Blessen C. Eapen, M.D.
DVBIC Site Director
Blessen C. Eapen is the section chief for the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center (PRC), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinical Fellowship program director, associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and principal investigator of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Dr. Eapen has received many professional awards and honors and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and books.
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) serves one of the largest primary service areas in the nation and is part of VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network. STVHCS is comprised of a satellite clinic division and two inpatient campuses: Audie L. Murphy Division (ALMD) Hospital in San Antonio and the Kerrville campus in Kerrville, Texas. The ALMD Hospital is a 268-bed facility providing primary, secondary and tertiary health care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine. It also supports a 90-bed Extended Care Therapy Center, a 30-bed Spinal Cord Injury Center, an eight-bed Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and a Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. The ALMD Hospital campus serves as the home of a Level-One Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center which opened in October 2011. The STVHCS system dedicates 28,000 square feet to medical research, and there are more than 150 research investigators conducting more than 500 research activities in areas such as aging, renal disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDs and cancer treatment and therapy.
The San Antonio Polytrauma System of Care (PSC) is one of five facilities in the country designed to provide intensive rehabilitative care to veterans and service members and encompasses a continuum of care for veterans and active-duty service members with TBI and other polytraumatic injuries. The PSC includes inpatient, transitional and outpatient services and provides comprehensive, high-quality, individually tailored rehabilitation planning and interdisciplinary care to patients. The scope of service includes comprehensive interdisciplinary inpatient evaluations, acute comprehensive interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation, emerging consciousness, assistive technology, transitional community reentry, reevaluations, ongoing case management and follow-up, outpatient therapy services and consultation. The PSC also coordinates the transfer and provision of health care for patients with TBI and other serious injuries within the VA system and between the VA and Defense Department.
The San Antoino PRC supports a DVBIC clinical research director and a research assistant. It is participating in three multi-site studies including: the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) Study, Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP)—Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Posttraumatic Headache and the VA TBI Model System—Improved Understanding of Medical and Psychological Needs (I-MAP) in Veterans and Service Members with Chronic TBI.