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MIRECC / CoE

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About NW MIRECC Research

About NW MIRECC Research

Wounded Warrior

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN 20) Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) investigators collaborate with researchers and clinicians across the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, University of Washington, University of Utah, Oregon Health Science University, Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs, as well as a host of academic, government, and industry partners around the world.

PTSD, TBI and Other Research Activities at VISN 20 MIRECC

NW MIRECC approaches research in two ways: clinical and translational. In many instances, NW MIRECC partners with Veteran and non-Veteran volunteers as clinical research subjects to develop and evaluate effective treatments for military posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its associated conditions, including mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), substance use disorders (SUD), chronic musculoskeletal pain, post-concussive headaches, and dementia. NW MIRECC studies are conducted through clinical research and through translational research wherein teams of clinicians and scientists work side-by-side to characterize and model key features of clinical problems and then translate the findings from scientific theory or animal models into practical applications for Veterans.

NW MIRECC improves the health and well-being of Veterans by developing, evaluating, and disseminating novel effective treatments for PTSD and its complex comorbidities or co-occurring diagnoses. The most prominent of these co-occurring difficulties faced by Veterans are mTBI), alcohol use disorder (AUD), SUD, chronic pain (in particular, post-concussive headaches), cognitive impairment, while others face an increased risk for neurodegenerative disorders (chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE] and Alzheimer's disease [AD]). 

Clinical Research

Wounded WarriorThrough careful design and implementation of clinical research studies and with the help of volunteers in a wide range of research protocols, the NW MIRECC conducts cutting-edge measurements of brain structure to analyze their implication on behavior, --and engages volunteers in in-depth analysis of psychological, social and environmental factors that contribute to the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. NW MIRECC investigators are leaders in the performance of research lumbar punctures and in the innovative use of a common blood pressure medication for trauma-related nightmares, anxiety, and other behavioral symptoms that affect many Veterans with PTSD.

Translational Research

Another route to identifying potential treatments for PTSD and its associated conditions (specify associated conditions) is through laboratory studies that do not require the enrollment of Veterans. The nationally acclaimed NW MIRECC translational neuroscience program is a multidisciplinary research program dedicated to understanding and treating these disorders. Through basic discovery science and the development of innovative treatment strategies. Together, teams of clinicians and scientists work side-by-side to characterize and model the key features of these clinical problems, including the co-existing conditions of TBI and neurodegenerative disorders, and to then translate our findings from scientific theory or animal models into practical applications for Veterans.

Call for Research Volunteers:

Visit the Current Research Homepage to read about volunteer opportunities.

Sign up for email updates or access your subscriber preferences: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVHAVISN20/subscriber/new.

Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory. This page may contain links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

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Reference from this web page or from any of the information services sponsored by the VA to any non-governmental entity, product, service or information does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the VA or any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of any "off-site" web pages referenced from this server.
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NW MIRECCThe Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care network in the United States, with 1,255 health care facilities serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. There are 18 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) in VHA operating as regional systems of care to better meet local health care needs and provides greater access to care. Spanning 23% of the US land mass, VISN 20 is the largest geographic region of VA. In the Pacific Northwest, VISN 20 serves Veterans in 135 counties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Operating across three time zones over 817,417 square miles, VISN 20 is home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes. VISN 20 also serves Veterans in Del Norte and Siskiyou counties of California and Lincoln County Montana.

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Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community. VCCP includes General Community Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care, Foreign Medical Care, Home Health and Hospice Care, Indian and Tribal Health Services, In Vitro Fertilization, State Veterans Home, and Flu Shots.

VA Regional Offices

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) helps service members transition out of military service, and assists with Veterans with education, home loans, life insurance and much more. Service members, Veterans, their families, and Survivors are invited to request information on VA Benefits including disability compensation, pension, fiduciary, education, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), Home Loans, and Insurance. In addition to information on VA Benefits Veterans may initiate an intent to file and request assistance with filing compensation and pension claims. Visit regional office websites to learn about the services the regional office provides, directions to the facility, hours of operation, and the leadership team that serves the regional office.

Find out if you can get VA health care as a Veteran

The following four categories of Veterans are not required to enroll but are urged to do so to permit better planning of health resources:

  1. Veterans with a service-connected (SC) disability rated at 50% or more.
  2. Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but which VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.
  3. Veterans seeking care for a SC disability only or under a special treatment authority.
  4. Veterans seeking registry examinations (ionizing radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf War/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) depleted uranium, airborne hazards, and Open Burn Pit Registry).

Find out how to apply for VA health care benefits as a Veteran or service member. For other mental health services, contact a VA medical center for information on eligibility and treatment options.

Vet Centers in VISN 20

VA Vet Center LogoVet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where Veterans, service members and their families can talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in transitioning after military service or trauma and get connected to their nearest Vet Center.

Anchorage Vet Center (Anchorage, AK)
Bellingham Vet Center (Bellingham, WA)
Boise Vet Center (Boise, ID)
Central Oregon Vet Center (Bend, OR)
Eugene Vet Center (Eugene, OR)
Everett Vet Center (Everett, WA)
Fairbanks Vet Center (Fairbanks, AK)
Federal Way Vet Center (Federal Way, WA)
Grants Pass Vet Center (Grants Pass, OR)
Kenai Vet Center Outstation (Soldotna, AK)
Lacey Vet Center Outstation (Lacey, WA)
Portland, OR Vet Center (Portland, OR)
Salem Vet Center (Salem, OR)
Seattle Vet Center (Seattle, WA)
Spokane Vet Center (Spokane, WA)
Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)
Walla Walla Vet Center (Walla Walla, WA)
Wasilla Vet Center (Wasilla, AK)
Yakima Valley Vet Center (Yakima, WA)

Plan your trip to VA

Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)In 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established by law to provide comfort and well-being to America’s Veterans. With our many retail stores, cafés and coffee shops across the country, we serve those who have served our country. We are a self-sustaining entity providing merchandise and services to Veterans enrolled in VA’s healthcare system, their families, caregivers, VA employees, volunteers and visitors. We are honored to give back to the VA community through many programs established for the health and well-being of our nation’s heroes. Revenues generated from VCS are used to support a variety of programs, such as VA’s Rehabilitation Games, Fisher Houses, Poly-Trauma Centers for OIF/OEF/OND Veterans, disaster relief efforts, Substance Abuse Cessation, VA’s Homelessness initiatives, Women Veterans, Veteran Suicide Prevention and other activities.

VCS operates over 200 Patriot Stores in Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers nationwide. Many of our stores have been recently updated and expanded to provide our customers with a modern, clean and comfortable shopping experience. Our stores welcome our customers with wider aisles, wood-like floors, enhanced lighting and directional signage. PatriotStores have expanded hours of operation to provide service for customers on weekends at most locations.

The Patriot Cafe is the best place in the VA Medical Center to enjoy delicious, freshly prepared breakfast or lunch served hot or cold each weekday. Providing Veterans, their families, VA employees, volunteers and visitors a place to relax and enjoy a meal or take-out for their convenience. With a wide variety of food from traditional comfort food, specialized menu selections and a large assortment of healthy choices; there is something for everyone's taste buds.

Hospital Service Directory

To find out whether there is a van near you use the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hospital Service Coordinator Directory to contact your nearest HSC for information or assistance. Please remember that the DAV Transportation Network is staffed by volunteers; therefore, it is unable to cover every community.

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