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Veterans Care

Research In Aging

VHA is one of the nation’s largest research organizations, with a research appropriation from Congress of $316 million in 1999.

A cornerstone of VA’s response to its ‘‘aging imperative’’ is the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) program, which began in 1975. As centers of excellence in geriatrics, GRECCs’ mission is to improve the health and care of older veterans through research, training and education, and the development and evaluation of innovative models of care. GRECCs are widely recognized as having provided leadership in geriatrics and gerontology, both within VA and throughout the nation (Goodwin and Morley). In 2000, there were twenty GRECCs across the VA system, each with a specific programmatic focus (e.g., osteoarthritis and osteoporosis; stroke rehabilitation, neurobiology and management of dementia; prostate disease; falls and instability; exercise in frail elderly; end of life care).

VA also funds a wide range of aging-related research, including basic biomedical, applied clinical, rehabilitation, and health services topics, as well as cooperative studies involving multiple VA sites. Aging is one of nine designated research areas used to prioritize VA research funding. In addition to individual investigator awards, VA supports aging research at Health Services Research and Development Centers of Excellence and at Rehabilitation Research and Development Centers. In 1999, VA provided $19.9 million for 150 aging-related research projects. VA investigators received another $33.8 million from non-VA sources to support another 339 aging-related research projects.

Additional topics

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