Operation Supply Drop (OSD) appointed its first-ever Chief Medical Officer to enhance the rehab benefits of their video game care packages for service members and veterans. The military charity — billed as the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military — just announced the addition of U.S. Army Major Erik Johnson as the newest member to the OSD leadership team. Major Johnson fills the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO), which in turn widens the range of the Supply Drop program. He is also working to partner with military medical facilities to make better decisions for integrating video games into occupational therapy and transition efforts for service members.
Johnson brings with him a decade of both medical and personal experience with direct use of video games to help treat cognitive, behavioral and physical traumas of wounded service members. Having served as the Chief of Occupational Therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Chief of Occupational Therapy for Burn Rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center’s Institute of Surgical Research, Major Johnson is an expert in the field of using video games for rehab and has integrated video games into occupational therapy with lots of success. He has used video games to treat a variety of conditions caused by service related injuries.
U.S. Army Major Erik Johnson
Johnson is a Bronze Star recipient from his days with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in 2010-2011 while deployed to Afghanistan. He was selected by the consultant to the Surgeon General of the United States to develop a rehabilitation program designed specifically for service members with mild traumatic brain injuries sustained during combat.
“We’re serious about the healing power of gaming and want to ensure we are using the games in a medically appropriate manner to support optimal recovery,” said Glenn Banton, Chief Executive Officer of Operation Supply Drop. “With the addition of Erik Johnson to our leadership team, we will expand his pioneering work and positively impact even more lives, from those veterans currently in treatment to those with ongoing ailments requiring long-term care.”
What is OSD?
Operation Supply Drop is a 501(c) charitable organization founded in 2010, that brings veterans and civilians together. Focused on combating depression, suicide, homelessness, and unemployment, OSD is a leader in veteran support organization, serving U.S., NATO, and ANZAC veterans and active duty via three core programs: The Teams which are local volunteering and support, Supply Drops of video game care packages and morale building events, and Thank You Deployments which include gaming insider, entertainment and other exclusive VIP experiences). To date, OSD has raised more than $8 million in money and donations, and served over 40,000 veterans and active duty military worldwide. Visit the OSD website for more information on donating time, money or supplies or helping out in other ways. You can read OSD’s informational handout here.