NEWS | April 10, 2008

MNC-I surgeons lay foundation for Iraqi healthcare

By None , MNC-I

BAGHDAD (April 11, 2008) — The Multi-National Corps-Iraq surgeon’s office held a conference March 26-28 at Al Faw Palace with the theme "Laying the foundation for the Iraqi health care system," as the center of discussion.

The conference gave the Corps surgeon’s staff an opportunity to introduce themselves to the medical practitioners of the Corps’ major subordinate commands, as well as address issues, learn from successes and garner feedback, said Maj. Deidra E. Briggs, current operations chief, MNC-I surgeon’s office.

"The conference went really well," Briggs said. "We received a lot of good feedback because we were talking about challenging issues everyone was facing. It also allowed everyone to see where their work fit into the big picture."

Some challenges addressed at the conference ranged from administrative work to patient diagnosis.

"We addressed challenges with behavioral health diagnosis and management; challenges with blast overpressure injuries associated with [improvised explosive devices] as well as hospital patient management both with coalition forces and local nationals," said Col. Joseph Caravalho, MNC-I and Multi-National Force - Iraq surgeon.

Attending the conference alongside medical servicemembers from throughout the Iraq theater of operations was special guest, Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Joweb Mahde, surgeon, Iraq Ground Forces Command.

"It was quite beneficial to have Dr. Mahde attend," Caravalho said. "It is always good to have our professional counterparts in attendance in order to relate challenges they face."

Mahde was able to inform the gathered crowd about challenges facing Iraqi army health care while at the conference, thus keeping in tune with the theme of the conference.

The end result of the first conference held by XVIII Airborne Corps in the role of MNC-I was successful, Caravalho said, one of which he was proud to be a part.

"I am inspired by the leadership demonstrated by the officers and senior noncommissioned officers that attended," he said. "It is clear to me that they continue to represent a strong corps of medical professionals, one which I am proud to work alongside."

The MNC-I surgeons office plans to conduct two more conferences similar to this before redeploying.