Donations Help Fund IFHF’S Intrepid Spirit Center Project
NAPA recently presented a check for $2,536,751 raised through the 2016 “Get Back and Give Back” campaign, to Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF). The IFHF is a not-for-profit organization that provides support for wounded military personnel.
The annual campaign was launched in 2012 and the amount NAPA has raised has increased each year with more than $7.6 million donated to date. Fisher noted, “NAPA is the single largest contributor to the IFHF’s Intrepid Spirit Center project.”
The money NAPA contributes each year is working to build nine Intrepid Spirit Centers at major military bases across the country. These centers provide critically needed support for America’s wounded heroes suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related psychological health conditions.
The Need for Treatment
Since 2001, more than 350,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. TBI was once considered untreatable. But not anymore.
About ten years ago, the IFHF asked a team of military and civilian brain specialists including David Hovda, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, to develop a new standard of care for brain afflictions. According to Hovda, “Our treatment protocols were unlike any that a traditional military or civilian program would have produced. Using the most advanced findings of the brain’s functioning and self-healing capacities, we developed an unprecedented in its-scope multidisciplinary approach to brain trauma.
“Every technique that had promise in stimulating the brain to heal itself was incorporated. These ranged from advanced neuroimaging and virtual reality simulation to acupuncture and art therapy. We designed the system to be dynamic, taking advantage of developments in brain science as they emerged and linking treatment and response data in a continuous-improvement feedback loop.”
Today, returning military personnel suffering from TBI are benefiting from this treatment model at the IFHF National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and at five IFHF Intrepid Spirit Centers located around the country. A caregiving team with expertise ranging from neuroplasticity of the brain to spiritual counseling meets jointly with each newly admitted patient. Together they work to evaluate, diagnose and treat the patient with a unified plan.
“Through science and collaboration, these facilities are achieving previously unimaginable recovery rates from a once all-but-untreatable condition,” said Hovda.
IFHF President David Winters added, “Data from our existing centers indicates that the interdisciplinary approach to providing care for these injuries is proving extremely successful, with more than 90 percent of patients able to continue their regular service in the Armed Forces upon completion. Making these services available closer to home to military families on the west coast is a critical step in our program.”
The first five Intrepid Spirit Centers are now in operation and the sixth is under construction at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, the first in the western United States. It is expected to be completed in November. Ground breaking for the seventh center will be this spring at Camp Pendleton, California. This will be the second center at a Marine Corps base as well as the second west coast center.
Each Intrepid Spirit Center is approximately 25,000 square feet and costs between $11-$12 million to build and equip. Upon completion, the Centers are gifted to the Department of Defense for staffing and operations.
“One hundred percent of every donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund goes directly to the project, as the IFHF trustees cover their operating expenses,” said Winters. “Speaking on behalf of all the soldiers, veterans, and families that will be returned to the life they want and deserve, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund expresses its profound gratitude to NAPA and all the employees and friends who so generously contribute to building and equipping the Intrepid Spirit Centers.”
INTREPID SPIRIT CENTERS
- Fort Belvoir, Virginia
- Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Fort Hood, Texas
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington (expected completion November 2017)
- Camp Pendleton, California (ground breaking May 2017)
The Intrepid Spirit Centers each incorporate the following facilities:
- Intake/Clinic area including psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, neuro psych testing rooms, and exam rooms.
- Physical Therapy with open gym layout.
- Fully equipped sleep Lab.
- Central Park, a calm atmosphere for patient and family member relaxation and family education.
- Family Room, a space for patients and family to spend time together, a critical part of the healing process.