The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) is Highlighting New Medical Advancements in Treating TBI in Military Veterans and Civilians

National Intrepid Center for Excellence LogoA recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights a number of significant treatment centers that are specifically focused on providing the most advanced, comprehensive, up-to-date, and current treatment technology and procedures to assist military veterans and civilian contractors suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI). For decades, TBI has been a challenging and often misunderstood medical condition to effectively treat, especially as research regarding TBI has been somewhat lacking and medical professionals and researchers alike are still seeking to evaluate the long-term impact of TBI. It is important for civilian contractors who are injured overseas to understand that they can utilize these resource centers to aide in their recovery.

As many medical professionals have advised, with “an explosion, the brain can be thrown off kilter and stop sending impulses the way it did before [and] the result can be profound disorientation, personality changes, and other issues that can make someone unrecognizable to family and friends. Until very recently, the conventional wisdom held that it was untreatable, because it was thought that the brain stopped developing at some point in our lives.” 

Support Facilities for Civilian Contractors Injured Overseas

After observing a number of military veterans and civilian contractors alike suffering from TBI, Arnold Fisher, a former Army corporal, opted to use his experience, resources, and capital from a successful real estate career to focus on one specific issue: “The human brain [and] how Americans can help our warriors who return from the battlefield with injuries few understand.”   As a result, Mr. Fisher established the National Intrepid Center for Excellence (NICoE), with the purpose of setting up one of the most sophisticated research and medical facilities geared toward treating TBI.

The facility is described as “a $65 million state-of-the-art facility at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.” It brings “together the leading military and civilian experts to try to combine the latest research with the latest therapies” where the explicit “goal is to develop, test and apply the therapies best suited to helping the brain regenerate connections.”   The current facility has space for approximately 250 patients, and its goal is to expand to provide services to additional military and civilian patients. In fact, the primary NICoE location was such a success, that the program has sought expansion including the construction of various satellite centers referred to as “Intrepid Spirit Centers” at military bases around the nation. According to the article, today there are Intrepid Spirit Centers at Fort Belvoir in Virginia and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, in addition to Kentucky’s Fort Campbell [where] “two more will open next year—at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas” and others are pending approval in locations such as “Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Carson in Colorado, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington and Camp Pendleton in California.”

These centers, though relatively new, have and continue to maintain a high impact of success. Civilian contractors injured overseas should explore their ability to use these facilities.  Many observers have noted that the centers “have more than a 90% success rate.” The ongoing success of the facilities in treating TBI cannot be discounted, since the long-term health benefits of treatment is expected to be “huge, with benefits for civilians as well as military [and] operating from a large data pool, NICoE and its Intrepid Spirit Centers are better placed than anyone else to advance knowledge about the brain and develop therapies and best practices to improve treatment for everyone from the high-school football player with a concussion to the elderly woman who cracks her head after a spill in the bathroom.”

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