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DOD Brain Injury Center Opens More Sites for Military TBI Care

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center recently added traumatic brain injury network sites at Fort Drum, New York, Fort Gordon, Georgia and San Antonio.

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) recently added traumatic brain injury (TBI) network sites at Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Drum, New York; and at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio. These sites help DVBIC spread the word among the military community about the latest in TBI research and treatment according to DVBIC Deputy Director Katherine Helmick.

“If we want to impact and improve health care for our service members, we need to be where they are,” Helmick said. “This puts us at all five of the VA’s Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and at high volume military treatment facilities.”

Greater Access to New Research

DVBIC will bring its knowledge of up-to-the-minute findings on the causes, symptoms and treatment of TBI, so that providers won’t have to hunt down new information on their own. Each location also provides added benefits to DVBIC, which in turn will enable DVBIC to help patients more effectively. For example, the new site at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Audie L. Murphy Medical Center in San Antonio, offers DVBIC staff access to VA polytrauma system of care services. These services include rehabilitation centers, support clinic teams, points of contact and transitional rehabilitation programs. DVBIC will be able to learn from patients in San Antonio about what treatments are most effective.

The Fort Drum site in the Guthrie Ambulatory Healthcare Clinic in Watertown, New York, makes it easier for TBI providers in the northeast to learn about new treatments. Before this site opened, these service members traveled all over New England to meet with providers from DVBIC and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Improved Treatment Process

Reducing patient wait times is an important goal for DVBIC. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center at Fort Gordon operates a TBI outpatient program for a significant number of patients with persistent brain injury concerns. DVBIC will now be on hand to figure out how this population and others like it can receive more efficiently targeted care.

“By looking at referral patterns and researching the range of treatment options throughout the military health care system, we are working with our service TBI partners to find solutions to match patients with the care they need,” Helmick said.

Providers Benefit

Providers appreciate the benefits of the growing DVBIC network. According to John Rigg, site director for TBI at Fort Gordon, the new DVBIC staff will help support and prepare providers who care for TBI patients.

“We’ve been kind of isolated,” said Rigg. “By working together with DVBIC as a network site, we can participate in ongoing research, better collaborate with other experts in the field, and tap into some of the great work being done.”

Comments (14)

  • I need your help have vns 6 brain surgeries and kevlar playe in head last four 1351

    • John, please call the DCoE Outreach Center for help at 866-966-1020. They are available 24/7 to assist.

  • I need to be scheduled,( An appointment), most likely Fort Gordan.
    I will son be 95 ,therefore, I will need a caretaker/chauffeur for
    assistance. Is there any way I can get help?
    I suffer from vertigo, tinnitus , occasional spasms and blackouts.
    I am asking for your help . Harry Beeman

  • I personally would love to be examined at one of you head trama hospital. I was injured and have problems with my head an nobody ever asked if I needed examined. I was the first of many soldiers injured and was just shuffled around and med boarded right out the door! I still feel that I was not properly treated. I think it is about time soldiers get something other than empty promises.

    • Hi Ted, we're sorry to hear about your injuries. Please call the DCoE Outreach Center at 866-966-1020 to find out about services in your area or to learn more about treatment at a polytrauma center.

  • It's a shame you couldn't have opened this a bit sooner. I lost my son last August to PTSD and 3 TBI. Hopefully someone will do more research on the fire pits and the awful stuff inhaled in Iraq. You tell me, his mother, that it wasn't an issue. I have video of him standing at the fire pits.

    • Chester, we are so sorry for the loss of your son. We mourn every loss -- on or off the battlefield. While we can't change the past, we will continue our work toward helping others. Please accept our deepest condolences for your tremendous loss.

  • Working with various military adaptive sports program for Warrior Camp Trials and games, I have often found cranial work to be very effective in deminishing anxiety, stress, headaches in TBI and PTS soldiers. When in a crowed environment, especially when competing, the cranial work has a calming effect, balancing both hemispheres of the brain, allowing athletes to compete when they stated they had to leave and/or cannot compete. I hope that cranial structural or cranial sacral work is eventually studied & offered to this population.

  • Brain injury and surgery 1971. Scar tissue removed that went thru the Temporal Lobe 1998. Also on meds for seizure activity but no seizures.

    • Recovery is a difficult journey. We hope you continue to heal as the years go on. If you ever find you're not doing well, please reach out to your health care provider for help.

  • Need referral for specialized care.

    • Michelle, please contact the DCoE Outreach Center at 866-966-1020 to get speak with someone about resources in your area. Trained specialists are available 24/7.

  • Is a veteran's child eligible to be treated at a VA TBI facility?

  • I was originally diagnosed and treated for TBI by the VA, and later denied. Is there a way I can access treatment and research information to help myself rehab?

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017.