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VA Celebrates National Research Week, Friends of VA Brief Congress

April 27, 2012—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development celebrated 2012 National VA Research Week with this year’s theme “Caring for Veterans through Discovery & Collaboration.”  Events at the VA central office included remarks by VA Chief of Staff John R. Gingrich and a representative of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  In addition, over 35 VA medical centers across the country held local field events highlighting collaborations with their academic affiliates.

Coinciding with VA Research Week, the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) coalition hosted a congressional briefing in support of the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research Program. House VA Health Subcommittee Chair Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) opened the briefing stating, “We can’t just be acting in the present time. We need to be projecting out. We need the researchers to do what they need to do, to be able to make sure that women and men returning home have what they need when it comes to health care.” She also noted that the VA Research program is crucial to keeping health care for veterans on the cutting edge.

Two VA researchers presented on the importance and breadth of the VA research portfolio:

Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Iowa City VA Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss, Pomerantz Family Chair in Ophthalmology, professor of ophthalmology, and director of neuro-ophthalmology service at the University of Iowa; and Paula P. Schnurr , Ph.D., deputy executive director of the VA National Center for PTSD and research professor of the Dartmouth Medical School Department of Psychiatry.

In his closing remarks, VA Chief Research and Development Officer Joel Kupersmith, M.D., recognized the importance of VA-academic affiliations, saying, “Our partnerships with academia are extensive and crucial to our research. They have been called by [AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.,], ‘a model for successful partnerships between public and private institutions.’”  He continued, “I think it’s a testament to the people who have created this program. These affiliations and partnerships were planned, so that the benefits of both would be potentiating.”

The AAMC is a member of the FOVA executive committee.


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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