Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today praised the decision of a U.S. House-Senate Conference Committee that could pave the way for the construction of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence for Traumatic Brain Injury at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I am pleased that the Senators and Members of Congress sitting on this important panel saw fit to remove a potential roadblock to the construction of this very important project,” said Leggett. “I particularly appreciate the leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski, a member of the Conference Committee.”
County Executive Leggett recently shared his concern with Senators Mikulski and Ben Cardin and Congressman Chris Van Hollen that this project might not be able to move forward because a provision in the Fiscal Year 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill, which helps fund wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, would have deleted funding for the construction of a new gymnasium at the Bethesda Naval Hospital campus. It became necessary to build a new gymnasium because the existing gym occupies the best site for the Intrepid TBI Center. Final votes are expected in the House and Senate this week.
“This project is a huge benefit to the men and women of our Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force – who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with devastating traumatic brain injuries,” said Leggett, himself an Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War. “Constructing a new gymnasium is a small price to pay in order to accommodate the new Intrepid TBI Center of Excellence, which is being donated at a significant savings to the Defense Department. I applaud the Committee for enabling the TBI Center to be completed by restoring funds for the new gymnasium.”
“Montgomery County supports the BRAC mission establishing the world-class Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda,” continued Leggett. “While our main priority continues to be ensuring that the transportation network surrounding the campus will serve the dramatic growth BRAC is bringing to the NNMC campus, the County also believes strongly that the addition of the Intrepid TBI Center will enhance the BRAC mission.”
The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) will be an advanced facility dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues. It is being designed and built privately by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a national leader in supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families, is launching an important new effort to serve our military community. The TBI Center, which will cost approximately $75 million to construct, will be donated to the Navy when it is completed.
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Media Contact: Patrick Lacefield, 240-777-6507
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