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UF Health launches Brain Health Wellness Center

Veteran with child
MC2 JOSHUA J. WAHL/U.S. Navy
/
Navy Visual News Service (NVNS)
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Arturo J. Adame holds his son during a homecoming celebration for the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver to Fleet Activities Sasebo.

UF Health on Friday celebrates a ribbon cutting for its Brain Health Wellness Center, bringing neurological and psychological care to military veterans and first responders.

The program will serve veterans suffering from the “invisible wounds of war," according to a press release, specifically mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse. The program also will serve non-veterans, helping subsidize the cost of care for vets.

The new collaboration is made possible through $12.5 million grant to UF Health Jacksonville from the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network, with a $250,000 boost from the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.

“When I formed the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, it was rooted in a personal mission to provide support, raise spirits and improve the mental wellness of our nation’s heroes and their families,” Gary Sinise, the foundation’s founder and chairman, said in the release. “This cognitive health and mental wellness network will further expand our services to veterans and first responders experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse to help heal the invisible wounds afflicting too many of our veterans and first responders, transforming struggle into strength and lifelong post-traumatic growth.”

An actor and philanthropist, Sinese is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump."

According to UF Health, the Brain Health Wellness Program is intensive outpatient treatment from an interdisciplinary team of experts, including neurologists, physical therapists, neuropsychologists, case managers and integrative therapists, as well as programs like equine therapy, pet therapy, yoga and sleep analysis.

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.