By: Kalin Goble
Every impacted individual has a unique experience with their traumatic brain injury (TBI). From the person experiencing TBI, their children, partners, relationships with loved ones, and their greater community, TBIs affect the entire ‘village.’ This reality is all too true for military service members and their families.
The nature of military duty often exposes military members to more physical variables that have the potential to lead to TBIs. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website notes, “The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) reported nearly 414,000 TBIs among U.S. service members worldwide between 2000 and late 2019. More than 185,000 Veterans who use VA for their health care have been diagnosed with at least one TBI.”
Impacted individuals often deal with headaches, sleep disruption, memory loss, and greater risks of irritability and depression. With each TBI experience, symptoms are uniquely challenging. The challenges are felt not only by the individual but by their family, and the well-being and overall health of each member of the family. Manifestations of TBI also have the potential of leading to lifelong changes for everyone.
Center of Excellence
The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE) is a Pathway of Care within the Military Health System. Their commitment is to assisting both service members and veterans, as well as their families, in preventing and easing the consequences of mild to severe TBI, from point of injury to reintegration. In a recent Anchored. Podcast episode, we were joined by Regional TBICoE Education Coordinators Kristen Benson and Courtney Piccolo (Sadler). They tell us about the foundation of the work done at TBICoE, as well as their efforts in creating timely tools and resources to support individuals and their caregivers as well as the service professionals working with families affected by TBI.
Upcoming Programming Supporting TBI Work
For Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month this year, we welcome back TBICoE team members to further dive into current research and resources and the everyday impacts of TBI on the military service community. Our first webinar session, Brain Health: Understanding Military-Related TBIs will be on March 17, 2022. Part 2 will continue the conversation, with Support for Reintegration after TBI: Strategies for Advocates, Care Coordinators, and Case Managers. This session follows on March 30, 2022. Join our live March webinars to learn from, interact with, and ask questions to the TBICoE experts!