Private Foundation Plans Nine New Centers to Treat Combat Trauma

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) last week unveiled a $100 million fundraising campaign to build state-of-the-art facilities to treat traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder at nine of the nation’s largest installations.

The new centers would function as satellite clinics to the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. On Wednesday, IFHF broke ground on the first two satellite centers, at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Camp Lejeune, N.C. Providing medical care for service members closer to their units and families is expected to enhance their rehabilitation.

When IFHF finishes building and outfitting each center, it will turn it over to the military to staff and operate.

The network of treatment centers will represent the largest privately financed construction project ever undertaken on behalf of DOD, reported the New York Times. Prior to completing the NICoE at Bethesda in 2010, IFHF completed the Center for the Intrepid in 2007 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are believed to affect about 20 percent of personnel returning from deployments.

Beyond Fort Belvoir and Camp Lejeune, DOD has approved centers at six Army posts: Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. A ninth site has not yet been named.

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