HomeNewsArticle Display

Clinic answers call for invisible wound care

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- In the midst of brain injury awareness month, construction of a facility to treat traumatic brain injury is well underway at the 96th Medical Group.

Thomas Piazza, invisible wounds clinic medical director, and his staff prepare to deliver the Air Force’s first comprehensive TBI center as part of its Invisible Wounds Initiative.

The construction of the temporary TBI facility and hiring of staff will progress throughout the summer.

The clinic’s goal is to provide support and care in a trusted environment and encourage Airmen and regional service members to seek early treatment for TBI and post traumatic stress.

Clinical care, telemedicine and educational partnerships will be key components of the clinic.

“The clinic’s mission is to serve as a regional hub for active duty TBI and PTS care and to provide a complementary approach to treating pain,” said Piazza.

The fear of stigma associated with a patient’s symptoms often keeps them from seeking care. Patients also avoid treatment for fear of being considered unfit for duty and other adverse career impacts.

The TBI center and the special operations leadership community seek to reduce the stigma associated with these injuries by supporting early TBI evaluation and treatment in order to preserve the individual’s active duty status.

“Unfortunately, a delay in care can lead to worsening TBI complications and greater impairments in functioning. This leads to outcomes worse than if the service member sought care sooner,” said Piazza. “These psychological injuries decrease military readiness and take them out of the fight. That’s not just a problem for military readiness, it’s a problem for the individual and their families. The service member wants to be a part of their work and unit missions, but they just can’t.”

More than 339,462 service members have sustained a TBI since 2000, according to the Department of Defense.

TBIs are caused by a blow or a jolt to the brain during an accident or a fall. Symptoms can be debilitating and may include headaches, dizziness, memory problems, irritability, trouble sleeping or concentrating, or sensitivity to light or noise. Severe or penetrating TBI can cause behavioral, functional or psychological changes that require long recoveries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Trauma to the brain is often complicated because the brain is an interconnected organ,” said Maj. (Dr.) Khandie Waugh, 96th MDG staff psychiatrist. “When one area is affected, it affects other areas in the brain.”

Seeking early treatment for symptoms can provide a faster recovery.

To achieve long term and maximum recovery outcomes, the TBI center will provide a multi-disciplinary approach where health care specialists work together as a team to address patient needs, according to Piazza.

Providers will meet regularly to talk about patient goals, progress and make adjustments to therapy as needed.

“Being together under one roof enables close coordination between providers. The result is quicker access to comprehensive therapies for the patient and quicker recovery,” said Piazza. “The whole-person approach is where we want to go. It makes sense and it has been proven effective at DoD’s Intrepid Spirit facilities.”

This holistic approach of treating the mind and the body as a whole, rather than separate organs, will include addressing the patient's mental, physical, social, and spiritual pillars of health.

“When the pillars weaken, failures occur, and symptoms or problems arise,” said Piazza.

The new clinic will assemble teams spanning 18 specialties to blend the best of traditional medicine and procedures with proven integrative therapeutic tools such as acupuncture, art and music therapy, yoga, mind-body medicine, electrical nerve stimulation and low level energy therapies, among others.

“These therapeutic tools are outstanding complementary therapies to western medicine,” said Piazza. “These therapies fill in the gaps.”

The facility is expected to open its doors in the fall of 2018.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
RT @DeptofDefense: Prepared for all situations in all conditions. @AKNationalGuard #airmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron at @JBER_Officia
Happy Monday! Let's get this week off to a great start w/ #AirForce #WIP! https://t.co/rlP3y4NQ9k https://t.co/OlzebNB1lQ
After toggling with the idea of joining the #military for years, she promised herself to stop waiting for life to f… https://t.co/7Gt22iqNlD
It's #NationalAviationDay & new aviation opportunities are here! We're partnering with @CivilAirPatrol to groom tom… https://t.co/Fe9b4jlmGw
These supply #Airmen work 24/7 to ensure there is no break in the mission @RAFMildenhall because #NKAWTGhttps://t.co/biE2BPXVe1
Every #Airman has their reason for serving. Read on as these #Airmen explain what putting on the uniform everyday m… https://t.co/ubeDmY1liq
For the first time in the 63-year history of Operation Deep Freeze, #Airmen from the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Sq… https://t.co/CdeyI4HjHT
#DYK, the #MedalofHonor is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to members of the United States Armed… https://t.co/qei2LbbD1I
.@388fw’s 4th Fighter Squadron became the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s the #aircraft’s 25mm cannon on… https://t.co/J7hbXrCSCv
#DYK: The @22ARW is the host unit of McConnell AFB! Its mission is to conduct air refueling & airlift operations su… https://t.co/12bR9cwIuG
RT @71FTW: An aircraft crash has occurred approximately 50 miles west of Vance AFB. Pilot is conscious and with emergency responders. Follo…
.@HQUSAFEPA #Airmen & seven African partner nations strengthened relationships through the African Partnership Flig… https://t.co/FsvAK4n3i3
.@20FighterWing #Airmen learned how to be resilient by taking a leap of faith. https://t.co/WCgebfzEmj https://t.co/5JHPF7P1Px
RT @USAFHealth: A new transition cell was recently stood-up to coordinate and support ongoing transition efforts related to the NDAA and tr…
.@Travis60AMW #Airmen helped the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-4 program complete a major milestone by ensuring… https://t.co/yut12HK3M5
The School of Air Evacuation honored the history, present and future of aeromedical evacuation during their 75th an… https://t.co/5uYoyUwy9z
.@PANationalGuard #Airmen have new and improved parachutes. Read more about the lifesaving equipment:… https://t.co/QC1BGX8Fbl
At the @20FighterWing, munitions #Airmen train and work as a team to load 'em up & move 'em out.… https://t.co/9leaqRS8vI
Imagine trying to use a stethoscope on a plane. The noise makes the tool essentially useless. A new #technology aim… https://t.co/AYMf42Q0Wf
Read about this #Airman's experiences as he serves with the @Aus_AirForce through the Military Personnel Exchange P… https://t.co/6Td7p8u3ZO