AMVETS Applauds VA’s Decision to Fund First National Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research

For Immediate Release


Contact: John Hoellwarth

National Communications Director

AMVETS (American Veterans)

(703) 628-9621


AMVETS National Headquarters, September 28, 2018 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) this month announced it will fund a new center of excellence to expand the department’s capacity to deliver innovative, data-driven and integrated approaches to improve services for Veterans and their caregivers.

The Center, to be named after Senator Elizabeth Dole for her significant impact on and dedication to caregivers, will serve as the model for excellence in peer-reviewed research on innovation, training, evaluation, implementation and the dissemination and adoption of best practices in supporting the caregivers of Veterans across VA, the federal government and private and nonprofit sectors.

“This is a major step forward in the effort to better understand the plight of our nation’s Hidden Heroes, the caregivers who bear the cost of taking care of sick, wounded, and disabled veterans,” said Sherman Gillums Jr., AMVETS chief advocacy officer and vice chairman for the Veteran, Family, Caregiver, and Survivor Federal Advisory Committee. “Caregivers and veterans of all wartime eras deserve the best support possible, and understanding their unique needs will be critical to refining and expanding that support so that no one is left behind.”

The center of excellence consists of a multidisciplinary team that takes advantage of VA’s Office of Health Services Research & Development’s virtual network of nationally recognized VA investigators and their university affiliates to ensure that their state-of-the-art research will have the greatest possible impact on Veterans and the caregivers who support them. The team of VA investigators will be led by Dr. Luci Leykum of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

“As this project evolves, veterans and caregivers will need to raise their voices and participate in any opportunity to contribute to the research, whether it’s a poll, survey, or focus group. AMVETS looks forward to working with the VA to ensure their voices are heard,” Gillums concluded.

AMVETS is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization. It is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.


September 28th, 2018
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