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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2007    #117
Contact: Noemi Rojas, public relations
(816) 235-1520

Women with the Guard or Reserve find themselves with few coping resources after returning from battle Researcher calls situation dire, invites servicewomen to meeting

A University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) researcher is arranging a gathering for women of the National Guard or Army Reserve back from the frontlines to discuss issues and share coping strategies.

Patricia J. Kelly, Ph.D., R.N., nurse faculty member with a track record for NIH-funded, community-based, women-focused research, was prompted to take action by one of her students who, as a major in the Army Reserve, was seeing first-hand the situation faced by military women upon returning home. Some of those situations include feeling distant from their kids, flashbacks and depression. Some women experienced sexual assault, leaving them with a sense of betrayal by those who are supposed to protect them.

“This is the first time that we have had women on the front lines in a battle zone,” Kelly said. “As I began researching the issue, I learned that the situation was even more dire for women from the Reserves and National Guard because they are not returning to a military base where they at least may be with others with similar experiences.”

By arranging a gathering, Kelly hopes to be able to collect enough information to plan an individual or community program that would help them transition back to family and friends. If successful, the program could serve as a model for reservists and guardswomen across the country.

“I am not connected with the military in any way, but have become concerned about the needs of women who have returned from overseas and have had minimal mechanisms for processing issues from their experience,” said Kelly. “We know that these issues take a toll on both your health and the health of your family.”

The one-time meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 22 at the Clarion Hotel, 9103 E. 39th St. All information discussed will be kept in absolute confidence. RSVPs are requested, but not required. Dinner and a personal gift will be provided.

For more information, contact Dr. Kelly at (816) 235-2617 or kellypj@umkc.edu.

The UMKC School of Nursing offers a wide range of clinical experiences, research and specialty opportunities. Affiliated clinical facilities include Truman Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital and nearly 100 community-wide facilities in the Kansas City metro area. For more information about the UMKC School of Nursing, visit: www.umkc.edu/nursing/.

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.

 

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