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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines VA to Host Research Day Event on May 7

May 5, 2014

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BAY PINES, Fla. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will hold a Research Day event at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center on May 7, 2014 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event will take place in the JC Cobb room located on the first floor of the main medical center building (building 100) and is open to the public.

The program will include several presentations by leading Bay Pines VAHCS research investigators on various ongoing and completed studies to include post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and more. In addition, several VA investigators and community partners will be recognized during the event for their work to advance health care science.

"VA research is a national asset that benefits Veteran patients and the entire nation by moving health care science forward," said Dr. Allison Williams, Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Bay Pines VAHCS.

"VA investigators play key roles in developing devices and techniques that revolutionized health care – including the cardiac pacemaker, the CAT scan, Shingles vaccine, liver and kidney transplants, and much more. Today, VA is a leader in many areas of research, such as AIDS, mental health, genomics, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and spinal cord injury."

Two highly anticipated studies that will be presented at Research Day will include the Million Veterans Program (MVP) – a national, human genome study to help researchers identify links between genes and health; and Bay Pines VAHCS Research Biologist Dr. Valentina Echeverria Moran’s work with cotinine – a byproduct of nicotine metabolism shown to effectively reduce depression and memory loss in mice, according to a recent study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Behavioral Brain Research. Click here to read the study abstract. 

Launched in 2011, MVP aims to create one of the world's largest databases of health and genetic information. Up to a million Veterans are expected to be enrolled in MVP by 2018. The goal is to better understand how genes affect health. Health information and genetic samples collected through MVP are stored securely and will be made available for studies by authorized researchers. The information is linked to Veterans' VA electronic health records, giving researchers more valuable data to study. Stringent safeguards are in place to protect Veterans' privacy.

MVP data will help researchers study a wide range of health conditions—from chronic diseases such as diabetes and schizophrenia, to post-deployment concerns such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Led locally by Dr. Rachel McArdle, Chief, Audiology and Speech Pathology Service, and her team, MVP has enrolled more than 6,670 Veterans. Nationally, nearly 270,000 Veterans have participated.

For general information about Research Day, please contact Mark Mayleben, Administrative Officer, Research and Development Service at 727-398-6661 extension 7295. For media inquiries, please call Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, at 727-398-9531 or 727-798-1531.

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,800 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.