Speech-Language Pathology Care for Military Traumatic Brain Injury in the Department of Veterans Affairs Military activity often has been the impetus for advances in medical care and rehabilitation, including assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have made substantive contributions to the theory and implementation of rehabilitation programs for Veterans and others who ... Article
Article  |   March 16, 2017
Speech-Language Pathology Care for Military Traumatic Brain Injury in the Department of Veterans Affairs
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Picon
    Senior Consultant, TBI Liaison to the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services Veterans Health Administration, Washington, DC
  • Don MacLennan
    Chief, Speech Pathology Section, Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Linda Picon has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Don MacLennan has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Linda Picon has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Don MacLennan has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Linda Picon has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Don MacLennan has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Linda Picon has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Don MacLennan has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Part 1
Article   |   March 16, 2017
Speech-Language Pathology Care for Military Traumatic Brain Injury in the Department of Veterans Affairs
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2017, Vol. 2, 31-45. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG2.31
History: Received August 19, 2016 , Revised January 11, 2017 , Accepted January 11, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2017, Vol. 2, 31-45. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG2.31
History: Received August 19, 2016; Revised January 11, 2017; Accepted January 11, 2017

Military activity often has been the impetus for advances in medical care and rehabilitation, including assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have made substantive contributions to the theory and implementation of rehabilitation programs for Veterans and others who present with cognitive-communication disorders and dysphagia following TBI. This paper describes some of those contributions, including innovative rehabilitation programs and best practices that were developed in collaboration with SLPs from military, clinical, and academic settings. Results from interdisciplinary research collaborations such as the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s randomized clinical trial investigating treatment of cognitive-communication disorders following TBI, provided valuable data about the rehabilitation and recovery trajectory of those with TBI and polytrauma. These data formed the foundation for the VA TBI/Polytrauma System of Care, and for innovative clinical programs and services such as: Assistive Technology (AT) Labs that offer a full complement of AT services; mobile apps such as Concussion Coach which helps to assess symptoms of mild to moderate TBI and facilitates coping strategies; Heroes Pathway which is a program for Servicemembers and Veterans emerging form prolonged disorder of consciousness; and college simulation programs that provide strategy training for Veterans who want to enter or return to college after TBI.

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