Peter Yellowlees, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been appointed to a prestigious national committee established by the Institute of Medicine that will assess the quality and availability of mental-health care services for veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom (the Iraq war), Operation New Dawn (the Iraq war after August 2010), and Operation Enduring Freedom (the war in Afghanistan).
Yellowlees is an expert in trauma and disaster recovery as well as in telemedicine and the provision of medical services to isolated and hard-to-access patients. He is in Washington, D.C., attending the first committee meeting at the Institute of Medicine.
“Through my membership on this committee, I hope to use my expertise to help improve the quality and accessibility of mental-health care services available to veterans now and in the future,” Yellowlees said. He said he is particularly interested in assisting those veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who, he believes, could be greatly aided by a variety of online and social networking approaches.
During the next three years, the committee will assess the spectrum of mental-health services available across the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The scope of the assessment will include analysis of the quality and capacity of mental-health care services within the VA as well as the barriers to care faced by patients using those services. The committee will provide a final report with recommendations to the secretary of the Veteran's Administration on increasing effectiveness, improving efficiency and overcoming barriers to mental-health care delivery in the VA.