1. What is Warrior Care Network?
Warrior Care Network is a groundbreaking collaboration between Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) and its academic medical center partners, Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health, to create a nationwide, comprehensive care network that will enhance access and provide clinical and family-centered treatment to veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other related conditions.
Warrior Care Network will offer specialized clinical services through either a regionalized outpatient program (OP) and/or an innovative intensive outpatient program (IOP). In cooperation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, this program will connect thousands of warriors with world-class care.
2. Who is the program intended for?
Whether a wounded veteran is suited for care through either the outpatient (OP) or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) will depend on a number of factors. Individuals will be considered for the IOP if a two- or three-week program would overcome barriers to care, like geographic distance. Other specific areas of eligibility criteria for the program may include:
*Determination of suitability for care will be made by academic medical center partner clinicians.
3. As a provider, how do I refer patients to the network?
A provider can recommend Warrior Care Network to a patient through Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) or a participating academic medical center (AMC). More information about Warrior Care Network can be found by visiting warriorcarenetwork.org.
Interested post-9/11 veterans can also contact the WWP Resource Center team at 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586) or 904.405.1213, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. How were the medical centers chosen to participate in the network? What experience do these hospitals have providing care to veterans/service members? What is the experience of their clinicians?
The notion of creating a private sector network of major academically affiliated medical centers to provide, primarily mental health and traumatic brain injury, care began through a course of dialogues Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) was separately holding with existing programs. Through work with WWP Alumni and the individual programs, it became clear that there was an opportunity to create a world-class network of care for veterans in need of specialized services for the invisible wounds of war. Working in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the vision for the program was to scale the top-tier, existing, private sector programs, facilitate true inter-facility collaboration, leverage the lessons that each of these programs has learned through their provision of care, and better coordinate services and share best practices in serving wounded veterans across the country.
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of war for service members, post-9/11 veterans and their families through clinical care, wellness, outreach, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the largest, private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma and family relationship challenges. Home Base clinicians and staff are based at MGH and are affiliated with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, both of which combine to be the largest teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. Since inception, Home Base has served more than 9,000 veterans and family members with care and support, trained more than 12,000 clinicians nationally and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments – ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information please visit homebase.org.
Operation Mend at UCLA Health is a ground-breaking program with a mission to partner with the United States military to jointly heal the wounds of war by delivering leading-edge patient care, research, and education and using the best medicine and technology available. Established in 2007 as a unique partnership between the UCLA Health, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Operation Mend connects the best of the military’s resources with the skills of exceptional surgical and medical specialists at UCLA to provide a collaborative and comprehensive approach to healing wounded veterans. At Operation Mend’s outset, a team of UCLA’s best reconstructive plastic surgeons was assembled to work alongside military medicine counterparts to primarily repair the facial wounds of service members/veterans critically injured during combat in or training for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. As the scope of injuries presented new and emerging needs, the services expanded to include craniofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedic surgery, hand surgery, neurology, and diagnostics and treatment planning for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since its inception, Operation Mend has provided not only extensive surgical and specialty medical care for its 140 wounded veterans but also psychological and social support for them and their family members at no cost. Through their provision of physical health care, they very quickly recognized the cognitive and emotional care needs of these and other veterans and have expanded their provision of services in this area as well.
