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“The outstanding work of these investigators is a microcosm of how VA research itself helps improve the lives of veterans,” said Dr. Robert Petzel, VA under secretary for Health. “We look forward to working with these young scientists as their careers progress.”

Established in 1996, the awards are given each year for “innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology” and a commitment to community service.

VA, which has the largest integrated health care system in the country, also has one of the largest medical research programs. This year, approximately 3,400 researchers will work on more than 2,300 projects with nearly $1.9 billion in funding.

• On Nov. 16, the Washington DC VA Medical Center (DCVAMC) will welcome women veterans from all eras to a gala “Ladies’ Night” event. This is the third year DCVAMC has hosted this well-received outreach event created especially for women veterans.

Women are the fastest-growing group among veterans, and the DCVAMC currently has more than 15,000 women enrolled for care. This figure will continue to rise as women now make up over 13 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan era.

The veterans will have the opportunity to learn about the many services provided at the medical center and its five community-based outpatient clinics located throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area.

The evening’s festivities will include musical entertainment, a gourmet reception complete with cooking demonstrations and craft classes. There will also be a variety of health information stations including: nutrition and weight loss, trauma services and combat veteran services as well as preventative health, skin cancer, HIV and mental health screenings.

VA health and benefits information will be provided along with flu shots, massage, acupuncture, and stress-reducing therapies.

Women veterans who would like to participate are encouraged to RSVP to the Patient-Centered Care Office via email:

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email