Saturday, January 13, 2007

Severely injured get new rehab facility

By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jan 13, 2007 10:35:24 EST
The Air Force Times


The Center for the Intrepid, a 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for severely injured service members, will be dedicated at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 29. At the same time, officials will dedicate two new 21-room Fisher Houses built next door to the center.

The center will serve amputees, burn patients requiring rehabilitation and service members undergoing limb salvage techniques.

Those who have been catastrophically disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military personnel and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the performance of their duties, whether related to combat or not, will be eligible for treatment.

The Fisher Houses — the third and fourth to be built at Brooke — will be available for families who want to stay near their service members during the rehabilitation.

The facility was designed and built by the nonprofit Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. In April 2006, within nine months after the project was announced, the fund had reached its goal of raising $35 million for construction. The center now will be turned over to the Army Medical Command for operation.

Among other things, the facility will offer the latest prosthetic technology and a “gait lab” with technology that allows physicians, therapists and prosthetists to make fine adjustments to help patients improve their gait pattern. It will provide a realistic atmosphere for troops to practice daily activities and self-care skills. A children’s support space will help children understand and manage the difficulties of their parent’s condition and treatment.

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