Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will expand and extend the Fargo VA’s participation in its hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) clinical demonstration program and increase the number of veterans who can be referred for this alternative treatment option for post-traumatic stress (PTS). The program is being extended through September 30, 2021, expanded to allow veterans to be treated at Jamestown Regional Medical Center and increasing to allow more veterans to be served.
Earlier this year, the delegation urged the VA to extend the Fargo VA’s HBOT demonstration program, which would have expired at the end of September. Fargo was selected as the fifth location for the VA’s HBOT demonstration program last year. The HBOT program provides veterans with PTS in North Dakota and western Minnesota, who have yet to experience positive outcomes from other treatments, access to HBOT through a partnership between the Fargo VA and Healing with Hyperbarics, a Fargo-based facility, and now with Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
“We appreciate the VA agreeing to extend the HBOT pilot program at the Fargo VA and expand the number of patients that can be served with this alternative treatment option. We also welcome the addition of Jamestown Regional Medical Center to the VA’s demonstration program,” said Hoeven, a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee. “I worked to include North Dakota in this pilot program to give veterans who have yet to experience positive outcomes with access to this additional treatment option for PTS. Providing our veterans with this option is part of our efforts to ensure our men and women in uniform receive the high quality care they deserve.”
“It is encouraging to see the VA extend and expand this Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy pilot program in North Dakota,” said Senator Cramer. “Coupled with my legislation Congress recently passed which authorizes the VA to further research this issue, I am optimistic we will see more and more veterans in our state and across the country getting access to this effective and innovative treatment.”
“We are grateful to the VA for extending and expanding the HBOT pilot program in North Dakota,” said Congressman Kelly Armstrong. “There is nothing more important than taking care of those who have served our country and it is encouraging to see the positive results of these cutting edge treatment methods.”
The delegation continues working with the VA to ensure the demonstration program works for the state’s veterans and that those who have yet to receive positive outcomes from traditional treatments will benefit. Additionally, Senators Hoeven and Cramer introduced the TBI and PTSD Treatment Act, legislation that would add HBOT as a VA-covered treatment for both PTS and traumatic brain injury (TBI).