Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program
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Clinical Care

Read the Mass General Magazine cover story featuring Home Base and how we help veterans and their loved ones deal with combat and deployment stress »The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program provides clinical care and support services to service members, veterans, and family members throughout New England, who are affected by combat or deployment-related stress (also known as Post Traumatic Stress or PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These signature "invisible wounds of war" are estimated to affect one in three returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. 

The Home Base Program offers a multidisciplinary clinical staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, nurses, social workers and other clinicians from Mass General Hospital. All understand the military culture, and are experienced in caring for service members, veterans and families. The Home Base Veteran Outreach Team, composed of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, is part of the clinical team. Home Base also works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Department of Defense Military Health System and other providers to offer individualized care for veterans and families and to develop a tailored treatment plan to address the needs of each patient.

The Home Base Program gives veterans access to the most advanced care currently available as well as the opportunity, if they wish, to participate in cutting-edge research aimed at improving treatment and understanding of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Clinical Excellence

Home Base clinicians are based at Massachusetts General Hospital and are affiliated with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. For the past 16 years, Massachusetts General Hospital has ranked first in the nation in psychiatry by US News and World Report. The hospital consistently ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the nation overall for care. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which provides outstanding care for veterans with traumatic brain injury, was ranked fifth overall nationwide by US News and World Report in 2011, and is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England to make the US News list since 1995.

To schedule an appointment at the Home Base Clinic, contact us at 617-724-5202 or homebaseprogram@partners.org.

Are you in crisis? If you or a family member is in crisis or facing an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

We Are Committed to Eliminating Barriers to Care

We serve both veterans and families throughout New England. We recognize that when one family member serves, the entire family serves. The conflicts of the past ten years and repeated deployments have affected military veterans and families alike. Home Base offers clinical and counseling services in individual settings to veterans and their spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, significant others and other loved ones in their lives throughout the deployment cycle.

Discharge status does not affect access to care. Home Base serves all veterans regardless of their time of service or discharge status, and from all branches of service including the National Guard and Reserve. Though we focus our outreach on veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, no veteran is turned away.

Payment is not a barrier. Home Base accepts TriCare and other private and public insurance including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Health Plan, and MassHealth. By law we are required to bill health insurance, but if a veteran or family member has no insurance or a gap in insurance coverage, they will never receive a bill from Home Base.

We collaborate with the VA and other organizations. Home Base routinely works with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to make certain that veterans and families receive the care they need in a timely manner, and in the correct and most convenient setting. We also work with and learn from long-standing veteran-serving organizations in Massachusetts including the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services and its SAVE Team, the Massachusetts National Guard, and student veteran organizations at colleges and universities throughout New England.

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy at Home Base

virtual reality therapyHome Base began offering Virtual Reality Exposure (VRE) therapy as a treatment option for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the Home Base outpatient clinic in Boston in May 2013. This tool is available for veterans receiving Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy, a well established evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD. Home Base is at the cutting edge of integrating VRE therapy directly into clinical care options for veterans diagnosed with PTSD. This is another effort to remove barriers to care for veterans.

Avoidance is a core symptom of PTSD and, as a result, some veterans may not recall painful or emotional memories. VRE therapy works by helping the veteran call forth traumatic memories, a critical component of PE. The clinician programs the virtual environment (including sights, sounds, and smells) to resemble the context in which the trauma occurred in order to enhance memory of traumatic events in the course of treatment.

Home Base has a designated VRE therapy room at the outpatient clinic for veteran patients and their doctor. Through a fitted head-mounted display (including view screen and headset), the veteran can experience a 3D digital world capable of mimicking vehicle rumble sounds, the smell of burning trash and explosives, the concussion of IEDs, a cityscape with narrow streets and alleys, and the inside of a humvee. The veteran may also carry a plastic, life-like military rifle that is connected to the computer. 

VRE therapy is a treatment approach used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). VR technology for clinical use and VRE therapy have been in existence since the 1990s and have been applied to a variety of anxiety disorders. It has demonstrated success in treating PTSD symptoms in some patients and has become a standard accepted treatment by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Did you know?

  • VRE therapy is safe. In VRE therapy, the clinician is always present for the full session, guiding the veteran through different scenarios tailored to his or her personal trauma. The clinician has the ability to work with the veteran throughout the treatment, with sensitivity to the veteran’s reactions and can adjust the experience to reduce or increase its intensity in a therapeutic manner.

  • A team of Home Base clinicians is trained to offer VRE therapy. Home Base clinicians were trained by Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory University School of Medicine.

  • Not all veterans treated at Home Base receive VRE therapy. Home Base clinicians decide who is appropriate based on careful assessment and patient preference. 
Read an article on VRE therapy at Home Base featured in the Boston Globe.