War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
Telehealth Program for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Veterans at WRIISC-DC
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Given the unique set of exposures and stressors that EOD warriors face during their service, the WRIISC-DC’s multi-disciplinary team has developed a telehealth program for EOD Veterans.
- Traditionally, Veterans that have at least a 30% service-connected disability rating whose consults are accepted by the WRIISC-DC would qualify for travel reimbursement (airfare and lodging) to complete a comprehensive in-person evaluation in Washington, DC. However, given the COVID-19 pandemic and related concerns for Veteran safety, travel to the WRIISC-DC and in-person evaluations have been suspended.
- In an effort to continue serving Veterans during the pandemic, WRIISC-DC is offering telehealth evaluations that include a comprehensive review of medical records and clinical assessments with medical professionals who have unique expertise (i.e., integrative medicine, neuropsychology, deployment health, environmental exposure, health coaching, social work, and nutrition) to evaluate deployed Veterans.
- This experience generally consists of 4 to 5 days of video (preferred) and/or telephone-based visits with the WRIISC-DC clinical team that can be completed from a Veteran’s home. Diagnoses are made when possible and clinical recommendations are shared directly with the Veteran and their VA Primary Care Providers (PCPs). In some cases, the WRIISC-DC clinical team will ask that certain evaluations are completed prior to scheduling a WRIISC-DC comprehensive evaluation. The reason for this is to make sure the WRIISC-DC clinical team has all relevant clinical information during the evaluation. We also ask that all outside records be included in the VA record for review.
- Interested EOD Veterans also have the option to participate in telehealth research focused on analyzing cognitive, emotional, and physical data (e.g., electroencephalogram [EEG], sleep quality, and daily level of physical activity) in Veterans with varying degrees of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) exposure and/or post-concussive syndrome. Research at the WRIISC-DC is ongoing and additional research opportunities will be available for interested Veterans in the future. Data collected from EOD veterans will be applied to studies focused on directly serving the EOD community. Research participation is completely voluntary and opting out of research participation will not affect the clinical care that Veterans receive at the WRIISC-DC.
- Deployed EOD Veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces living in all U.S. states and territories are eligible to participate. Due to the unique nature and intensity of a WRIISC-DC evaluation, Veteran medical records will be evaluated individually for safety with respect to ongoing medical conditions that could delay/prevent participation. Some Veterans with acute health concerns may be deferred and reconsidered by the WRIISC-DC for participation at later time if their medical and/or psychiatric conditions become more stable.
Not Currently Enrolled in the VA?
- At this time, only EOD Veterans enrolled in the VA medical system are eligible to participate in this program. Learn more about VA enrollment process, or call 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Enrolled in the VA?
- Schedule an appointment with your VA Primary Care Provider (PCP) and request that they submit a consult to the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center.
- Ask them to specifically write about your interest in the WRIISC-DC’s “EOD Program” in their consult.
- All consults with this information will be reviewed for the program by our clinical team, usually within a month of receipt. A response will be sent directly to the referring VA PCP and the Veteran after the consult is reviewed.
Questions about the WRIISC Referral Process?
- Please visit the WRIISC website for more information. Detailed information about the referral process (for Veterans and clinical staff) is available here. If you have remaining questions about this process, please contact WRIISC-DC Social Worker, Dr. Stewart at 202-745-8000, ext. 54647.
Questions about Additional Resources and Support Available to EOD Veterans?
- WRIISC-DC is proud to partner with researchers at Uniformed Services University (USU) and Rochester Regional Health as well as nonprofit organizations including the EOD Warrior Foundation (EODWF) and the Navy Special Operations Foundation (NSOF) to highlight research opportunities and support services available for EOD Veterans.