Tulane University has received a $12.5 million grant from the Avalon Fund to open the Center for Brain Health, aimed at treating military veterans that suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The Avalon Fund‘s goal is to provide support for research and treatment of veterans that suffer from TBI and PTSD, helping them to transition and thrive in the civilian world. The Funds works with the Marcus Institute of Brain Health, at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus and Boulder Crest.
According to Tulane University’s press release, The Center for Brain Health will operate under the umbrella of the Tulane Center for Sport programs, working hand-in-hand with Tulane’s School of Medicine. The Center plans to begin treating veterans and their spouses, starting in the fall of 2020.
Tulane is not a newcomer to treating TBIs. Since 2011, Tulane has been caring for and treating professional athletes through their Professional Athlete Care Team (PACT), which works with the NFL Player Care Foundation and The Trust, which is sponsored by the NFLPA.
Dr. Gregory Stewart, the director of the PACT, will provide oversight for the new Center for Brain Health. Dr. Stewart explained that, “Thanks to our work at the PACT clinic, we’ve built a team uniquely skilled to provide customized care to address the healthcare needs of this population.”
There is a huge need for dedicated organizations to treat veterans with PTSD and TBI. According to the Tulane Press Release, “Since 2001, over 900,000 deployed military personnel have suffered from both TBI and PTSD. The gift will support, expand and help equip Tulane’s capabilities to diagnose and treat TBI, PTSD, and the associated neurological and psychological conditions associated with these conditions in veterans. There will be an interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluation, an intensive outpatient program, discharge planning and patient follow-up for at least one year.”
Tulane is a fitting location to be treating those who have served and sacrificed. Michael Fitts, the president of Tulane University pointed out that, “Tulane is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top universities for veterans due to our welcoming environment, strong ROTC programs and the educational benefits and financial aid options we offer to veterans and active military personnel.”
Looking into the future, Dr. Stewart told the Military Times that they hope to treat 400 patients a year. They expect to build up their patient base through word of mouth among veterans.
According to The Center For Brain Health’s website, they will also conduct research and provide services for cardiovascular health, psychological health, behavioral neurology, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology, among others.
Dr. Stewart summed up his excitement for the new center: “We are very proud and excited about the launch of the Tulane University Center for Brain Health. Our focus on veterans, caring for former members of our armed forces, is an honor beyond words.”