UT Health Science Center San Antonio School of Medicine professor Dr. Stacy Young-McCaughan was honored on March 25th, 2014 at the White House for her research into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) in soldiers.
Retired army colonel and research director at the Strong Star Consortium, the South Texas Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience, Young-McCaughan was one of 10 women veterans distinguished for their contributions to the U.S. business, public service and commentary sectors.
Strong Star seeks to understand, prevent, and treat combat-related PTSD. Its director and chief of behavioral medicine and director, Dr. Alan Peterson, explained that Young-McCaughan’s ongoing research utilizes exercise intervention among PTSD veterans, mainly while they are thinking about the details of their traumatic event. Her project was recently featured in “Runners World” magazine, according to the director.
Over 1,000 service members and veterans have already been recruited into clinical trials for treatment of combat-related PTSD. “Exercise is a way of allowing them to kind of target the ‘fight or flight’ reaction,” Peterson said. This means that if the soldiers are able to exercise while thinking about the trauma, then they can also use up the surge of adrenalin that comes from the focusing on the memories in a positive way, explained the Strong Star’s director.
March is Women’s History Month in the United States. Last Tuesday, the White House honored leaders as “Women Veteran Leader Champions of Change.” Besides Stacy Young-McCaughan, the ceremony distinguished Erica Borggren from Chicago, Martha Daniel from California, Mary Johanna Forbes, from Washington, Ellen Houlihan, also from Texas, Sonia Jo Kendrick from Iowa, Dana L. Niemela, from Colorado, Coral Wong Pietsch from Hawaii, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, from California and Deborah Scott Thomas, from North Dakota.