After his final five years at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, Dr. Curt Samlaska was asked to go back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC—this time to be on the teaching staff of dermatology services and eventually give service in the Bosnian War.
After his arrival in 1995, he was tasked to do telemedicine in Bosnia. Telemedicine was new then; there were advances in IT infrastructure, communication and connected medical devices that enabled clinicians to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely. Through telemedicine, patients can to get access to healthcare faster, which is a leading factor in improved patient engagement and better outcomes.
Dr. Samlaska played an instrumental role in the execution of telemedicine for the Department of Defense during the Bosnian War—an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. He was attached to the Combat Casualty Research Center—an interesting group of emergency medicine physicians who provide coverage for all branches of the military. Because they are involved with operational medicine, they look at how to remotely support troops on the field, take care of patients, run evacuation centers and the like.
Dr. Samlaska was specifically brought in to help set up in Bosnia at the remote telemedicine sitings out there so that the BOBs and FOBs (Behind Operating Bases and Forward Operating Bases) at the front lines could take care of patients who were injured.
The Program’s mission is to reduce the mortality and illness rates resulting from injuries on the battlefield. Teams do this through developing life-saving strategies, surgical techniques, biological and mechanical products, and the timely use of remote physiological monitoring.
Dr. Samlaska’s work in the Program included filling existing and emerging gaps in combat casualty care by focusing on cutting-edge research and government and civilian research programs. This focus provides combat casualty care, medical solutions, and products for injured soldiers across the full spectrum of military operations.
Among several specialties, Dr. Samlaska and his team worked on extremity trauma and regenerative medicine, pain control, critical care, facial injuries and neurological effects of blast and of course, skin disorders.
The majority of battlefield wounds occur to the arms and legs and the head/neck region, mostly penetrating soft tissue and creating open fractures. Teams fought common outcomes of infection, delayed healing of bone, and impaired or loss of muscle function.
After spending a year on staff at Walter Reed and supporting the Combat Casualty Research Center, and 14 years in the military, Dr. Samlaska decided to leave the Army medical service and go into private practice.
In 1996 he moved to the Henderson/Las Vegas area to serve the civilian community.
Click here for more information about Dr. Samlaska’s education and experience.