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. How can I or my corporation further support this effort?
Donating to Warrior Care Network will help enhance access and provide clinical and family-centered treatment to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other related conditions. Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001, and their families. With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries. For every U.S. soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), for every U.S. soldier killed, seven are wounded.
If you are part of an established corporate, private, or family foundation, you can join other generous grantors and provide support for WWP. For more information, contact email@example.com.
3. How will my donations be used?
All donations made to Warrior Care Network will have a direct impact on veteran health care. While initial network operations are financially supported by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and the participating academic medical centers (AMCs), donations are needed to ensure that all eligible post-9/11 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) have access to long-term support needed to battle the invisible wounds of war. The participating AMCs not only provide mental health care, but also, in the intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), lodging, transportation, food, and other non-clinical activities to create a safe and healthy environment for our nation’s veterans.
4. Why is this program needed? What is the demand for this program?
Since 2001, more than 2.6 million men and women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our nation’s freedom and have returned home with physical and psychological wounds of war. The 2015 Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Annual Alumni Survey indicates invisible wounds can result in devastating long-term impact. Mental health conditions were among the most frequently reported health problems, with 76.2 percent screening positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 68.8 percent screening positive for depression, 67.4 percent screening positive for anxiety, and more than 42.5 percent experiencing traumatic brain injury (TBI). Additionally, 76 percent reported suffering from sleeping problems and 72.1 percent have back, neck, or shoulder problems. While the survey showed many wounded veterans have significant health care needs, they too often have difficulty getting the help they need. Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to improve care at VA medical facilities, more injured veterans are seeking VA care (65.3 percent in 2015 – up from 62.5 percent in 2014), yet access to care remains the major issue for physical and mental health care.
In addition, a 2014 Institute of Medicine report found the acceleration of PTSD among service members and veterans is staggering. From 2001 to 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) reported a 65-percent increase in mental health diagnoses, and mental health issues represented the second most common complaint for post-9/11 veterans seeking VA care – second only to orthopedic injuries.
These statistics clearly indicate that a growing number of America’s heroes need specialized mental health care, but the numbers do not reflect the many veterans who remain untreated due to lack of access to adequate treatment or convey the impact these wounds have on veterans’ families.
5. What clinical services / treatments will be offered as part of the outpatient and intensive outpatient program?
Treatment offered as part of the outpatient and intensive outpatient programs will vary depending on the academic medical center’s program. Warrior Care Network is dedicated to treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and related conditions. Treatment will focus on both individual and group, evidenced-based therapies. The intensive outpatient program will also offer wellness therapies including yoga, exercise, and nutrition.
6. 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 connect these individual programs by creating 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.
7. Is the government paying for care?
Every day, veterans are receiving care in the public and private sector medical community, but up until this point, there has been no formal, coordinated effort in the private sector to provide that care in an evidence-based approach across the United States and then develop best practices based off assessed patient outcomes. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to addressing the demand, it is widely acknowledged that it cannot do it alone. Further, some veterans are not entitled to VA benefits; some avoid VA medical centers (VAMCs); and some struggle to take advantage of VAMC services due to access issues. At the end of the day, there is a great, unmet need for care for post-9/11 veterans. To that end, WWP and its partners have committed $100 million over an initial three-year investment to support the needs of our nation’s wounded veterans.
8. When will the 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.
9. What is the cost for veterans/family members to participate in the program?
There is no cost to patients associated with participation in the program. However, if a participant has insurance, his or her health plan may be billed for clinical services to allow Warrior Care Network funds to be used in treating as many veterans as possible. Any cost not covered by insurance will be covered by Warrior Care Network (i.e., no co-pays will be collected). Warrior Care Network would not have been made possible without the generosity of thousands of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) supporters and the affiliate academic medical centers (AMCs), and more is needed in future years to guarantee the success of this much-needed public/private partnership
10. How is the program funded?
This network would not have been made possible without the generosity of thousands of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) supporters and the affiliate academic medical centers, and more is needed in future years to guarantee the success of this much-needed public/private partnership. WWP and its partners will commit $100 million over three years to fund operations and support the treatment of our nation’s injured veterans.
11. How will the program measure and ensure success of the program? What outcome measurements will be used to gauge the effectiveness of the program?
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its Warrior Care Network partners established a program evaluation framework suitable to examine and understand program effectiveness. The academic medical centers (AMCs) have worked collaboratively to develop the evaluation framework and identify a core, common, cross-site set of variables to collect from each medical center. The six domains are listed below: