NHA’s leadership is comprised of industry professionals and physicians with experience in organizational development, hospital administration, medical insurance, safety and certification, patient advocacy, medical research, veterans initiatives, and non-profit management and fundraising.
NHA Board of Directors
Paul S. Hoffecker, CEO
Mr. Hoffecker has devoted himself to the administration and leadership of the National Hyperbaric Association and its mission.
Mr. Hoffecker’s career spans a history in healthcare administration, commercial and remodeling construction, senior project management, and consulting. Mr. Hoffecker has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration from Eastern University and was a past registered nurse and paramedic.
He was a neurosurgery intern and resident at the University of Washington. During his dedicated research time, he was awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral fellowship as well as an Individual National Research Service Award from the NIH. Following his chief residency, he completed his Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Seattle from 2001-2002. In 2002, Dr. Grant fulfilled his commitment with the United States Air Force as part of a Health Professions Scholarship Program.
He was Chief of Neurosurgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base Texas. He was the USAF neurosurgical Consultant for Aerospace medicine from 2003-2006. Dr. Grant then deployed to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany and Balad Air Base, Iraq, as Chief of Neurosurgery, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his deployment, Dr. Grant was the Consultant for Neurosurgery, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 30th Med Brigade, US Army and developed the first prospective study in a combat zone on blast concussive injury. The conclusions from this study in part were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Grant attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal prior to his separation.
He was then recruited to Duke University as a pediatric neurosurgeon, Director of Neurotraums, and attained the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is also board certified in Pediatric Neurosurgery by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. In 2003, Dr. Grant was recruited back to Stanford University where he is Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Xavier A. Figueroa, Ph.D., Director
Xavier received his doctoral degree in 2003 from the University of Washington’s Program in Neurobiology & Behavior in the Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology. His doctoral training was followed up by two post-doctoral fellowships within the Department of Bioengineering.
His experience within academic research exposed him to the undercurrents of research politics, both local and national, that silently shape how science is done and how the results are interpreted. This experience made him aware of the need to maintain an open mind and champion deserving and fruitful ideas, such as the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of neurological injuries.
Xavier is currently the owner and Director of Clinical and Scientific Research of Sciencia Incognita Consulting LLC, a consulting and management firm. Sciencia Incognita focuses on providing expert scientific advice on specialty areas of biology, biotechnology, neurobiology and design of clinical trials and basic research experiments.
Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, Director
The primary focus of his laboratory is directed towards understanding the physiological effects of hyperbaric oxygen and developing and testing metabolic-based therapies, including ketogenic diets, ketone supplements and drugs that target specific metabolic pathways.
His research explores the use of these therapies for a broad range of disorders linked pathophysiologically to metabolic dysregulation, including seizures, neurodegenerative diseases, genetic diseases and cancer.
D’Agostino’s laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro techniques to understand the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanism of metabolic therapies. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations.
Tom Fox, MA, MS, CHT, Director
He has worked in the field of Clinical Hyperbaric Oxygen for the last 22 years. During this time, he has been intimately involved with the implementation and the development of the US Army’s Clinical Hyperbaric Service at Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center.
He has provided its contract hyperbaric services since its inception in 1997. Prior to accepting his current position in Quebec, Canada, Mr. Fox served as the Chief of the Atmospherics Branch of the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine, Fort Rucker Alabama.
In this capacity, he was responsible for hyperbaric/hypobaric operations and training of US and NATO aviators, flight surgeons and flight medics.
Mr. Fox is a senior army aviator and flew twelve years as a Medical Evacuation Pilot for the US Army. Mr. Fox holds a Masters in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master’s of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy State University at Dothan.
Mr Fox is also a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. His experience in the successful integration of clinical hyperbaric oxygen into the medical services of three different countries in three different languages led to his selection as the Vice President for Operations and Training for the American Association for Hyperbaric Awareness (AAHA).
Working in cooperation with Congressional leaders and governmental agencies, AAHA is advancing the understanding of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy within mainstream medicine by demonstrating its value as a therapeutic option.
Cara Mae Melton, Director
In January 2015, Melton acquired Hampton Roads Hyperbaric Therapy . She converted the company to a Benefit Corporation to ensure continued focus on the health and wellbeing of the community and patients the company serves.
In 2014, Melton founded the non-profit, Heal the Warriors to provide a platform for treatment and change for injured warriors, first responders and their family caregivers suffering from service-related traumatic brain injury.Before Hampton Roads Hyperbaric Therapy, Melton was the COO for America’s Mighty Warriors, a veteran-centric non-profit (2013-14).
Prior to AMW, in 2010, Melton founded CareConscious, LLC. CareConscious still remains a free online resource for family caregivers around the country. Melton ran LawInfo.com, Inc. (now a Thompson-Reuters company) as the Chief Operating Officer and later VP of Business Development from 2001-2009.
Melton served in the US Navy from 1995-2000 and was trained as a Naval Instructor. She holds a BS in Business Management, attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and held real estate licenses in New York and Virginia. Melton remains a passionate advocate and change agent for caregivers, our troops and the industry of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Ben Richards, Director
After five years of traditional “standard model of care” treatment for TBI and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that did little to improve his condition or functionality, Ben received Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (100% oxygen at 1.5 atmospheres of pressure) pro bono from one of the many HBOT clinics committed to helping veterans. The treatment substantially improved his condition to the extent that he can now join the hundreds of other TBI survivors treated with HBOT in saying that he “has gotten his life back.”
Ben is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and has a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University. In addition to the National Hyperbaric Association, he works with several other non-profit organizations dedicated to improving treatment for military service members and veterans with TBI and PTSD.