The SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center
The SHARE (Shaping Hope and Recovery Excellence) Military Initiative began in 2008 in order to provide a continuum of rehabilitation care for soldiers who have sustained a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury while serving the United States on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. The SHARE program typically treats 8-10 individuals at a time and the average length of stay in the program is approximately three months.Over time, the program has come to focus primarily on servicemen and women who have suffered mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBI), considered by many to be the "signature injury" of the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. According to the Department of the Defense, over 300,000 service members have been diagnosed with mild or moderate TBI since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001. TBI causes significant deficiencies in physical, behavioral, emotional, social and cognitive function.Shepherd Center is the only civilian rehabilitation facility in the nation to develop a dedicated and separate military patient program. SHARE provides a comprehensive continuum of care,specifically tailored to meet the needs of each client, including complimentary housing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, speech therapy, therapeutic recreation and legal, financial and psychological counseling, among many other programs.All of these activities are available in one centralized location and are supervised by the same medical team, so that all aspects of a client's care are working in concert with each other, as opposed to a more fragmented system that many of our clients have experienced throughout their time in military treatment systems.Beyond treating the injuries and associated symptoms that our patients have been afflicted with, SHARE provides a wide variety of additional programs that, although unfunded by insurance, are integral to the recovery and community reintegration of our service members. Included among these many "value-added" programs are:
  • Assisting clients with the return to work and/or school
  • Providing peer support through former SHARE client volunteers
  • Assistance in navigating the VA system and the Med Board process
  • Provide a minimum of one year post-discharge follow-up through Shepherd Center's Bridge Program
  • Conduct community re-entry outings, including "Horses for Heroes", camping trips, rock climbing, fishing, etc.
Patients in the SHARE Military Initiative receive their care at no cost to them or their families. On average, insurance providers pay only 38 cents of every dollar's cost of care, leaving Shepherd to cover the remainder of the costs. Shepherd Center must raise almost $100,000 each month just in order to keep the program running.For more information, or to make a gift in support of the SHARE Military Initiative, please contact Jon Roxland at 404-350-7314 or visit