The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will collaborate with the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs on a new research effort focused on investigating the impact of recent conflicts on the health of returning Servicemembers.
"The health and welfare of those who have served our Nation, and their families, remains the highest priority for VA," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Joint research between the United States and Australia will shed light on similarities and differences with respect to the health effects of recent military deployments we have in common, such as Afghanistan."
The program will be conducted in three phases involving short, medium and longer-term comparative research. In the first phase, scheduled for completion in six months, researchers will review previous studies on this topic which will help inform the final stages of the research collaboration.
Although both countries conduct their own extensive research on Veterans' health, this joint effort will allow both nations to take advantage of larger data sets and comparative analyses to learn best practices and treatments that can help returning Veterans manage post-deployment health effects.
"While the Australian and U.S. military experience has differed, with both countries serving in different locations and frontlines, we can collaborate on reaching a common understanding of the impact of war on our service personnel," said Warren Snowdon, Australia's Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Defence Science and Personnel, and Indigenous Health.
This joint effort will complement the extensive work VA continues to support in both leading research, advancing treatment, and supporting evidence-based treatments for our Veterans.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs