Froedtert & MCW land $12.5M gift for brain-injury program from Home Depot founders' nonprofit

The gift will fund a new outpatient treatment program for military veterans and first responders who have sustained traumatic brain injuries.

Froedtert & MCW land $12.5M gift for brain-injury program from Home Depot founders' nonprofit

Avalon Action Alliance, a non-profit founded by the cofounders of The Home Depot, has donated $12.5 million to Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. The gift will be used to fund a new program of outpatient treatment for veterans and first responders with traumatic brain injury.

The program, called Building Resilience Through Action in Veterans and First Responders in short (BRAVE), is expected to see its first patient on Sept. 1. The Froedtert & Medical College Greenfield Highlands Health Center at 4455 S. 108th St., Greenfield will provide the services.

Avalon Action Alliance is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that focuses on post-trauma wellbeing for veterans, first responders, and their families, who are facing issues related to brain health and mental wellness, according to its website. The alliance was founded by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank who co-founded The Home Depot back in 1978.

Froedtert & the Medical College announced Thursday that the new program would be the Midwest’s first specifically designed to treat mild traumatic head injury (or concussions), in veterans and first-responders.

Michael McCrea, the co-director of MCW’s Center for Neurotrauma Research and co-director for the program, stated in a recent press release that it will offer specialized rehabilitation and diagnostic services to help veterans and first response personnel overcome their injuries and "regain their lives". McCrea will be the director of the BRAVE Program.

Avalon Action Alliance CEO Joe Brennan announced Thursday that the BRAVE program for traumatic head injuries includes intensive outpatient care for three weeks, followed by continued access to services throughout the patients' lifetimes.

Joseph Kerschner, dean of the medical school at Medical College and executive vice president of the college, said that he expects other philanthropists to build on the gift made by the Avalon Action Alliance.

Brennan stated that the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Neuroscience Institute is a leader in its field, and that representatives of his organisation were impressed by the team.

He said: 'Their research and development of medical treatments to improve our understanding of brain injury and trauma are remarkable'. We're happy to help them repay these heroes for their service.

BRAVE will enhance metro Milwaukee's reputation as a destination for both patients seeking neuroscience-related treatment and professionals who are working to find cures for 'apparently incurable problems', said Dr. Shekarkurpad, chair of the MCW Neurosurgery Department and director of Froedtert & MCW Neuroscience Institute.