NCC18 Presenter: Roxana Delgado

Denise

NCC18 Presenter: Roxana Delgado

Denise
Join Roxana for her session during our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference

Redefining Caregiving: Thriving Beyond the Wounds of War on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m.
The purpose of this session is to share the caregiving journey of a military caregiver, the wife of Retired Sergeant First Class Victor Medina, a three times combat Veteran and a Purple Heart Recipient. Dr. Delgado will share how she was able to redefine her life and career after caring for her husband’s injuries and her trajectory to success. From tragedy to triumph, overcoming the biggest obstacles to her success as a caregiver, researcher, and national advocate.

It has been documented that higher survival rates among service members supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom resulted in higher prevalence of wounded, ill and injured Veterans. Family members and friends become are the first line of response to the Veteran’s long-term care, becoming their primary caregiver. The complexity of injuries and comorbidities present a challenge not only to the medical community but the caregiver. The most common polytrauma are, traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. These injuries are referred to as the signature wounds of war.

In the United States, there is a high prevalence of people serving as informal caregivers. In the general population, an estimated 44 million people are family caregivers and an additional 5.5 million military caregivers are assisting a wounded, ill and injured service member or veteran. These informal caregivers are for the most part family members. This presents some additional challenges ranging from health-related, social and financial factors that may impact the health and wellbeing of these caregivers and their families. While their sense of commitment and responsibility may prevail when deciding to assume the role, we believe policies could mitigate the impact of the caregiving role, by providing support services and assistance to this community. It is imperative that we as a community come together and empower all sectors to support these Hidden Heroes.

During this session, you will be able to learn some strategies to improve health and wellbeing, especially learning how to cope with the ambiguous loss when caring for someone that suffered a traumatic brain injury or suffers from a brain illness. Additionally, you will be invited to dream, set goals and rediscover yourself. Join us as we walk this journey together with love, compassion, kindness, and strength.

Dr. Roxana Delgado is a health scientist, assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and co-founder of TBI Warrior Foundation (www.tbiwarriorfoundation.org). Dr. Delgado research focuses on predictors and health outcomes in military caregivers, with emphasis in long-term trajectory of disease and illness. Her career was inspired by her firsthand experience as the wife and caregiver of Retired Sergeant First Class Victor L. Medina, MRC, CRC, a three times combat wounded veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, also Founder of TBI Warrior Foundation. As a couple, they used their experiences to impact policy on traumatic brain injuries, a mission that would eventually result in a Congressional Record for their efforts to help improve the system of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the military health care system. She is an avid advocate for TBI and caregiving, serving in various advisory boards to improve the care of wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. A 2015-16 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow representing the State of Texas. She is a public speaker and the co-author of “The Caregivers Companion” book. Along with her husband, she continues to dedicate her life and profession to helping wounded, ill and injured veterans and their caregivers discover ways to thrive.