Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Boston program helps veterans be ‘safe at home’

By
From page B10 | November 11, 2012 |

BOSTON — It’s not easy to reach home base in baseball. That journey can be even more difficult in real life for Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who return to their loved ones with the so-called “invisible wounds of war.”

Jeremy Bordenca, 34, has traveled that challenging path. When he came back from Iraq in February 2005, the former Army staff sergeant had changed.

“I would walk my house in the middle of the night to make sure the doors were closed, the windows were locked,” Bordenca recalled. “From there, it went to actually physically walking my neighborhood.

“Slowly, I was alienating myself from everybody when I came home. I started having a lot of drinking problems and anger-management issues, and being able to hold a job was becoming next to impossible. I said, ‘Where am I going to end up at? I’m either going to end up in jail or I’m going to end up dead,’ because that’s the harm that I was doing to myself and others.”

To help veterans such as Bordenca find their way back, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital teamed up in 2009 to form the “Home Base Program” to treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. Each of those organizations contributed $3 million in seed money over three years to launch the unique partnership, which had been born during visits that Red Sox players, management and owners had made after their World Series wins in 2004 and 2007 to young veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Home Base is the first partnership of its kind between an academic medical center and Major League Baseball to offer clinical care, community education and research for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families, according to retired Gen. Jack Hammond, Home Base executive director, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Massachusetts General Hospital has a 200-year history of providing care to our veterans,” Hammond said. “Now, more than ever, there is a critical need for the civilian medical community to work with the government to do whatever we can to help veterans and families affected by the invisible wounds of war.”

Home Base offers outpatient clinical care for veterans and families in New England, clinical and community education about these wounds, and does research into post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and traumatic brain injury, know as TBI. One in three veterans is expected to experience PTSD, depression or TBI.

After hearing about the program through family members, Bordenca sought help from Home Base in early 2010. At the time, however, his anxiety prevented him from driving downtown from his suburban home, so a Home Base outreach representative came to him.

“He came out to my house and met me,” Bordenca said. “I was blown away by that. He was a veteran. When he and I sat down and talked in my living room, it was like I can connect to him because he’s been there. He’s seen it.”

That got Bordenca into the program, which serves active-duty, National Guard, Reserve and former service members regardless of their ability to pay, whether they carry insurance, or their discharge status. If veterans or family members are uninsured, they will not receive bills for care.

The Home Base clinical team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, social workers, and addiction specialists. Massachusetts General Hospital is ranked the No. 1 hospital in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

The Home Base staff includes four veteran outreach coordinators who are Afghanistan or Iraq veterans.

“We all saw combat in either Iraq or Afghanistan,” said Nick Dutter, associate director of veteran outreach. “Whenever a veteran calls, we’re the first point of contact, so they’re talking to us. We do the initial information gathering to present to the clinicians.

“Most of our referrals come from family members and veterans who have already come in for treatment.”

Rebecca Weintraub Brendel, M.D., Home Base clinical director, said veterans receive appointments for treatment within two weeks, and a typical course of treatment for combat stress or PTSD lasts 16 to 20 weeks.

“We’ll stay with someone as long as they need and/or want support from us,” Brendel said. “The kinds of evidence-based treatments that we’re offering – for combat-related stress, in particular – are highly effective for most veterans.”

According to Brendel, symptoms of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress are very similar, and every veteran who comes to the program is thoroughly evaluated for both conditions. That approach distinguishes the Home Base Program.

“Another thing that makes us unique is that we are also a family clinic, and we define family very broadly, so it’s really anybody who loves or cares about the veteran,” Brendel said. “One of the things that we say in our program is that for every warrior, there are 10 (family or friend) worriers.”

Unlike some other areas of the country, New England has no large, active-duty military bases, and most service members are in the National Guard or Reserve. Home Base serves veterans and family members throughout New England.

According to Dutter, Home Base has helped nearly 500 veterans and their family members during the past three years. Add its training programs for health care providers and community education on the needs of military families, and that number swells into the thousands.

Home Base collaborates with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, along with state and local veterans’ organizations.

Home Base relies almost entirely on philanthropic donations and actively fundraises. Its largest, most visible event is the annual “Run-Walk to Home Base,” which attracts thousands of participants for a 9-kilometer run/3-mile walk that starts and finishes in Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox.

Funds support clinical care, community education and other Home Base programs. Among its most popular is the “Home Base Adventure Series,” which offers such outdoor activities as sailing, skiing, skating, basketball and baseball free to veterans and their families in an attempt to strengthen family relationships and bring military families together. Veterans who participate in the adventure series do not have to be patients.

“These are the types of things the younger-generation veterans want to do,” Dutter said. “We want to get out there.”

Army News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 4 Comments

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7