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Positively Colorado: Treatment center helps veterans, first responders with traumatic brain injuries

The Marcus Institute for Brain Health in Aurora is leading the way when it comes to helping veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

AURORA, Colo. — One of the buildings at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora has a sign out front that says The Marcus Institute For Brain Health. It's easy to miss but what they do in that building is not. They change lives. 

We're talking about the lives of military veterans and first responders with traumatic brain injuries. Since 2011, more than 3 million men and women have been deployed to combat zones from the United States, and shockingly one in three suffers from a brain injury, or TBI. 

It can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and post traumatic stress. It's why treatment at the Marcus Institute is so important. 

"It's not surprising to me," Retired 4-star General Robin Rand of Colorado said. "We're seeing a tragic rise in homelessness and abuse, substance abuse, and sadly suicide within our veteran community. We have to get after that."

General Rand is the CEO of a foundation that financially supports the Marcus Institute. It's named after the Hollywood actor who started it - Gary Sinise. You may remember him as Lt. Dan in the classic film "Forrest Gump." 

Sinise has been involved in helping America's wounded heroes for more than a decade. Through the Gary Sinise Foundation and it's Avalon Network, they've helped thousands of vets and first responders overcome all kinds of health issues. 

The foundation's partnership with the Marcus Institute has just started. The goal of the Gary Sinise Foundation is to start more brain treatment centers in 20 states around the country in the next 2 -3 years. They hope to eventually treat 10,000 vets and first responders. 

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