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VA Research: 85 Years of Discovery, Innovation, and Advancement for Veterans

VA Research: 85 Years of Discovery, Innovation, and Advancement for Veterans


– AS WE MARK THE 85th YEAR
OF VA’s RESEARCH PROGRAM, WE CELEBRATE BOTH OUR INNOVATIVE
RESEARCHERS WHO HELPED TURN SO MANY HOPES
INTO REALITIES AND THE VETERANS WHO PARTICIPATE
IN VA RESEARCH. – I KNOW I HAVEN’T TAPPED
INTO MY FULL POTENTIAL YET. AND I’M ANXIOUS TO DO IT. – I LEFT THE PROGRAM
IN JULY OF LAST YEAR. I USED TO DRIVE FOR A LIVING
ALL THOSE YEARS. I’M PRESENTLY DRIVING AGAIN. – I’M NOT GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE
THIS WAY, WHERE I’M DEPENDING
ON OTHER PEOPLE. SO I SAT DOWN AND SAID, “NO,
I’M GOING TO TIE MY OWN SHOES.” – BUT I NEVER BELIEVED THAT
I WASN’T GOING TO WALK AGAIN. I NEVER BOUGHT INTO IT. – THERE’S NOTHING LIKE
SEEING A PATIENT WHO’S USING A TECHNOLOGY
OR A NEW INTERVENTION AND REALLY SEEING
HOW IT CHANGES THEIR LIFE. – I THINK I FEEL PROUD EVERY
TIME ONE OF MY PATIENTS PICK UP HOPE FROM
A RESEARCH PROJECT. – THE WORK IN VA IS REALLY THAT WE WANT TO BRING EVERYBODY
BACK TO AS MUCH FULL FUNCTION AS WE CAN. AND SO THAT’S
THE GOAL OF RESEARCH, IS TO PROVIDE THAT HOPE, THAT EVERYBODY WILL RETURN
TO THEIR FULLEST CAPABILITY. – THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL
LIVER TRANSPLANT; DEVELOPING AND TESTING EFFECTIVE
THERAPIES FOR TUBERCULOSIS; DEVELOPMENT OF CUTTING-EDGE
TECHNOLOGY, SUCH AS THE CT SCAN
AND PACEMAKER; LANDMARK STUDIES FURTHERING THE TREATMENT FOR CANCER,
DIABETES, KIDNEY DISEASE, HEART DISEASE, AND STROKE; VETERAN-CENTRIC STUDIES
ON MENTAL HEALTH, DISEASE PREVENTION,
AND POST-DEPLOYMENT HEALTH; BREAK-THROUGH RESEARCH
IN PROSTHETICS, NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE, PTSD–
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER– TBI–TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY–
AND SENSORY LOSS; GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH IN
WOMEN’S HEALTH, HEALTH EQUITY, ACCESS, AND GENOMIC MEDICINE. SINCE 1925, VA RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN TURNING
HOPE INTO REALITY– NOT JUST FOR VETERANS,
BUT FOR ALL AMERICANS THROUGH DISCOVERY, INNOVATION, AND ADVANCEMENT. MULTI-DISCIPLINARY VA RESEARCH
TEAMS ARE BRINGING TECHNOLOGY AND CLINICAL PRACTICE
TOGETHER LIKE NEVER BEFORE. THE RESULT–IMPROVED QUALITY OF
LIFE TODAY AND THE HOPE FOR
A BRIGHTER TOMORROW. – I THINK WHAT WE’RE DOING IS NOT ONLY TRYING TO DO
THE BEST WE CAN FOR THE VETERANS HERE AND NOW IN TERMS OF
IMPROVING THEIR LIVES, BUT WE’RE ALSO TRYING
TO UNDERSTAND THE BIG PICTURE– HOW THINGS FIT TOGETHER. AND AS THOSE PIECES OF
THE PUZZLE FALL TOGETHER, OUR HOPE IS THAT WE’LL BE ABLE
TO DRASTICALLY IMPROVE THE LEVEL OF CARE
THAT WE’RE PROVIDING, THE KINDS OF INTERVENTIONS THAT
WE’RE PROVIDING SO THAT WE’LL HAVE A WHOLE MENU
OF OPTIONS TO SELECT FROM IN THE FUTURE. – WHETHER LINKING
LUNG CANCER TO SMOKING, CREATING THE BEST
COLON CANCER TREATMENT, OR CONTROLLING BLOOD SUGAR
WITH INSULIN PUMPS, RESEARCH BEGINS WITH DISCOVERY. TODAY, SOME OF THE MOST
PROMISING DISCOVERIES ARE IN GENOMIC MEDICINE. AND WITH THE LARGEST ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY, VA RESEARCH IS ON
THE LEADING EDGE OF DISCOVERIES THAT WILL DRIVE
PERSONALIZED MEDICINE. – OUR PURPOSE HERE IS
HUMAN-DRIVEN. IT’S TO IMPROVE THE LIVES
OF VETERANS. AND SO IF I CAN COME UP WITH
A GREAT IDEA AND I CAN JUSTIFY IT THROUGH
A GRANT THROUGH RESEARCH, ESSENTIALLY
COME UP WITH A GREAT ARGUMENT TO DO IT, THEN THE VA
WILL LET ME DO IT. – INNOVATION IS OCCURRING
EVERY DAY AS VA RESEARCHERS WORK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH VETERANS
AND CAREGIVERS TO IDENTIFY NEEDS AND FIND SOLUTIONS TO ADVANCE HEALTH CARE
AND IMPROVE OUTCOMES. UTILIZING AN INNOVATIVE
SMART PHONE APPLICATION, RADIO FREQUENCY SECURITY
IDENTIFICATION TAGS EMBEDDED INTO PUBLIC FLOORING AND
A WALKING CANE TO TRIGGER THE RF ID TAGS, VISUALLY-IMPAIRED INDIVIDUALS WILL SOON BE ABLE
TO NAVIGATE MORE INDEPENDENTLY INDOORS. – NOT BEING ABLE
TO DO CERTAIN THINGS CAN BE DEPRESSING, BUT WHEN YOU REGAIN
