By Ens. Michael Yeary, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune held a pair of ribbon cutting ceremonies Oct. 2, for a major expansion of the facility and the opening of a center for service members suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.
Arnold Fischer, chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, cut the ribbon for the opening of the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) while Capt. David Lane, commanding officer Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune (NHCL), cut the ribbon at the newly expanded hospital
The $32.6 million expansion of the hospital and $1.4 million site support work for NICoE were administered by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic through Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) onboard Camp Lejeune.
"This expansion will truly benefit thousands of Marines, Sailors, veterans, and their families in the decades to come," said Lane.
The NICoE traumatic brain injury treatment center is the second of its kind in the nation specially dedicated for the treatment of TBI and PTS. Keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Robert Castellvi, commander, Marine Corps Installations East, pointed out that more than 300,000 service members have reported symptoms of PTS in the last 10 years.
"This center is a major milestone for TBI and PTSD care. It is a collective symbol of our expanded capabilities to treat all injured service members," he added.
The ceremony also marked the opening of the expansion of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune has the largest concentration of ill, wounded, and injured Marines in the world. The 116,000 square feet addition helps serve more than 70,000 patients and includes marque expansions of family medicine, ophthalmology, orthopedics, physical therapy clinics, and a new state of the art emergency department.
"The men and women of NAVFAC are proud to be a part of the expansion of these medical facilities and the expanded care they will provide for Marines, Sailors, and their families," said Cmdr. Scott Cloyd, OICC commanding officer.