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Tulane University receives $12.5 million for military veteran care

June 29, 2020 9:45 AM
        

 

Roger Dunaway
roger@tulane.edu
(504) 452-2906

Dr. James Kelly (left), Avalon Fund representative, and Tulane’s Dr. Greg Stewart (right) sign the agreement for the creation of the Tulane University Center for Brain Health. (Photo by Mindy McDonell and taken before COVID-19 social distancing)

 

Tulane University, nationally renowned for the care it provides to retired professional athletes through partnerships with the NFL Player Care Foundation and The Trust (Powered by the NFLPA), has received a $12.5 million gift from The Avalon Fund for the creation of the Tulane University Center for Brain Health. The center will specialize in the treatment of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. military veterans, beginning in the fall of 2020.

The Center for Brain Health, which will fall under the Tulane Center for Sport programs and work in conjunction with Tulane University’s School of Medicine, will diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury, PTSD and associated conditions in discharged military service members and their spouses, regardless of discharge status.

Since 2001, over 900,000 deployed military personnel have suffered from both TBI and PTSD. The gift will support, expand and help equip Tulane's capabilities to diagnose and treat TBI, PTSD and the associated neurological and psychological conditions associated with these conditions in veterans. There will be an interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluation, an intensive outpatient program, discharge planning and patient follow-up for at least one year.

“This gift from the Avalon Fund will allow us to serve our veterans in another capacity, helping them heal from the wounds of war.”

- Tulane President Michael Fitts

“Tulane is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top universities for veterans due to our welcoming environment, strong ROTC programs and the educational benefits and financial aid options we offer to veterans and active military personnel,” said Tulane President Michael Fitts. “This gift from the Avalon Fund will allow us to serve our veterans in another capacity, helping them heal from the wounds of war.”

Dr. Greg Stewart, the W. Kennon McWilliams Professor in Sports Medicine and co-founder and co-director for the Tulane Center for Sport, will oversee the new clinic.

Stewart and his staff are no stranger to treating individuals who face physical and emotional challenges in the transition from a professional career to private life. Stewart is also the director of Tulane’s Professional Athlete Care Team (PACT), which has cared for retired professional athletes through partnerships with the NFL Player Care Foundation and The Trust (Powered by the NFLPA) since 2011.

“I fully expect that Dr. Stewart and his team will make unique contributions to the care of veterans in the New Orleans area and well beyond,” said Dr. James Kelly, Executive Director for the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, on behalf of the Avalon Fund.

The Avalon Fund also partners with the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus to address mild to moderate TBI in veterans. The Marcus Institute will collaborate with Tulane and serve as the clinical coordinating center for TBI diagnosis and treatment programs provided to veterans by other entities of The Avalon Fund.

“We are very proud and excited about the launch of the Tulane University Center for Brain Health. Our focus on veterans — caring for former members of our armed forces— is an honor beyond words,” Stewart said. “Thanks to our work at the PACT clinic, we’ve built a team uniquely skilled to provide customized care to address the healthcare needs of this population.”