Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)
CIVIC's 20 talented Core Investigators conduct research to improve healthcare for Veterans.
Learn more about CIVIC research products by viewing our Newsletter and other publications.
Veteran Engagement Group
We seek to expand the engagement of Veterans in research to increase the dialogue between researchers and the Veteran community.
The Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC), a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Center of Innovation (COIN), located at VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS), was founded in October 2013. CIVIC’s mission is to conduct research that empowers Veterans to improve their health through engagement in self-care, engagement with VA and non-VA healthcare systems, and engagement in the research process. This mission directly supports VHA’s 2018-2024 strategic objectives, VHA’s Whole Health Initiative Flagship program, HSR&D and other VHA priorities.
With 21 core investigators CIVIC conducts research on mental health conditions, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioids, suicide, mental health conditions in cancer patients, substance abuse, chronic opiate use, and traumatic brain injury, as well as health disparities, clinician-patient communication, interprofessional learning, social networks, and health informatics. A major strength of CIVIC’s research efforts is that many investigators actively work directly with patients in clinical settings. Led by Director Steven Dobscha, MD and Associate Director Benjamin Morasco, PhD, CIVIC’s operational partners include the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, VHA Office of Mental Health Operations and Suicide Prevention, VHA Pain Management Office, Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) 20, and VAPORHCS.
CIVIC’s Mission is to conduct research that empowers Veterans to improve their health through engagement in self-care, engagement with VA and non-VA healthcare systems, and engagement in the research process. CIVIC investigators focus on two integrated areas:
Conducting research that helps Veterans with mental health conditions, including pain, improve their health and safety. This includes research which seeks to:
- Promotes Veterans’ healthy behaviors, self-care, and active participation in mental health care.
- Decreases risks for suicide and other suicide behaviors.
- Decreases risks associated with prescription opioids, and optimize use of effective non-opioid pain treatments.
Conducting research that helps Veterans, their supports, and their clinicians create and sustain effective healthcare relationships. This includes developing and testing:
- Innovative tools and strategies that facilitate Veteran-clinician communication, decision-making, and trust.
- Tools and strategies that facilitate communication, collaboration, and coordination within and among care teams.