Capitol Hill Briefing Highlights Impact of Veterans Research Program
Created by on 08/08/2013

By Jennifer Zeitzer
On July 24, the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) hosted a Capitol Hill briefing to highlight the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical and Prosthetic Research program and its impact on the lives of veterans. The briefing featured two VA-funded researchers who provide clinical care to veterans, a critical component of the program that allows for the rapid application of research findings to medical practice. More than 80 people, including congressional staff, VA personnel, and representatives from veteran’s service organizations, filled the VA Committee hearing room during the speakers’ presentations.
John R. McQuaid, PhD, Associate Chief of Mental Health for Clinical Administration at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of California San Francisco, discussed advances in cognitive behavior therapy to treat mental health issues and the importance of the VA research program to service providers, veterans, and the American people. Dr. McQuaid presented findings on his research to develop new models of care that improve outcomes for veterans with a dual diagnosis of depression and substance abuse.
Daniel J. Gottlieb, MD, Director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, shared data from his  research that found veterans are four times more likely to develop sleep apnea than the general population. Sleep apnea can increase the risk of other health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity.
Following the presentations, the speakers addressed questions from attendees about the VA’s use of complementary and alternative medicine to treat veterans, collaborations between VA and other federal research agencies, and efforts to improve the coordination of care in the VA healthcare system. Slides from the briefing will be posted on the FOVA website.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is a member of FOVA and helped coordinate the briefing.

John R. McQuaid, PhD, Associate Chief of Mental Health for Clinical Administration, San Francisco VA Medical Center, speaks at the FOVA briefing on Capitol Hill.

Daniel J. Gottlieb, MD, Director, Sleep Disorders Clinic, VA Boston Healthcare System takes questions from the audience at the FOVA Capitol Hill briefing.