Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, has helped launch a new program in Atlanta to help wounded veterans not covered by government insurance, according to news reports.
Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, a spinal and brain injury rehabilitation center, will offer subsidized long-term treatment for soldiers with spinal cord and brain injuries. Marcus has offered to underwrite the costs for care, transportation and housing for members of the military affected by brain and spinal injuries who are approved for treatment.
In a press conference yesterday, Marcus told reporters, "These people are putting their lives on the line every day, and they deserve the best treatment possible.”
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Marcus first got involved with the hospital in January after he heard of a soldier who was treated at the Shepherd Center and was improving, but faced the loss of funding.
Marcus will act as a benefactor for wounded service members to help pay for necessary medical rehabilitation, post-acute rehabilitation and community and family support services administered at Shepherd Center that may fall outside of their coverage under TRICARE, the health benefits plan for military service members and their dependents. The program also targets military service members who live in rural areas and have limited access to the specialized services they may require.
The initiative will also include entry to Shepherd Center’s Marcus Community Bridge Program, which was launched by Shepherd Center in 1999, and funded by an $18 million grant from Marcus. The program provides Shepherd Center case managers who help individuals or their families by assessing their needs and providing educational information.