Partnership Will Treat Military Injuries; A Philanthropist Will Pay for Brain-Injury Care at an Army Center and a Hospital

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Byline: JOSH WHITE

ATLANTA - An Augusta-based Army medical center and an Atlanta hospital have partnered with a billionaire philanthropist to help American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with serious head wounds.

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus will fund treatment for returning soldiers' combat-related brain and spinal-cord injuries at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta and at the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta-based rehabilitation hospital for brain and spinal conditions.

The partnership between Marcus and the hospitals, called the SHARE Initiative, will pay for treatments that fall outside the coverage of TRICARE, the health benefits plan for soldiers and their dependents.

With Marcus' donations, the two hospitals will provide testing for traumatic brain injuries, cognitive therapy, counseling, rehabilitation and housing for patients, according to a released statement.

Marcus would not say how much he plans to give for the initiative.

"I've given Shepherd kind of an open checkbook on this one," Marcus said. "We are going to pay for as many as we can."

Marcus joined Brig. …