VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) has enrolled its 400,000th Veteran volunteer, squarely putting it on track to become one of the world’s largest medical databases, linking genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military-exposure information, with the goal of learning more about the role of genes in health and disease.

“We are proud to see the progress being made in MVP, and we are confident the knowledge gained through this research will have a very tangible and positive impact on the health care that Veterans and all Americans receive,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “We applaud our Veterans participating in the program. The selfless sacrifice they are making will allow researchers to gain valuable, important information.”

Veterans who volunteer for the program donate blood, from which DNA is extracted, and periodically fill out surveys about their health, health-related behaviors and military experiences. They also consent to having authorized researchers access the information in their VA electronic health record, and to being re-contacted for future research opportunities. All information, genetic and otherwise, is kept secure and de-identified. Samples and data are coded; no names, birthdates or social security numbers are shared.

MVP, in operation at more than 50 VA medical centers nationwide, is already the largest database of its type in the United States. Data collected through MVP are available to researchers for use in approved studies, to include posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders and heart and kidney disease.

MVP is a part of the Precision Medicine Initiative announced by President Obama earlier this year. The initiative aims to move health care forward into an era in which disease prevention and treatment will be tailored to individual patients on the basis of their genes and other factors.

“VA is thrilled to be working closely with the White House and other federal partners on the president’s Precision Medicine Initiative,” said VA Chief Research and Development Officer Timothy O’Leary, M.D., Ph.D. “We are committed to making precision medicine a reality for Veterans and the nation.”

For more information about MVP and VA research in general, visit www.research.va.gov.

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Published on Oct. 8, 2015

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3 Comments

  1. Sharon L Waites October 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Who can I talk to about this sham of a program called Veterans Choice? It has taken 4 months to get my surgery approved and each time I called Health Net I got a different person who took 20 to 25 minutes of my life that I will never get back to review the file. Now I don’t work but other veterans do. Then they could not contact my doctor’s office because the started with an 885 prefix. Now the approve was 9-21-15 and they claim they have sent it to my doctor by fax 3 times but it was never received. There is no follow through. There are over a hundred women waiting fort mammograms at the Columbus VA. This is outrageous. I am a breast cancer survivor and early detection is very important. I am concerned this program is harming Veterans not helping them. The Health Net Corporation is making money on the backs of Veterans. They have no accountability. As a Veteran I can not get answers to my questions because you never speak to the same person. Their employees do not follow up to ensure that the work they do is complete. They don’t do it the military way! Stop short changing the Veterans! I already have spent three years of my life going the a type of breast reconstruction because I was forced back into the VA system that had one plastic surgeon that was there one day a week and only did surgery half of that day. So I have had no and I repeat no life for three years. Every time I had a surgery it took more time than normal to recover because I have a heart condition. It think I was force into that position by a women’s coordinator named Maureen Taylor. She never stood up for us women Veterans. What was she there for anyway.

  2. Terri Sutton October 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I was wondering if I could get a Million Veterans Program pin. They were out of them when I registered at my VA hospital

  3. john badgley October 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I enrolled last year but have had no opportunity to participate. What should I do?

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