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Research

Explore VA Durham's research initiatives with specialty programs such as Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Care. Our mission is to Improve life for “those who have borne the battle.” Our research and development program enhances our ability to provide state-of-the-art medical techniques and treatments to Veterans. Veterans can also volunteer to participate in a research study. For questions about research or research forms, contact the Research Service at 919-286-6926.

Welcome to the Durham, NC GRECC website! Our mission is to improve the care of older Veterans through integrated research, education and clinical innovation. We have over 32 core and affiliated professionals- nurses, social workers, physicians, pharmacists, exercise physiologists, and PhD scientists- who dedicate themselves to the GRECC mission. We are proud to be a member of the national GRECC program, which includes 20 centers of excellence around the country.

Our research ranges from basic biomedical, clinical, health services and rehabilitation studies in the following areas of concentration: care delivery and transitions in various health care settings; exercise and physical function; infectious diseases and vaccines; medication-related problems; and osteoporosis.

Our educational activities include training programs in geriatrics for multiple health disciplines and the delivery of geriatrics educational products to multiple learners. Our clinical innovations focus on implementing and exploring new ideas in clinical care of older veterans and their caregivers.

All of these activities are enhanced by productive collaborations with researchers and services locally, at VISN 6 medical centers, other GRECCs, our University affiliate, Duke University Medical Center, and other academic centers around the country. Please explore the website for more details on our center.

Contact

Kenneth Schmader, MD
Director, GRECC (182)
508 Fulton St.
Durham VA Health Care System, Medical Center
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-286-6823

Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)

The mission of our Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center is to improve the care of older Veterans through integrated research, education and clinical activity. Our clinical activities include an outpatient geriatric evaluation and management clinic and an inpatient geriatric evaluation and management unit.

GRECC Areas of Study

  • Osteoporosis and Fractures
  • Exercise, physical function/disability, and mobility
  • Long-term care environments
  • End-of-life/palliative care, spirituality
  • Transitions of care
  • Adverse drug events and prescribing appropriateness
  • Herpes zoster vaccine, infectious diseases, immunology, and inflammation
K. Schmader

Kenneth Schmader MD

Director of the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center's Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and the Associate Chief of Staff for Geriatrics and Extended Care

VA Durham health care

Phone: 919.286.6932

Email: kenneth.schmader@va.gov

M. Morey

Miriam Morey PhD

Associate Director of Research

VA Durham health care

Phone: 919.286.0411 Ext:176776

Email: miriam.morey@va.gov

Research Units at the Durham VAMC

Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center (CSPEC)-Durham 

CSPEC-Durham is one of six national epidemiology centers under the Cooperative Studies Program. The Cooperative Studies Program is the Division of VA Research and Development that is responsible for the planning and conduct of large multicenter clinical trials in the Department of Veterans Affairs. CSPEC-Durham's specific mission is to support and encourage CSP-sponsored population-based research. Our research involves the collection of information on the epidemiology, natural history, and clinical course of disease, with an emphasis on medical care interventions and their evaluations. Specifically, we seek to achieve the following goals:

  • Investigate the determinants of disease in Veterans, including molecular, genetic and biologic component
  • Investigate the sources of disparities in the delivery and outcomes of medical care through VA-based population research
  • Provide training opportunities in epidemiology to MD and PhD investigators, and MPH students of affiliated academic institutions through mentored research

Current Projects:

  • Gulf War research - CSPEC-Durham is designated as a National Gulf War Research Resource
  • Research Initiatives including: Data and Specimen Repository, Quality, Hepatis B Reactivation Prevention, Health Disparities, and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

 

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) 

The mission of our Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center is to improve the care of older veterans through integrated research, education and clinical activity.   Our research activities includes basic biomedical, applied clinical, health services and rehabilitation research.

Current Projects: 

· Hypertension in the Elderly and African Americans

· Complications Associated with Aging and Diabetes

· Immune function and aging

 

Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) 

HSR&D works to develop strategies that enhance the delivery, quality, and cost efficiency of primary care among veterans. These objectives are strategically pursued through support of research investigators, funded research, and teaching programs.
 

Current Projects:

· Lowering blood pressure

· Quality of lung and colorectal cancer care

· Risk factors for colon cancer

· Health-related quality of life for the elderly

· End of life issues

· Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia

· Smoking cessation

· Psychiatric advanced directives and severe mental illness

· Telemedicine research for diabetic retinopathy and dermatology

· Racial differences in access and utilization of health care

· Health care for women veterans


Medical Research (Clinical Science Research & Biomedical Laboratory Research) 

Medical Research Service supports basic and clinical investigations of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases common to our veterans. These innovative studies concentrate on basic mechanisms of disease and translate these findings to clinical use.

Current Projects: 

· Substance abuse and mental health issues

· Genetic mechanisms of cancer development

· Vaccines for cancer treatment

· Treatment of heart disease

· Nerve injury and repair

· Diabetes

· Osteoarthritis

· Neurological diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Epilepsy

· Mechanisms of high blood pressure

· Mechanisms of blood clotting

· Obesity, dieting, and health

· Autoimmune diseases

 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) 

The VISN 6 MIRECC is organized as a translational medicine center in which the overarching goal is the clinical assessment and treatment of post-deployment mental illness. The MIRECC’s organizational structure includes four major components: Clinical, Research, Education, and Evaluation.

Current Projects: 

· Neuropsychiatric symptoms in OEF/OIF era Veterans

· Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

· Genetic mechanisms of PTSD

· Brain activation and PTSD

· PTSD intervention and prevention approaches

· Symptoms and treatments related to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and stress related disorders

· Needs assessment of OEF/OIF veterans and their families

 

Rehabilitation Research 

Rehabilitation Research investigates the use of devices, procedures, and activities to treat disability and to help patients with disabilities to live more functional and independent lives.

Current Projects: 

· Exercise counseling to improve function in older patients

· New methods for rehabilitation of stroke patients with memory problems

· Testing use of medications combined with physical therapy for stroke patients

· Cartilage and meniscus damage and repair

· Tele-rehabilitation to improve use of mobility aids and safety in the home

· Measuring changes in walking with various diseases

· Changes in cartilage and meniscus with arthritis

 

Contacts about program information:

Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center (CSPEC)


Dr. Dawn Provenzale
Director, Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center (CSPEC) - Durham
Email: Dawn.Provenzale@va.gov
Phone: 919-286-0411 ext. 178023
 

GRECC

Dr. Ken Schmader
Director, GRECC
Email: schma001@mc.duke.edu
Phone: 919-286-0411 Ext. 176932

 

Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D)

Dr. Eugene Oddone
Director, Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care
Email: gene.oddone@duke.edu
Phone: 919-286-0411 Ext. 176936

 

Medical Research (Clinical Science Research & Biomedical Laboratory Research)

Dr. John Whited
Associate Chief of Staff, Research & Development
Email: John.Whited@va.gov  
Phone: 919-286-0411 Ext. 176540

Bradley Olson
Administrative Officer, Research & Development
Email: Bradley.Olson@va.gov
Phone: 919-286-0411 Ext. 177632

 

Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

Brian Gordon
Administrative Officer, V6 MIRECC
Email: Brian.Gordon3@va.gov

Phone: 919-286-0411 Ext. 172696

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