Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)
Veteran Engagement Group
Veteran Engagement (VE) is an aspect of research and research practice that the Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) values. At CIVIC we seek to expand the engagement of Veterans in research to increase the dialogue between researchers and the Veteran community. We strive to innovate in this area and contribute greater understanding of Veteran (patient) engagement to the larger scientific community. CIVIC's VE program includes:
- CIVIC's Veteran Engagement Group (VEG)
- Elements that involve Veterans in individual research studies
- Research that incorporates Veteran narratives using the DIPEx approach
- Targeted dissemination, or sharing, of research to the local Veteran community
- VHA Health Services Research & Development learning collaborative on Veteran Engagement
The VEG is a platform for Veterans to share their perspectives with other Veterans, researchers at the Portland VA, and the larger Veteran community. By joining the CIVIC VEG, Veterans can help shape the future of VA research and impact health care for all Veterans.
Established in 2015, the CIVIC Veteran Engagement Group (VEG) is comprised of 7 Veterans from multiple service eras and branches of the military. VEG members include Veterans who are VA patients, former VA employees and volunteers, and Veteran clinicians. The VEG provides individual feedback to CIVIC Investigators and research teams at all phases of the research process-from proposal development to dissemination of findings, and all steps in between-at monthly meetings.
The VEG supports the mission of the Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care and Veteran engagement strategies of VA Health Services Research and Development and the VA Blueprint for Excellence.
CIVIC Investigators have gotten VEG feedback on the following topics:
- The effect of PTSD treatment on cognition
- HSR&D pilot research proposal "Developing a Model for Multi-dimensional Veteran Engagement in HSR&D Research"
- PCORI research proposal "Comparative Effectiveness of Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Pain Management and Opioid Safety for Veterans"
- Veteran Societal Engagement: what are the health effects?
- Patient symptom experience
- HSRD Career Development Award (CDA) proposal "Optimizing Veterans' Social Relationship to Enhance Depression Care"
- Progressive Tinnitus Management Program Project
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Goal Concordance Project
- Social Media Surveying
- Pulmonary Nodule Project "Watch the Spot Trial"
- Enhancing Appointment Letters to Reduce Missed Visits
- Longitudinal Analysis of Benefits and Harms of Long-Term Opioid Therapy to Inform an Evidence-Based Decision Support and Communication Tool
Veterans bring important perspectives to the research process and as users of the health care system we are working to improve, thier input holds the potential to increase the relevance and uptake of research into clinical practice. The Veteran community has unique nees and we have found that the best way to get feedback is to go to the Veterans themselves. The VEG provides a diverse group of VA users who are learning about the research process, while also increasing our understanding of Veterans' views and priorities.
Giving Veterans a Voice is important. Because sometimes Veterans feel like a number in a machine. But getting Veterans perspectives make you feel like you have a voice.
- Veteran Engagement Group Member
Veteran Voices: Veterans share their experiences with VA care
He is a Navy Veteran, with two combat tours in Iraq. Cody is interested in the good that comes out of the collaboration between community stakeholders and the professionals that we work with and how students begin to take more ownership in the work that is done. His interest in Veteran Engagement is rooted in how it helps to empower the community, allowing a level of transparency that would be missed without Veteran involvement. He is interested in addressing access, culturally competent and patient-centered care, and quality of care at the VHA.
Cassandra has earned various awards and a Combat Action Badge while serving in the Oregon Army National Guard. She is a volunteer in the local McMinnville school district for KSMART (Kindergartener Start Making A Reader Today), advancement and outdoor coordinator for Cub Scouts, PTA (Parent Teacher Association) member, and a parent volunteer at son's elementary school.
John has spent twenty years as a board member for the Selective Service Local Board No. 5 in Portland. John is a member of the Clinical and Patient Engagement (CAPE) and the Advanced Patient Engagement advisory boards at Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN). He was a Seed Committee participant for the Veteran Engagement Group (VEG) at CIVIC. For the past 27 years, John has been the leader of his marching band.
Prior to the Canandaigua VA she worked with homeless Veterans at the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester New York. In addition, she also volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Washington on the state level working in the Education Committee and the State Planning Committee. She has a Master's degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science in social work. She comes from a long line of military servicemen including her wonderful husband who is a 20 year retired Army veteran. She enjoys gardening, reading, scrapbooking and going to her son's soccer games in her spare time.