OPERATION SUPPLY DROP CHARITY DEPLOYS MOST SIGNIFICANT “SUPPLY DROP” AT NATION’S LARGEST MILITARY HOSPITAL
Leading Military Charity Partners with Brooke Army Medical Center to Provide Wounded Veterans Entertainment and Occupational Therapy through Video Games
Military charity Operation Supply Drop (OSD) — the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military — is proud to announce that on November 18, 2015, it delivered its most impactful video game care package (“Supply Drop”) to date, benefitting the approximately 800 patients treated annually by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Burn Center, located at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, the United State’s largest and busiest military hospital.
In partnership with USAISR Burn Center and through generous support from video game developers, publishers, hardware manufacturers, and both private and institutional donors, OSD was able to offer stress-reducing entertainment and support occupational therapy efforts for patients at BAMC. The military hospital provides care for more than 4,000 patients each day and comprises five separate clinics: Fort Sam Houston Primary Care Clinic, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Taylor Burk Clinic, the Schertz Medical Home, and the Corpus Christi Occupational Health Clinic. In addition to being the nation’s largest military hospital, BAMC is a Level-I military trauma center and provides industry-leading burn injury treatment to military and civilians.
“There’s no limit to the potential use of games as a therapeutic tool,” said Major Erik Johnson, Chief of Occupational Therapy for the Burn Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. “You can use the current generation of video game consoles, such as the XBox with Kinect motion sensor, for a wide range of supplemental treatments. These include improving range of motion in the upper extremities and balance enhancement activities, even with patients who have suffered a brain injury. Perhaps the biggest benefit I’ve observed, however, is that when we engage patients in this type of therapy it significantly boosts their emotional state. And anything we can do to provide them positive emotional feedback is a huge deal for us.”
Johnson has been in support of video games as a therapeutic tool for several years, having treated both cognitive and physical trauma, utilizing over a decade of medical and personal experience. In 1996, Johnson met his own traumatic accident at his first duty station, suffering burns on over twenty percent of his body. He received treatment at the Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, where he became inspired to help others suffering similar injuries. With the introduction of the Nintendo Wii in 2006, Johnson took notice of the medical applications of gaming devices and applied them to his work. In January 2015, Johnson met OSD’s CEO Glenn Banton and his team to discuss improving clinical tools for patients at BAMC, with the goal of servicing the facility’s 4,000 daily patients.
“Operation Supply Drop and I hit it off right away. We share a passion for helping the military through video games and are well aware of their positive potential in the healing process,” added Major Johnson. “Rehab staff and other occupational therapists around the country helped us put our ‘ultimate gaming wish list’ together, which I provided to Glenn. We were blown away by the response, as we received way more than we asked. We now have numerous gaming devices at our disposal and can use them to benefit patients undergoing intensive therapy at the hospital, along with those making the transition home.”
“It is an absolute pleasure to have this opportunity to not just provide gaming hardware and games to our recovering veterans, but to be a part of the narrative in the military medical space,” said Operation Supply Drop CEO Glenn Banton. “This is simply one of the first of what will be many direct partnerships with key military hospitals. As we head into 2016, we look forward to continuing our work with Major Johnson, helping craft and support the ‘play-book’ for how video games can be successfully utilized psycho-socially and physically to enhance the therapy our veterans receive on their path to recovery.”