Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.


Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Newsletter | Fall 2022 | South Central MIRECC

Consulting with MIDAS: What Is It Really Like?

By Ellen Fischer, PhD and the MIDAS Consultation Team

MIDAS (MIRECC Implementation, Design and Analysis Support) offers a no cost service to SC MIRECC affiliates in VISN 16 and San Antonio. Over the past 15 years, MIDAS team members have provided methodologic support to emerging and seasoned investigators at all stages of research from design through manuscript revision and project implementation. Team members have wide-ranging expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods, study and survey design, and data management.

Because not all eligible users are familiar with MIDAS, we want to provide a glimpse into the process of working with MIDAS. This is the first of three pieces that will describe prior collaborations with the MIDAS team. In this piece, we briefly describe MIDAS support for one of SC MIRECC’s rising research stars, Mary Shapiro, PhD.

Dr. Shapiro’s MIDAS Request:

Dr. Mary Shapiro
Dr. Mary Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro is a psychologist who joined the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) in 2021 as a Clinical Investigator. Her research focuses on risk factors in development and maintenance of anxiety and traumatic stress conditions.

In late May 2021, Dr. Shapiro contacted MIDAS requesting support in preparing an application for a mixed methods SC MIRECC pilot project to adapt and test an innovative treatment to reduce traumatic stress symptoms among pregnant Veterans.

How MIDAS Responded:

Dr. Ellen Fischer
Dr. Ellen Fischer

Ellen Fischer, PhD, consulted with Dr. Shapiro on overall project design and proposal writing. Dr. Fischer, an epidemiologist and MIDAS director, has a long track-record of VA and National Institute of Mental Health funding for her health services research focused on access to care for rural Veterans.


Dr. Traci Abraham
Dr. Traci Abraham

Traci Abraham, PhD, worked with Dr. Shapiro as she developed her qualitative interview guides and refined her qualitative data collection and analysis methods. Dr. Abraham is a medical anthropologist with expertise in rapid template analysis.

Drs. Abraham and Fischer continued working with Dr. Shapiro, reviewing drafts and providing guidance as she revised her submission and prepared a response to reviewers.

What Followed Consultation:

  • Dr. Shapiro received pilot funding for her project, “Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy for a Brief Trauma-informed Intervention for Pregnant Veterans,” in November 2021. Dr. Abraham was included on the project as a consultant on rapid template analysis of qualitative data.

  • Preliminary data from that pilot as well as informal consultations with Drs. Abraham and Fischer informed the CSR&D CDA-2 proposal Dr. Shapiro submitted in June 2022.

Could MIDAS Help You? If you could use support with design, review and/or conduct of your research, we are eager to hear from you.

For additional information


Contact Ellen Fischer, PhD at

Last updated: November 10, 2022