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Emily Houck, 5, is cared for by her family. She was brain-damaged when, a lawsuit contends, a Navy doctor failed to treat her for a herpes infection. She cannot speak, walk, see or hear. She spends her days in a $5,000 wheelchair or rolling on the carpet. The Navy agreed in 1994 to pay $4.2 million to settle a malpractice claim filed on Emily's behalf. Photo by Skip Peterson/Dayton Daily News.

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The purpose of this research project is to apply Benoitís image repair taxonomy to formulate a plan that will restore credibility to the U.S. Militaryís healthcare system.

This system is currently under attack for its inability to provide quality care to its members. Many unqualified doctors have jeopardized, and in some cases, taken the lives of patients due to gross negligence or malpractice.

An investigative report revealed that many doctors were licensed through substandard means. This report has been widely publicized through mass media, thus tainting the publicís perception of how the military cares for the health of its members.

Image restoration theories and proactive reputation damage control strategies will be applied to analyze significant historical responses to crises and lay the groundwork for a plan to restore confidence in the militaryís medical facilities.

The recommended solution will be specific communicative messages that employ the strategies of image repair. These messages will be disseminated through the application of mass communication theories.

Introduction Background Discussion Conclusion Reference

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Image Repair Group. Last updated Dec. 11, 1997

Oklahoma University

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