Why We Did This

The significant traumatic injuries to limbs sustained by service members during combat deployments in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn posed new challenges to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) military treatment facilities (MTFs) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sites.

To proactively address the clinical challenges associated with an increase in the number of and complexities associated with combat-related limb injuries and loss, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) officials actively sought to establish specialized clinical programs for extremity trauma care and research, technology development initiatives in orthotics and prosthetics, and the development of consortia to conduct and support clinically focused research programs related to orthopaedic acute care and rehabilitation. Given that, the Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation (BADER) Consortium aimed to help today’s wounded soldiers not only recover from their limb injuries but live their lives as fully as possible.

The gap between traditional patient outcomes and optimal functional outcomes is wide. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Industry and academia can pivot to create meaningful advances – given some critical assistance in the transition from technological development to patient care.

This is where BADER Consortium bridged the gap. The primary operational plan of the BADER Consortium was to remain central to Defense Health Agency (DHA) priorities to further establish and sustain the highest quality, outcomes-oriented, orthopaedic rehabilitation care and research in spite of post-conflict resource limitations.

The result was a culture of research across the Consortium with the unified goal of not just getting the wounded warrior “better” but as close to “best” as possible. In doing so, an optimal outcome becomes the new normal.