VA is working with the Marcus Institute for Brain Health (MIBH) to coordinate a continuum of care for Veterans who are treated at the MIBH to receive a before and/or after care in the VA Health Care System.
Who is eligible?
The primary focus of the MIBH is to care for former military personnel who have separated from active duty, with special consideration for those who were separated with “Other Than Honorable” or “Dishonorable” discharge status due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Psychological Health (PH) conditions. It will also serve civilian adults who have sustained mild to moderate TBI and are experiencing lingering neurological problems or co-morbid PH conditions.
Since the MIBH started seeing Veterans and their family members in July 2017, over 313 Veterans and family members, from 24 different states, have been evaluated and treated. Although referrals come from multiple sources, including VA, a large number of referrals come from those who have participated in the program and have had successful experiences and outcomes. They have reached out to their “battle buddies” and encouraged them to contact the MIBH so that they can be screened to determine if they have persistent TBI symptoms that would benefit from MIBH’s interdisciplinary model of care.
The MIBH has a partnership with a non-profit organization who coordinates transportation and meals for Veterans and their family members accepted into the MIBH program. In January 2020, the MIBH opened a lodging facility on campus at an historic building called Colonel’s Row. This completely remodeled duplex is located one block from the MIBH and once served as quarters for Army officers while stationed at Fitzsimons Army Hospital.
What will it cost?
Health insurance is not a prerequisite for acceptance into the MIBH; the one and only requirement for Veterans is to have a persistent and primary mild/moderate TBI condition(s). There are no out of pocket expenses for any Veteran or family member invited to participate in the MIBH’s evaluation process or intensive outpatient program (IOP).
The evaluation process takes 3-4 days. MIBH clinicians then determine, based on the findings, if the Veteran would benefit from a three-week IOP. MIBH treatment plans are customized for every Veteran patient, and the interdisciplinary team compares notes daily and makes adjustments as necessary. On average, the MIBH treats up to two cohorts of 3-5 Veterans per the 3-4 days of evaluation and the IOP.
In May 2019, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie visited the MIBH and “vowed to help MIBH in providing the best care possible to our Veterans”.
“After retiring from 21 years as an Army EOD Tech (Bomb Squad), I had multiple deployments, multiple concussions, TBI and post-traumatic symptoms. I had lost my purpose, and my confidence, my emotional state was deteriorating and I had no good answers. I was quickly losing hope. A neurologist referred me to the MIBH and that all changed. I can’t begin to tell you how this amazing team of specialists changed the outlook for my future. I’m just one soldier of many that struggle with brain health, but my life will forever be changed and I can’t thank the team from the MIBH enough.” – retired Army 1st Sgt. Raymond W.
In late 2016, Bernie Marcus, retired co-founder of Home Depot and chairman of the Marcus Foundation, provided a generous gift to start the MIBH. The gift was specifically designed to develop and open a “first ever” Veteran-centric civilian TBI institute. The institute evaluates and treats Veterans, regardless of when they served, their type of discharge, and where they reside in the United States, but they must have persistent symptoms relating to a mild/moderate TBI along with associated psychological health conditions.
MIBH’s Executive Director, Dr. Jim Kelly, is a renowned behavior neurologist who was the founding director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (https://www.wrnmmc.capmed.mil/NICoE/SitePages/index.aspx). He was instrumental in developing a model of care for active duty service members that incorporates medical and integrated therapeutic modalities resulting in exceptional results.
Please call the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at (303) 724-4TBI if you have any questions or visit www.mibh.ucdenver.edu.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.
Michael W. Hartford, MHA, FACHE, CAPT, USN (Retired) works for the Marcus Institute for Brain Health/The Avalon Fund.