Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Southern California
Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Lynita Mullins
DVBIC Site Director
Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Lynita Mullins is the DVBIC network site director for the Naval Medical Center San Diego. At the medical center, Mullins also serves as: a staff physician; the department head and the TBI medical director for Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care; and the command acupuncture subject matter expert.
Mullins is an active-duty Navy physician who graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Florida. She completed her transitional internship at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and is a certified medical acupuncturist with more than two years of training through the International Structural Acupuncture Course for Physicians at Harvard Medical School.
Lars Hungerford, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Senior Clinical Research Director
Dr. Lars Hungerford is a published, board-certified neuropsychologist with over 11 years of experience.
Hungerford became the senior clinical research director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center site at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2015. 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 and functions as an integral member of the clinical treatment team within the NMCSD TBI Program.
Hungerford is a subject matter expert on mild traumatic brain injury and has shown a dedication to service members throughout his career. From 2008-2013, he served an integral role in refining the Madigan Army Medical Center’s TBI Program (one of the premier TBI programs within the DoD). During that time, he created a robust neuropsychological database for patients with mild TBI, helped redesign the clinic’s interdisciplinary team meetings, presented research nationally and internationally, trained other medical and non-medical providers, and evaluated and treated several thousand returning active-duty and reserve military service members in Washington state and Alaska.
Hungerford received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University where the majority of his pre-doctoral training occurred at the Palo Alto VA. He interned at Eastern Virginia Medical School and completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at Sharp Hospital in San Diego. He was board-certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in 2012.
DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego was established in 1992. The clinic serves active duty service members from all military branches within our region, which includes Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada.
DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego evaluates more than 200 new patient referrals per year. In recent years, a large number of referrals have been for service members returning from theater. In addition to evaluating combat-related TBI, we also recognize the importance of evaluating service members sustaining a TBI from other mechanisms such as, motor vehicle accidents, assaults, falls, sports-related injuries and military training injuries. Currently, our patient population is primarily active duty service members from the Navy and Marine Corps. Our team also provides clinical and educational resources to underserved regions. Our outreach services have extended to Alaska, Nevada, and Hawaii, and other areas of California including Twenty-nine Palms and Fort Irwin where we provided mass post-deployment screening and provider education.
Areas of Specialty
DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego provides optimal care and treatment for active duty service members with TBI. Service members referred to DVBIC-Naval Medical Center San Diego receive specialized TBI consultation, including TBI screenings, and neuropsychological assessment. Auxiliary services if required include: coordination of other specialty services, duty status determination, and recommendations to the medical evaluation board and Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. Additionally, service members are offered educational resources including a wide range of topics related to TBI and co-occurring conditions. They also have the opportunity to participate in TBI related research.
Educational efforts at DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego aim to increase the understanding of TBI for DoD, VA and civilian providers through comprehensive and engaging presentations conducted by Dr. Boyd. With the help of the regional education coordinator, DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego has equipped neuropsychologists, social workers, behavioral and mental health staff, service members, and their families with clinical tools, public awareness materials, and caregiver information to better handle the diagnosis and management of TBI. Through Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events, exhibit tables at national conferences, and collaboration with other treatment facilities, DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego continues to educate providers and service members by disseminating the most accurate and up to date information about TBI.
Past efforts have included TBI training to independent duty corpsmen, surface warfare medical officers, MACE training, military medical providers, mental health providers and JAG.
DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego works in conjunction with DVBIC Camp Pendleton conducting clinical research focused on the behavioral, emotional and cognitive consequences of TBI. Nationally, we are involved in two multi-site longitudinal investigations collecting valuable data on the long-term consequences of TBI. Locally, our research team is focused on using the immense amount of information that our site has collected as part of our clinical services in the last decade. We are retrospectively examining clinical data that was collected through the treatment of military personnel during OEF/OIF. This data will be used for research to help address some critical questions about military TBI. Additionally, our site is investigating the influence that TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder has on irritability, anger, and aggressive behavior in our combat veterans.
Additional staff include:
Clinical and research neuropsychologists, TBI coordinator, regional education coordinator, research coordinator, psychometrist, program manager and administrative personnel.