Oregon, Washington, and Nevada
The VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) was established as a DVBIC site in 1992.
As partners, the DVBIC Palo Alto team works collaboratively with colleagues in the multidisciplinary PSC, emphasizing clinical care coordination, comprehensive education and outreach — including special attention to families’ needs — and clinical research on diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for veterans and service members who have sustained a TBI. DVBIC staff doesn’t provide clinical care.
Education and Outreach
The education mission at DVBIC Palo Alto is to provide a comprehensive program of education and training on awareness, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of TBI to health care providers, veterans, service members, families and civilian communities. The Regional Education Coordinator is available to collaborate on a variety of educational initiatives, workshops and exhibits to promote TBI educational awareness in the VA, DoD and community.
To address caregiver needs, DVBIC Palo Alto in collaboration with the PSC and the Family Caregiver Program has hosted several TBI Family and Professional Caregiver workshops. The site has also hosted a series of workshops on “Strategies for Success” in partnership with the War Related injury and Illness Study Center and VAPAHCS. The goal has been to educate faculty, counselors and other staff working within the college and academic systems to better serve student veterans who have sustained a TBI.
A new area of focus is aimed at providing education to those serving justice involved veterans. Some veterans are at risk for justice system involvement due to untreated or unmanaged symptoms of TBI and other co-occurring conditions. These individuals may be incorrectly identified as intoxicated, acutely dangerous, or defiant. Early recognition and appropriate intervention can decrease problems and prevent counterproductive outcomes such as homelessness or incarceration. This effort also supports the VHA Homeless, Mental Health, and Access National Strategic Initiatives.
DVBIC Palo Alto’s clinical investigative research program works in tandem with VAPAHCS and Stanford University at the local and long-term level to address TBI. Current research areas of expertise include:
- Gender differences
- Improving diagnostic and treatment strategies for veterans with mild and moderate TBI
- Leveraging on advanced neuroimaging, therapeutic methods
- Telephonic testing
DVBIC Palo Alto and the PSC host the annual TBI Research Forum every March to increase awareness of recent innovations in TBI research during Brain Injury Awareness Month. The forum provides networking and scientific exchange opportunities to clinical, academic and community stakeholders working in TBI research. Invited speakers present on a current subject followed by a panel discussion. Researchers from VA departments in the region, as well as nearby academic and community hospitals present their posters following the theme: Prevention, Diagnostics, Treatment and Outcomes. Please visit TBI Research Forum for further information.