The Defense Health Agency (DHA) https://www.health.mil has launched the first of four Ocular Trauma Centers which will become primary hubs for the treatment of complex eye injuries and development of cutting-edge research programs.
Eye injuries can be very complex, sometimes requiring complicated care coordination across teams of multiple subspecialists. The Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) analyzes eye injury data among service members, including demographic and location information, and validates the results with the help of the Defense and Veterans Eye Injury and Vision Registry.
The first Ocular Trauma Center opened at Brooke Army Medical Center on April 19, 2022, With the support of DHA’s VCE, the four centers will be capable of providing care across the full range of eye injuries that can take place from initial medical/surgical management through visual rehabilitation along with follow-on care at the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
Three other Ocular Trauma Centers are expected to open later this year, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Madigan Army Medical Center Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and the Naval Medical Center San Diego, California.
According to General Katherine Simonson, Deputy Assistant Director, DHA, Research & Engineering Directorate, “The Ocular Trauma Centers will provide access to eye care professionals from a variety of subspecialties, offering comprehensive eye injury treatment and rehabilitation, and cutting edge research disciplines critical to vision preserving care.”
The Centers’ long term goals also include improvement of systemic ocular and vision care management for polytrauma patients with concurrent eye injuries, and to provide case management, or care coordination, to assist with ocular care management needs.