IFHF announces partnership with the Columbus Citizens Foundation (CCF), to raise up to $250,000 for the construction of 9 NICoE Satellite Centers

New York, NY – The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has announced a partnership with the Columbus Citizens Foundation (CCF), to raise up to $250,000 for the construction of nine NICoE (National Intrepid Center  of Excellence) Satellite Centers at military bases around the country, designed to provide new hope for those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

Starting today and for the next four weeks, CCF will donate $1, up to a grand total of $250,000, for:

  • Every new friend or “like” on the IFHF or Make It Visible facebook pages;
  • Every new follower or tweet at @intrepidheroes or @makeitvisible;
  • Every post, tweet or other social media message using the official campaign hashtag #MakeItVisible.

“We are proud to continue to support the mission of Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and its work on behalf of our wounded military heroes and their families,” said Frank G. Fusaro, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and a United States Marine Corps veteran. “Thousands of men and women – many of them Americans of Italian descent – are returning from overseas with injuries that will require decades of care – injuries we are only beginning to understand. They stood up for us. Now we must stand up for them.”

This is the second time Columbus Citizens Foundation has directed its generosity toward Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. In 2003, CCF donated $300,000 to IFHF to support its work on behalf of our wounded military men and women and their families.

“We salute the amazing work of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund on behalf of the brave men and women of our military,” said Louis Tallarini, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and United States Army veteran (4th Infantry Division, Vietnam). “These centers will be critical components of the ongoing diagnosis and care for injuries that we as a nation have never before had to face. It’s time for all of us to band together to give them the support they need.”

“We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which is a shining example of private individuals taking up the mantle of helping their fellow man and saluting our military heroes,” said Rich Santulli, Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  “Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress are invisible wounds that so many of our men and women in uniform are suffering from as they return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to make every resource and method of treatment available to them to speed their recovery.”

The NICoE Satellite 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.

The design and mission of the Satellite Centers are based on the original 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, PTS 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 two years.

Each 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 Lab: one sleep room, equipped with a sleep system and ambient therapy music, and a control room with a computer monitoring system.
  • 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.

“Time and again, my friends at the Columbus Citizens Foundation prove their love of this country through their commitment to our veterans,” said Bill White, CEO of Constellations group and one of our nation’s leading veterans affairs advocates whose firm is leading fundraising for the effort.  “This incredibly generous gift of a quarter of a million dollars will go a great distance towards realizing the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund’s construction of the nine satellite centers which will save lives through dedicated, cutting-edge research of Traumatic Brain Injuries.  We need patriots like the Columbus Citizens Fund leadership now more than ever, as our veterans return from active duty, bearing the unseen wounds of war.”

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is also currently engaged in a social media campaign, #MakeItVisible, which encourages all Americans to lend support to the NICoE Satellite Center Effort, and to learn about the invisible wounds of war, specifically Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. Visit www.makeitvisible.org for more information.

About the Columbus Citizens Foundation:
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement.  The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City’s annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York’s Fifth Avenue since 1929.  The Foundation is made up of approximately 600 members who are of Italian ancestry and are grateful for the opportunities their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents found as immigrants to the United States. The Foundation’s members are proud of their heritage and their American citizenship. They are committed to improving the lives of Italian-American students, and their families, by providing scholarship funding that will help the students develop the skills and tools needed to succeed in life.

Posted on March 20 2013 in News

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