Our plan is to partner with 31 existing hospital systems (the first established partnership is with Carolinas Health Care System) in Charlotte. The model being used in Charlotte is to leverage the hospital system’s existing network of pain management anesthesiologists to deliver SGB treatments to Veterans as close to the Veteran’s home as possible. We plan to replicate that same model in all of the other 30 markets we have identified. The 31 centers allow us to have a partner facility within three hours of the entire 1.3mm patient population currently receiving benefits from the VA for PTSD. The VA has shared their PTS patient map with us (no names) and we mapped for the country and then evaluated the size of each market, rating them A, B or C based on the size of the patient population…we separated each into a three hour radius around the hospital to make sure no PTS suffering Veteran would have to travel more than three hours for our treatment, however, the real goal is to have them treated much closer to home. Using Carolinas Health Care as our model, they own practices and have many hospitals inside the three hour circle around their primary facility so most patients would be able to be treated within their own communities.
Our $4.4BB funding goal represents our Foundation funding 2.5 treatments to each of the 1.3mm Veterans with PTSD over the next 10 years. We know this is an unlikely outcome, as we believe the VA will have taken over the payments responsibility long before we get to that point, based on successful results (the VA standard is “positive initial outcomes”).
Our intent is to use Dr. Lipov as the trainer of the treatment as he has learned a great deal in his experience (including a potential fall back procedure in the event the initial SGB is a failure). What excites us the most about using SGB for PTSD, is that the SGB procedure is a fairly routine one, however, our plan is to train the doctors to make sure they are doing the procedures correctly. The cost is $1,500 per treatment (with a higher success of over 85% vs 70%). What we bring to the equation is the expertise to train and best protocols. We are planning on recruiting approximately 1,000 Drs. to do this.
As a Foundation, we have a simple goal, which is to create enough positive outcomes for the VA to adopt SGB as an interim accepted protocol and to ultimately handle the reimbursements to the doctor delivering the SGB. We have begun to accomplish this in a small way with 4,000 treatments to date (by Dr. Lipov and several disciples). The funds we say are needed by our projections are 95% for treatments, max of 5% for overhead, which we intend to scale as needed, and to outsource everything possible, call center, patient follow up, etc. We plan to establish five regional offices and the necessary staff to handle the patient flow for each of those regions. Again no investment in buildings, etc…we do not see that as SGB can be delivered in any existing facility, even minor emergency centers.
We are driven to stop the 22 suicides per day and would welcome any partnership that will allow us to accomplish that goal. We understand the challenges of PTSD and the SGB treatment Dr. Lipov has “discovered.” We are just a small group doing everything we can to help one suffering Veteran at a time. Our work has been extremely rewarding as we have the notes and letters from family members and those we have helped. While we know we have not made a dent in the 1.3mm Veterans with the PTSD diagnosis, we know that we have impacted the several thousand we have been part of helping thus far. We see SGB as a gateway treatment and realize that it is the beginning of the healing process, however, if we can help the suffering Veteran physically feel better, we know they will be exponentially more successful with other treatment approaches delivered after the SGB.
Our Chairman, Richard Cantwell (LTC Ret), our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Lipov and our Executive Director, Lane Ostrow, Esq. would welcome all opportunities to spread the word on the use of SGB for PTSD. Dr. Lipov has been featured on several episodes of The Doctors TV Show, and has made several other appearances, speaking engagements, etc…We are taking a biological approach to treating PTSD, we represent a disruption to the current protocols, and thus we are additionally fighting against a very well-entrenched establishment of pharma and psychiatry. We would welcome established partners and substantial support to help us deliver this answer to those who are suffering and would welcome any approach that helps us get to those who need the care.