The Wilmington VA is starting a research program to improve patient care at the medical center and all five of its regional outpatient clinics.
Of the 172 VA medical centers across the country, 100 support or have their own research program.
Up until now, the Wilmington VA has been in the minority. It announced last week it is partnering with the University of Delaware and Rowan University to launch its own program.
Wilmington VA Medical Center Director Vince Kane says research projects could include work in mental health, physical therapy and homelessness prevention.
Kane says one project already underway is a partnership with the UD School of Business to improve the delivery of care to veterans.
“There’s a whole training curriculum that has been developed. It will be researched. It will be evaluated,” said Kane. “We have faculty from the University of Delaware that will be offering that training to our staff. They will be evaluating it. We will be using lessons learned from that to help other VAs.”
He adds the research program will allow the VA to work with universities to recruit experts in the desired research fields.
“Together through this partnership we could mutually recruit that individual,” said Kane. “So they would be partly paid by the university partly paid by the VA to pursue both the care issues as well as the research.”
The VA’s National Office of Research and Development received 1.9 billion dollars in funding for more than 2,000 medical and prosthetics research projects this year.