Health & Safety

March 1, 2013

RWBAHC offers TBI treatment

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, has been called the “signature injury” of more than 11 years of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Injuries Soldiers receive downrange can originate from improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, gun blasts, accidents, and equipment failure. Many service members have experienced multiple deployments due to the length of war, translating into multiple exposures to potential TBI events.

Fort Huachuca is home to a Level 4 TBI Program, providing outpatient care to Soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions. Dr. Richard LaMacchia, a neuropsychologist; Tracey-Jean Santoro, psychology technician; and Renate Schmitt, occupational therapist, are part of RWBAHC’s TBI team.

To promote recovery, the team’s mission is to assess and evaluate physical, cognitive and emotional or behavioral symptoms to optimize care, improve outcomes and reduce disability through a patient-centered approach. Referrals to the TBI unit are given to service members who meet certain criteria. To obtain an accurate medical history, the team reviews the service member’s medical history; details the injury event(s); and screens for preexisting or co-occurring conditions and psychosocial risk factors.

While a few Soldiers are immediately referred to the TBI program after a potential brain injury, most obtain referrals after having experienced a TBI injury in the past. Typical symptoms include headaches, short-term memory problems, irritability, difficulty sleeping, balance issues, vision, hearing or cognitive issues, and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

As soon as possible, the TBI team develops an individual care plan for each Soldier, unique to their injuries, to ensure timely, quality care. Members do this by assessing, re-evaluating, educating and removing barriers in the medical and behavioral health community. The process includes empathy, competence, dedication, honesty and commitment to the service member.

The TBI team assists with referrals and appointments, follows up on test results, communicates with various healthcare providers, and monitors each Soldier’s progress in reaching their care-plan goals.

The time it takes to achieve established goals varies; it may take a few months or a long period of time. Goals typically include headache frequency and intensity reduction; onset and length-of-sleep improvement; improvement in short-term memory, balance and vision; and reduction of PTSD symptoms.

The TBI team works with a variety of disciplines within RWBAHC and the local community. These include physical therapy, optometry, psychology, neurology and sleep labs. The TBI team tracks office visit notes and testing results. They share these with other RWBAHC team members and the Soldier’s primary care and case managers.

Soldiers who do not respond to treatment can be referred to inpatient programs elsewhere. One option is the 72,000 square-foot National Intrepid Center of Excellence, or NICoE, in Bethesda, Md. The staff is considered a world leader in treatment of psychological heath issues and traumatic brain injuries.

The TBI team at Fort Huachuca coordinates the Soldier’s NICoE referral and placement. Its members communicate with providers at NICoE during the Soldier’s 20-business-day stay and participate in the multidisciplinary discharge meeting, helping to coordinate needs of the returning Soldier.

The RWBAHC TBI team is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, see your primary care provider or call 533.5161.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Delivery nurse drops donut day for Performance Triad

WASHINGTON – Capt. Frances Young used to have doughnut day with her family every weekend. After filling up on donuts with her husband and two children, ages 3 and 4, she said she would get an initial sugar rush and then feel sleepy and crash for the rest of the day. Young, who is the...
 
 
Run-for-God

Religious Support Office offers new running program

Fort Huachuca’s Religious Support Office is hosting a practical, non-competitive guide to running and a 12-week training plan with a Christian focus. The program, titled ‘Run for God’ will begin training from 5 p.m. to 6 ...
 
 

ArmyFit website offers information on how to achieve, sustain lasting fitness

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – For little more than a year, the Army has been promoting a website called ArmyFit, a resource site that provides Soldiers, Family members and U.S. Army civilians with information regarding their physical, spiritual, emotional, Family and social status. The site allows the user to take a completely confidential brief survey through...
 

 

ASAP, SHARP to host Alcohol Awareness Month activities

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. The Fort Huachuca Army Substance Abuse Program, ASAP will sponsor a host of activities that create awareness in the...
 
 

ArmyFit website offers information on how to achieve, sustain lasting fitness

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — For little more than a year, the Army has been promoting a website called ArmyFit, a resource site that provides Soldiers, family members and U.S. Army civilians with information regarding their physical, spiritual, emotional, family and social status. The site allows the user to take a completely confidential brief survey through...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin