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Tulane University Center for Brain Health joins the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network for veteran care

April 08, 2021 1:15 PM
 | 
Roger Dunaway roger@tulane.edu
  
Tulane University’s Center for Brain Health has partnered with actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise and his foundation’s Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. Sinise is pictured here at the Serving Heroes event in February 2018 at the Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, Calif. (Photo courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation)

 

The Tulane University Center for Brain Health (TUCBH) has partnered with actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise and his foundation’s Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. This network focuses on the cognitive health and mental wellness of veterans and first responders, providing transformative care for those experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries or substance abuse. Funding of $12.5 million over the next five years is gifted to TUCBH for this initiative.

“It is truly an honor to be part of this network,” said Dr. Gregory Stewart, the W. Kennon McWilliams Professor of Sports Medicine in Orthopaedics and co-founder and co-director for the Tulane Center for Sport. “We are humbled by the early investment to the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network by The Goldring Family Foundation & Woldenberg Foundation to help serve veterans in the New Orleans area. Tulane has been given such a unique opportunity, as an institution, to serve this population and we are committed to the long-term success of this program.”

The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network builds on the work of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health and the Boulder Crest Foundation’s Warrior PATHH program, to establish 20 treatment centers nationwide to serve thousands of veterans, first responders and their families.

"We are humbled by the early investment to the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network by The Goldring Family Foundation & Woldenberg Foundation to help serve veterans in the New Orleans area."

- Dr. Gregory Stewart

“When I formed the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, it was rooted in a personal mission to provide support, raise spirits and improve the mental wellness of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Gary Sinise, the Foundation’s Founder and Chairman. “Always wanting to do more, as the foundation approaches its 10th anniversary this June, I am proud to announce the launch of the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. This cognitive health and mental wellness network will further expand our services to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse to help heal the invisible wounds afflicting too many of our veterans and first responders, transforming struggle into strength and lifelong post-traumatic growth.”

TUCBH and the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network provide individualized plans of clinical care for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

“We are honored to support our nation’s military veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. Louisiana is filled with patriots who have served our country, and the Tulane University Center for Brain Health is open and ready to support those suffering from traumatic brain injury and other invisible wounds of war,” said Bill Goldring, chairman of the Goldring Family & Woldenberg Foundations. “The epidemic of veteran suicide must be stopped, and we are pleased to help fuel this new program.”

The TUCBH veteran program addresses the unique medical needs of members of the armed forces. The center, housed inside the Tulane Medical Center, specializes in caring for military veterans of any discharge status and specializes in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

TBI and PTSD affect nearly 1 out of every 3 military personnel deployed to war zones since 2001. An estimated 30% of our nation’s first responders also experience symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress. Though dubbed “invisible wounds,” the changes in psychological health that accompany these conditions have very visible manifestations, such as depression, anxiety, suicide and substance abuse, impacting not just the veterans and first responders themselves but their families as well. Unlike physical wounds, invisible wounds can be passed from one generation to the next.

Sinise joined the co-founders of The Home Depot and renowned philanthropists Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank, who each invested $20 million from their personal foundations to lay the groundwork for the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network. Both are personally motivated to improve and expand upon the care provided to veterans and first responders, and the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network marks the first time that Bernie Marcus and Arthur M. Blank have partnered together since co-founding The Home Depot.