Friday, June 25, 2010

Another COE...

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence just opened at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. It is a "state-of-the-art facility designed to provide leading edge services for advanced diagnostics and treatment for service members with psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries."

I think this is great and I'm glad DoD is investing in this, if much later than they should have. But I'm sure glad I was never a patient at the National Intrepid Center of Crapulence - I heard that place sucks. We really need to work on our use of language here...


  1. This is awesome. I'd seen headlines about this joint opening and had NO IDEA it was related to medical stuff. I just asked my gf "what does the 'national intrepid center of excellence' sound like it DOES to you?", and she said "I dunno, some business crap?" I totally agree.

  2. So I found out about this because I was flipping channels last night and Maddow was on. She had a segment about how pissed people there were because no "senior" person from either DOD or the White House showed up for the opening...yeah, the opening coincided with the joint Gates/Mullen press conference. The name is ridiculous.

  3. Oh no, what have I started?

    Once you start noticing this stuff, you see the language everywhere.

    Some time back, NPR did an interview with Christopher Buckley and he made a clever point: "whatever," is the perfect adolescent comeback to adult nonsense, or nonsense of any kind.

    And I started thinking about how certain language - the texting, blogging, Twittering, slangy language of our time - is used. A lot of popular phrases are all about making fun of regulated, institutional, bureaucratic or PC speech. Or just making fun of blowhards.

    Whatever, as if, oh snap!, seriously?, BURN!, spare me, WTF? - all of these exist as a counterweight to blowhard-dom. That's my thesis anyway.

    Center of Excellence is a phrase that sounds impressive, and likely has a distinguished B school pedigree (I take it, from commenter MikeF), and seems to be transplanting itself everywhere and in every discipline. I only hope that "branding" is not being used as a substitute for results.

    At any rate, I'm glad such a center exists and I hope it helps many people.

  4. To be fair, Secretary Gates was scheduled to attend, but granted that everyone was subjected in the unmerciful heat to listening to politician after politician drone on.... you can imagine the bizarre scene as amputees and other wounded sweltered in the 100 degree heat to hear another egghead politician.

    Beyond the ignomious opening, is the real fight, whether the progessive, holistic programs will be allowed at the NiCOE or whether the "old guard" will stomp them. Probably one reason why they are still some distance from actually being able to accept patients.

    And in a somewhat related note, Rear Admiral William Kiser, Navy Medicine East and Navy Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., has just resigned. Likely to do with the upcoming report on the deficient medical care for PTSD and TBI at the Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune. And there is at least one more national article coming out of that mess down there. Just so disheartening sometimes.....