Emory Healthcare Veterans Program celebrates opening of new intensive outpatient program
By Robin Reese | May 30, 2016
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Emory’s Veterans Program formally opened a new intensive outpatient treatment program for post-9/11 veterans at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 25. The program is a comprehensive, two-week treatment program that aims to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while helping veterans re-engage in daily life and promoting physical and mental health and wellness.
Program director Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, shared with those in attendance the critical need to provide care for those struggling from the invisible wounds of war.
"This program is truly an innovation in veteran health care, and that’s worthy of celebrating", said Rothbaum.
The highlight of the opening event was hearing the personal stories of two veteran-patients who suffered for years with PTSD and received help through the intensive outpatient program, which enrolled its first patients in February.
"I remember being asked ‘what do you want to get out of this program?’ and I told her I wanted my life back. And that is essentially what they have done for me," shared Matthew Barnes, a former Marine.
Another patient, former Army staff sergeant Carrie Smith, said the program was vital to her recovery and helped her deal with rage she had been harboring for years.
Through the program patients have access to a wide range of services, from the Emory Sleep Center to help address sleep problems, to a physical rehabilitation suite for those who suffer from traumatic brain injury, to various recreational activities to build coping and relationship skills.
Emory School of Medicine Dean Chris Larsen, MD, DPhil, spoke in support of the collaborative nature of the program. "To bring the full team of specialties together in support of our veterans and their families is just not something that has been possible," said Larsen.
Emory’s Veterans Program is supported by the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and is a member of WWP’s Warrior Care Network™, a national network of academic medical center partners committed to connecting veterans and their families with timely, effective mental health care. As part of the network, Emory is able to offer this care to qualified veterans at no cost.
"WWP is so proud to be working with Emory, as well as our other Warrior Care Network™ partners, in this first of its kind network of care," said Jeremy Chwat, chief strategy officer of Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information on the Emory Healthcare Veterans program, visit http://emoryhealthcare.org/veterans or call 1-888-514-5345.
About Emory Healthcare Veterans Program
Emory’s Veterans Program provides expert, collaborative care for post-9/11 veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and military sexual trauma (MST). Treatment options include outpatient and intensive outpatient (for out of town veterans) programs integrating behavioral health care, including psychiatry and neurology, rehabilitative medicine, wellness, and family support.
Emory’s Veterans Program is comprised of several initiatives including Warrior Care Network™ and Welcome Back Veterans Southeast Initiative. Warrior Care Network is a national network of academic medical center partners committed to connecting veterans and their families with specialized clinical care. The program also supports the training of behavioral health providers in Georgia to increase awareness of military-specific treatment needs.
About Warrior Care Network
Warrior Care Network is a groundbreaking collaboration between Wounded Warrior Project and its academic medical center partners, Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health, to create a nationwide, comprehensive care network that will enhance access and provide clinical and family centered treatment to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other related conditions. Warrior Care Network will offer specialized clinical services through either a regionalized outpatient program and/or an innovative intensive outpatient program. Through this cutting-edge initiative, WWP and its partners plan to serve thousands of wounded veterans and family members over the next three years.