William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison, WI - National VA Research Week is held May 17th through May 21st to recognize the tremendous contributions of VA research towards improving Veterans’ health. While in-person events are on pause this year, there is plenty to celebrate.
Nationally, there are over 3,600 VA investigators conducting basic, translational, clinical, health services, and rehabilitative research, all focused on health issues that specifically affect Veterans. The integration of research within the VA healthcare system enables the efficient translation of research findings to improve patient care.
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (Madison VA) is home to a busy and productive research program, bolstered through collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There are 63 active research investigators, many of whom receive funding from the VA to conduct their research. Research studies range in scale from basic science to clinical trials and cover areas including diabetes, cancer, infectious disease, Gulf War Illness, and aging.
“Our research program is focused entirely on the health priorities of our Veteran population,” said Dr. Nasia Safdar, Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Madison VA. “Our excellent relationship with our academic affiliate, UW-Madison, and access to an incredible array of resources, intellectual capacity, and innovation enhances our ability to conduct state of the art research to help our Veterans.”
Dr. Adam Gepner is a cardiologist and a VA-funded clinical researcher who studies the impact of high blood pressure on heart and vascular disease in aging Veterans.
“My goal is to develop new, non-invasive tests to personalize cardiovascular care for those who are at risk for heart disease,” said Gepner. “As a clinician-researcher, my professional goals align with the VA mission: helping our nation’s Veterans live longer and better through excellent clinical care, thought-provoking research, and tailored patient education.”
Veterans can volunteer to participate in VA research studies, which provides insight that will help other Veterans and, in some cases, offers an opportunity to improve their own health. In addition to Dr. Gepner’s study with Veterans with high blood pressure, the Madison VA is currently enrolling Veteran participants for 19 other studies, including research on Gulf War Illness, PTSD, tobacco use, prostate cancer, and other topics. Veterans interested in participating can contact Jamie Swanlund at email@example.com, Madison’s Research & Development Coordinator.
“Seeing how enthusiastic our Veteran research participants are brings a smile to my face and is one of the reasons I jump out of bed in the morning,” said Gepner. “Today a Veteran participant told me: ‘I’m grateful for the chance to help other Veterans with high blood pressure. If that means signing up for your studies, well, sign me up!’ I am so appreciative of the Veterans, researchers, and staff who make VA research possible.”
Learn more about VA research at www.research.va.gov.