MEDIA ADVISORY: Rep. Lynch to Visit Jamaica Plain VA Campus for Review of Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Protocols

May 21, 2017 Issues: Veterans

BOSTON, MA – On Monday, May 22, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston) will visit the Jamaica Plain VA Campus to meet with Vincent Ng, Director of the VA Boston Healthcare System, alongside local elected officials, veterans service officers, as well as veterans organizations, to review the handling of cases of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

As veterans return from multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with increased exposure to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and repeated cycles of battlefield trauma, Congressman Lynch believes it is critical to ensure that the VA has thorough and accurate procedures in place to address potential cases of TBI and PTSD. According to the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, nearly 20% of returning service members who deployed to Iraq since 2003 have had at least one TBI. In the wake of recent reports in the Boston Herald of concerns over the examination and handling of TBI cases, Congressman Lynch, Director Ng, and various stakeholders will review current procedures and discuss potential enhancements to maintain high quality care for all veterans.

“I look forward to meeting with Director Ng, as well as state and local elected officials and veterans’ stakeholders, to discuss the procedures in place at the VA Boston Healthcare System and at VA hospitals across Massachusetts. Our veterans, by their dedicated service to our nation, have earned the right to high quality and reliable health care. We must make every effort to ensure proper procedures are in place at our veterans’ health care facilities to properly diagnose TBI and PTSD and provide our dedicated service men and women with the type of care that they need,” said Congressman Lynch.

“During my most recent visit to Baghdad last month, I actually met a young Marine who was on his ninth tour of duty in Iraq. After all those tours, a lot of our men and women in uniform are bound to have hidden wounds from near-constant exposure to battlefield stress over extended periods. I honestly believe there is a direct correlation between these highly repetitive tours of duty and the difficulties that many of our returning veterans experience when making the transition to civilian life – including elevated incidence of substance abuse and suicide. A critical way to ease those difficulties is ensuring that our veterans receive high quality, dependable health care and find a supportive community when they return home. We have wonderful, dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at the VA, we just need to make sure that they have the tools they need to get this right,” Congressman Lynch added.

Due to patient confidentiality concerns, the meeting itself will be closed press. Congressman Lynch and others will be available after the meeting for comment

WHAT:     Visit to Jamaica Plain VA Campus

WHO:        Congressman Stephen F. Lynch

WHEN:      Monday, May 22, 8:00 a.m. (closed press meeting)

                    Media availability to follow at approximately 9:00 a.m.

WHERE:   Lobby of the Jamaica Plain Campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System

                    150 South Huntington Avenue

                    Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Please RSVP to Elizabeth.Zappala@mail.house.gov if you plan to attend. The parking lot of the Jamaica Plain Campus is reserved for veterans attending appointments at the VA. Members of the press should park on the street.