SOURCE: SmithGroup


June 24, 2010 13:16 ET

National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) Opens at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) -  The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), a privately-funded facility designed to treat service members with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health issues, opens today at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The new $65 million, 72,000-square-foot NICoE facility, designed by SmithGroup, will provide military patients and veterans with mild to moderate head injuries the best opportunity to regain their pre-injury abilities in a supportive, healing environment. To see a 3 minute video on how the facility was designed especially for TBI treatment, research and education, click here

The Center was made possible through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), a nonprofit organization which is donating the Center to the Department of Defense. Funded entirely by private donations, the facility will serve as a new global Center of Excellence in the specialized field of TBI, which has become the signature wound for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This facility will accommodate TBI treatment and research programs that are available nowhere else in the world," says Phil Tobey, Senior Vice President of SmithGroup. "Every element of the building's design is acutely attuned to the multiple physical, sensory and wayfinding needs of TBI patients."

The Center is distinguished by the number of programs co-located under one roof, enabling a more comprehensive care approach. In order to more precisely diagnose complex brain injuries, the building houses the most advanced imaging technologies, including a 3 Tesla MRI; 64-Slice PET/CT scanner; an Elekta Neuromag® MEG (magnetoencephalography) scanner -- one of only nine in clinical use in the U.S.; and Functional Transcranial Doppler Spectroscopy (fTCDS).

The Center also houses an array of physical, occupational and recreational therapy spaces, with a large, open plan treatment room that features advanced training equipment to promote strength, balance, agility and aerobic conditioning. A variety of comprehensive support spaces will help patients and their families maximize their potential for recovery, and enable patients and family members to have a place to relax between treatments as well as provide emotional and spiritual support to one another.

The facility is targeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

SmithGroup also designed the Center for the Intrepid, an advanced rehabilitation and research center for amputee and burn patients in San Antonio, Texas, as well as dozens of other Department of Defense and Veterans healthcare facilities. SmithGroup ranks as the 7th largest architecture and engineering firm in the U.S. and employs over 800. With 346 LEED accredited professionals and 48 LEED certified projects; SmithGroup is a national leader in sustainable, environmentally intelligent design. 

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