With an extensive lineage of Veterans back to the Civil War, the impetus for supporting our returning Service men and women is quite literally, in her blood.
However, it wasn’t until Bensko began her position as VP of her family’s Foundation, Rebuilding America’s Warriors (RAW) in 2006 - Pro Bono Reconstructive Surgery for Troops Returning from War - that Bensko developed an empathy for our Veterans’ battles here at home.
Empathy is one thing, understanding is another.
The tables turned swiftly in 2011 when Bensko suffered an accident resulting in a wheelchair, over 20 spine surgeries & procedures, and six years 80% bed-bound due to the diagnosis of two of the most devastating chronic pain diseases known to our medical community today - Arachnoiditis complicated by CRPS of the spine.
A stem cell transplant in 2017, donated by family friend, changed her life forever. Realizing the magnitude of the affect OrthoBiologics can have and the inaccessibility of this science for Veterans, in 2018 the concept for Veterans In Pain V.I.P. was born.
As of November 2020, V.I.P. has facilitated approximately $1,000,000 worth of OrthoBiologic & Alternative services for Veterans across the country via its all-volunteer V.I.P. Physician Network with a presence throughout the United States, Mexico, Cayman Islands, and Canada.
Dr. David Harshfield is a pioneer in regenerative cellular medicine and has brought his talents to help lead Veterans In Pain V.I.P. as one of the premier experts in Functional medicine and as a renown Interventional Radiologist with specialization in musculoskeletal radiology and research. Dr. Harshfield also led the march in establishing the Arkansas Emerging Therapies Act providing coverage of Regenerative solutions for government employees and teachers, and is central to V.I.P.’s legislative initiative for government funding of Interventional chronic pain solutions for Veterans, and the establishment of the first Veterans In Pain VIP Veteran Center.
Career Highlights Include:
As a widely respected scientific entrepreneur, Dr. Ashim Gupta shares a passion for our military and its Veterans, serving as Chief Science Officer for V.I.P.
Dr. Gupta is the Founder and President of Future Biologics (Lawrenceville, GA). He also serves as the Chief Science Officer for South Texas Orthopaedic Research Institute (Laredo, TX) and Director of Research & Development for BioIntegrate (Lawrenceville, GA).
Dr. Gupta previously served as an Associate Director of Research at Millennium Pain Center (Bloomington, IL). He also worked as an Adjunct Researcher at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL), and as the Assistant Professor – Research and Director of Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine and Applied Sciences at Institute for Plastic Surgery, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (Springfield, IL).
Dr. Gupta completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from School of Business, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Edwardsville, IL). He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MS) in Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Carbondale, IL). He obtained his Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) from Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research (DIPSAR), University of Delhi (Delhi, INDIA).
Dr. Gupta has led both basic science and clinical research projects in the fields of Regenerative Medicine, Orthopaedics, Plastic Surgery, Pain Management and Neuromodulation. He has published several research articles, book chapters, review article and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals. He has been awarded several grants and has authored and co-authored numerous abstracts accepted in regional, national and international conferences for oral/paper and poster presentations; some of which have won awards. Dr. Gupta also won the 2018 Medical Device Innovator of the Year Award at Illinois Capital Innovation Awards for developing a “Novel Syringe System for Fluid Separation” with applications in the field of Orthopaedics and Plastic Surgery, and a United States Patent has been issued for the same.
Dr. Gupta is a member of numerous societies including American College of Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Research Society, North American Neuromodulation Society; reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Arthroscopy (The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery), Bone and Joint Journal, Bone and Joint Research, Neuromodulation: Technology at Neural Interface; and an abstract reviewer for Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meetings.
Suffering a near-fatal accident as a teenager, Cain was not content with the medical services he was provided for his chronic issues post accident. He began self educating himself in the possibilities of medicine, and facilitating relationships with experts across the globe.
After seeing so much success dealing with his own symptoms & the impact on countless others, he has now made it his mission to bring Regenerative Medicine into the mainstream. Working with corporations, politicians, physicians & other healthcare professionals to understand the true potential of what's possible in the following decades.
The Honorable David Shulkin, M.D. joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015, first as Under Secretary for Health and then as the ninth Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the only one unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
Prior to his government service, Dr. Shulkin worked in a number of health care administration roles, including as President and CEO of New York's Beth Israel Medical Center and President of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. He is the Distinguished Health Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, practices internal medicine in New York City, and still advocates on behalf of Veterans.
Dr. Shulkin joins Veterans In Pain as the staunch advocate he has always been, for responsible care of our Veterans’ health, and ensuring each receives the quality and range of treatment options they so rightly deserve.
