VA Research Ranks Among Top 10 Fastest Rising Institutions in North America

Department of Veterans AffairsImage via Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been recognized as one of the top 10 fastest rising research institutions in North America by the prestigious Nature Index. This accolade highlights the VA’s ongoing contributions to medical science and its commitment to improving healthcare for veterans and the general public.

VA research has a storied history of medical breakthroughs. Notable achievements include the development of the CAT scan, the innovation of the pacemaker, and performing the first-ever liver transplant. In recent years, VA researchers have played crucial roles in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, advancing women’s health, expanding telehealth services, preventing suicide, implementing the PACT Act, and supporting President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

In addition to the institution’s recognition, two VA researchers have been named to the Time100 Health list of influential people in healthcare for 2024. Ziyad Al-Aly, M.D., a clinical epidemiologist based in St. Louis, was honored for his extensive research on long COVID. His work has significantly enhanced the global understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19, which include severe fatigue, brain fog, and increased risks of chronic conditions.

Cynthia Delgado, M.D., a nephrologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, was recognized for her contributions to health equity. Delgado created a revised formula to account for biological differences that impact wait times for kidney transplant patients, ensuring fairer access to necessary medical treatments.

VA Research stands out due to its collaborative approach. The institution works closely with clinicians, academic affiliates, veteran volunteers, and partners both inside and outside of the government. This teamwork is designed to anticipate the needs of veterans and project future healthcare trends, enabling the VA to provide world-class clinical care.

“VA medical breakthroughs over the past century — including pacemakers and liver transplants — are now integral parts of healthcare for veterans and all Americans,” said Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, M.D. “One of the major reasons why VA has proven to be the best healthcare in America for veterans is that VA researchers continue to lead the nation in making discoveries that ultimately improve the care we can provide.”

Advancing Healthcare: VA Research Pioneering Medical Breakthroughs

The recognition by Nature Index and Time100 Health spotlights the critical role of VA research in advancing medical knowledge and improving patient outcomes. For veterans, these advancements translate into better, more efficient care tailored to their unique needs. For the broader public, the innovations stemming from VA research benefit everyone, highlighting the interconnectedness of veteran-focused and general healthcare improvements.

The implications of these achievements extend beyond immediate healthcare benefits. By leading in research and innovation, the VA sets a high standard for medical institutions across the country. This leadership fosters a culture of excellence and pushes forward the boundaries of what is possible in medical science.

In conclusion, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ recognition as a top-tier research institution and the accolades received by its researchers demonstrate the profound impact of VA research. These accomplishments reflect a legacy of innovation that continues to shape the future of healthcare, ensuring better outcomes for veterans and the public alike.

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