Fort Carson, CO

Contact Information
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Warrior Recovery Center
Building 7489, Sutherland Circle
Fort Carson, CO 80913
United States
Program Manager
719-526-4465

Catchment Area

Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Leadership

Cmdr. Alicia Souvignier, U.S. Public Health Service

DVBIC Site Director

Cmdr. Renee M. Pazdan, M.D., U.S. Public Health Service

Senior Clinical Research Director

Cmdr. Renee M. Pazdan

U.S. Public Health Service Cmdr. Renee M. Pazdan has extensive clinical experience in traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the Global War on Terror. She completed her neurology residency as an active duty Army officer at the Army and Navy’s flagship hospitals (the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center) from 2001 to 2005. Her training was extended with a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology, which encompassed electroencephalography, electromyography as well as sleep medicine.

In addition to Pazdan’s education, her unique skill set was heavily relied upon in her position as an Army Neurologist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the U.S. Military Hospital in Germany which is the first out-of-theater evacuation point for service members. There she provided inpatient and outpatient direct clinical services for service members with TBI and other neurologic disorders. She also co-directed the sleep lab and was integral in the interpretation of sleep studies and in providing direct sleep medicine clinical services. Pazdan currently serves as a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer working with the DoD to provide expert TBI care to service members who have sustained concussions and have residual symptoms. She serves not only as a TBI subject matter expert at Fort Carson, but also as an expert in sleep medicine particularly as it relates to service members after TBI.  She has served on expert panels and as a lecturer on the topics of TBI and sleep medicine, and is the Principal Investigator on four TBI related studies at Fort Carson.

Program Overview

Mission

Photo of Fort Carson, Colo.The DVBIC site, which is located at Fort Carson within Warrior Recovery Center, meets the DVBIC mission by providing cutting edge clinical research involving new treatments for TBI, in addition to TBI education and recovery support to our region’s active duty, reserve, guard and community populations.

Our region includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Regional Education and Outreach

  • Outreach across our six state region
  • Community awareness & prevention
  • Patient and family education
  • Health care provider education
  • Professional and ancillary staff education
  • Frequent “Back to Basics” mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) classes
  • Reintegration classes for post-deployed Service members and family members
  • 1SGT/CDR Pre-Command Course-mTBI class
  • Outreach to Army, Navy and Air Force personnel to include reserve and National Guard and veterans of all branches of service
  • Family Readiness Group (FRG) Briefs
  • Family Readiness Group (FRG), Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) and Rear Detachment Trainings
  • Pre-deployment briefs
  • Command briefs
  • In-service training for Army Community Service (ACS) staff
  • In-service training for Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs), licensed social workers who work with the service members and their families
  • WTU briefs for service members and cadre
  • In-Garrison Concussion Training for Soldiers/line leaders and Medical In-Garrison Concussion Training for medics/ medical personnel

Recovery Support

  • Assists, advises and supports service members, veterans, National Guard/reservists and their families who have been diagnosed with TBI
  • Helps find and facilitate access to TBI and psychological health care across the spectrum of care
  • Emphasis on entry into rehabilitation stage of care and/or reintegration back to duty or their return to the civilian community
  • Provides emotional support and advocacy so clients can focus on their recovery and return to full productive lives
  • Provide information about TBI resources, trainings and research to TBI case managers and providers
  • Conducts follow-up interviews at one, three, six, nine, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 months
  • Measures and documents progress in a DVBIC/DCoE developed web-based data repository system (WIIR) and AHLTA

Research Program

Our primary research focus is on the detection of physiological changes to the brain after traumatic brain injury, and the correcting of functional problems by focusing on the capacity of neurons and neuron networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information.

To throw light on the electrophysiological foundation of cognitive and emotional symptoms that can persist after TBI, and the evaluation of novel therapies such as:

  • Motor planning and sequencing training (Interactive Metronome Therapy)
  • Peripheral and central nervous system-based biofeedback training (Neurofeedback)
  • Electrophysiological stimulation techniques (e.g., Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or TCDS)
  • Evaluation of deployment related TBI screening tools
  • Development of computerized, kiosk-based, mass assessment methods and systems
  • Validation of the WARCAT TBI screening tool.

Personnel

Site Director
Cmdr. Alicia Souvignier, U.S. Public Health Service

Senior Clinical Research Director
Cmdr. Renee M. Pazdan, M.D., U.S. Public Health Service

Program Manager
Keri Mullins, M.S.

Regional Education Coordinator
Robin Wininger, M.S., CBIS

TBI Recovery Support Specialist
Tina Fanello, LCSW

Research Scientist
Robin Cornwell, Ph.D.

Research Coordinator
Candace Hill, RN

Psychometrist
Scott Berman, Psy.D.

Database Management Administrator
James LaTour

Research Assistant
Gabriel Gonzales

Research Assistant
Kedisha Dixon