On a personal note, our partnership with Dr. Shulkin evolved from a personal introduction thru a VIP Physician, to that moment when we realized implementing responsible, and accessible, long-term chronic pain solutions for our country’s heroes, within the realm of OrthoBiologics, was possible. Not only possible, but mandatory, in order to address the plethora of service-born autoimmune chronic pain conditions plaguing our Veteran population, today.
It is an honor to move forward with Dr. Shulkin due to like-minds and mission to unite our Veteran and OrthoBiologic communities, having created the first-ever independent national network of solution-oriented science focusing solely on the immediate needs of our Veterans in pain.
Former Member of the House of Representatives for the state of Alaska, Sharon Jackson has dedicated her career, as a Veteran, for Veterans in need.
Jackson was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and proudly served in the United States Army
which brought her to Alaska in 1983. Upon completing her active-duty tour with the Army December 1989, she enrolledin Charter College where she became a Certified ElectronicTechnician.
For the next 13 years she worked in this field until the tug on her heart to again serve her fellow man encouraged her to join the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) a State and Federal small business lobby. She then dedicated the next 13 years working for the NFIB and National Write YourCongressman organizations where she congressional district managing office operations and provided education onlegislation that would affect the longevity of family businesses.
Sharon’s passion is to empower the people of Alaska to use their influence in government to preserve their freedoms. In 2015 Sharon became a Constituent Liaison for Senator Dan Sullivan specializing in Military/Veterans Affairs and has found her role in assisting constituents to successfully resolving their problems to be extremely rewarding.
Seeing the major concerns on the state level Sharon felt compelled once again to serve her community at the state level and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Spending 3 months on the campaign trail with candidates Alaska really got to know and see her true love and passion for the people and her state.December 2018 her district submitted her name along with two others after a vigilant interview process and was appointed by Governor Mike Dunleavy to serve in the Alaska State House ofRepresentative for District 13 which included Chugiak, Eagle River and Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson (JBER). Sharon served with loyalty and worked with both sides of the isle on policy that best represent the people of Alaska.
BOARDS and COMMISSIONS SERVED:
• Member House Health & Social Services (Fin Sub) 2019-2021• Member House Corrections (Fin Sub) 2019-2021• Member House Public Safety (Fin Sub) 2019-2021• Member House Military & Veterans' Affairs (Fin Sub) 2019-2021• Member House Community & Regional Affairs 2019-2021• Member House Health & Social Services 2019-2021• Member House Military & Veterans' Affairs 2019-2021• American Legislative Exchange Council Criminal Reform Task Force 2019-2021• Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, Board Vice President 2019-Current• Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council 2019-2021• American Legion Post 21, 2nd Commander-Current 2018-Current• Agriculture & Economic Developmentof the Council on State Governments 2019-2021• Empower America Project 2019-2021• Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation 2019-2021• Interbranch Affairs Committee of the National Council Governments 2019-2021
BOARDS and COMMISSIONS CURRENTLY ACTIVE:
Rainey Center for Public Policy, Vice President of the Board
American Legion, Post 21, 2nd Commander
Serve Alaska, Appointed by Governor Mike Dunleavy
Alaska Workforce Investment Commission, Appointed by Governor Dunleavy
Veterans in Pain-VIP, NW Ambassador and Legislative Liaison
American Legislative Exchange Council, Fellow Member
Dr. Joshua P. Prager is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist through The American Board of Anesthesiology, Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well Board Certified in Pain Medicine through The American Board of Pain Management. pain physicians hool of Medicine at UCLA and the Department of Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology at UCLA.
Dr. Prager has previously served as a Faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Prager completed his extensive studies for Anesthesiology at Stanford Medical Center as well as Harvard Medical School, and his Internal Medicine training was performed at UCLA. Dr. Prager simultaneously attended Stanford University School of Medicine with a concentration in Health Services Research while earning his Master’s Degree in Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Gary Brazina’s expertise in utilizing Stem Cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP) stem cells for transplants is invaluable to our Veterans and our team. Dr. Brazina is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with over twenty years of surgical experience in both Arthroscopic surgery and Sports Medicine. His dedication and commitment in his life’s work is attributed to his professionalism, performance and reputation. Most of all, it is his enduring dedication in the support of our country’s Veterans which compelled him to join Veterans In Pain to help ensure every candidate is cared for with the reverence they deserve.
