The $577.9 billion national defense bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week includes a provision for money that would go to a University of Central Florida clinic that treats veterans and first responders for post-traumatic stress disorder.
UCF RESTORES uses virtual reality as a key part of treatment. The funding for the clinic would come from a defense budget devoted to advanced concepts and simulation.
Dan Holsenbeck, Senior Vice President for University Relations for UCF, is hopeful the provision will get Senate approval and eventually a nod from the president. He knows the funding will not help the clinic run long-term.
“But does it sort of give us the safety net to continue to run the program to a position that it may support itself?” he asked. “This is a vital part of that.”
“That would be another sort of stamp of approval to the ability of the program to react with local events,” Holsenbeck says.
More than 250 service members, veterans, and first responders have been treated since the clinic opened.