Contact Information33 Area DVBIC
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5380
Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Southern California
Capt. Keith A. Stuessi, U.S. Navy
DVBIC Site Director
Capt. Keith A. Stuessi is a native of Waukesha, Wis. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. He then accepted the Armed Forces Scholarship from the Navy in 1988, completed medical school at University of Wisconsin and entered active duty as a lieutenant in May 1992. Following internship in internal medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego, he became a general medical officer for Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., from 1993 to 1995. He then did his residency training in family medicine at Puget Sound Family Medicine Residency at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Wash., completing training in 1997.
Stuessi was a member of the Family Medicine Department at Naval Hospital Keflavik in Keflavik, Iceland, from 1997 to 2000, providing full-spectrum care for 1,500 active duty members and their dependents. In 2000, he was accepted to the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center. From 2001 to 2005, Stuessi was department head for the Sports Medicine Department at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he developed two Sports Medicine and Reconditioning Team (S.M.A.R.T.) Centers, serving 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (II MAW) and the School of Infantry (SOI), Camp Geiger, where he was responsible for oversight of nearly 20,000 patients encounters per year. From 2005 to 2006 he was the associate fellowship director for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at Camp Pendleton, California and was the officer in charge for the 52 Area S.M.A.R.T. Center. From 2006 to present, he has been the fellowship director for the Primary Care Fellowship and has been responsible for successfully graduating eight fellows and received the maximum five year accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in 2006. In addition to his duties as fellowship director, he has served as department head, physical medicine which overseas one of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton’s most productive outpatient clinics. In addition, he served as the Head, Clinical Information Committee and AHLTA physician champion. In August, 2010, he was selected by Navy Bureau of Medicine (BUMED) to be the officer in charge of the Concussion Restoration Care Center (CRCC) at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for successfully validating the DOD’s proof-of-concept clinic in the treatment of both blast concussions and musculoskeletal injuries. Since his return to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, he assumed the role of Wounded Warrior Battalion West primary care manager (PCM) in April 2012 and started transition as the medical director of the Naval Hospital’s Concussion Clinic in December 2012.
Stuessi is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. He has been the team physician for Marine Corps Boxing and Marines Corps Women’s Basketball. In addition, he has been the medical team captain for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon, team physician for Carlsbad High School and assistant team physician for Palomar Community College. Stuessi’s personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (1) and Navy Fleet Marine Force Ribbon.
Sarah Asmussen, Ph.D.
Co-Senior Scientific Director, Neuropsychologist
Dr. Asmussen has been involved in clinical, education, research and program development efforts at DVBIC-Camp Pendleton, serving active duty Marines, for the past four years. She has actively directed the clinic located in 33 Area-Camp Margarita since May 2009. Program development efforts include integration with Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, assisting with a mTBI clinical pathway, and post deployment support for Marines exposed to blast attached to 1 MEF, MARSOB, etc. Prior to joining the southern California DVBIC team, she specialized in treatment/assessment of various neurological conditions at the Palo Alto VA and James A. Haley VA. She also completed a two-year fellowship at Barrow Neurological Institute, specializing in neuropsychology with a focus on epilepsy, rehabilitation, end-of-life support and acute injury. She has presented at professional meetings nationally, lectured extensively in California, and trained providers regionally. She is also a part-time lecturer at USC, covering topics related to PTSD and mTBI/PTSD overlap.
DVBIC Camp Pendleton was established in 1999 (originally housed with 1MEF). The clinic serves active duty service members from all military branches within our region, which includes Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada.
DVBIC Camp Pendleton provides optimal care and treatment for active duty service members with TBI. Service members referred to DVBIC-Camp Pendleton receive specialized TBI consultation, including TBI screenings, and neuropsychological assessment. Auxiliary services if required include: coordination of other specialty services, duty status determination, and recommendations to the medical evaluation board and Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. Additionally, DVBIC Camp Pendleton supports post-deployment mTBI screening regionally. Together with 1 MEF, BUMED, MARSOC, and other national and local entities, a comprehensive post deployment screening procedure has been developed. Across local service provided by DVBIC Camp Pendleton, service members are offered educational resources, including a wide range of topics related to TBI and co-morbid conditions. They also have the opportunity to participate in TBI related research.
DVBIC Camp Pendleton evaluated 450 new patients and completed more than 200 post-deployment screenings in 2011. In recent years, a large number of referrals have been for service members returning from theater. In addition to evaluating combat-related TBI, we also recognize the importance of evaluating service members sustaining a TBI from other mechanisms such as, motor vehicle accidents, assaults, falls, sports-related injuries and military training injuries. Currently, our patient population is primarily active duty service members from the Navy and Marine Corps. Our team also provides clinical and educational resources to underserved regions. Our outreach services have extended to Alaska, Nevada, and Hawaii, and other areas of California including Twenty-nine Palms and Fort Irwin where we provided mass post-deployment screening and provider education.
Education, regionally, at Naval Medical Center San Diego and Camp Pendleton aims to increase the understanding of TBI for DoD, VA and civilian providers through comprehensive and engaging presentations. With the help of the regional education coordinator, DVBIC has equipped neuropsychologists, social workers, behavioral and mental health staff, service members, and their families with clinical tools, public awareness materials, and caregiver information to better handle the diagnosis and management of TBI. Through Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events, exhibit tables at national conferences, and collaboration with other treatment facilities, DVBIC continues to educate providers and service members by disseminating the most accurate and up to date information about traumatic brain injury.
Past efforts have included TBI training to Independent Duty Corpsmen, General Medical Officers, Surface Warfare Medical Officers (at Naval Medical Center San Diego), MACE training, military medical providers, mental health providers, and JAG (at Naval Medical Center San Diego). Dr. Boyd is the lead DVBIC education provider regionally, providing excellent training for the last nine years. Dr. Asmussen has been providing education on mTBI related topics for four years. Her talks include GMO introductions to mTBI, pre-deployment training, and one-on-one education post deployment.
DVBIC Camp Pendleton works in conjunction with DVBIC Naval Medical Center San Diego conducting clinical research focused on the behavioral, emotional and cognitive consequences of TBI. Nationally, we are involved in two multi-site longitudinal investigations collecting valuable data on the long-term consequences of TBI. Locally, our research team is focused on using the immense amount of information that our site has collected as part of our clinical services in the last decade. We are retrospectively examining clinical data that was collected through the treatment of military personnel during OEF/OIF. This data will be used for research to help address some critical questions about military TBI. Additionally, our site is investigating the influence that TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder has on irritability, anger, and aggressive behavior in our combat veterans.
Additional staff include:
Clinical neuropsychologists, research neuropsychologist, pychometrist, TBI coordinator, TBI care management coordinator, regional care coordinator, regional education coordinator, program manager and administrative personnel.