This month, we sat down with Kerri, our Regional Manager for the southeastern portion of the U.S. She is part of a team at Cook that is developing solutions to better serve our military personnel and veterans.
What spurred you to work on this initiative?
I have always been interested in how we as a company can better serve our veterans through the VA and military hospitals. I believe that these airmen, sailors, soldiers, marines, and their families deserve to have the best medical products available.
When we learn how these facilities function and make purchasing decisions compared to civilian hospitals, we can better serve the clinicians and the patients they treat.
What are some of the unique medical challenges that the military faces?
They are a microcosm of society with the same medical needs as civilians, but they also have some very different and defined needs. In one hospital setting you may have a patient with a blast injury, one battling reproductive issues and one with vascular disease.
Field medics may have very unique needs depending on where they serve. By understanding what they face in the field, we can help them get the right tools in their combat packs so that they can provide the best possible outcomes to their patients.
How has the veteran population changed?
When we hear veterans, we always think of the older WWII veterans, but the population is changing. Today there are more men and women becoming veterans in their 20s, not their 50s. Studies show that veterans are more likely to smoke, which often leads to increased lung and vascular disease.
The injuries they sustain have changed, too, which also impacts the doctors and nurses treating these patients. We are seeing a lot more complications from blast injuries including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder today than we have in the past.
As a veteran yourself, do you feel a deeper connection to this project?
Even without my military background, I would be passionate about this anyway. If it takes a little extra effort on our part to help these patients, I think it’s well worth it.
Prior to joining Cook 11 years ago, Kerri served as a Navy Corpsman for five years.