as I put together my information.

Picture 2: Andy has an unusual ability to sleep with his eyes open. The only way you can tell that he is sleeping is by the small streak of slobber that is coming from the side of his mouth. He also snores.

We will be conducting another conference in two months. We gave the local government and physicians a goal of developing a health care matrix and a comprehensive list of medical assets that they will need to establish a sound health care system.

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