Womack Army Medical Center
Research Center, Building 307A
383 Maynard Street
Pope Army Airfield, NC 28308
Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Newcomb, U.S. Public Health Service
DVBIC Site Director (Acting)
Dr. Wes Cole
Senior Clinical Research Director and Neuropsychologist
Dr. Wes Cole is the senior clinical research director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) site at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and a neuropsychologist at Womack Army Medical Center’s Concussion Care Clinic. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Madison University. He then received masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of South Carolina. Cole completed predoctoral internships and postdoctoral fellowships in pediatric psychology and neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After completing training, he worked for a year at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Department of Neuropsychology. In 2009, Cole accepted a job at the Womack Army Medical Center’s Concussion Care Clinic at Fort Bragg. Looking to expand his roles into research activities, he joined DVBIC at Fort Bragg in 2010. He became the senior clinical research director for DVBIC in 2013 and in this role, he oversees a growing program of research that focuses on improving the way we understand, evaluate, and treat brain injury in service members.
Fort Bragg’s Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center site supports the national DVBIC mission by providing education, clinical care and research services for TBI to our region’s active, Reserve, Guard and community populations.
Regional Education and Outreach
- Coordinates community awareness and prevention of TBI
- Provides educational resources for:
- Members of the armed forces and their family members
- Health care providers
- Professional and ancillary staff
- Co-leads weekly TBI classes for service members enrolled in the rehabilitation program
- Briefs and screens post-deployment service members
- Provides TBI briefings to service members upon inprocessing to Fort Bragg
Regional Care Coordination:
- Serves as a single point of contact with specialized TBI knowledge and monitors progress
- Contacts service members diagnosed with TBI
- Provides education and support to service members diagnosed with TBI
- Provides expert consultation
- Assists in evaluation of treatment and discharge plans and eases transition to next level of care
- Advises patients, family members, and providers on ways to manage cognitive, emotional and behavioral issues
- Conducts follow-up interviews at three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months
- Measures and documents progress in a DVBIC developed, web-based data repository system
Current Research Projects:
- A Psychometric Comparison of Brief Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment Batteries: Test-Retest Reliability. (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- Psychometric Comparison of Brief Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment Batteries: Validity (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- Deployment Related TBI: Incidence, Natural History, and Predictors of Recovery in Soldiers Returning from OIF/OEF (Warrior STRONG) (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- “Epidemiology of Headache Disorders in a Military Cohort With and Without Traumatic Brain Injury (Warrior STRONG Sub-Study) (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- “The Effect of Telephone Follow-Up on Outcome for Service Members with Mild TBI/PTSD” (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- Data Analysis for Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program (DVHIP) Protocol IV: Combat Training Traumatic Brain Injury. A Surveillance Study in Paratroopers. (Principal Investigator: Steven C. Lewis, M.D.)
- Post-traumatic Headache in Soldiers: A retrospective record review of patients presenting to the TBI Center for evaluation and treatment of headache” (Principal Investigator: Sammy Choi, M.D.)
How do I make an appointment?
Service members who are still experiencing symptoms following a TBI or concussion may benefit from evaluation and treatment at the Intrepid Spirit Center. They should discuss a referral to the Intrepid Spirit Center with their primary care manager. Self-referrals are also accepted. Service members are seen by appointment Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, contact the clinic at 910-907-7777.
Fort Bragg Traumatic Brain Injury Services
The Department of TBI at Womack Army Medical Center provides comprehensive treatment for mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. Treatment includes medical management of symptoms, vestibular and cognitive rehabilitation such as speech, occupational, vision and physical therapies. The center also offers neuropsychological testing, patient education through classes and written materials, and referral for pain management. RN case management and regional care coordination services are available for service members and their families to help them navigate through military, VA and civilian systems of care. The DVBIC site supports TBI clinical care, research and education at Fort Bragg.
Fort Bragg TBI Health Care Professional Team
Case managers are registered nurses who help to develop individualized care plans, oversee service members’ medical treatment and help make appointments and referrals.
- Carmen Haley, R.N.
Neurologists are medical doctors who have specialized training to diagnose and treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.
- Alan Finkel, M.D.
Neuro-Optometry directs vision rehab, which can improve symptoms such as headaches, perceptual deficits and balance problems, as well as service members’ activities of daily living.
- Frank Forgnoni, O.D.
Neuropsychologists evaluate through testing the nature and extent of impairment following TBI and plan strategies to compensate for the injury.
- Wesley Cole, Ph.D.
- Lorraine Daniel, Psy.D.
- Robert Stegman, Ph.D.
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are certified advanced practice clinicians responsible for the medical management, education and referral of service members with TBI.
- Sally Cummings, CNP
- Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Newcomb, PA-C
- Patricia Woodard, CNP
Occupational therapists help service members who have sustained a TBI to develop, recover or maintain their ability to perform tasks of daily living.
- Nilda Kerner, COTA
- Emily Miller, O.T.
- Jeremy “Todd” Smith, O.T.
Physical therapists evaluate and treat vestibular and balance disorders commonly associated with head injury.
- Shaun Carlson, P.T.
- Wendi Sheets, PTA
Psychometrists administer and score standardized neuropsychological tests under the direction of a neuropsychologist.
- Fawne Cady, M.H.A.
- Elizabeth Neal, M.A.
Regional care coordinators are registered nurses or social workers who track and follow up with service members and families as they navigate care systems to ensure care needs are met.
- Sydney Davis, M.S.W
Regional education coordinators increase TBI awareness, promote prevention and improve the management of TBI through initiatives and instructional programs.
- Bernetta Wiggins
Research staff organize, implement, and monitor study protocols and data collection to further the advancement of TBI research.
- Angelica Ahrens, M.B.A.
- Jacques Arrieux, M.A.
- Wesley Cole, Ph.D.
- Brittney Roberson, M.S.W.
- Katie Russell, CPT
- Amy Cecchini, P.T., M.S.
Speech and language pathologists assist service members who have speech, language and cognitive (attention, memory, problem solving) problems to regain optimal communication.
- Cheri Carlson, SLP
- Evelyn Galvis, SLP
Social workers and psychologists provide evaluation, education, supportive services and referrals for soldiers and family members to decrease psychiatric distress and promote wellness strategies.
- Jillian Ballantyne, Ph.D.
- Hilary Watson, LCSW
- Natalie Guice, B.S.