Multimillion Dollar Rehabilitation Center For US Military Amputees Opening In Texas
A $50 million (€39 million) high-tech rehabilitation center designed to serve the growing number of soldiers who return from war as amputees or with severe burns will open here Monday.
The 60,000-square-foot (5,400-square-meter) Center for the Intrepid will allow the Army to move its rehabilitation program out of the Brooke Army Medical Center and into a separate facility that includes a rock-climbing wall, wave pool and a 360-degree virtual reality sphere to help amputees and other severely wounded soldiers recover their balance and other basic skills.
"The Center for the Intrepid is going to let us keep advancing what we've been doing," said Maj. Stewart Campbell, the officer-in-charge of rehabilitation at Brooke. The facility tells soldiers "we're going to take care of you for as long as you need us, to get you back to where you want to be."
The center, built with private donations at Fort Sam Houston, will be officially dedicated at a ceremony Monday. Senators John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both 2008 presidential hopefuls, are scheduled to attend.
Brooke's amputee program started two years ago and has about 50 patients, but the new center will allow it to expand and offer more advanced rehabilitation, Campbell said.
Of the roughly 20,000 soldiers injured since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, more than 500 are amputees, many wounded by roadside bombs. At Brooke, those amputees were being treated in offices and facilities carved out of the larger hospital.