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New BRAVE program treats veterans and first responders with traumatic brain injuries

05/07/2024 10:59 AM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

The Medical College of Wisconsin, in partnership with the Avalon Action Alliance (Avalon), has recently launched the BRAVE program. BRAVE is a unique outpatient program that treats veterans and first responders who have acquired a brain injury at any point in their life. BRAVE is the first of its kind in the Midwest and one of only seven in the United States. It was founded by a generous gift from Avalon, a post-trauma, wellness non-profit organization that provides care for the “hidden wounds” carried by veterans, first responders and their families.

Participants in the BRAVE program receive treatment at the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Greenfield Highlands Health Center. This program was specially designed for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the symptoms caused by an acquired brain injury. The program is offered at little to no cost to the participant and no qualified participant will be turned away due to current insurance or financial status. The program is meant to treat veterans and first responders of the Midwest and beyond, regardless of discharge status, veteran status, etc. or if their brain injury was medically reported.

The BRAVE Program is a branch of the Wisconsin Institute of Neuroscience (WINS), a collaboration of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, Children’s Wisconsin and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. BRAVE was designed to treat the invisible wounds of service and war, specifically Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the physical and mental health issues that result.

The BRAVE team is comprised of psychiatry and psychology to address mental and behavioral health; physical therapy for vestibular, balance and musculoskeletal pain and concerns; occupational therapy to address vision and activities of daily living; speech-language pathology to assess cognition (i.e. memory, thinking, planning) and language; as well as  neurology, social work, case management, veteran/first responder outreach and care coordination to properly address all aspects of the patient’s concerns.

Due to a generous gift from the Avalon partnership that was established within the Avalon network, BRAVE can remove barriers to care (stigma, cost, silos of care, paperwork, logistics, etc.) while offering the veteran or first responder a unique and holistic approach to TBI treatment. The BRAVE Program consists of a 3-day comprehensive evaluation to develop a roadmap to care while identifying root causes to TBI symptoms. From there, an intensive outpatient treatment plan and classes can be tailored based on the patient’s needs and chosen goals. If additional services are identified through the evaluation process, (i.e. more intensive post-traumatic stress or in-patient substance abuse treatment is needed) BRAVE can complete internal referrals for treatment within the Avalon Action Alliance network at no additional cost to the client.

To learn more about the program, click herevisit the website, call 414.427.5370 or email BRAVE@mcw.eduClick here to learn about Avalon's other programs.

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