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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: Care for Returning Service Members | Table of Contents: Winter 2016 |

New Initiatives

VA part of public-private partnership in Veterans Metrics Initiative


U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandin Salazar greets his daughter at Naval Base Ventura County following his return from a deployment in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. <em>(Photo by CPO Lowell Whitman/USN)</em>
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandin Salazar greets his daughter at Naval Base Ventura County following his return from a deployment in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. (Photo by CPO Lowell Whitman/USN)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandin Salazar greets his daughter at Naval Base Ventura County following his return from a deployment in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. (Photo by CPO Lowell Whitman/USN)

VA is among several public and private partners working with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine on a new study aimed at learning what types of programs and services are most helpful to Veterans as they reintegrate after their military service.

The Veterans Metrics Initiative, or TVMI, will enroll 7,500 service members separating from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Reserve and National Guard units. Researchers will survey them within 90 days prior to their leaving military service and reassess them every six months for three years.

The study has three goals:

  • Document Veteran well-being during transition in the areas of physical and emotional health, work, finances, and social relationships.
  • Identify transition and reintegration programs used by Veterans and study their component parts.
  • Study the link between program components and Veteran well-being.

"We asked a group of scientific experts to help answer the question of how to measure what works to improve Veterans' long-term well-being outcomes," says Cynthia Gilman, a vice president at HJF and administrative lead on the study. "The DoD, VA, and civilian researchers accepted the challenge and worked collaboratively for more than two years—without compensation or funding promises—to design the TVMI study."

As part of the study, researchers are designing and testing new surveys and other means to gauge Veterans' well-being. The tools are likely to find wide use beyond TMVI itself.

"The measures being created and validated for this project reflect great leaps forward in our understanding of Veterans' needs and services over the past decade," says VA's Dr. Erin Finley, one of the study's leaders. "The resulting measures are likely to have relevance for a wide array of future research projects."

The other VA lead investigators are Drs. Dawne Vogt and Laurel Copeland. Joining the three VA researchers as co-principal investigators on the study are Dr. Bradford Booth, ICF International; Dr. Daniel Perkins, Pennsylvania State University; and Army Lieutenant Colonel Dr. William Skimmyhorn, U.S. Military Academy.

The TVMI study is publicly and privately funded by the following sponsors: Wounded Warrior Project, Inc.; the Office of Research and Development of the Veterans Health Administration; Walmart Foundation; May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust; Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Onward Veterans and Schultz Family Foundation; Bob Woodruff Foundation; Phil and Marge Odeen; Rumsfeld Foundation; and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.


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