What is the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)?
The DVBIC is a congressionally mandated collaboration of the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) health centers serving patients with TBI. The DVBIC multi-site network includes a growing number of DoD and VA hospitals as well as civilian TBI rehabilitation programs. Each DVBIC site works collaboratively to provide and improve TBI care for active duty military, veterans and their eligible beneficiaries.
What is DVBIC’s TBI Recovery Support Program?
The TBI Recovery Support Program (RSP) team of recovery support specialists provide support for service members, National Guard, Reservists, veterans, family members and caregivers and assist in accessing TBI and psychological health clinical care.
What if I need information or advice after hours?
You can find support 24/7 through the websites and numbers listed below.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Military Crisis Line
800.273.8250, military press 1
Help for active duty military and their dependents, including 12 free non-medical counseling appointments.
How can you refer a patient to DVBIC?
Who may refer someone with TBI to DVBIC?
We accept self-referrals as well as referrals from family members, primary care physicians, and other healthcare providers.
Who may be referred to DVBIC?
Any service member or veteran with TBI covered by TRICARE or VA benefits may be referred to DVBIC.
What type of care is available for people with TBI through DVBIC sites?
Each local facility takes an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to brain injury evaluations. Individuals evaluated at a DVBIC site receive a comprehensive assessment that may include any of the following examinations:
- Neuropsychological (including comprehensive neuropsychological testing)
- Laboratory (blood work)
- Psychological Health
- Visual/Audiological (including formal audiometry)
- Electroencephalographic (EEG)
Additionally, people admitted to inpatient TBI rehabilitation programs at a VA site receive:
- Physiatric assessment
- Occupational Therapy
- Rehabilitation Nursing
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Therapeutic Recreation
- Other rehabilitative therapies as indicated
Other evaluations (i.e. neuro-ophthalmology, dental, ear/nose/throat [ENT], vestibular [balance] testing and treatment, psychiatry etc.) may be obtained if a need for these services is identified. Treatment is based on individual goals in an multi-disciplinary team setting.
Do DVBIC sites provide a specific set of treatment and/or services?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in a broad range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional and social challenges. DVBIC sites provide a consistent standard of clinical care and rehabilitation. At the same time, each person has an individualized plan of care that addresses his/her individual needs. Patients with TBI have access to ongoing DVBIC clinical research trials.
How is DVBIC different from other brain injury research programs?
- DVBIC focuses on the well-being of those who put themselves in harm’s way for our country.
- No other brain injury program conducts clinical studies with active duty military.
- Specialized focus on the unique needs of military and veteran beneficiaries including return to duty considerations, and continuity of care with military and veterans hospitals and TRICARE
What value is added to a TBI program from being a part of DVBIC?
Collaboration with DVBIC enhances a program’s:
- Communication among member programs
- Patient case management
- Clinical care practice
- Provider, patient and family education efforts
- Ability to provide TBI research
- Access to collaborators for multi-site studies
What are the risks and costs of traumatic brain injury for military personnel and veterans?
- In prior conflicts, TBI was present in at least 14-20% of surviving combat casualties; preliminary information from the current conflict in the Middle East suggests that this number is now much higher.
- In peacetime, over 7,000 Americans with TBI are admitted to military and veterans hospitals each year.
- TBI is a major cause of life-long disability and death.
- Certain military assignments, such as airborne operations or policing in combat areas, carry above-average risk of TBI.
- Blast injuries are a growing cause of TBI in combat.