YOUR INDEPENDENCE, IT PUTS SPARK BACK
INTO YOUR LIFE AND IT GIVES YOU HOPE. – THANKS TO ADVANCEMENTS
IN RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY, BRAIN INJURED AND
STROKE PATIENTS ARE RELEARNING TO WALK, TO SPEAK,
AND TO REENGAGE IN LIFE. – I WANT TO BE PRODUCTIVE. I WAS PRODUCTIVE BEFORE
I HAD MY STROKE. I KNOW I CAN BE
PRODUCTIVE AFTER MY STROKE. – WHAT’S REALLY EXCITING
RIGHT NOW IS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, WE’RE ABLE TO SHOW THAT WHAT
WE DO WITH PEOPLE BEHAVIORALLY IN THERAPY CHANGES THE BRAIN. – IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT IN
THE BEST SCENARIO HOW TO IMPROVE REHAB
OR HOW TO DELIVER REHAB, AND WE’RE DOING THAT
WITH OUR VETERANS SYSTEMS THEN EVENTUALLY THAT’S
GONNA TRICKLE DOWN INTO THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY. – SOME OF THE TECHNOLOGY THAT
WE’VE BEEN DEVELOPING– BASICALLY A COMPUTER NETWORK
WITHIN THE BODY– WILL BY THAT TIME BE REAL. – I HOPE TO STAND ONE DAY AND I KNOW THEY HAVE
THE CAPACITY TO DO THAT– OR THEY WILL SHORTLY–BECAUSE JUST THE NEW TECHNOLOGY
THAT’S COMING OUT. – ADVANCEMENTS IN DEVICES SUCH
AS THE ADVANCED PROSTHETIC ARM BEING DEVELOPED THROUGH
A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN VA AND DARPA MAY SOON
ENABLE INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY GREATER
FUNCTIONING THAN EVER BEFORE. – ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, YOU KNOW,
WHAT THE VA HAS DONE WITH THIS ARM, IT
HAS GIVEN ME HOPE THAT MY QUALITY OF LIFE WILL
CONTINUE TO BE AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER, THAN IT HAS BEEN
OVER THE LAST NUMBER OF YEARS. AND I’M REALLY LOOKING
FORWARD TO THAT. – A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND VA
RESEARCH ARE VETERANS RETURNING FROM TODAY’S CONFLICTS WITH
COMPLEX POLYTRAUMA INJURIES, INCLUDING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS
DISORDER. – THE KIND OF PROGRESS THAT
WE’RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS THAT BY WORKING WITH
THE VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES, WE’RE ABLE TO SEE
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO THEM AND TO PRIORITIZE OUR RESEARCH
IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE’RE HAVING
A BIGGER IMPACT THAN WHEN WE SORT OF
DID RESEARCH IN ISOLATION. – GROUND-BREAKING RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT DEMANDS THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST RESEARCHERS IN
DISCIPLINES ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF HEALTH CARE NEEDS. VA RESEARCHERS HAVE BEEN HONORED WITH SOME OF THE MOST
PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS IN THE WORLD,
INCLUDING 3 NOBEL PEACE PRIZES AND 6 LASKER AWARDS. VA RESEARCH IS ALSO
A RECOGNIZED LEADER IN THE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH
WITH A LONG-ESTABLISHED COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS
RESEARCH PROGRAM AND A MALCOLM BALDRIGE
NATIONAL QUALITY AWARD FOR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE. THROUGH MULTI-DISCIPLINARY
RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY TOP-CALIBER RESEARCHERS, AND BY FOSTERING COLLABORATION
WITH OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES AND SOME OF THE MOST RESPECTED
INSTITUTIONS IN THE COUNTRY, VA RESEARCH IS
IMPROVING VETERANS’ LIVES. – WE HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY
SUCCESSFUL HERE IN TERMS OF CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND IN
NURTURING AND FOSTERING CAREERS. – THE WORK THAT WE DO TOGETHER
ACROSS DISCIPLINES IS FAR AND AWAY BEYOND
WHAT ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL OR ANY ONE DISCIPLINE COULD DO. – SINCE 1925, VA RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN TURNING HOPE INTO REALITY BY ADVANCING
HEALTH CARE FOR VETERANS AND THE NATION, AND CONTINUES
TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE 21st CENTURY. – VA RESEARCH HELPS ME DEAL
WITH THE MEMORIES THAT I HAVE. AND I ENCOURAGE OTHER VETERANS
TO SEEK HELP BECAUSE THE VA IS TURNING HOPE
INTO REALITY.

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