JULY 25 2015
About the Home Base Program
The Home Base Program is dedicated to healing the “invisible wounds” of war for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. Our goal at Home Base is to help our veterans and their families regain the lives they once had. Our clinical staff provides caring treatment each day for Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, depression, relationship challenges, military sexual trauma, substance abuse, and the stress and anxiety that result from wartime military service. If untreated, an unprecedented number of our veterans have become overwhelmed and have taken their own lives. veterans 18-24 years old are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts.
Each day our clinical team saves lives and assists our veterans and military families to reclaim the lives they once had. Their mission is over, now we must fight for their peace.
Home Base operates one of the only private sector clinics in the nation that heals the invisible wounds of war. In addition to the world-class clinical care we provide at no cost, Home Base has provided clinical training to more than 10,000 medical professionals and is engaged in important research to develop improved therapies and care models for these invisible wounds.
Following the 2007 World Series win, Red Sox players and owners met with wounded veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and learned of the medical challenges many of our returning Veterans were facing. Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner made a commitment, following this 4-hour visit, to partner with the Massachusetts General Hospital in order to address the signature “invisible wounds of war.” Home Base is the first partnership of its kind in the nation between an Academic Medical Center and a Major League Baseball team.
Home Base opened the door to its clinic in 2009, and since then has provided clinical care, services, and support to more than 5,000 veterans and military family members from across all six New England states. Outpatient care is provided at the Home Base clinic located on Merrimac Street, at no cost to veterans or family members. We treat the veteran and their "self-defined" family in a holistic manner with individually tailored care plans. Our web based program at StayingStrong.org has provided on line tools for thousands parents and educators to strengthen resiliency in military-connected children, and our veteran Outreach Team, comprised of combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, assist our veterans in navigating their transition and care.
In 2015, Home Base will transition from a Boston based regional program to National Center of Excellence for the Invisible Wounds of War. We will launch a "first in the nation" two week intensive clinical program for veterans that will extend the reach of this program to any Post 9-11 Veteran in the United States. We will now grow our existing clinical staff of doctors, psychologists, nurses, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists and licensed clinical social workers to ensure that we maintain the world class evidence based care we have become known for as we double the size of our clinical program. All treatment is evidence-based and provided by clinicians from Mass General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, two of the best hospitals in America. In addition, Home Base has collaborated with both the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, the MGH Sports Medicine team & Red Sox Strength and Conditioning team to develop several Wellness Based Programs to address the less complex issues that affect the mental well being of our returning veterans.
With funding from the McCormick Foundation and Major League Baseball’s Welcome Back Veterans, Home Base has provided free, online training to more than 10,000 clinicians nationwide to improve the clinical care for the invisible wounds of war. Additionally Home Base continues to perform research to develop new and improved treatments for Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries, and is developing plans for a significant research project that will profoundly improve our care.
Your support is crucial to our success, 95% of our funding is based upon individual, corporate, and foundational support. Our two signature events; the Run to Home Base, and Mission Gratitude serve as the cornerstone for these efforts.
To learn more or to make an appointment, visit www.homebaseprogram.org
|More information about the Home Base Program is available at:
For veterans wishing to schedule a consultation, please call 617-724-5202
About the Home Base Veterans and Families
The following examples are based on the stories of veterans and families helped by:
the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program
“Tom” joined the military right after high school and served for a total of six years in the U.S. Army. His infantry unit was deployed for more than a year to an area south of Bagdad, which saw heavy fighting. When Tom returned home, he enrolled at a Massachusetts community college on the GI Bill. But his transition back to civilian life from combat experience in Iraq was difficult. He was uncomfortable in crowds, hyper-vigilant, had trouble driving a car, and difficulty concentrating on his school work. With advice from staff in the student veteran center at his college and encouragement from his girlfriend, Tom sought help for his “invisible wounds” at the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program.
Thanks to Home Base, Tom says he has been able to understand, overcome and manage his combat stress, strengthen his personal relationships, and regain his confidence and academic success as a student veteran. While he continues to work on his degree, Tom volunteers to help other Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans coordinate their benefits and adjustment to student life.
“Mr. and Mrs. C.” Their son, a young Marine, who served in Afghanistan, was involved in a number of fire fights, as well as rescue and recovery operations of wounded and dead soldiers. He also experienced a traumatic brain injury following several IED blasts. When their son got home, he started having symptoms of post traumatic stress (PTSD). He was feeling anxious in crowds, having trouble sleeping, experiencing flashbacks, outbursts of anger, and abusing alcohol. His traumatic brain injury made it difficult to concentrate and focus on his work. The young Marine was frightened and confused, and he felt isolated from his family and friends. However, like many young service members, he kept his struggles hidden. Only his parents knew how troubled he was.
Mr. C. contacted Home Base for help. As a result of the interventions, the family says their son is recovering from his “invisible wounds” and learning to manage his symptoms. With support and instruction from the Home Base Family Team, Mr. and Mrs. C. have learned how to make their home and social environment support their son’s recovery, and how to effectively communicate with their son when he is having symptoms of PTSD.
“Mary N.” When her older brother was deployed for the second time to Afghanistan, Mary found that her worry and anxiety about her brother’s safety were becoming overwhelming at times. She wasn’t sure what to say when friends made off-hand remarks about why people would chose to serve in the military and the war. She also needed help coping with the changes her brother’s deployment created in her family dynamic; sometimes she found herself supporting her parents, her younger siblings, and her deployed brother. Home Base helped Mary manage her anxiety, and she says the techniques she learned help to improve her communication with her friends and family. Siblings are often forgotten when we think about families being under great stress as a result of military deployments. Clinicians often focus on spouses and children -- but not brothers and sisters of young soldiers. Home Base offers individual and group counseling to all family members throughout the deployment cycle.
“The M family” Mr. “M.” is an Army combat veteran, who was deployed twice to Iraq. Early in his second deployment, the family’s elementary school-aged son began to have some anxiety about his dad being in harm’s way. He was having trouble sleeping and separating from his mom to go to school, even though he’d never had problems with either before the second deployment. To the family’s surprise, the little boy’s anxiety continued even after his dad came home. The family came to the Home Base Program for help. Home Base clinicians met with the son, his younger brother, and their parents, and with education and guidance the entire family has developed a way to talk about their feelings in response to the dad’s deployment, and as a result, they say they have learned how to help make the children feel safe and less anxious.