Intrepid Spirit Centers: Considerations for Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves, and Retirees

Amanda Banaag, Jessica Korona-Bailey, Tracey Pérez Koehlmoos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant concern to the military health system (MHS) and a signature wound of America’s current conflict. To address the influx of patients with military-related TBI, the Department of Defense has partnered with the Fisher Foundation and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to establish the National Intrepid Center of Excellence and satellite network of Intrepid Spirit Centers. The purpose of this study is to review the prevalence of disease and geographic density of TBI among active duty, National Guard, reservist, and retired military populations in order to inform decision-making around the development of additional Intrepid Spirit Centers. Methods: We used the MHS Data Repository to perform a cross-sectional examination to assess the prevalence of TBI among active duty, National Guard, reservist, and retired military personnel from fiscal years (FY) 2016 to 2019. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics on patient demographics and the prevalence of TBI. Results: We identified a total of 3,221,682 active duty, National Guard, reservists, and retired military personnel in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps during FY 2016 to 2019; 59.5% were active duty personnel, 23.1% were Retirees, and 17.4% were National Guard and reservists. A total of 72,002 were found to have a TBI-related diagnosis. Texas, North Carolina, and California had the highest case counts for TBI. High prevalence of TBI was found in Bexar County, TX, Muscogee County, GA, Okaloosa County, FL, San Diego County, CA, and Virginia Beach City, VA. Conclusions: Additional Intrepid Spirit Centers are warranted to better meet the needs of active duty, active and inactive National Guard and reservists, and retired military personnel in locations including San Antonio, TX, and Columbus, GA. These locations currently have the medical infrastructure necessary to facilitate the care of wounded warriors and return to duty ensuring the health of the Nation’s fighting force and veterans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1534-E1539
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume188
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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