As the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center focuses on conducting and synthesizing TBI research to ensure it translates into the best possible care for service members, veterans and their families. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and DVBIC needs your help to spread an important message about prevention: Think Ahead.
Think ahead means being safe by taking the precautions necessary to prevent brain injuries, knowing the signs of concussion (another word for a mild traumatic brain injury), and accessing care when necessary. It is important to seek help as soon as possible after a TBI because early detection and treatment can facilitate recovery.
Since last year, we have run a social media campaign during March to remind everyone to “#ThinkAhead” to avoid brain injury. The goal is to get as many people as possible to use social media to remind friends and family to be safe, know the signs of concussion, and seek care.
To help DVBIC spread the word, print a hashtag card from the DVBIC A Head for the Future website, share a personal message, and take a selfie to share on social media with the hashtags #ThinkAhead and #BIAmonth. DVBIC will retweet and share many of these messages.
DVBIC recently reached a milestone that makes this Brain Injury Awareness Month a special one. Throughout 2017, DVBIC will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Since 1992, DVBIC has been a part of the fight against TBI and its effects. Over the years, DVBIC developed many partners in this fight. Within the Defense Department, DVBIC collaborated with the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, the Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and others. DVBIC also partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and other government organizations.
In addition, DVBIC created a large network of collaborators outside the federal government. These partners include the NFL, NCAA, General Electric, and numerous universities to advance research. Partners such as the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Rosalyn Carter Foundation, and other nonprofits support the needs of caregivers as well.
However, during Brain Injury Awareness Month, the partners DVBIC really wants are those affected by brain injury.
The dedicated staff working on brain injury at DVBIC and the health care providers throughout the TBI community of practice, hope you will remember to Think Ahead to protect yourself and your family from TBI and its effects.
Army Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey G. Grammer is the national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.He oversees all aspects of the organization’s mission, which is to serve active-duty service members, veterans and their family members with traumatic brain injury through state-of-the-science medical care and care coordination, and innovative clinical research and educational programs.