FORT HOOD, Texas--The grand opening of the Intrepid Spirit Center here, March 9, marked a significant milestone in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, according to Brig. Gen. Rodney Fogg, III Corps deputy commanding general for support.
He said the Army's newest weapon in the fight against TBI, post-traumatic stress and pain management is meant to send a clear message to Soldiers and Family members battling the effects -- you are not alone.
"Don't be afraid to seek treatment," Fogg told the nearly 200 attendees. "Understand that traumatic brain injuries and psychological health conditions are real, physical injuries -- they are treatable. We are here to help you and your Families on your road to recovery."
At any time on Fort Hood, 200-300 Soldiers receive TBI treatment, explained Col. Mark Thompson, the commander for the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Often, a brain injury diagnosis can also be associated with physical and behavioral health problems that require multi-therapy treatment involving multiple services.
"(The Intrepid Spirit) means that we have a one-site, integrated center that allows Soldiers to receive state-of-the-art care in a state-of-the-art facility," Thompson said. "I can honestly say that this building, from an Army medicine perspective, is vitally important for helping us keep our commitment to exceptional healthcare delivery."
Funded wholly through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the multi-million dollar "satellite" facility is part of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Breakthrough research into TBI treatments conducted there are then exported to the existing Intrepid Spirit locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and now at Fort Hood.
"Every penny that is contributed to the building of these facilities is given by the American people," said Arnold Fisher, honorary chairman for the IFHF, "and every penny of every dollar goes to the building of these facilities."
The new, 25,000 square-foot facility provides a comprehensive model of care that incorporates multiple specialty care services designed to offer Soldiers individual treatment based on their specific injuries. The center brings together doctors, nurse case managers, as well as therapists, social workers and psychologists, whose focus is on Soldier recovery and, ultimately, a return to duty. Currently, the program boasts an 85-90 percent return to duty rate for patients.
"The program that we've developed, and the way in which we have gone about it, is truly setting the standards for care for this patient population," said Dr. Scot Engel, Fort Hood Intrepid Spirit site director.
The Intrepid Spirit opens as Fort Hood continues to grow the installation's medical campus, with the center co-located between the new, $540 million CRDAMC and the Warrior Transition Unit. The Fort Hood location is the fourth satellite center to open, with an additional five sites underway across the nation.
"It is our charge to ensure that our Soldiers returning from combat receive the absolute best care that we can offer," Fogg said. "That is what today is all about; taking an additional step forward providing this critical resource to our nation's heroes where they can begin to heal from the dangerous effects of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions."