Studies Center - 2009
JAHVH Research Overview
To discover knowledge, develop VA researchers and healthcare
leaders, and create innovations that advance healthcare for
our Veterans and the Nation
for the Accreditation of the Human Research Protection Program
for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
of Rehabilitation and Health Services R&D Research Enhancement
Award Programs (REAP)
Currently there are more than 100 Principal Investigators
and 300 researchers working on over 200 active projects. Over
the past year JAHVH has increased funding by 24%.
Edge Research at JAHVH: An Overview
Cord Injury Research:
The JAHVH Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Center is a Clinical Program
of Excellence focusing on improving function, promoting independence,
and enhancing quality of life. The SCI/D program is
a hub for advances in the science of rehabilitation and spinal
cord injury treatment through ongoing research. Research
topics include prevention of infection, pressure ulcers, respiratory
care, epidemiology/cost factors, wheelchair skills, coping
effectiveness and caregiver respite.
The Cancer Program is made up of three specialties: hematology,
medical and surgical oncology. Oncology research focuses
on improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients
by advancing cancer therapies, prevention and early diagnosis.
Cancer-focused studies include the following: cardiac hormone
therapy, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, anemia, prostate
cancer, head & neck carcinoma, colon and rectal cancer.
Supported with almost $7 million annually, research conducted
at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital (JAHVH) ensures veterans
have access to cutting-edge medical and health care technology.
With 300-plus research projects conducted by more than 100
principal investigators, four of whom are prestigious VA Career
scientists, the JAHVH Research & Development (R&D)
Program is an integral part of the hospital's mission and
plays a very important role in the health care veterans receive.
Production of new knowledge, techniques, and products has
led to improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases
JAHVH's R&D Program includes many components to explore
all phases of veterans' healthcare needs:
Laboratory R&D supports exploration of biological or
physiological principles in humans or animals and includes
pre-clinical investigations of tissues, blood or other biologic
Science R&D focuses on interventional, effectiveness,
clinical, epidemiological and technological studies for
R&D focuses on developing and evaluating technologies,
devices, and interventions to help veterans maintain independence
while maintaining safety.
Services R&D focuses on advancing healthcare specific
to quality, access, patient outcomes and health care costs.
Federal (National Institute of Health, DoD, Dept of Health
& Human Services and non-Federal agencies (American
Heart Association, ADA, pharmaceuticals) support fundamental
creative discoveries and innovative research.
JAHVH's cardiology department boasts a thriving cardiac care
clinic focusing on cardiovascular aging, epidemiology, pathophysiology,
diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disorders.
Cardiac focused studies include the following: coronary
artery disease, rhythm and valve disorders, heart attacks
and congestive heart failure.
Mental Health Research:
JAHVH's Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service promotes
the psychological health and well-being of aging adults with
a new spotlight on returning Operations Enduring Freedom and
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) active duty military service
members. Research focuses on developing new preventative
measures, better diagnoses and improved treatments for psychological
conditions. Studies include the following: dementia, Alzheimer's,
wandering, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, cognitive
decline and development of tele-health programs and treatment
Physical Medicine Research:
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service includes accredited
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Rehabilitation and Chronic Pain
Rehabilitation (CPRP) Clinical Program of Excellence programs
with a focus on comprehensive treatment to maximize functional
independence enhance quality of life and assist veterans maximize
their role in society. Current research includes transferring
techniques, fall aversion, polytrauma focused rehab, isometric
strength testing, gait analysis, joint movement, caregiver
assistance, development of pain evaluation tools and satisfaction
scales, chronic headaches, and blast exposures. The DEKA robotic
prosthetic arm (pictured above) offers combined technology
& software that enhances functionality for amputees injured
Patient Safety Center of Inquiry:
JAHVH's Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI) focuses on
preventing adverse events and maximizing outcomes related
to mobility and immobility for OEF/OIF veterans, persons with
disabilities, and frail older adults. The center has
significant infrastructure in place to support research including:
five research laboratories (Patient Safety Engineering, Human
Factors and Patient Care Ergonomics, Product Evaluation, Patient
Safety Simulation, and 3-D Gait and Balance), patient falls
clinical team and a research mentorship program.
Research in Surgery:
Research encourages surgical advancements through cutting
edge technology. Studies include investigating the safety
and efficacy of vascular stents; open heart surgery techniques;
and gastric bypass procedures.
Other Medical Research:
Other general medical research at JAHVH is aimed at preventing,
treating, and curing numerous acute and chronic medical conditions.
Research studies include: diabetes, renal disease, gastrointestinal
disorders, HIV, arthritis, hearing impairments, ophthalmology,
infections, flu, shingles, liver, respiratory and neurologic
Home Based Health Care:
JAHVH's Home Based Health Care (HBHC) program strives to provide
compassionate care to veterans in the comfort of their home,
promoting maximal independence support to the caregiver.
HBHC research includes: caregiver respite/assistance,
wheelchair skills, home-based tele-health stroke care and
other home-based medical technology.
RECENT SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS
David Vesely, M.D., Ph.D., is the first VA employee to be
selected for the highly prestigious 2007 Service to America
"Sammie" Career Achievement Medal in medical research.
He also received the Distinguished Scientist Award given by
the International Clinical Ligand Assay Society and
the Kern Award, the highest honor presented by the American
Society of Military Physicians.
- Audrey Nelson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Nurse Scientist and Director
of the PSCI received the Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice
Award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) recognition of outstanding efforts by scientists
in applying occupational safety and health research to preventing
workplace fatalities, illnesses, or injuries. She also
received the July 2008 Distinguished Service Award by the
National Association of Orthopedic Nurses for her expertise
and guidance in developing safe patient handling algorithms