Back to Top Skip to main content

NICoE & ISC Network maintain TBI care during COVID-19

Image of United States map with locations noted This map shows the location of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) and Intrepid Spirit Centers (ISC) that span across the country to create the NICoE and ISC Network. (Image from NICoE Communications.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Traumatic Brain Injury

In the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 8,300 patients sustained or were diagnosed with their first traumatic brain injury (TBI) across the Department of Defense.

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) and Intrepid Spirit Centers (ISC) across the country make up the NICoE and ISC Network—a group dedicated to TBI care, research, and education. Though the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal operations, the Network synchronized enterprise capabilities to coordinate TBI care.

Coordinating Patient Care across the Network

Within two weeks of the pandemic’s official declaration, ISC directors began strategizing telehealth transitions, sharing lessons learned, and brainstorming alternatives to improve readiness, while still adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to ensure patient and staff safety.

The Network leveraged their geographic distribution to help each other quickly adapt to changing times. Staff exchanged ideas on personal protective equipment and clinical service offerings to remain prepared.

Staff members formed specialty working groups to share best practices with others across the Network who work in their field. Current TBI working groups include health systems specialists, case managers, physical therapy professionals, speech language pathology professionals, nutritionists and dieticians, and neuropsychologists.

The NICoE’s TBI Portal is the Defense Health Agency (DHA) enterprise application within CarePoint that provides a consolidated view of TBI patient data. During the pandemic, the ISC Network and several TBI clinics used the TBI Portal and other enterprise capabilities to track in real-time the clinical services received by TBI patients and track outcome measures regardless of treatment mode and location.

Training efforts crossed state and international borders. For instance, providers at ISC Fort Hood in Texas and ISC Fort Carson in Colorado received training for virtual health platforms from the TBI clinic at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Overall, the Network supported 30 virtual health training sessions during the first 90 days of the pandemic to transition many clinical services to a virtual environment.

ISC Fort Belvoir in Virginia transitioned from offering no virtual health clinical encounters to offering 100% fully capable virtual health operations within one week for all clinical providers. Since March, there has been a 40% increase in virtual health appointments across the Network.

Patient Outcomes

Many patients have expressed gratitude for the NICoE and ISCs continuing their clinical services offerings throughout the pandemic. One patient at the NICoE who suffers from TBI-related migraines appreciates not having to drive to the NICoE, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The NICoE staff has helped him control the light and sound at home during appointments, which has improved his concentration and allowed him to take in information more effectively.

Another TBI patient at ISC Fort Belvoir wrote, “[The FBCH] Intrepid [Spirit Center] employs the best physicians and front desk staff in the military. They are professional, knowledgeable, and innovative; their teamwork sets them apart from every other hospital I’ve ever visited … They’ve been extremely responsive and proactive despite the ongoing COVID in-clinic restrictions.”

“Our local response to COVID-19 was significantly enhanced due to the connective tissue, collective brain power, and institutional experience shared by the NICoE and ISC Network leadership,” according to Dr. Scott Engel, ISC Fort Hood director. “The Network's ongoing partnership and communication allowed us to leverage the TBI Portal, share and disseminate lessons learned throughout the TBI Enterprise, and adjust and adapt to the changing day-to-day conditions on the ground so that our patients got the care they needed for mission readiness.”

Looking Forward

As the Network expands its enterprise-wide capabilities, it aims to provide better tracking and patient outcomes and improve standardized metrics used across the Military Health System. It also plans to deepen its partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to better provide continuing care as service members transition out of the military.

Proper TBI care can improve force readiness by allowing service members to safely resume their active-duty roles and lead healthier lives, according to Eddy Bueno, deputy director of the NICoE.

You also may be interested in...

TBI Champion Dalton Mask

Video
11/16/2020
TBI Champion Dalton Mask

Facing a long road to recovery following his TBI, Dalton remained positive and participated in the 2019 Warrior Games.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI Champion Derek Poor

Video
11/16/2020
TBI Champion Derek Poor

While instructing hand-to-hand combat training, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Derek Poor slammed his head against a wall and sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Seeing stars and unable to shake his persistent, daily headaches, Poor sought help.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury

Talking TBI: Connect with Others

Video
11/16/2020
Talking TBI: Connect with Others

Navy veteran Amanda Burrill and Army veteran Elana Duffy had a few things in common: They both lived in New York City, experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI) while in service and were coping with the injuries alone. Until they met each other.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Holiday Season Guidance to Minimize Spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
11/16/2020

This memorandum provides guidance to help protect individuals within the DoD community from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for gatherings and activities during the November to January holiday season.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

How to develop a new relationship path after a TBI

Article
11/12/2020
A pair of hands clasped together

TBI can change the dynamics of a romantic relationship.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Progressive Return to Activity Clinical Support Tool Rehabilitation Providers

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical support tool for rehabilitation providers details the algorithmic approach for enabling service members to return to pre-injury activity after sustaining a concussion/mild TBI. The tool is designed as a pocket-sized reference card, and supports the Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild TBI Clinical Recommendation for Rehabilitation Providers

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity Following Concussion/Mild TBI: Rehabilitation Provider

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical recommendation for rehabilitation providers details the importance of aiding service members to progressively return to pre-injury activity and promotes the standardization of care following a concussion/mild TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity: Clinical Support Tool for Primary Care Managers

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical support tool for primary care providers details the algorithmic approach for enabling service members to return to pre-injury activity after sustaining a concussion/mTBI. The tool is designed as a pocket-sized reference card, and supports the Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild TBI Clinical Recommendation for Primary Care Managers.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity Following Concussion/Mild TBI: Guidance for the Primary Care Manager

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical recommendation for primary care managers details the importance of aiding service members to progressively return to pre-injury activity and promotes the standardization of Military Health System care following a concussion or mild TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Provider Resources

Forging of civil-military anvil against COVID-19 focus at GHSA

Article
11/9/2020
U.S. and Thai soldiers stand together during a medical exercise.

“Defense partnerships around the world are key.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

BAMC, Argentine Army medical providers share COVID-19 best practices

Article
11/4/2020
Video teleconference image

U.S. Army South facilitated the virtual subject matter expert (SME) exchange between BAMC and CMMH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Technology | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Public Health | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

Video
11/3/2020
The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

This video discusses why enrolling diverse participants in COVID-19 studies is critical for ensuring that, when we find a vaccine, we have enough data from populations who are most affected by COVID-19 to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

DHA-AI 3020-01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (b) and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (z3), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This DHA-AI also provides a preventive plan to monitor and assess for the appearance of new cases and implement those processes that will prevent them from impacting the workforce. The processes describe herein are intended to offer an actionable plan for the workforce to re-enter DHA Administrative Offices. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the DHA Administrative Office Reopening Plan. The plan uses the Force Health Protection Guidance and Health Protection Conditions (HPCON), in accordance with Reference (d), to ensure protection for the workforce, including the most vulnerable-to-serious complications from the virus while enabling DHA Administrative Offices to continue its mission. See Appendix 2 for the conceptual HPCON framework.

  • Identification #: 3020-01
  • Date: 11/3/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

Video
11/3/2020
How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

This video provides a detailed overview of the processes that have been implemented to accelerate the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine and antibody studies, and what is being done to assure safety.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 36

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.