Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2014

Jan. 2, 2014

American Legion Post 259 donates to OSU Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine

American Legion Post 259 Commander Randy Teeters, left, with Kayse Shrum D.O., OSU-CHS President, Rusty Partee, Post 259 adjutant, retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Marv Sandbek, Post 259 past commander, at a presentation for the OSU Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine. American Legion Post 259 Commander Randy Teeters, left, with Kayse Shrum D.O., OSU-CHS President, Rusty Partee, Post 259 adjutant, retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Marv Sandbek, Post 259 past commander, at a presentation for the OSU Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine. (Click for larger.)

The American Legion Hennessy-Cunningham Post 259 from Braman, located in northern Oklahoma, recently donated funds from its annual memorial poppy sales to Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. The donation was made to support the OSU Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine's ongoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy research for treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

"The Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine is committed to providing solid scientific research in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, said OSU-CHS President Kayse Shrum. "The donation from Post 259 demonstrates the importance of this research as we continue our efforts to find treatment for injured veterans with brain injuries."

The Braman American Legion post learned about the research project being conducted by the OSU-CHS Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine from retired United States Air Force Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and media reports. The post raised more than $1,200 through the annual memorial poppy sales, which the members donated to OSU-CHS to help support the development of treatment initiatives for injured veterans.

During World War I, the poppy flower, which adorned the battlefields of Flanders Field, became a symbol of those who had fought and died during the war. The American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program began in 1921 to support and raise awareness for veterans.

"We are dedicated to supporting the community and specifically our veterans and their families," said Marv Sandbek, past commander of Post 259. "We wanted to keep our donation from poppy sales in the state. The research going on at OSU-CHS caught our attention and we are honored to contribute to the effort which will benefit our veterans."

Aragon has been an active supporter of OSU-CHS, which is a leading site for the National Brain Injury Rescue and Rehabilitation Study. The Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine currently has 55 participants in the observational study. Results from the study will help determine the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on participants with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries, post-concussion syndromes and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Oklahoma has more than 37,000 military families and roughly 340,000 veterans," said Aragon. "This research has the potential to provide treatment for our military and veterans who suffer from brain injuries. The American Legion saw a need and responded with assistance to help fill that need."

Participants in the study complete 40-80 dives and are assessed periodically to determine their progress. The Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine is preparing to complete the first phase of their study and will move into a second phase next year. There is a waiting list of veterans volunteering for the study.

To learn more about the study or to find out how to support research efforts, visit the center's website.

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