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Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC)

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Core Investigators

CIVIC Investigators

CIVIC's 26 talented Core Investigators conduct research to improve healthcare for Veterans.

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Learn more about CIVIC research products by viewing our Newsletter and other publications.

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Veteran Engagement Group

Veteran Engagement Group

We seek to expand the engagement of Veterans in research to increase the dialogue between researchers and the Veteran community.

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The Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC), a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Health Services Research (HSR) 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 and other VHA priorities.




CIVIC Graphic ElementAbout

With 26 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.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CIVIC

The Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care (CIVIC) is committed to developing and sustaining a workforce that supports the inclusion and professional growth of all people regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, Veteran status, familial status, disability status, or genetic information.

Art of a person helping another personMission

CIVIC’s Mission is to conduct rigorous and high-quality 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's Vision is to continue our development as an inclusive and diverse collaborative team of health services investigators and staff who conduct innovative research on Veteran-centric care that has relevance and impact for Veterans and other VA stakeholders.

Goal 1: (Focused Area 1) Conduct research that helps Veterans with mental health conditions, including pain, improve their health and safety. We will specifically develop and test approaches that:

  • Promote Veterans' healthy behaviors, self-care, and active participation in mental health care.
  • Decrease risks for suicide and other suicide behaviors.
  • Decrease risks associated with prescription opioids and optimize use of effective non-opioid pain treatments.

Goal 2: (Focused Area 2) Conduct research that helps Veterans, their supports, and their clinicians create and sustain effective healthcare relationships. We will develop, test, and evaluate implementation of:

  • Innovative tools and strategies that facilitate equitable Veteran engagement and Veteran-clinician communication, decision-making, and trust.
  • Tools and strategies that facilitate communication, collaboration, and coordination within and among care teams.

Goal 3: Support additional high value, innovative research that falls outside our focused areas.

Goal 4: Collaborate with a diverse set of stakeholders including Veterans to enhance research and build bridges between innovation and evidence.

Goal 5: Further develop CIVIC expertise and activities in dissemination and implementation.

Goal 6: Support equitable career development of promising early and established investigators and staff in order to build and sustain health services research capacity.

Art of a newspaperNews

CIVIC researchers share why they choose to work in VA in Veterans Day video.

CIVIC is now on Twitter! Consider following us for news, publications, events, and other content related to work at CIVIC!

To find out more about what CIVIC team members are working on, take a look at the latest edition of the CIVIC Newsletter.

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