“I decided to trust this process and took a leap of faith by going to Boston to participate in the pilot program of the Intensive Clinical Program – something was going to change and I was going to live differently,” said Laura Hartman, a U.S. Veteran from Southwest Florida and one of the first to take part in Home Base’s Home Base’s Intensive Clinical Program, referred to as the ICP.
Laura Hartman is one of the 16 Veterans from Southwest Florida who have completed the ICP, a two-week, outpatient, concentrated treatment program open to Veterans and their family members who are struggling with invisible wounds of war. In total, the ICP has served more than 219 Veterans and Family Members from 32 states across the country.
“The ICP is a fantastic option for Veterans who may not have access to the kind of world-class care we provide at Massachusetts General Hospital,” said Peg Harvey, PsyD, Intensive Clinical Program Director, at Home Base. “It’s also a great option for someone who might not be able to leave work to make a traditional weekly appointment. In this model, the Veteran can use their two-week vacation and receive about 50 hours of care, which could take over a year to complete the traditional way.”
Piloted in 2015 and officially launched in early 2016, the ICP is providing impressive outcomes for those suffering from invisible wounds of war—folks who may not have access to this level of healing in their own hometowns, or, have the time to attend weekly appointments. For Hartman, Home Base’s Warrior Health & Fitness Program in Southwest Florida became a conduit to clinical care after realizing she had further symptoms which needed to be addressed. Not only did she receive concentrated, meaningful care to address the invisible wounds associated with her service, but she feels that she was part of something bigger, part of the pilot program that is going on to change the lives of so many post-9/11 Veterans. “To know that I was willing to die for my country and now I’m willing to live is amazing. As a Veterans advocate, I am very humbled to be part of something bigger again.”
The ICP is Veterans from anywhere in the country can come to Home Base and receive close to a years worth of therapy in two weeks. Transportation to the clinic, meals, lodging and treatment are provided at zero cost to the patient. In the ICP, evidence-based treatment is provided in conjunction with complimentary alternative medicine. The results are impressive and many patients say their experience has had a direct effect on their day-to-day lives.
“We can actually see a transformation take place,” explains retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond, Executive Director, Home Base. “These men and women come on Day One and they are isolated. They can’t maintain eye contact, some have long beards that they may hide behind and others are struggling just as visibly by their invisible wounds. Fast forward to Day 14, when they graduate from the ICP. In some cases they have shaved their beards, in other cases, you look around the room and see these folks have a new band of brothers and sisters that they are leaning on. They’re joking around like they are back in a platoon. They actually stand up and make speeches about how they have been able to change. It’s inspiring.”
Critically, the services continue beyond the two-week program. Before the patients leave for home, the Veterans are connected to providers in their home communities, ensuring a continuity of care.“The ICP changed my life. They reunited me with my family, and made me realize strength comes from within,” says Hartman.
The ICP is made possible through generous support from Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), as part of the Warrior Care Network. The Warrior Care Network is a partnership between WWP, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Home Base at Massachusetts General Hospital and three other academic medical centers around the country: Emory Healthcare, Rush University Medical Center and UCLA Health.
For more information on our Intensive Clinical Program, click here. To speak with a member of the Home Base team to see if the ICP is a good fit for you, call 617-724-5202.