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Home > June 2010 > National Intrepid Center of Excellence to be Dedicated on June 24th
National Intrepid Center of Excellence to be Dedicated on June 24th
Posted: 6/23/2010 9:09:54 AM

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes will officially open the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), a 72,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art research, diagnosis and treatment center for Service members and Veterans with diagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Psychological Health Conditions, in a ceremony held at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD on June 24, 2010.

“We are tremendously excited to open the doors to this incredible facility that will help to treat our men and women in uniform who have suffered these invisible injuries of the brain and memory,” said Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health Conditions – largely caused by IED explosions in Iraq and Afghanistan – are the signature wounds of our current overseas conflicts in the war on terror. As Americans, it is our obligation to care for these men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom.”

NICoE will provide leading edge services for wounded warriors with traumatic brain injury and/or psychological health conditions. Further, the center will conduct research, test new protocols and provide comprehensive training and education to patients, providers and families while maintaining ongoing telehealth follow-up care.

“NICoE will serve as the hub of a global community network of interdisciplinary clinicians for warriors and families affected by TBI and psychological health issues.  Animated by its aspirational goals of hope, excellence, accountability, respect and trust, NICoE will yield strength and healing for each warrior and family through integrative care, research, education and long-term commitment,” BG Loree K. Sutton, MC, USA, DoD Director of DCoE/PH&TBI. “For those who have endured the ravages of war, life becomes precious in ways that others will never know. NICoE is committed to helping them claim it…that is real hope.”

NICoE was funded by the generosity of the American people through a fundraising effort mounted by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides assistance to our nation’s military heroes who have been critically injured in the performance of their duty, and their families. The IFHF previously raised close to $75 million to support families of military personnel lost in Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and to construct the Center for the Intrepid, an advanced physical rehabilitation facility at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, which opened in 2007. The funding for NICoE was topped off with a $3 million donation from legendary TV personality Bob Barker, longtime host of “The Price Is Right.” Barker, a World War II veteran himself, was motivated to action last year when he read about the economy having slowed the fundraising efforts for the center.

Spearheading this project is New York real estate executive Arnold Fisher, the honorary chairman of the IFHF whose family was responsible for turning the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid into a museum to honor and educate about our nation’s veterans.  According to Fisher, this is a much tougher project to accomplish because mental and brain injuries are not visible to the untrained eye. Soldiers can be living with problems that no one can see.  In addition, problems such as post traumatic stress disorder can surface years later if left untreated. 

The architect for the project is SmithGroup, who was also responsible for designing the Center for the Intrepid, an advanced rehabilitation center for amputee and burn victims developed by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in San Antonio, Texas

NICoE will feature the most advanced equipment and facilities for diagnosis and treatment. Improvements in screening, diagnosis, and treatment will be fed back out to the military and VA hospitals and medical facilities across the country. Long-term follow-up care will also be incorporated into the system plan to ensure that, once soldiers separate from the military, they do not separate from whatever continued treatment they need.

Many thousands of military personnel may suffer from some level of TBI as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan.  NICoE will be designed to provide the most advanced services for diagnostics, initial treatment plan and family education, introduction to therapeutic modalities, referral and reintegration support for military personnel and veterans with TBI, post traumatic stress disorder, and/or complex psychological health issues. Further, NICoE will conduct research, test new protocols and provide comprehensive training and education to patients, providers and families while maintaining ongoing telehealth follow-up care across the country and throughout the world. Upon completion, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund will transfer NICoE to the Department of Defense for staffing and ongoing operation.



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