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This Issue: Chronic Disease Care | Table of Contents: Spring 2018 | Download this issue

In This Issue: Chronic Disease Care

From the Chief Research and Development Officer
Transforming innovations in research into care for Veterans

Rachel B. Ramoni, D.M.D., Sc.D One of the primary goals at the Office of Research and Development is to ensure that VA research results in real-world benefits for our Veterans—whether it is helping them regain their health, resume an active lifestyle, or reclaim their vital roles in family and community. This is one of three strategic priorities for ORD. The other two are to increase Veterans' access to high-quality clinical trials and to transform VA data into a national resource with privacy safeguards in place. Read more

New Initiatives | Announcements
Celebrating VA researchers and innovations Celebrating VA researchers and innovations
National VA Research Week was observed May 14-18, in a number of different ways designed to share new developments and individual achievements in VA research. Research Week programs ranged from Veteran luncheons and Q&A sessions to scientific presentations and poster displays by researchers and lab tours for media and congressional representatives. They also included recognition of research volunteers and their efforts to support Veterans' health. Read more

Proposing a new framework for clinical trials recruitment Proposing a new framework for clinical trials recruitment
In a paper published in Contemporary Clinical Trials, Dr. Grant Huang, director of the VA Cooperative Studies Program, and colleagues found that despite the importance of patient recruitment to successful clinical trials, many researchers fail to meet patient recruitment goals. The project team recommended creating a strategic framework to guide the process of patient recruitment, rather than just addressing individual activities. Read more

VA state of the art conference on care coordination VA state of the art conference on care coordination
VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) held an invitation-only two-day state-of-the-art (SOTA) conference on care coordination in March in Baltimore, Maryland. The purpose of the SOTA was to explore the state of care coordination within VA and in collaboration with community partners. Invited experts worked on developing a research agenda focused on improvements and innovations in care coordination, and identified recommendations for VA policymakers. Read more

A Chat with Our Experts Dr. Walid Gellad  'Dual use' Veterans may be at risk for unsafe opioid use
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System investigator Dr. Walid Gellad is a primary care physician and health services researcher. Gellad's research is focused in part on developing more effective prescribing practices for physicians. VARQU spoke with Gellad about a recent study in which he and his coauthors examined the outcomes of Veterans who used both the VA health care system and Medicare Part D to receive prescription opioid medications, and the potential for harm that practice poses. Read more

Three questions for pain expert Dr. Erin KrebsThree questions for pain expert Dr. Erin Krebs
Dr. Erin Krebs is a physician and researcher at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. In March 2018, she and her colleagues published a study in JAMA that compared the use of opioid medications with non-opioid medications for the treatment of chronic knee, hip, or back pain. The results were surprising: Treatment for 12 months or more with opioid medications was not superior to non-opioids when it came to improving pain-related function. Read more
Spotlight on Career Development Awardee
Staying heart healthy: The importance of phosphorus for Vets with kidney diseaseStaying heart healthy: The importance of phosphorus for Vets with kidney disease
Kidney specialist and clinical researcher Dr. Anna Jovanovich works at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver. The thrust of her clinical research is investigating the effects of kidney disease on the body—specifically cardiovascular or heart disease. Veterans and others with chronic kidney disease are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, compared with the general population. Read more

Noteworthy Publications Severe combat injuries could elevate high blood pressure risk in Veterans with PTSD Severe combat injuries could elevate high blood pressure risk in Veterans with PTSD
Veterans who served during the Afghanistan or Iraq wars and were severely injured are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, according to a study published in Hypertension. Researchers say injury severity is an independent risk factor for high blood pressure, and does not depend on later development of posttraumatic stress disorder. Read more

Investigating the use of precision medicine to treat depression Investigating the use of precision medicine to treat depression
VA's Genomic Medicine Implementation program is funding a study to examine the use of genetic data to improve treatment for Veterans with major depressive disorder. The PRIME Care initiative is being led by Dr. David Oslin at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. Veterans taking part in the effort will submit a cheek swab so researchers can test their DNA. The results could help their providers decide which antidepressant to prescribe. Read more

New and Noteworthy

VA Research Quarterly Update is a digital publication that is produced four times a year by VA Research Communications, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Managing editor/writer: Erica Sprey
Copyeditor: Tristan Horrom
Layout: Robert Williams

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