TULSA - A Tulsa doctor who's also a Major in the US Army Reserve is about to get deployed to Honduras, but the timing for his patients and the clinic he's trying to help build for wounded veterans couldn't be worse.
Dr. Chad Edwards has helped pioneer the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder in veterans, as well as in police, firefighters, and civilian patients.
He belongs to an organization that is building a networks of "Patriot Clinics," and is ready to open one in Tulsa.
But the Army is in the process of sending Dr. Edwards to Honduras despite pleas from state lawmakers, as well as Major General Rita Aragon (Ret.), the Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs for Oklahoma.
In her letter to an APMC Mobilization and Readiness officer, Oklahoma, she says, "has more than 27,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve components of the military with injuries as a result of the war. Therefore, the Oklahoma State Legislature is taking steps to create a mechanism by which these men and women will receive effective medical treatment for their injuries, restoring them to their former levels of performance and independence..."
She writes that Maj. Edwards has unique qualifications to help that process, and that he's setting up the "procedures and routines necessary" to meet that goal.
She requested he be attached to her office, and that his hours performing those functions be counted as his reserve time.
The Army denied the request.
State Senator Constance Johnson then wrote a letter to US Senator Jim Inhofe, asking him to look into the case.
Sen. Inhofe's office is checking into the status of that inquiry.
KRMG will continue to follow this story, and we will be providing more in-depth reports on HBOT and its potential to change lives.