New Intrepid Spirit Center at Camp Pendleton Groundbreaking

Story Number: NNS170510-07Release Date: 5/10/2017 1:59:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine Muhammad, NHCP Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Camp Pendleton, May 10, for a new $12.5 million traumatic brain injury treatment center. Nearly 300 military and civilian guests attended the 11 a.m. ceremony which was hosted by Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.

The new Intrepid Spirit center will be located next to the Pacific Views Event Center near the main gate and is scheduled to be completed in May 2018. The 25,000 square foot facility will be equipped with the latest medical technology and will be staffed by personnel from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.

"As a neurosurgeon, I appreciate the complexity and subtlety of brain circuitry. That said, medical science as a whole remains in its infancy of its understanding of neuroplasticity and the potential for recovery after head injury," said Capt. Lisa Mulligan, NHCP commanding officer. "This center will combine resources of clinical, research and educational specialists to broaden our horizons and make sure that service members benefit from an unprecedented level of care."

The Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit center will be the seventh in a series of nine centers located at military bases around the country built by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a not-for-profit organization supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The center will be gifted to the Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion.

"We are humbled and grateful to accept this donation to the American people from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund," said Commander Paul Sargent, department head of the NHCP Concussion Care Clinic and future medical director of the new center. "Most patients who suffer head injuries improve on their own, however, for those with persistent symptoms, numerous studies show the benefit of an interdisciplinary approach to care. This cutting-edge facility will house two full interdisciplinary teams focused on the recovery and rehabilitation of service members with a history of brain injury as well as its physical and psychological consequences."

The design and mission of the Intrepid Spirit centers are based on the original National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) which opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Operated by the Department of Defense, NICoE is the center of the Armed Forces' efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI, psychological health conditions and related injuries sustained by military personnel.

Intrepid Spirit centers currently are operational at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Hood, TX, and Fort Bragg, NC, and another still under construction at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.

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