Hospital officially opens Traumatic Brain Injury department
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- Fort Belvoir Community Hospital staff and patients joined to celebrate the grand opening of the Department of Traumatic Brain Injury here Jan. 27, 2012. Pictured at the podium here, Dr. (Lt. Col.) Jeffrey Yarvis, the hospital's deputy commander for behavioral health, speaks to the ceremony attendees. (Department of Defense photo by Chris Walz)

FORT BELVOIR, Va., January, 31, 2012 -- The Department of Defense's new $1.03 billion hospital at Fort Belvoir opened the doors to a new, state-of-the-art Traumatic Brain Injury Department Friday.

Officially integrating and consolidating the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center TBI services among itself and Walter Reed-Bethesda in Maryland, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital is looking to be a leader in comprehensive behavioral and physiological health throughout the National Capital Region and DoD.

The Department of Traumatic Brain Injury and DVBIC locations within the hospital combine medical, psychological, educational and physical resources into a centralized clinic for optimal patient care. The new facility is outfitted with state-of-the-art TBI testing and treatment equipment, as well as ample office space and exam rooms.

"I cannot imagine a more wonderful setting for us to be able to launch this program and certainly have it serve as a spring board as we move forward with comprehensive behavioral health and physiological health for our servicemembers," said Army Col. Susan Annicelli, hospital commander.

The National Capital Region receives the greatest number of the gravest injuries, creating opportunities to more fully understand the unique needs of wounded warriors, how they recover, and what rehabilitation interventions help this process, according to Dr. Heechin Chae, chief of the TBI Department.

Therefore, staff members "seized" the opportunity to provide input on construction of the new, world-class hospital with the intent to build a robust infrastructure in support of the program, said Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Yarvis, deputy commander for behavioral health at Belvoir Hospital.

TBI curriculum provides one-on-one education, support groups, caregiver and children education classes. This interdisciplinary approach maintains the hospitals application of Patient-and Family-Centered Care.

"The Department prides itself on the outstanding clinical care and teamwork that allows the team to craft and coordinate treatment plans for each patient. Our TBI clinic can manage the full spectrum of Acquired Brain Injury from mild to severe," Chae said.

The team centric clinic includes various specialties that provide a one-on-one focus around its target population at Fort Belvoir and throughout the National Capital Region.

"They think outside the box," said one TBI clinic patient during the ceremony, "It's not one treatment for all."

Staff in the department include a chief physiatrist, a specialty intake clinic, administrative DVBIC staff and civilian staff members, and two rehabilitation teams, each consisting of medical, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, neuropsychology, and registered nurse case management.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and TBI are signature injuries for our time. Across the board, it is affecting the lives of servicemembers and their families from all services. Our goal is to be a leader in providing a holistic approach to care for those impacted by these injuries," Annicelli said.

Page last updated Tue January 31st, 2012 at 00:00