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In This Issue: Chronic Disease Care

From the Chief Research and Development Officer Dr. Camille Vaughan (left) and research coordinator Lisa Calas, both with the Center of Excellence for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation
VA Research Week celebrates the accomplishments of VA's research program and recognizes the researchers, Veterans, and partners who support it. It takes place annually the third week in May, which in 2015 is May 18 - 22. This year's theme is "VA Research: 90 Years of Excellence!"...Read more
New Initiatives VA launches precision oncology pilotVA launches precision oncology pilot
VA's New England Healthcare System (VISN 1) and the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC) have instituted a clinical program to help VISN 1 Veterans who have been newly diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. As these patients are newly diagnosed, network physicians will take a specimen of their tumor and send it to qualified laboratories for targeted genomic sequencing, a process that determines the DNA sequence of genes that are considered important in lung cancer...

Defining Gulf War illnessDefining Gulf War illness
VA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) has decided to use both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Initiative definitions for the condition affecting many Gulf War Veterans. Going forward, ORD will use the term "Gulf War illness presenting as chronic multisymptom illness"...

VA implements national Hypoglycemic Safety InitiativeVA implements national Hypoglycemic Safety Initiative
In December 2014, VA announced the launch of a national Hypoglycemic Safety Initiative to encourage diabetic Veterans receiving VA care to get help to lower their risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a possible side effect of diabetes treatment. In recent years, VA researchers and others have helped draw attention to the problem, which in some cases is a result of over-aggressive treatment...

A Chat with Our Experts  Dr. Peter ReavenThe legacy and lessons of the VA Diabetes Trial
In 2009, VA researchers published a landmark paper titled "Glucose Control and Vascular Complications in Veterans with Type 2 Diabetes." In that large randomized clinical trial, funded by the VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) and known as the VA Diabetes Trial (VADT), investigators tried to determine whether intensive levels of glucose control were beneficial to patients—specifically, whether they could help ward off heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. CSP is now conducting a follow-up study of Veterans who were part of the cohort studied in the initial trial. VARQU spoke with Dr. Peter Reaven, director of the diabetes program at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, one of the three lead investigators on the VADT follow-up study, and a member of the initial study team...
Noteworthy Publications Bariatric surgery can cut the risk of early death in patients with severe obesity Bariatric surgery can cut the risk of early death in patients with severe obesity
Bariatric surgeries, which include a number of different procedures performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss, do more than help obese people shed pounds they cannot otherwise lose. The procedures also help severely overweight patients live longer, according to a recent VA study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association...

Four new evidence-mapping projects Four new evidence-mapping projects
Evidence mapping is a recently developed methodology that provides clinicians with an understanding of the extent and distribution of the currently available evidence on a clinical topic. The maps highlight both what is known and where gaps in evidence exist, with the aim of speeding the implementation of practices supported by strong evidence, and highlighting those areas that require further study. Recently, VA's Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) service completed four evidence maps relating to complementary and alternative medicine or integrative medicine modalities: mindfulness, tai chi, yoga, and acupuncture...

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