Day6 TBI Challenge For CHANGE for Veterans
6th Mar 2011 | Posted in: TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans 0

Day 6 Cognitive Rehabilitation 

 Remember!!  The 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE during March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, consists of just two parts:

 1.)    Please learn something new about TBI every day.  We will be posting an article daily on our FB page to make it easy for you to learn. Today’s article is below.

 2.)    Help facilitate CHANGE by partnering with The Arms Forces by assisting us in continuing our efforts for invisibly wounded veterans by collecting your CHANGE daily and at the end of March donating the money to The Arms Forces. (contact information below) Create a jar and label it:

“The Arms Forces CHANGE for TBI” and put it out where you and others will see it.  When someone asks you what it is all about, share with them a bit about what you have learned about TBI.  Share stories of the people you will learn about through our posts on Facebook and how their lives have been forever changed by their injuries.

If collecting change every day is not your thing then be a part of the CHANGE by making a donation to The Arms Forces through our website www.thearmsforces.org or by mailing a check to the address below.

DAY 6 Article-Cognitive Rehabilitation

 Happy Sunday everyone!  What a week of sharing and learning!  It is the weekend, so sharing a few articles from online that I know will be interesting and informative.  Two famous names in the news have in the past few years, brought a lot of attention to traumatic brain injury.  We started to learn more about ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff’s traumatic injuries sustained in Iraq back in 2006, before we heard much about the same injuries sustained by American troops for many years.  Bob was instrumental in bringing the much needed attention to this life changing injury. 

 Congresswoman Gifford from Arizona was tragically shot in the head months ago and the information about her recovery and what it means to have a TBI was played and continues to be heard in a multitude of media options. 

The GOOD from both of their stories is that more people are talking about TBI.  The BAD is that the general public is led to beleive that most people with TBI get equal treatement as Mrs. Gifford and Mr. Woodruff.  That is far from the truth. The article below touches on this subject and though I have so much to say personally about this, I will let you read the article and come to your own conclusions.

 As a civilian TBI survivor I can tell you my rehabilition and assistance to reintegrate into a civilian  life after TBI was nothing like the news anchor or the congresswoman’s .  And, as the Founder/President of The Arms Forces, I can tell you that our military veterans are NOT being treated like celebrities. 

With open arms,

Pam Hays

Founder/President and severe TBI survivor

The Arms Forces

PO Box 981

Maumee, OH  43537



hope@thearmsforces.org –email





DAY 6 Article 

In Houston, Rep. Giffords Could Receive Brain Injury Treatment Thousands of Troops Do Not

by Marian Wang

ProPublica, Jan. 26, 2011, 11:31 a.m.

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As Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords begins rehabilitative therapy in Houston after being shot in the head in Tucson earlier this month, she was transferred today [1] to TIRR Memorial Hermann, a premier rehabilitation hospital renowned for its treatment of traumatic brain injuries [2].

On its website, the hospital calls itself [3] “one of very few hospitals in the country designated as a model system for traumatic brain injury.” Among the techniques it relies on is cognitive rehabilitation [4] therapy, a tailored type of medical treatment designed to retrain the brain to do basic tasks.

It’s a treatment that Rep. Giffords will likely end up receiving, if doctors’ general descriptions of her care plan are any indication. Dr. John Holcomb, a retired Army colonel and trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann, has described Giffords’ treatment as a “tailored and comprehensive [5] rehab plan” that includes “speech, cognitive, physical rehabilitation [6].”

If Giffords does end up receiving it, she’ll be getting a treatment that many troops don’t. As we’ve reported [7], the Pentagon’s health program, Tricare, has refused to cover [8] cognitive rehabilitation therapy for the tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain injuries in the line of duty. Tricare, which provides insurance-style coverage to troops and many veterans, does cover speech and occupational therapy, which are often part of cognitive rehabilitation.

We’ve called the hospital to get further details about Giffords’ treatment plan but have not yet received that information. News reports have described her treatment as using “high-tech tools to push the brain to rewire itself [9],” with a focus on [10] her physical abilities, speech, vision, cognitive skills and behavior.

Traumatic brain injuries have different types [11] and levels of severity, according to the Office of the Surgeon General. They can include penetrating injuries [12]—like Giffords’—or mild brain trauma [13] like the kind often sustained by troops in an explosion. The latter, as we’ve reported, has been called one of the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and tens of thousands of cases [14] have been left undiagnosed by the military’s medical system.

Though top brain specialists have endorsed cognitive rehabilitation as an effective treatment for brain injury, Tricare officials have said that scientific evidence does not justify [15] providing it comprehensively to troops.

To support that position, officials cite a 2009 Tricare-funded assessment of cognitive rehabilitation therapy—an assessment that internal and external reviewers have called “deeply flawed,” “unacceptable” and “dismaying,” as we reported last month with our partners at NPR.

Last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairman of the subcommittee on contracting oversight, cited our findings [16] while announcing an investigation [17] into the Pentagon’s decision to deny treatment of traumatic brain injuries to troops. In 2008, McCaskill was one of 10 senators—including then-Senator Barack Obama—who signed a letter [18] to Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging the military to provide Tricare coverage of cognitive rehabilitation “so that all returning service personnel can benefit from the best brain injury care this country has to offer.”


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