Lisa chats with Alejandro Villanueva: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle, former Army Ranger and West Point graduate and COL Geoffrey Grammer: National Director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center about the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center launch Brain Injury Awareness Month and celebrate its 25th anniversary
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury, exists to conduct research, provide education and ensure the best possible treatment for the roughly 25,000 service members who sustain head injuries each year. Created in February 1992, it just celebrated its 25th year.
On Wednesday, March 1st, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle, Alejandro Villanueva and national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Col. Geoffrey Grammer will discuss how the DVBIC focuses on research and treatment for service members, veterans, and their families and how traumatic brain injuries are not just a military problem. According to the CDC, more than two million Americans will suffer a TBI each year that requires treatment. Through its awareness campaign A Head for the Future—is launching a month-long #ThinkAhead social media campaign, asking all Americans to take part in remind their friends and family to protect themselves from TBI and get help when needed. They will share some tips on how everyone can Think Ahead about TBI.
SOME OF THEIR TIPS INCLUDE:
•Be safe. Prevent TBI’s through the use of protective equipment (i.e., helmets, seatbelts, etc.), but also by thinking through one’s actions. For example, many brain injuries occur from falls, so simply being aware of one’s surroundings can be a preventative measure.
•Know the signs. While reacting properly after a TBI-causing incident (or when TBI symptoms are noticed) is important, it’s hard for someone to do so without first knowing about the signs/symptoms for which they should be looking for.
•Get help. Getting help as quickly as possible after a TBI can both speed recovery and improve outcomes, so we’re asking people to Think Ahead to a speedy recovery and get help as quickly as possible.
MORE ABOUT ALEJANDRO VILLANUEVA:
Alejandro Villanueva is a Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle, former Army Ranger and West Point graduate. Alejandro has volunteered to serve as DVBIC’s chair for Brain Injury Awareness Month 2017, to help bring attention to traumatic brain injury’s prevention, recognition and treatment. Alejandro deployed to Afghanistan three times and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a “V” (valor) device for rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire.
MORE ABOUT COLONEL GEOFFREY GRAMMER
COL Geoffrey Grammer is the national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Grammer completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia. In 1996, he graduated from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland, with his medical degree. Subsequently, he completed his residency in internal medicine and general psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry. Until recently, Grammer was the department chief of research at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Prior to that, he served for eight years as the chief of inpatient psychiatric services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland. He served two tours in Iraq.