Murphy Accepts Hero Defender Award, Champions Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act
September 22, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) accepted the prestigious Hero Defender Award from the John P. Mayhugh Foundation in recognition of his outstanding work as an voice for veterans in Congress and for his steadfast leadership as both a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus.
Following his acceptance of the award, Congressman Murphy offered a speech in support of his bipartisan bill, H.R. 1014, the Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act. If passed, H.R. 1014 would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This important bill is part of Congressman Murphy’s longstanding effort to push meaningful legislation on behalf of the over 89,000 veterans in the Third District.
You can watch Dr. Murphy’s full acceptance speech here. Full speech as prepared for delivery below:
“I am very much honored to receive this very prestigious award from the John P. Mayhugh Foundation, the Hero Defender Award. I am very grateful, as well to Colonel Mary Lowe Mayhugh USA (Ret.) for her untiring efforts on behalf of our military and veterans’ community to find ways to treat of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI).
Studies have shown that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) could play a major factor in veteran deaths by suicide. A 2015 study found that as many as 500,000 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with PTSD. This staggering number has undeniably grown since the study was conducted, especially in the wake of the crisis in Afghanistan.
Although these brave service members survived the terror of battle, all too often they don’t survive the torment of their own thoughts at home and tragically take their own lives. Even those veterans who don’t fall victim to their own thoughts, many must still cope with reliving their horrifying experiences abroad. This oftentimes has a tremendous negative effect on their relationships with loved ones and family members.
Unfortunately, we are faced with a regrettable reality: there is not a cure for PTSD or TBI now. However, we can treat their symptoms. As a physician, I have found that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can be a helpful treatment for some people who suffer from PTSD and TBI.
HBOT is conducted by placing a patient in a pressurized room or tube and pushing massive amounts of pure oxygen in the pressurized area. By delivering more oxygen to an individual’s lungs, their blood can carry more oxygen to help heal cells in their body, including in the brain. I have used HBOT for over 30 years to heal infected areas and non-healing wounds in the body. Although more research needs to be done to determine how effective HBOT is in combatting PTSD and TBI, many who use this treatment have found it to be successful.
PTSD and TBI are peculiar conditions, as different treatments vary for different people. Although HBOT may not be a treatment that helps Patient A, it may be lifesaving for Patient B. symptoms. Our veterans, who have valiantly served our country and sacrificed so much, deserve every remedy available to reduce the mental scarring caused by combat. Every veteran who suffers from PTSD or TBI should be afforded the opportunity to have HBOT if other treatments do not work.
That’s why I introduced the Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act, HR 1014. If passed, my legislation would direct the Secretary of the VA to create a HBOT pilot program for veterans who suffer from TBI or PTSD funded by interested Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs).
While serving in the North Carolina State House of Representatives, I sponsored and passed legislation providing HBOT therapy for veterans in North Carolina. Now, as I serve the Third Congressional District of North Carolina, which is home to the sixth most veterans in the country (over 89,000), I am working to make this potentially life-saving therapy available to all veterans in our country.
American veterans deserve every opportunity to enjoy the freedom that they fought so valiantly for overseas. It is Congress’s duty to make sure that this is available to them. I thank you for the opportunity. I thank you for the award. And God bless our veterans – we thank them for their service!”
and the Bill: << Click Here >>
Summary: H.R.1014 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)
Introduced in House (02/11/2021)
Veterans National Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act
This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a five-year pilot program to furnish, under the Veterans Community Care Program, hyperbaric oxygen therapy to veterans with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.