“When I learned about the rate of suicide in veterans and the numbers here that struggle in our own backyard, I was shocked,” said Dr. Yonge. “After meeting several times with John Kilpatrick and Dr. Joe Currier, I understand the importance of the mission and I am very happy to help.”
Dr. Yonge graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in nursing. After working five years as a critical care nurse, Yonge decided to pursue his medical degree from The University of South Alabama where he also completed his family practice residency. He practiced in Foley, Alabama for nine years before moving to Bay Medical in 1998.
With a special interest in adolescents, in addition to his private practice, Yonge is the medical director for the Baldwin County juvenile intervention program (Pathways) and the medical director for Strickland Youth Center in Mobile County. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians, serves as the faculty advisor for the USA Wilderness Medicine Student Interest Group, assistant clinical professor for the USA College of Medicine, and as a clinical preceptor for nurse practitioner students from UAB.
He also has a soft spot for veterans. “When I learned about the rate of suicide in veterans and the numbers here that struggle in our own backyard, I was shocked,” said Dr. Yonge. “After meeting several times with John Kilpatrick and Dr. Joe Currier, I understand the importance of the mission and I am very happy to help.”
A new white paper published by the University of South Alabama and University of West Florida shows that the mental health needs of student veterans is as high as those from other age groups. In total, 538 student veterans completed the survey and 39 participated in a qualitative interview with a member of the research team. Over one-third of them exceeded a well-established threshold for gauging problem drinking. In addition, over one-third endorsed clinical levels of PTSD, major depressive disorder and/or risk of suicidal behavior that indicated a probable need for treatment.
“We are incredibly gratified to have Dr. Yonge on board to provide guidance on our medical program,” said Founder, John Kilpatrick. “His depth of knowledge and experience is impressive; perhaps more so is his passion for a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. Veterans Recovery Resources will serve not only veterans, but their families as well. There are many avenues that Dr. Yonge’s experience will benefit our programming for young service members, as well as adolescents in military families.” For example, veteran wilderness programs could provide significant stress reduction in veterans with PTSD and other stress-related issues and will be explored in the future.
In addition to his many other accomplishments, Yonge is a Member of the first class of Fellows of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine; a former Executive Director for the Alabama Outward Bound School; serves on the Board of Directors, Wilderness Medical Society; and was a past Chairman of the Wilderness Medical Society Environmental Council. Dr. Yonge is a coauthor of the Biodiversity chapter in the sixth edition of Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine text; a lifelong outdoorsman and an Eagle Scout. He is a Certified Burn Manager and owner of an Alabama Treasure Forest.
Dr. Yonge and his wife Cori have two daughters. The family shares a love of the outdoors and has spent hundreds of hours camping and canoeing in the Alabama wilderness.
Who else is on the Veterans Recovery Resources Advisory Board? Find out here.