Phoebe Putney to help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients

Steve Ziemba is the Chief Investigator with the Regional Center for Excellence for PTSD at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital / Ashley Knight

It's a disease that many don't feel comfortable talking about, but at the same time, affects more than we realize.

Phoebe Putney is helping conduct a study on treatments for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"We're excited that we might make a difference, not just in the serviceman's life, but in the family's life because this is truly a disorder that impacts the entire family," says Phoebe President and CEO Joel Wernick.

Steve Ziemba is with the Regional Center for Excellence. He says the normal treatment for PTSD is face-to-face therapy. But he wants to try telemedicine.

"We want to compare how effective that is with our investigational arm, which is the same type of treatment, but done over a telemedicine link. Essentially it's sort of like using video conferencing but for a medical purpose," says Ziemba.

And they're hoping the find that it's just as effective as face to face therapy.

It's been proven that the easier the access to a treatment, the more likely the patient is to seek that treatment. And Wernick says with this technology so close to home, they'll be able to treat more patients than they imagined.

"Looking into just the Guard and the reserve here, and this state has close to 14,000 members. Of those, over 10,000 are truly civilians and of that there are over 2,000 just here in southwest Georgia so there's a sizeable population who have been put at risk over the last ten years," says Wernick.

To participate in the study, call Steve Ziemba at 229-312-0284.

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