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IFHF Dedicates Intrepid Spirit at Fort Campbell

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Fort Campbell, KY - Since September 11, 2001, psychological health conditions, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), have become an epidemic among members of the American military, due to violent encounters with IEDs during deployments, combat related incidents and training activities. Today, service members, and thousands of others who experience TBI or psychological health conditions have new hope, as the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) joined with military leaders to officially dedicate the new $11 million Intrepid Spirit Center set to provide crucial treatment of psychological injuries in returning service members at Fort Campbell, KY.

This is the third of nine planned Intrepid Spirit Centers nationwide to be completed and opened to treat active duty service members. The first two centers were dedicated last fall at Fort Belvoir, VA and Camp Lejeune, NC and have already provided care for 2,000 service members. Two additional centers are currently under construction at Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Hood, Texas.

“The men and women in the United States military are among the best and bravest in the world – but even the best and bravest sometimes need some help,” said Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  “It is our moral obligation to take care of those who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms – and this new Intrepid Spirit Center, along with all the others, will help us do just that.  By making sure our service members have access to treatment for these invisible injuries we can offer a new hope for recovery to them and their families.”

The Fort Campbell Intrepid Spirit Center began treating American military heroes and their families stationed at or living near Fort Campbell last month. The Center anticipates treating 1,300 to 1,500 patients per year.

"So many of our men and women in uniform have returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan to suffer quietly with psychological health conditions that are invisible to the public," said General Richard Cody, USA (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. "These injuries are dangerous and if left untreated they can cause irreparable damage to the health, safety and wellbeing of our service members and their families.  The Intrepid Spirit Centers are playing a significant role in making sure that every resource and method of treatment is available to service members throughout the country, enabling them to work towards recovery."

The Fort Campbell Center was funded and built by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through a $100 million public fundraising campaign to support returning veterans with TBI and psychological health conditions.  All of the nine planned centers will be located at military bases and medical centers around the country to provide medical care for service members without having to separate them from their units or leave their families for extended periods of treatment.  This proximity to family and friends is expected to enhance their care and rehabilitation.

Major General Gary J. Volesky, Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell said, “'The Fort Campbell National Intrepid Spirit Center provides us with the state-of-the-art facility that gives our medical professionals the modern resources necessary for the care of our service men and women and their families.  Their already proven success in treating patients with traumatic brain injuries, posttraumatic stress and depression has meant the vast majority of our troops have been able to return to duty.  Today's ceremony represents the commitment and dedication of our Nation and Fort Campbell to care for our service members.”

Dr. Bret Logan, Director of Fort Campbell’s new Intrepid Spirit Center said, “This new method of treatment allows all types of providers working collectively to provide a comprehensive multidisciplinary care in a single location. We are truly grateful to expand our capabilities through the Intrepid Spirit enabling the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell Soldiers the opportunity to heal at home where they are surrounded by a network of support from either their families or the unit.”

Each center will be 25,000 sq. ft. and cost $11 million to build.  Upon completion, the Intrepid Spirit Centers are gifted to the Department of Defense for their use in diagnosing and treating returning service members.

“My life, right now, is a testament to the incredible treatment offered by the Intrepid Spirit Centers,” said SGM Robert Haemmerle, who was treated at the first Intrepid Spirit Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for a traumatic brain injury he suffered as a result of a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan. “When I was in the darkest of places, the doctors and staff and the Intrepid Spirit Center gave me hope and made me believe that I could be myself again.  Today, thanks to their guidance and a personalized treatment plan, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I know that I am not alone.  There is no question that I am on the path to recovery.”

The design and mission of the Satellite Centers are based on the original National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.  Operated by the Department of Defense, NICoE is the most advanced facility of its kind in the country and is the center of the Armed Forces’ efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI and related injuries sustained by military personnel. Hundreds of American Service Members have received some form of diagnosis or treatment from NICoE in the last three years.

Each Intrepid Spirit NICoE Satellite Center will incorporate:
 
  • Intake/Clinic area: psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, neuro psych testing rooms, and exam rooms.
  • Physical Therapy: open gym layout with physical therapy equipment including adjustable mat tables, parallel bars, treadmills, alter-G gait trainer, and other therapy items.
  • Sleep Medicine: comprehensive sleep services designed to establish normal sleep and recovery patterns.
  • Central Park: a unique and multi-purpose environment to support physical therapy and family activities, with features including a therapeutic labyrinth for meditation and focusing exercises and a natural setting with trees, shrubs, and water elements.
  • Family Room: providing a reprieve space for patients and family to spend time together and take a break from the clinical treatment regime.

The dedication ceremony included a special tribute to our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers by country music artist Jamie Lee Thurston who performed his song “Ghosts In His Eyes.” The song is an interpretation of the difficult and emotional journey many of our service members experience when coping with psychological health conditions.

About Fort Campbell
Fort Campbell is the nation’s premier power projection platform. Strategically located on the
Tennessee/Kentucky state line, the 106,700 acre installation possesses a unique capability to deploy mission-ready contingency forces by air, rail, highway, and inland waterway. Fort Campbell is proud to be the home of the only Air Assault Division in the world, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Fort Campbell is also the home of two prestigious Special Operations Command units, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). Additionally, Fort Campbell is home to the 86th Combat Support Hospital, the 716th MP Battalion, and sizable Medical and Dental activities. Fort Campbell provides training and mobilization support for numerous Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. Fort Campbell is an Army installation that supports active and reserve component units, Army civilians, Army Families, retirees and veterans. As home to the Army’s most-deployed contingency forces, the 101st Division and Fort Campbell continuously refine efforts to provide the highest standards of service and support to sustain readiness and well-being.