Back to News Front

Local politicians lead the way

Final funding helped finish new center

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

The Intrepid Spirit Center is a reality at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Representing the next evolution of treatment for soldiers with serious head injuries, the $11 million facility aims to advance care by offering special, personalized treatment in a comprehensive program partly supported by private donations.

Helping to put the finishing touches on the center was State Representative Christine Kilduff, D-University Place. She and Representative Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, sponsored a federal budget request for $1 million to complete the Intrepid Spirit Center.

"It took a lot of discussions and tough negotiations, but we finally have the funding that our military servicemembers, local community members and families are counting on for new schools, better facilities and needed projects," wrote Kilduff in a recent news release.

The center is the result of a public-private partnership, with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund financing the construction, which began in 2015. It will be part of the Madigan Army Medical Center, where the number of staff positions involved in traumatic-brain-injury care are expected to more than double once the new facility opens.

"We have legacy injuries, and when soldiers aren't fighting they're training, and they can hurt themselves as badly or worse," Col. Beverly Scott, then medical director for Madigan's traumatic-brain-injury program, said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

The 25,000-square-foot center features the latest in brain technology and innovative treatments.

The history behind the creation of the Intrepid Spirit Center at JBLM has a connection to the base's Fisher Houses. The Fisher family created the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and the fund led through public-private partnership efforts to build eight other centers -- called Intrepid Centers -- across the country.

The centers operate using a National Intrepid Center of Excellent care model with a focus on diagnosis and treatment.

"As a nonprofit organization, we can do it faster -- and we can probably do it less expensive than the government," said David Winters, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

"All of our projects have been on time and on budget."

Kilduff agreed.

"This is a wonderful facility to have here in order to provide the best for those who serve us."

Located at Building 90390 on Gardner Loop by Fisher House II, the Fisher Foundation will turn the Intrepid Spirit Center over to the Army April 5.

comments powered by Disqus