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GS gets grant for more study of preventing injuries to US soldiers
DoD funding $1.5M grant
Image Courtesy Georgia Southern University Georgia Southern University graduate Jacob Gross, a Tactical Athlete graduate assistant at the time of the above photo, helps a GS Army ROTC cadet stretch an ankle to improve mobility.

Georgia Southern University’s Soldier Performance and Readiness program received recently a $1.5 million, two-year grant from the Department of Defense’s U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.

The grant will help expand the university’s research and programming capacity in injury prevention techniques that help ensure force readiness for the Army. 

“Through this large-scale research study, Georgia Southern doctoral students have opportunities to be involved in the research process and work directly with soldiers,” said Nancy Henderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “Additionally, the grant will fund graduate assistant positions in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.”

Army Medical Research Command’s mission is to provide solutions to medical problems for service members at home and abroad, as well as to the public at large. According to the Army, the scope of the effort and the priorities attached to specific projects are influenced by changes in military and civilian medical science and technology, operational requirements, military threat assessments and national defense strategies. Extramural research and development programs play a vital role in the fulfillment of the objectives established by the organization.

Research and development funded through this are intended to benefit both military and civilian medical practices. 

“The grant investigates different physical training programs to identify those practices that best prevent non-combat injuries,” Henderson said. “Faculty on the research team will seek to advance the body of literature by determining the best educational models to educate soldiers on injury-prevention topics.”

This is the first time that Georgia Southern will act as lead investigator on a collaborative research project with an Army research institute. 

“Georgia Southern has several initiatives underway to help improve the health, fitness and performance of military service members, law enforcement personnel and firefighting and rescue personnel,” said Joseph Kardouni, Ph.D., director of the Tactical Performance Group.  “The Tactical Athlete Certificate program is one of these initiatives that teaches service members exercise fundamentals to help mitigate training-related injuries.”

Faculty and students in the DPT program have educated soldiers on injury prevention topics since 2016 and this grant further provides students with the opportunity to assess effectiveness while learning how to improve educational methods with military service members. 

“This research is an important next step in delivering on the promise of the SPAR program and Georgia Southern’s close working relationship with Army research partners,” said Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Christopher Curtis, Ph.D. 

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