Representatives from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), Camp Pendleton, and the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton opened a new Intrepid Spirit center April 4 that will diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions in service members at Camp Pendleton. The facility is the seventh in a series of nine centers located at military bases around the country built by the IFHF, a not-for-profit organization and national leader supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Intrepid Spirit centers currently are operational at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Hood, Texas; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Camp Pendleton’s new Intrepid Spirit center cost approximately $12 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and treatment facilities and spans 25,000 square feet. Funding for the project was raised privately through the IFHF.
“This week, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is proud to open two new Intrepid Spirit centers on the West Coast, one here at Camp Pendleton and the other at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington”, said Arnold Fisher, honorary chairman of IFHF. “Being close to your family and having their support is so important to the recovery process. With these new centers, families will not need to uproot themselves and move across the country to be able to care for their loved ones.”
Fisher added, “We owe our success to the people of this country, their generosity and belief in our dedicated mission to heal the men and women who fight so bravely to defend our nation and its citizens.”
As home to the I Marine Expeditionary Force, composed of the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 11th, 13th, and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units and the MEF Headquarters Group, Camp Pendleton supports more than 42,000 active duty personnel, 23,500 reserve personnel who work and train at Camp Pendleton each year, as well as more than 77,000 retired military personnel who reside within 50 miles of the base.
“The facility will offer interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art evaluation of service members using clinical, laboratory and imaging resources to guide treatment,” said Commander Paul Sargent, medical director of the Intrepid Spirit center at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. “Our approach is broadly collaborative for preventing, treating and researching head trauma and injury to the brain.”
Intrepid Spirit centers aim to diagnose and treat service members who suffer from TBI and psychological health conditions with the goal of allowing them to continue their regular service in the armed forces and to ensure their lives can be rewarding at work and at home.
All Intrepid Spirit centers around the country are being funded and built by the IFHF through a $100 million fundraising campaign. 100 percent of contributions to the IFHF go toward the construction and equipping of these centers. Though the centers are being built exclusively through private donations, each center is gifted to the Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion. All of the centers are located at military bases around the country.
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 most advanced facility of its kind in the country, and is the center of the Armed Forces’ efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI, psychological health conditions and related injuries sustained by military personnel.
For more information about this effort and about how the Fund has provided close to $200 million in support of members of the armed forces and their families, visit www.fallenheroesfund.org.