Rep. Sherrill Discusses PACT Act Implementation with Leading Veterans Advocate Rosie Torres

Rep. Sherrill Discusses PACT Act Implementation with Leading Veterans Advocate Rosie Torres

Emerging Technologies Poised to Help More Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits

 

Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill met with Rosie Torres, a nationally-known veterans advocate who was instrumental in the passage of the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (PACT Act).  Sherrill and Torres were joined by Dr. Andreas Fouras, a scientist and founder of 4DMedical, the leading developer of functional imaging software for respiratory illness, to discuss next steps on implementation of the PACT Act.

 

Sherrill was a strident champion of the PACT Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in August and includes a broad expansion of healthcare benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. Sherrill has also been a champion for funding to expedite and increase research benefiting veterans who have been exposed to burn pits and toxic air.

 

 

 

“I am pleased that the PACT Act is law, and now we must work quickly and efficiently to implement its key provisions,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Burn pit exposure is this generation’s Agent Orange, and I am grateful to Rosie Torres for her tireless advocacy to raise this issue in the public awareness. New and emerging technologies can not only expedite the implementation of PACT Act, but also ensure every veteran has access to early treatment and the full benefits they deserve.”

 

“I am tremendously grateful to Rep. Sherrill for her steadfast support and assistance in passing the bipartisan PACT Act,” said Rosie Torres.  “The PACT Act not only removes the burden of proof from veterans, it creates a pathway for the VA to implement a powerful improvement for burn pit victims with respiratory issues.  As a former VA employee, I know this won’t be an easy task but we are dedicated to working with champions in Congress like Rep. Sherrill to provide the technology and health care service that veterans need.”

 

“Veterans deserve better than having to rely on risky and invasive biopsies to diagnose their breathing issues,” added Dr. Fouras. “For the PACT Act to reach its full potential, the VA must scale up the evaluation and diagnosis process, without sending every veteran for an invasive biopsy, which will take a long time and pose additional health risks. We look forward to working with Congress on new and emerging technologies that can help this process.”

 

Rosie’s husband, Le Roy Torres, was an Army captain deployed to Iraq in 2007. After he returned home to Texas, he began suffering breathing issues as a result of toxic substances inhaled at a burn pit overseas. His condition worsened, eventually costing him his job as a Texas State Trooper in a case taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

 

4DMedical’s XV LVAS technology, which received FDA clearance in May 2020, can help physicians detect areas of high and low ventilation in all parts of the lung and in all phases of the breath with accuracy without an invasive biopsy. Following 9/11, more than 3.5 million military service members were exposed to hazardous toxins from burn pits that impact respiratory health. These health impacts are largely undiagnosed due to underreporting, outdated VA standards, and lack of effective prevention and treatment options recognized in the VA and DoD. Such exposures can present as relatively mild conditions like asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis, but are also associated with more serious, chronic ailments including nine rare forms of respiratory cancer.

 

Rep. Sherrill is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy for almost 10 years as a helicopter pilot and Russian policy officer. She now serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she serves as the Vice Chair of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.

 

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