Bay Pines VAHCS to Host Research Week May 13th – 17th - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines VAHCS to Host Research Week May 13th – 17th

May 2, 2019

Bay Pines, Fla. - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (BPVAHCS) will join the entire Department of Veterans Affairs in celebrating National VA Research Week 2019 from May 13 to 17. The theme is “The Science of Hope,” which highlights VA’s research history of outstanding accomplishments that have improved Veterans’ lives and advanced America’s medical knowledge.

As part of the nationwide observance, the BPVAHCS will conduct a Research Fair on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The activity will take place in the JC Cobb room located on the first floor of building 100 at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center campus.

“Our facility is very proud to host a VA Research program,” said Paul M. Russo, director of the BPVAHCS. “The innovations our researchers discover and develop advance health care not only for Bay Pines Veterans, but also for Veterans throughout our Nation, and for all American citizens.”

At the BPVAHCS, researchers are engaged in Basic Science, Clinical, Health Services, and Mental Health Research. The basic science program focuses on neurological disorders, with current projects examining Alzheimer’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and neurological effects of exposure to toxins during the Gulf War. The objectives of this work are to discover new knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms that contribute to neurological disorders, and to use it to develop new therapies for these conditions.

BPVAHCS clinical research activities span the entire healthcare system, with active studies in cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology, long-term care, mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, podiatry, oncology, and infectious disease. BPVAHCS collaborates with other VA research and development programs through the VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP), and is currently a site for three CSP studies.

Nationally, VA Research’s many accomplishments throughout the decades include the development of the first effective therapies for tuberculosis; the implantable cardiac pacemaker; the first successful liver transplants, and the nicotine patch. Three VA researchers—Rosalyn Yalow, Ph.D.; Andrew Schally, Ph.D., Sc.D. and Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D.—have received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, medical research’s highest honor.

Today, VA’s Office of Research and Development is a leader in conducting comparative effectiveness research—head to head studies that help clarify which among two or more health interventions works better for a given health condition in certain patients. VA’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative facilitates the clinical use of treatments, tests and models of care that are supported by research evidence.

Personalized medical research, tailoring health care treatment programs to individual patients, is a subject of great interest to many VA researchers, as is the new science of Genomics—the study of a person’s genetic information to help tailor therapies to each person’s genetic makeup.

VA has put rehabilitation research on a true scientific footing by adding basic science to finding solutions to the needs of Veterans with disabilities. VA manages thirteen Rehabilitation Research and Development Centers of Excellence throughout the Nation, including a center for brain rehabilitation research; one for limb loss and prosthetic engineering and a rehabilitation outcomes research center, which evaluates rehabilitation programs and interventions to result in optimal patient outcomes.

Information on Research Week events throughout the United States, and on VA Research itself, including links to historical achievements, is available at

The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing over 4,300 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is one of the largest VA health care systems 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.