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IFHF Breaks Ground at Fort Campbell, KY for New Brain Injury Center to Treat TBI and PTS in America’s Military Service Members


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(From left to right): IFHF President David Winters, SFC Landon Ranker USA, Future Director of Intrepid Spirit at Fort Campbell Dr. Brett Logan, Director of NICoE Dr. James Kelly, SSG Todd Domerese USA, GEN Robert W. Cone USA, IFHF Trustee GEN Richard Cody USA (Ret.), BG Mark Stammer USA, COL Paul Cordts USA, Past IFHF President Bill White, SGT Ryan Kane USA.

Fort Campbell, KY (June 13, 2013) – Military leaders, including Gen. Robert Cone, Commanding General for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, and Brig. Gen. Mark Stammer, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell Senior Mission Commander, joined leaders of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) at a groundbreaking ceremony here today marking the start of construction for the third in a series of nine National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) Satellite Centers. These centers are designed to diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).  

The ceremony took place one day before Flag Day, which is recognized every June 14th to commemorate the birthday of the U.S. Army and the adoption of the United States flag.

When completed, the center, named Intrepid Spirit III, will provide the most advanced diagnosis and treatment protocols for wounded, injured and ill military heroes while creating effective programs for rehabilitation and recovery.

"Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress are invisible wounds that so many of our men and women in uniform are suffering from as they return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan," said General Richard Cody, USA (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and IFHF Trustee, who represented the Fund at the ceremony. "They struggle with injuries the rest of us cannot see, and so don't know are there, yet they are just as bad as - and sometimes worse than - the loss of a limb. We need to make every resource and method of treatment available to them to speed their recovery."

Today’s groundbreaking comes one year after the  Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) broke ground on the first two centers, built at Camp Lejune, N.C. and Fort Belvoir, Va.  All of the centers, funded and built by the IFHF, are being located at military installations and bases near medical facilities around the country. These convenient locations allow service members to receive TBI and PTS medical services without having to separate them from their units or leave their families for extended periods of treatment.  This proximity to family and friends is expected to enhance service members’ care and rehabilitation.

Each of the NICoE Satellite Centers is 25,000 sq. ft., and cost $11 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and devices.  The Intrepid Spirit III is scheduled to be completed and gifted to the Department of Defense in approximately one year.

"The National Intrepid Center of Excellence Satellite - Intrepid Spirit III will allow our dedicated multidisciplinary team to provide interdisciplinary, holistic, Warrior and Family Centered Care to patients with complex needs while contributing to and supporting research and education by connecting with other centers and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md," said COL Paul Cordts, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Commander. Cordts also spoke about how the mission of the NICoE is directly aligned with the Army's Concussion and mild TBI Management Strategy to Educate, Train, Treat and Track military service members.

BG Mark Stammer, 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell Senior Mission Commander quoted the Army Gold book, that more than 126,000 Soldiers have been diagnosed with TBI and more than 70,000 Soldiers diagnosed with PTSD since 2003. "These service members are living with the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the American people are equipping us with the National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center, the Intrepid Spirit III, to provide more extensive TBI and PTSD services to our Soldiers and their families.  As we break ground today, we will always remember the remarkable giving spirit of the American people and the unparalleled devotion of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in making this center possible," said Stammer.

The design and mission of the Satellite Centers are based on the original NICoE, opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  Operated by the Department of Defense, NICoE is the most advanced facility of its kind in the country, and is the center of the Armed Forces’ efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI, PTS and related injuries and illnesses sustained by military personnel. Hundreds of American service members have received some form of diagnosis or treatment from NICoE in the past three years.

Each NICoE Satellite Center will incorporate:
  • Intake/Clinic area: psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, neurological -psychological  testing rooms and exam rooms.
  • Physical Therapy: open gym layout with physical therapy equipment including adjustable mat tables, parallel bars, treadmills, alter-G gait trainer and other therapy tools.
  • Sleep Lab: one sleep room, equipped with a sleep system and ambient therapy music and a control room with a computer monitoring system.
  • Central Park: a unique and multi-purpose environment to support physical therapy and family activities, with features including a therapeutic labyrinth for meditation and focusing exercises, all within a natural setting of trees, shrubs and water elements.
  • Family Room: providing a reprieve space for patients and family members to spend time together while taking a break from the clinical treatment regime.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma or head injury disrupts the function of the brain. Common causes of TBI include damage caused by explosive devices, falls and vehicle or motorcycle accidents. Most reported TBI among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom service members and veterans have been traced back to Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, used extensively against Coalition Forces. Symptoms can appear immediately or in the weeks and months following the injury.

“Our American injured and wounded service members deserve the highest level of care we can give them, and we must do our duty to see that they get it,” said Bill White, CEO of Constellation Group, which has been retained by IFHF to mount the $100 million fundraising effort for the centers. “These centers will do amazing work for the men and women who have worn the cloth of our nation and sacrificed in battle.”

The architect for the project is SmithGroup, also responsible for designing the NICoE and 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.