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Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island


500 Area Veterans Enrolled in Genomic Research Database

February 8, 2017

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Feb. 8, 2017

Providence VA Medical Center
830 Chalkstone Ave
Providence, RI 02908

Winfield S. Danielson III

500 Area Veterans Enrolled in Genomic Research Database

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence VA Medical Center enrolled its 500th Veteran into the world's largest genomic database Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2017.

A Veteran and VA employee from the Providence VAMC, who wishes to remain anonymous, voluntarily enrolled in the VA's Million Veteran Program, in which participants donate blood from which DNA is extracted. Baseline and periodic follow-up surveys track Veterans' military, health and lifestyle experiences over time. Samples and data used are coded to protect participants' identification and privacy.

Researchers believe information contained in the database could hold the key to preventing and treating diseases, both in Veterans and in the general population. The program, which was launched in 2011, now has more than 500,000 participants nationwide. The Providence VAMC has been participating since May 2016.

"This is a perfect example of how Veterans continue to serve our nation," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center. "Their participation in this program has the potential to save lives and improve medical care for generations to come."

Research using MVP data is already underway, studying a wide range of medical issues, such as mental illness, and heart and kidney diseases. For more information about MVP, including how to participate, visit, or call 866-441-6075.

Photo caption (photo available upon request):
Joy McKenzie, a U.S. Navy Veteran and Pawtucket, R.I., resident, reviews documentation after enrolling in the Million Veteran Program at the Providence VA Medical Center Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. McKenzie's enrollment followed that of the 500th Veteran participant at the Providence VAMC earlier that day. (Providence VA Medical Center photo by Winfield Danielson)