Colwell honorably served as the head of Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Bravo – 9220 and Special Operations Task Force - 31 Firebase in Mogensen, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII. Post service, Colwell continues to serve his fellow service members in the facilitation of communications between V.I.P. and military agencies. His focus to the population of our nation’s wounded warriors suffering from chronic pain is awareness. He promotes V.I.P. services available to them and acknowledges the debilitating and under diagnosed secondary autoimmune pain diseases. Unfortunately, Colwell has endured the suffering of chronic pain from his injuries sustained in service for many years. It was during an enemy ambush that Colwell was able to lead his team from a kill zone to safety, but not without a rocket propelled grenade sent to explode his vehicle. His quest for a better quality of life and search for hope brought him to V.I.P.
Lynn (Linda) Cintron, MD, MS, DABA, FASA, QME is a board certified anesthesiology and pain management physician and was trained in research methodology. She completed medical school at the University of California, San Diego after graduate studies in physiology at UCLA. Dr. Cintron pursued anesthesia training at the University of Iowa, which was followed by an anesthesia/ pain management fellowship at Stanford University. She teaches at the University of California and Stanford Health Care and practices both pain and anesthesia in the San Francisco Bay area. Previously, she was Director of the Pain Service at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a teaching hospital for Stanford.She enjoys teaching, especially in ultrasound techniques. Through working in the operating room and pain clinic, she has seen patients develop chronic postsurgical pain and emphasizes early recognition by all clinicians. She is currently President of the California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, a qualified medical evaluator for injured workers and a member of various non profit organizations supporting research for veterans in pain, such as TOBI, IASP and the World Institute for Pain. Dr. Cintron has a heart for the military and understands how they suffer from chronic pain. Her uncle was a Navy Seal in WWII and survived the invasion in Normandy. Her father was in 11th Army Airborne and her husband was an Army officer.
Dr. Reichbach has worked with ketamine for more than two decades in general anesthesiology and a pioneer advocate of intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions and its correlation to PTSD/TBI and depression after observing the relief patients, and Veterans in particular, experienced with these highly intensive IV clinically administered treatments, and reviewing the growing body of research over the past decade supporting its efficiency. These ongoing studies and successful results have inspired Dr. Reichbach to utilize ketamine as a viable and effective treatment for severe depression and neuropathic pain disorders.
He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA), the Florida Society of Anesthesiology (FSA) and the American Medical Association (AMA).
Dr. Carol Henricks is a practicing neurologist in Tucson, Arizona focusing on coordinating the best traditional and alternative therapies to optimize patient outcome, specializing in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as an adjunctive neurological therapy for my patients as part of a complex neurological recovery program - hyperbaric oxygen therapy and neurology.
TBI is a focus of Dr Henricks’s work with our military veterans and is the Medical Director of Healing Arizona Veterans. HBOT has proven highly effective as treatment for TBI, the misdiagnoses of PTSD that can lead to unnecessary medication, and the hard-won triumphs over TBI and PTSD. “It’s a tremendous honor to work with our servicemen and women, helping them recover and to improve their quality of life.”
Sergeant First Class Adams enlisted in the United States Army in July of 1986.
SFC Adams’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart (Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (Second Oak Leaf Cluster) , Army Commendation Medal (Fifth Award), Army Achievement Medal (17th Award), the Good Conduct Medal (Seventh Award), National Defense Service Medal (Third Award), Iraqi Campaign Medal (Campaign Star), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/Arrowhead), Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (Second Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (M Device / 20 Year Device), the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Staff Sergeant Adams also holds the Combat Action Badge, the Mechanic Driver’s Badge Track Vehicle, and the Mechanic Driver’s Badge Wheeled Vehicle.
Adams understands the enduring devastation associated with chronic pain as he was wounded in an IED accident in Iraq in 2007. His injuries include: 47% Burned with 34% being Third Degree Thickness Burns, Right/ Left Shoulders Labrum Tears, Rotator Cuff Tears, Fraying Tendons, with Nerve Damage across shoulders into the C5 of neck. 8 Compound Back Fractures, C-1-C-5, S-1, T-11 and T-12, and 5 Bulging Disk and Spinal Cord Nerve Damage into the legs, as well as PTSD, hearing loss and more.
Upon retiring in 2008,
Adams continues his journey through healing, having endured over 18 surgeries, with the unwavering support of his wife, Suzy.
After receiving stem cell therapy through V.I.P., his experience left him wanting to pay-forward his own experience, by joining our Board of Directors.
Adams secures the invaluable position of ensuring any required travel arrangements for our Veterans, to and from treatment, are coordinated at no cost whatsoever for the Veteran, as well as a companion. Adams’s ability to relate with our V.I.P.’s on various levels, while engaging for them, his vast network of Veteran-support alliances accumulated since retirement, is a cornerstone of our mission.
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