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  • Brain Injury Awareness Month: Did You Know…

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    Today isn’t just the opening day for major league baseball, it’s the end of March—the month we’ve spent talking and sharing information about brain injury awareness. Brain injury awareness is an important topic not only for service members and veterans in combat situations, but also for those who play sports or most anyone—did you know that more than 35 percent of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result from falls? Did you know…

    …about these numbers?

    • 1.7 million estimated people sustain a TBI each year
    • 275,000 people are hospitalized annually because of a TBI
    • 30.5% of all injury-related deaths in the United States have TBI as the contributing factor

    Click here for more TBI Stats.

  • Attention Military TBI Case Managers: DCoE Releases Two New Guidance Documents

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    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr.

    If you’re a military case manager specializing in traumatic brain injury (TBI), you should check out the Case Management for Concussion/Mild TBI Guidance Document and corresponding Case Management for Concussion/Mild TBI Guidance Fact Sheet. The two documents, developed by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, will assist you with case management for service members experiencing persistent symptoms related to mild TBI, also called concussion.

    The Case Management for Concussion/Mild TBI Guidance Document focuses on case management processes and interventions based on persistent post-concussive symptoms and treatment as described in the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for Concussion/mild TBI and Case Management Society of America.

    The guidance fact sheet spotlights five sections:

    • 1. Basic TBI information
    • 2. Guidelines with critical case management interventions
  • Care Coordinator Links Service Members with TBI Support

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    Karyn George, national manager of the Office of Care Coordination for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. (Courtesy photo)

    After service members have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they may not know where to go or what to do to find services that address the residual symptoms of their injuries. As a regional care coordinator who works frequently with active-duty service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I find it very satisfying when I can link a service member with services that they didn’t know existed.

    The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) Regional Care Coordination Program was developed as a support and resource for active-duty service members and veterans as they transition through the recovery stages after a traumatic brain injury. The program specifically seeks to identify service members, and in particular members of the Reserves or National Guard who may return to remote areas that lack the resources, whether within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs or civilian health care systems.

    DVBIC regional care coordinators are located throughout the United States including all four Department of Veterans Affairs polytrauma facilities, some of the larger military treatment facilities and at two civilian sites. Coordinators conduct intakes and follow-ups...

  • Doctor, Patient Urges Others to Get Help for Brain Injury

    Courtesy of Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

    In this public service announcement, Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Hancock, shares his experience as a shock trauma platoon doctor and a person who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when the armored vehicle he was in hit an improvised explosive device.

  • Lessons We Can Learn from Suicide Survivors

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    “Death itself is not always a sad ending, but suicide is. Suicide is a tragedy. It ends sadly for everyone,” said W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, at an annual conference on suicide prevention sponsored by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

    It takes amazing courage to speak about losing a loved one to death by suicide. It takes even more courage to share this experience in front of an audience of more than 1,000 service members, veterans, clinicians and community leaders. A panel of five brave suicide survivors did just that with the hope that their stories of loss would help others and benefit suicide prevention programs.

    The panelists included Army Col. Robert McLaughlin, garrison commander at Fort Carson, Colo., and childhood friend of a service member who took his own life. McLaughlin detailed the personal and professional impact the loss of his friend had on him. Also, Kimberli Walker, who lost her husband, Army Capt. Shawn Walker in 2009; Robert Bagosy, who lost his son, Marine Sgt. Thomas Bagosy at Camp Lejeune, N.C. last year; and Carolyn Colley, whose brother, Army Spc. Stephen Colley died in 2007 at Fort Hood, Texas, all shared their stories.

  • Military Health Experts Discuss Use of Life Saving Technology

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    Accessing Care Offices inside T2 Virtual PTSD Experience (Photo courtesy of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology)

    We’ve all heard the messaging: “Look out for your battle buddy,” “There’s help out there,” “You are not alone.” All of this is true and should continue, but in today’s world reaching out for help isn’t always done in traditional ways.

    Technology-based suicide prevention efforts was a topic of discussion at the 2011 Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) Suicide Prevention Conference, “All the Way Home: Preventing Suicide Among Service Members and Veterans,” last week in Boston.

    Dr. David Luxton, with the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), shared that the emergence and popularity of modern technology brings new opportunities in a variety of ways including prevention and intervention programs, self-care applications, risk assessment, access to care, outreach, social support and the ability to educate and raise awareness.