About the Program
The Tuscaloosa VAMC has a large, well-funded research and development program including studies in —
- biomedical research
- health services
- clinical and cooperative studies
The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center (TVAMC) has an active and growing research program. The research program’s primary mission is to promote greater scientific, social and medical discoveries to improve the quality of life for a veteran population. The research program at the TVAMC offers volunteer participation in numerous research studies. The types of research typically covered by the TVAMC Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) are:
- clinical investigations of the cause,
- or outcome of clinical medical and psychiatric illnesses.
As of May 14, 2009, the TVAMC has approximately 30 active research projects that are being conducted currently by eight active principal investigators, which include MDs, PhD’s, Pharm.Ds, and CRNPs. The funding sources for these projects include VA (Merit, RR&D, CSP), NIMH, NIA, investigator-initiated industry, and industry-sponsored grants.
Presently, there are ongoing mental health research studies investigating new medications in the treatment of dementia, psychotic symptoms associated with dementia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, generalized anxiety disorder in the elderly. Current palliative care research studies are focused on epidemiology of hospice eligibility in the long term care setting. TVAMC is a site for VA Cooperative Studies in the prevention of prostate cancer, and smoking cessation for veterans with PTSD. The facility is also a site for a National Institute on Aging (NIA) study for Antipsychotic Discontinuation in Alzheimer’s disease. VA Merit grants studying the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in the elderly and PTSD in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans are also conducted at TVAMC.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is currently funding two studies at TVAMC. One study examines the outcome of vocational rehabilitation for PTSD and the second investigates a new medication in the treatment of PTSD in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans.
The medical center is proud to be collaborating with the University of Alabama on two studies in the Community Leaving Centers (CLCs; formerly nursing home care units).
- One study provides consultation and evaluation of TVAMC's culture change initiative as a way to help ensure its success.
- The other collaborative project examines whether the RELIVE service package can be developed and implemented in a therapeutically beneficial and cost-effective fashion in TVAMC CLC. The RELIVE service package includes constructing a personal Legacy Project, usually a scrapbook with photos, a cookbook, or audiotaped stories that celebrated the life of the ill individual.