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Service Above Self
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The SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center
The SHARE (Shaping Hope and Recovery Excellence) Military Initiative began in 2008 in order to provide a continuum of rehabilitation care for soldiers who have sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving the US on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Since SHARE’s inception, the program has served over 200 individuals, from all service branches. The program typically treats 8-12 wounded warriors at a time.
Over time, the program has come to focus primarily on servicemen and women who have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, considered by many to be the “signature injury” of the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. Symptoms associated with this type of injury include deficiencies in physical functioning (balance and dizziness), behavioral functioning (irritability and emotional distress) and cognitive functioning (memory, attention and concentration).
Shepherd Center is one of the few civilian rehab facilities in the entire nation to develop a dedicated and separate military patient program. SHARE provides a comprehensive continuum of care, specifically tailored to meet the needs of each client, including complimentary housing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, speech therapy, therapeutic recreation and legal, financial and psychological counseling, among many other programs.
All of these activities are available in one centralized location and are supervised by the same medical team, so that all aspects of a client’s care are working in concert with each other, as opposed to a more fragmented system that many of our clients have experienced throughout their time in military treatment systems.
Beyond treating the injuries and associated symptoms that our patients have been afflicted with, SHARE provides a wide variety of additional programs that, although unfunded by insurance, are integral to the recovery and community reintegration of our wounded warriors. Included among these many “value-added” programs are:
• Assisting clients with the return to work and/or school
• Providing of peer support through military volunteers
• Assistance in navigating the VA system and the Med Board process
• Provide a minimum of one year post-discharge follow-up through Shepherd Center’s Bridge Program
• Conduct community re-entry outings, including “Horses for Heroes”, camping trips, rock climbing, fishing, etc.
The patients in the SHARE Military Initiative receive their care at no cost to them or their families. As a result, Shepherd Center must raise more than $100,000 per month just in order to keep the program running.
For more information, or to make a gift in support of the SHARE Military Initiative, please contact Jon Roxland at 404-350-7314 or visit www.shepherd.org/share.
If you’re looking for any additional information to share with potential supporters, you can find a variety of media stories (print and video) at the below SHARE Military Initiative website.