Did you know that VA researchers invented the first clinically successful implantable cardiac pacemaker, helping many patients prevent potentially life-threatening complications from irregular heartbeats?
Or that they developed the nicotine patch and other therapies to help smokers quit?
“InnoVAtion to Implementation.”
Many Veterans gained hope for greater mobility when VA researchers invented a wheelchair that allows users to crank up the push rims to a standing position, providing them with increased functionality and independence.
It’s a remarkable history of accomplishments which we celebrate this Research Week.
Research Week is an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of the VA Research Program and recognizes the researchers, Veterans and partners who support the program. For more than 90 years, VA research has been improving the lives of Veterans and all Americans through health care discovery and innovation.
VA research is unique because of its focus on medical issues that affect Veterans. It is part of an integrated health care system with a state‐of‐the‐art electronic health record and has come to be viewed as a model for superior bench‐to‐bedside research.
The groundbreaking achievements of VA investigators—more than 60 percent of whom also provide direct patient care—have resulted in three Nobel prizes, seven Lasker awards, and numerous other distinctions.
The theme for this year is “InnoVAtion to Implementation.”
Research Week is celebrated all over the country at VA medical centers. VA facilities plan open houses or other activities to commemorate the week. Some plan research presentations, research displays or slide shows, and others will hold Veteran appreciation days, featuring VA researchers and local officials, as well as personal testimonials by Veterans participating in VA research studies.
The purpose of VA Research Week is to recognize Veterans for their participation in research studies and to provide an opportunity for VA investigators and administrators to present findings from their discoveries and innovations that have led to advancements in the health care for Veterans and improved upon existing medical knowledge. We recognize achievements in the following areas.
How research translates to patient care
VA researchers study a wide range of health topics from cancer, diabetes, women’s health and mental health to prosthetics and post‐traumatic stress disorder. Research Week is the premier event for researchers to present their discoveries on these topics and to show how they translate research to patient care and services for Veterans.
Here’s a short list of substantial research launches and outcomes in 2017 alone:
- A major study, conducted under the auspices of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, on the long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury.
- $81 million in new research on non-drug treatment of pain for military personnel and Veterans.
- A physical-environment checklist used in VA psychiatry units led to a sharp decline in inpatient suicides.
- A study showing that prolonged exposure therapy delivered directly into patients’ homes via telehealth could “dramatically increase the reach of this evidence-based therapy for PTSD without diminishing its effectiveness.”
- Significant progress in restoring a natural sense of touch for those who use prosthetic hands.
- Advances in brain-computer technology that now allows fast, accurate typing by people with paralysis.
Every year, Veterans from all over the country participate in research studies to help improve the lives of other Veterans. During Research Week, we honor Veterans and formally thank them for the vital role they play in supporting and contributing to the VA Research Program.
VA research depends on its collaborations and partnerships with academic affiliates, industry partners, nonprofit organizations, outside organizations, and Veterans service organizations to deliver high‐quality results. For Research Week, VA highlights these partnerships and the successful research studies that have been made possible through these collaborations.
VA research fosters dynamic collaborations with academia, other federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and private industry—thus furthering the program’s impact on the health of Veterans and the nation.