(U.S. Army Photo/Released) The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is a part of the U.S. military health system. Specifically, it is the traumatic brain injury (TBI) operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Founded in 1992 by Congress, DVBIC’s responsibilities have grown as its network of care and treatment sites has grown.
DVBIC's mission is to serve active duty military, their beneficiaries, and veterans with traumatic brain injuries through state-of-the-art clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs, and support for force health protection services. DVBIC fulfills this mission through ongoing collaboration with the DoD, military services, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), civilian health partners, local communities, families and individuals with TBI.
At 18 sites supported by a Washington, D.C-area headquarters, DVBIC treats, supports, trains and monitors service members, veterans, family members and providers who have been, or care for those who are, affected by traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
DVBIC works at the macro-level, screening and briefing troops heading into theater, performing pre-deployment provider training and provider training at military treatment facilities, gathering data mandated by Congress and the Department of Defense (DoD), and overseeing research programs. At the micro-level, DVBIC treats service members and veterans with mild, moderate or severe TBI, and helps them from the moment of injury to their return to duty or reintegration into the community. DVBIC develops, provides and distributes educational materials for both military and civilian providers, families, service members and veterans. In 2011 DVBIC disseminated over 960,000 educational materials.
The DoD has further solidified DVBIC’s role by naming it the Office of Responsibility for these tasks:
- Creation and maintenance of a TBI surveillance database
- Service compliance for pre-deployment neurocognitive testing
- Creation and distribution of the Family Caregiver Curriculum
- Design and execution of a 15-year longitudinal study of the effects of TBI in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom service members and their families
- Design and completion of independent head to head study to evaluate the reliability and validity of computerized neurocognitive tests
DVBIC was founded in 1992, largely in response to the first Persian Gulf War, under the name Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program. At that time, its goal was to integrate specialized TBI care, research and education across military and veteran medical care systems. Twenty years later we are a network of 18 centers, operating out of 11 military treatment facilities, five VA polytrauma hospitals and two civilian rehabilitation centers. The specific activities vary at each site and include research, helping service members, veterans and their families find and use the right services for their needs, providing education in military and civilian settings, providing direct care to service members, and assessing TBI injury data.
To view DVBIC's 2011 annual report, please click here.