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VA To Hold Research Week Forum in DC April 26

April 25, 2012

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VA To Hold Research Week Forum in DC April 26

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2012) – The Department of Veterans Affairs will host several events to commemorate Research Week April 23-27, highlighted by Dr. Arun A. Seraphin of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) speaking at a forum on Thursday, April 26.   

“VA Research plays a key role in advancing the health and health care of America’s Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.  “A commitment to excellence is essential to fostering continued advancements in scientific research, including the work VA investigators do each day to improve Veterans’ health.”

Seraphin, the principal assistant director for national security and international affairs at OSTP, will discuss “Serving the Nation through Science and Technology.”  

 The forum will be held at the VA Central Office in Washington D.C.  It is one of several events taking place during the week, as VA medical centers nationwide host local promotional events.  Each facility recognizes the outstanding contributions made by VA researchers and the vital role played by Veteran volunteers in helping advance new treatments and prevent disease.  The theme of this year’s Research Week is “Caring for Veterans through Discovery and Collaboration.”

 “Dr. Seraphin has brought the highest level of expertise and integrity to the federal government’s scientific and technological endeavors,” said Dr. Joel Kupersmith, VA’s chief research and development officer.  “We’re very pleased to have this opportunity to demonstrate how engaged patients and families, committed clinician-scientists, partnerships with other organizations, and an unparalleled national health care delivery infrastructure all combine to deliver exceptional health care and cutting edge medical treatments to Veterans.”

 Featured speakers include:

  • U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Dan Nevins, a wounded warrior who lost his left leg in Iraq;
  • Lieutenant General Charles Green, Surgeon General of the Air Force;
  • Terry Rauch, Director of Medical Research and Development for the Office of Health Affairs of the Department of Defense; 
  • Colonel Geoffrey Ling, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The Forum will also feature several panel discussions, including:

  • Personal experiences of Veterans who benefitted from VA research led by Veteran and country singer Stephen Cochran;
  • News from VA’s Translational Research Center for Traumatic Brain Injury and Stress Disorders
  • A look at the Posts Working for Veterans’ Health program; a research project focused on the effectiveness of peer counseling, one Veteran to another, to improve Veterans’ health.

 Capping the day’s activities, VA’s Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Jesse, will present VA’s highest awards for researchers and also recognize the most recent recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  

 “There’s no better way to wrap up the 2012 Forum than to officially recognize the outstanding achievements of so many remarkable men and women,” said Jesse. “Their work truly reflects the vital role played by all researchers in the health and well-being of our Veterans.”

 For more information about Research Week, including the forum and other VA Central Office events, as well VAMC field activities visit www.research.va.gov/researchweek.

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