• Military officials along with leaders from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund broke ground June 13 for a state-of-the-art National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center. The Fort Belvoir NICoE satellite, funded and conceived by the IFHF, is the first of about seven to 10 NICoE satellite centers to be constructed over the next several years in an effort to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions suffered by service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Department of Defense photo by Navy Seaman Tina Staffieri)

    New center to combat complex, psychological war wounds

    Military officials along with leaders from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund broke ground June 13 for a state-of-the-art National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center. The Fort Belvoir NICoE satellite, funded and conceived by the IFHF, is the...

  • Military officials along with leaders from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund break ground for a state-of-the-art National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center June 13 at Fort Belvoir, Va. The Belvoir satellite is expected to service more than 600 military patients per year, expanding the military medical system's ability to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions suffered by the nation's service members. (Department of Defense photo by Navy Seaman Tina Staffieri)

    New center to combat complex, psychological war wounds

    Military officials along with leaders from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund break ground for a state-of-the-art National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center June 13 at Fort Belvoir, Va. The Belvoir satellite is expected to service more than...

  • Richard Santulli, chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, states that the effort to build a series of National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite centers is a way to pay back military members and their families for their sacrifices on behalf of the nation. Santulli delivered his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Fort Belvoir NICoE satellite center June 13. Funded and conceived by the IFHF, the Belvoir satellite is the first of about seven to 10 NICoE satellite centers to be constructed over the next several years in an effort to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions suffered by service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Department of Defense photo by Chuck Widener)

    New center to combat complex, psychological war wounds

    Richard Santulli, chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, states that the effort to build a series of National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite centers is a way to pay back military members and their families for their sacrifices on behalf...

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 13, 2012) -- Fort Belvoir Community Hospital broke ground on the first satellite center of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence today.
The Fort Belvoir NICoE satellite, expected to open in a year, will extend the care of the NICoE facility at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to area service members suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Funded and conceived by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Fort Belvoir NICoE satellite is the first of about seven to 10 satellite centers to be constructed over the next several years at some of the largest military deployment bases around the country.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art clinical care, the NICoE and its satellite centers also conduct the critical mission of research and education. Healthcare providers at the satellite centers will share information learned with the main NICoE facility, which will aid in its ongoing research program to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of TBI, post traumatic stress and related afflictions.

"It's designed to be an instrument of healing, hope, discovery, and learning for service members and their families," said Col. Susan Annicelli, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital commander.

The facility will use an interdisciplinary approach to care featuring a comprehensive team offering intensive diagnosis and treatment, she explained. This team will employ modern medical technology and resources to develop effective treatment plans, education programs, long-term follow up, and continuity management in a single, central location.

Staffed to "advance the understanding of complex human conditions coexisting in the same individual," Dr. James Kelly, NICoE director, said NICoE's charge is to "make visible what is invisible and restore to wellness the person whose health and interpersonal relationships have been disrupted by the most extreme of life events."

For Air Force Master Sgt. Earl Covel, NICoE has already been instrumental on his road to recovery while providing care for his family as well.

"From day one I had the whole medical system at my whim," Covel said. "Providers were at my beck and call. After war, you're forever changed as a person, but NICoE sent me on a path of healing."

Having deployed 12 times over the course of his career, Covel earned the Silver Star and three Bronze Stars. He spoke openly about his invisible wounds as a result of combat. More importantly, he said the NICoE facility at Walter Reed has greatly helped him "to be comfortable with the person I am now, and come to terms with the limitations I have. They led me from a very dark place to a place where I can now see the light."

Covel will continue his treatment at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, where the behavioral health department and Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center currently located in the new, state-of-the-art facility will relocate to the NICoE satellite center once it's completed. This move will greatly improve the collaborative healing environment by bringing the two sections together in one facility. Currently, they are located in different areas of the hospital.

Enabling the military medical system to reach an even larger population of wounded warriors who are struggling with these types of injuries, the Belvoir NICoE satellite is expected to service more than 600 military patients per year, according to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital's concept of operations. Together, the facility and the healthcare providers will deliver the best and most advanced care possible to the nation's heroes, while elevating the level of healthcare across the military health system, Annicelli said.

Page last updated Wed June 13th, 2012 at 00:00