Area veterans are invited to join a research effort that could someday improve the health of former military members. The Van Zandt VA Medical Center will host a team from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) on Thursday, May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
MVP is a database of health and genetic information from more 560,000 U.S. veterans. Local vets are asked to give a small sample of blood and take a short survey. Researchers want to see if there are genetic risk factors for PTSD, chronic alcohol use, and other health issues affecting vets.
“The overall goal that VA has is to find out how can we treat veterans for these health issues. Can we prevent them? And, if we can study their DNA, that’s going to help us to improve the way we provide healthcare to veterans,” said Andrea Young, Public Affairs Officer, Van Zandt VA Medical Center.
The program is voluntary and vets’ information is coded for protection. The VA says over the past five years, nearly 10,000 Western Pennsylvania vets have signed on.
Veterans can call 1-866-441-6075 or visit www.research.va.gov/mvp to learn more about MVP