Emory Healthcare Veterans Program has, since its inception in 2011, successfully treated hundreds of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn veterans using evidence-based psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program is dedicated to helping veterans and their families access help for PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and military sexual trauma (MST), while working to remove the stigma often associated with seeking mental health care. As part of the Emory Brain Health Center, the program offers a comprehensive, collaborative model combining psychiatry, psychology, neurology, rehabilitative medicine and wellness. Additionally, the program offers health care provider education specific to military culture. Under the leadership of director Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, an international expert in evidence-based treatment for PTSD, Emory’s Veterans Program is widely recognized as the Southeast’s preeminent private sector provider of behavioral health treatment for veterans with invisible wounds of war
The Road Home Program launched in 2014 after Rush’s leadership recognized that the profound gaps in care for veterans’ invisible wounds of war demanded action by those with the expertise to effectively treat these conditions. Starting with peer-to-peer outreach as “warm entry points” to the program’s services, the program creates multiple avenues to connect to veteran-specific outpatient services, which currently encompass a mental health clinic, child and family services, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) clinic, and clinic directly providing support to survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). More than 300 veterans and family members have been treated thus far for a range of issues related to military service, including post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma , traumatic brain injury, child and family counseling, and other specific psychological and emotional needs. Dozens of Chicago-area veterans have also participated in a unique career training and job placement program that has readied them for information technology careers. The Road Home Program functions as a regional health care hub, reinforcing the continuum of care in collaboration with VA, social service agencies, educational organizations and other healthcare providers. Road Home clinicians and therapists who specialize in treating combat veterans also train primary care physicians and others to more effectively interact with and treat military personnel. Road Home is based directly on the successful and proven model of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Home Base program. One of Home Base’s founders, Dr. Mark Pollack, is now chair of Rush’s Department of Psychiatry and was hired by Rush to help create a veterans treatment program. Dr. Pollack is also currently the President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and is an international expert in the assessment and treatment of anxiety and traumatic stress.
5. Is there an opportunity for my medical center/program to join Warrior Care Network?
As Warrior Care Network grows and matures, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) would welcome new partners. The network is already present in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta, but it would benefit from the geographic expansion allowing more veterans to be treated in more cities across the United States. The network would also benefit from continued contribution of expertise in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment, specific to the needs of the veteran population.
6. When will Warrior Care Network begin treating patients?
Warrior Care Network will have its official national launch and begin to treat patients in January 2016. Massachusetts General Hospital’s Home Base will be the first to begin its two-week intensive outpatient program. Operation Mend at UCLA Health, Emory’s Veterans Program, and Rush University Medical Center’s Road Home Program will begin their intensive outpatient programs shortly after. Interested veterans can make their way through the referral/recommendation process starting in January 2016. The objective is to serve veterans as soon as possible.
7. Are family members included / considered in the program?
Family participation in both the outpatient (OP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP), even if remotely, is preferred and encouraged, and in some cases required. We understand that family members, caregivers, and companions are a big part of the healing process. Warrior Care Network will engage family members in the care management processes and provide family-centered treatment.
8. Where can I find more information about the network? Where can I find more information about participating Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) and their respective clinical programs?
More information about Warrior Care Network can be found by visiting warriorcarenetwork.org.
Interested post-9/11 veterans can also contact the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Resource Center at 888.WWP.ALUM (997.2586), 904.405.1213, or by email at email@example.com.
9. What if veterans / service members do not have insurance?
There is no cost associated with participation in this program, and a veteran who has been accepted into Warrior Care Network will never be denied due to financial restrictions. An uninsured patient may qualify for coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The WWP Benefits Service team can help you through this process. Patients will also have access to financial counseling at the academic medical center (AMC) in which they are receiving care.
10. What type of care is administered post-intensive outpatient program?
If treatment is received through the IOP, a post-IOP care plan will be developed and discussed with the veteran and an applicable community provider will be identified to support with the execution of that care plan. Additionally, a follow-up care survey and assessments will be requested from participants three, six, and 12 months after care to monitor treatment progress and satisfaction in the program. The academic medical centers (AMCs) will also work with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) to coordinate follow-up care for the veteran in his or her hometown as needed. Warrior Care Network expects community providers to be fully engaged in executing the long-term care plan as needed throughout the veteran’s journey to wellness.
11. Is there provider training available?
Provider training is available through STAR Behavioral Health Providers; wherein the Center for Deployment Psychology offers evidence-based training focusing on the needs and challenges of military service for both the service member and his or her family. The training is geared toward licensed behavioral health professionals and emphasizes the uniqueness of treating someone with needs specific to the military. Welcome Back Veterans is another training resource focused on helping veterans and their families suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can also contact one of the participating academic medical centers (AMCs) to refer patients or participate in training offered by that site.
In addition, Home Base, a partnership of The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, helps post-9/11 veterans and military families heal from the invisible wounds of war through clinical care, wellness-based programs, community outreach, education, and research. The Training Institute at Home Base (Home Base Training) offers online and in-person training at no charge to clinicians, health care professionals, and community members.