United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Washington DC VA Medical Center

Polytrauma Psychology

The frequency and unique nature of polytraumatic injuries resulting from exposure to blasts, particularly during OIF/OEF, has created the need for specialized interdisciplinary rehabilitation programs that can handle the complex medical, psychological, rehabilitation and prosthetic needs of these individuals. As a Polytrauma Network Site, DC VAMC provides specialized services to veterans who have sustained injuries to multiple organ systems, often including a traumatic brain injury. As a part of the polytrauma team, which includes physiatry, psychology, speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and case management, the psychologist collaborates to formulate a holistic recovery plan to address the multiple issues faced by these veterans. Psychologists may conduct individual assessments, including clinical interviews, psychological assessments, and/or neuropsychological screenings. Other services provided include neurocognitive rehabilitation, psychoeducational counseling, individual and/or group psychotherapy, and outreach and support to caregivers and others intricately involved in the veteran’s life. Polytrauma services are carefully coordinated with other services required for co-morbid conditions including, but not limited to PTSD, amputation, auditory and visual impairments, spinal cord injury and other medical or mental health problems.

For more information about making a referral for polytrauma services, please e-mail Susan Mareck, Susan.Mareck@va.gov, or call her at ext. 5694.