Contact InformationNaval Hospital Camp Lejeune
Marine & Sailor Concussion Recovery Center - Bldg. H-14
100 Brewster Blvd.
Camp Lejeune, NC 28547
Capt. Thomas Armel, U.S. Navy
DVBIC Site Director
Capt. Thomas Armel reported to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C., in July 2010 as the director for the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program and program director for DVBIC.
The son of a U.S. Navy captain, he moved wherever the Navy sent his father. Armel received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Virginia Tech in 1977 and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Radford University in 1982. From 1982 to 1985, he worked as a civilian registered nurse.
Armel received his commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps in September 1985. After completion of Officer Indoctrination School at Newport, R.I., his first tour was as a staff nurse at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in the inpatient psychiatric unit. He obtained his certification in psychiatric nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 1986.
Armel’s follow-on tour was to Naval Hospital Rota, Spain, in 1989 as the department head of the Alcohol Rehabilitation Service. He remained in the mental health arena where he used his clinical expertise as division officer at Naval Hospital Charleston, S.C., in 1992. During this tour he was deployed with the Medical Detachment of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from November 1992 to January 1993.
Following Charleston, Armel reported in 1995 to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where he was the division officer of the acute inpatient unit and then took over the outpatient Continuity of Psychiatric Care Program. He ended his tour as the education and training officer for the Mental Health Nursing Department with more than 60 nurses and corpsmen. Selected for Duty Under Instruction (DUINS) in 1999, he obtained his master's degree in nursing as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing from the University of South Carolina in 2000.
In 2001, Armel was assigned to Naval Hospital Great Lakes serving as the head of the Psychiatric Nursing Department and subsequently the deputy director of Medical Services, responsible for Mental Health, Social Work, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, Primary Care, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. He also established and coordinated deck plate mental health services at the nurse operated Ambulatory Mental Health Units at Service School, Hospital Corps School, and Recruit Evaluation Unit Great Lakes. In 2004, he was transferred to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune and assigned as the assistant director for Mental Health Services and later was selected to be the first director of Mental Health Services at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. In this position he was responsible for coordinating and improving access to mental health and substance abuse services during a time of increased demand from deployments both of II MEF Marines and sailors as well as his own staff. He also served for three years as the first military member on the Onslow Carteret Behavioral Healthcare Board, another first for North Carolina.
In July 2007 Armel reported to Naval Hospital Rota, Spain, as director of Nursing Services where he was responsible for the delivery of all nursing care and the mentoring of all Nurse Corps Officers at the command. He also served as liaison with his Spanish Military Nursing counterparts to coordinate two Navy Nursing presentations at two of the annual Military Nursing Conferences. In his present assignment he has constructed a comprehensive TBI program involving an interdisciplinary treatment team to provide state of the art medical and mental health care for returning Marines and sailors affected in combat operations.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), a Joint Service Achievement Medal, The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other service and unit awards. He also has been awarded three Additional Qualification Designations (AQD) which include Executive Medicine, Ambulatory Care Nursing and Managed Care Coordinator.
The Camp Lejeune site of the DVBIC extends the overall center’s mission of providing education and clinical care services concerning TBI to our region’s active, Reserve, Guard and community populations. This is accomplished through close command and community contact, and integration of clinical care coordination with the health care delivery system, both on-post and in the community network.
Education and Outreach
- Outreach across our local catchment area
- Community awareness and prevention
- Patient and family education
- Health care provider education
- Professional and ancillary staff education
- College faculty, staff and student workshops
- High school and grade school presentations
- Veteran events
- Yellow Ribbon events
- Command briefs
- Facilitate TBI group for all clinic patients to include education and alternative therapies
- Education at pre-and-post-deployment briefs and ANAM screenings
- Family Readiness Officers briefs and trainings
- In-service trainings for Military Family Life Consultants
- Workshops for licensed clinical social workers in the community
- Workshops for chaplains on-base and chaplains and pastors in the community
- Case manager briefs
- Briefings at town hall meetings and resource fairs
- Presentations to community nonprofit organizations
- Presentations to community military organizations
- Collaboration with the North Carolina Brain Injury Association
Regional Care Coordination
- Serves as a single point of contact with specialized TBI knowledge and monitors progress
- Contacts TBI patients and fields calls
- Provides education and support to TBI patients and their families
- Provides expert consultation
- Assists in the evaluation of treatment and discharge plans and eases the transition to the next level of care
- Advises patients, family members, and providers on ways to manage cognitive, emotional and behavioral issues
- Conducts follow-up interviews at three, six, 12 and 24 months
- Measures and documents progress in a DVBIC-developed, web-based data repository system
- Diagnosis of concussion/TBI
- Management of symptoms
- Sleep disturbances
- Referral for complex symptom evaluation and management
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Language Therapy
Capt. Thomas Armel
Capt. Thomas Johnson
Program Manager/Regional Education Coordinator
Deborah Waun, MA, LPC
Regional Education Coordinator
Laurel Schaefer, BFA
Regional Care Coordinator
Carolyn Hebb, RN
Ruthetta Echols, PA-C
Michelle Geers, SLP
William Fitzpatrick, SLP
Deirdre Peters, OT