IFHF Breaks Ground on new Intrepid Spirit center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in WA
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA (October 29, 2015) – The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), representatives from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and Madigan Army Medical Center today broke ground on a new Intrepid Spirit center that will diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions in service members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The facility will be the sixth in a series of nine centers located at military bases around the country built by the IFHF, a not-for-profit organization and national leader supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Intrepid Spirit centers currently are operational at Fort Belvoir
, Virginia, Camp Lejeune
, North Carolina, and Fort Campbell
, Kentucky, and Intrepid Spirit Centers at Fort Bragg
, North Carolina and Fort Hood
, Texas are under construction and expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s new Intrepid Spirit center is estimated to cost $11 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and treatment facilities and will span 25,000 square feet. Funding for the project is being raised privately through the IFHF.
“Breaking ground at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the sixth Intrepid Spirit Center is a major milestone for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund as it is the first Intrepid Spirit Center that we’re building in the western part of the United States,” said David Winters, President, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “Our mission is to build nine centers across the country that serve the brave men and women who protect us and our values. Opening an Intrepid Spirit Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord means the service members from this community and their families will not need to uproot themselves and travel across the country to receive access to the care and treatment they need to begin the road to recovery.”
As home to the United States Army I Corps and the United States Air Force 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord supports more than 40,000 active guard and reserve service members, as well as more than 60,000 family members who live on- and off-base, and nearly 30,000 retired military who live within 50 miles of the base.
“Having an Intrepid Spirit Center on JBLM will allow for expanded clinical workspaces to improve service member care and satisfaction,” said Col. Michael L. Place, Madigan commander. “The Intrepid Spirit Center allows Madigan Army Medical Center to participate in a growing network of centers providing state of the art treatment services for those suffering from TBI and psychological health conditions.”
All Intrepid Spirit Centers are being funded and built by the IFHF through a $100 million fundraising campaign. Though the centers are being built exclusively through private donations, each center is gifted to the Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion. All of the centers are located at military bases around the country.
The design and mission of the Intrepid Spirit Centers are based on the original National Intrepid Center of Excellence
(NICoE) which 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, psychological health conditions and related injuries sustained by military personnel.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma or head injury disrupts the function of the brain. Common causes of TBI include damage caused by explosive devices, falls and vehicle or motorcycle accidents. Most reported TBI among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom service members and veterans has been traced back to Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, used extensively against Coalition Forces. Symptoms can appear immediately or weeks to months following the injury.