Press Releases - VA Providence Healthcare System
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VA Providence Healthcare System


Press Releases


Study Shows Reduction in Nonepileptic Seizures Using Video Telehealth - "Nonpharmacologic therapies for seizures have been gaining acceptance," said Dr. W. Curt LaFrance Jr., the principal investigator, a neuropsychiatrist at the Providence VA Medical Center, professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, director of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology at Rhode Island Hospital, and member of the VA RR&D Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology. "Building off of our previous studies, this is the first study demonstrating seizure reduction using video telehealth for patients with nonepileptic seizures." (10/05/2020)

VA Awards More Grants to Help End Veteran Homelessness - “No Veteran should have to worry about whether they will have stable housing,” said Lawrence Connell, Director of the VA Providence HCS. “These GPD grants are an important part of the services and resources VA offers to help Veterans exit homelessness.” (08/20/2020)

Study on Synchronized Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Substance Use Disorder - "As the response to the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for traditional forms of addiction treatment, it is more important than ever to develop new treatments, particularly ones that could be used in a home setting," said McGeary. "There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for cocaine use disorder, so this technology could be a critically important tool for treatment in these cases as well, if the research supports its use." (08/12/2020)

Photo: Groundbreaking for New Mental Health Facility - The $14 million project will create a modern, attractive and energy-efficient space for providing the quality mental health care and services Veterans have earned. (07/15/2020)

VA New England Surpasses 85,000 Video Visits During COVID-19 Response - VA Video Connect allows Veterans and their caregivers to meet virtually with their VA care teams on any computer, tablet or mobile device with an internet connection. As in-person interactions decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Video Connect supported Veterans’ abilities to continue care and remain safely at home. Use of video to home services has been increasing since mid-March, reaching more than 29,000 nationwide appointments per day at its peak. Peak usage here in New England has resulted in more than 1,557 appointments per day. (07/07/2020)

VA New England Healthcare System Announces New Medical Center Director - "We are pleased to appoint Lawrence Connell as the new director of Providence VA Medical Center," said Ryan Lilly, network director for the VA New England Healthcare System. "His sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and for the Veterans we are honored to serve." (06/19/2020)

Safe Mental Health Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak - "Through VA's virtual care tools, we can use existing telehealth technology to help ensure our patients and staff are as safe as possible, while still providing the care our Veterans need during this difficult time," said Dr. Robert Swift, chief of the VA Providence Mental Health Service. (04/30/2020)

Women Veterans Continue Making History - "For the Department of Veterans Affairs, Women's History Month means more than just celebrating our women Veterans – it means making sure they're proud of the role we play in the remaining chapters of their story," said VA Chief of Staff Pam Powers. (03/02/2020)

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Joint Training Exercise at NEIT's Post Road Campus in Warwick - "The location was selected to allow participating agencies to test their equipment, so we can maintain readiness and proficiency," added Thibodeau. "This kind of training is essential in ensuring our responders are fully trained and prepared to work together to protect public safety." (11/21/2019)

Veteran Resource Center to be Featured at WaterFire Salute - "We're honored to be a part of this community-wide celebration of Veterans, service members and their families," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center. "Come visit us at the resource center to learn more about VA health care and benefits." (10/28/2019)

Engaging Community Clergy to Support Veterans - To assist local clergy in supporting Veterans in their community, the National VA Chaplain Center joined with VHA Office of Rural Health to create the Community Clergy Training Program. The program's goal is to provide clergy and faith community members with the tools they need to provide accurate information and support when Veterans or their families seek assistance. (10/18/2019)

DoD Contract for Upper Limb Prostheses Comparison Study - "This study will be the largest, most comprehensive study comparing upper limb prostheses and components," said Dr. Linda J. Resnik, the principal investigator for the study, who is also a professor in the Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University. (09/30/2019)

This Suicide Prevention Month, Learn to #BeThere for Veterans - "Veteran suicide is a national tragedy. VA has prevention and response therapies proven to be effective, but most Veterans we are losing aren't active with VA health care," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "We need the community to help us ensure that whenever a Veteran is in crisis, they know that people care and how to get help." (09/06/2019)

VA Community Health Care Delivery to Begin Under New Contract - "We're looking forward to improved care coordination for our Veterans under the new contract, as well as improved timeliness of payments to providers in the communities we serve," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center. (09/04/2019)

Adaptive Summer Sports Clinic for New England Veterans - "The summer sports clinic is a powerful experience for both Veterans and volunteers," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "It helps the Veterans refocus from what they can’t do to a wide range of activities they can do with practice and the right equipment." (07/17/2019)

Theta-Burst Stimulation Study for Treatment of PTSD Published - "Our results indicate that iTBS appears to be a promising new treatment for PTSD, a condition more common among Veterans than in the general population," said lead researcher Dr. Noah S. Philip, director of Psychiatric Neuromodulation at the Providence VA Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. (06/25/2019)

VA Research Week Event to Highlight Medical Advancements - The program theme for 2019 is "The Science of Hope" and will include keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Primack. Primack is a VA Health Sciences Research and Development research psychologist at the Providence VAMC, as well as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 10 years of experience in research helping depressed and suicidal patients. Her presentation will focus on suicide prevention and Veterans. (05/07/2019)

Veterans Discuss the Burdens of War on Public Access Show - Every month, Dr. Nathan Stein, a clinical psychologist and suicide prevention coordinator at the Providence VA Medical Center, will interview two Veterans for the show. "We hope that the courage that it takes for these Veterans to share their stories will inspire others to open up about their experiences and struggles, and ask for help when they need it." (03/06/2019)

Multidisciplinary Study to Help Identify Veterans At-Risk for Suicide - "Research that could help better identify Veterans at risk for suicide is critically important," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "Preventing the tragic loss of Veterans to suicide – people who have served and sacrificed so much for our country – continues to be top priority for VA." (01/08/2019)

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Patient Care and Services to Continue Dec. 5, 2018 - "As we honor and remember Veteran and former President George H.W. Bush, we must also honor our commitment to provide the care Veterans have earned through their service and sacrifice," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. (12/04/2018)

National Veterans and Military Families Month - President Donald Trump declared November 2018 the second annual National Veterans and Military Families Month to "… salute the brave and dedicated patriots who have worn the uniform of the United States, and … celebrate the extraordinary military families whose selfless service and sacrifice make our military the finest in the world." (11/01/2018)

More Housing Vouchers to Help Homeless Veterans in R.I., Southeastern Mass. and Cape Cod - "We're very proud of the strong partnerships we have with HUD, the State of Rhode Island and other organizations, such as Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, working together to ensure homeless Veterans get a place to call home," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "This joint effort is a critical part of our commitment to help those who sacrificed so much for us." (10/10/2018)

Providence VAMC Awarded Study on Female Veterans with Upper Limb Amputation - "Women are more likely to reject or abandon upper limb prostheses, in part due to dissatisfaction with devices and lack of appropriately gendered prostheses," said Dr. Linda Resnik, a career research scientist at the Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology at the Providence VA Medical Center and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University. "Currently available measures of prosthesis satisfaction and function were developed for men, and may not reflect the issues or concerns most important to women." (10/03/2018)

Annual VA Report Shows Providence VAMC Improvement - "It's really about patient-centered care and quality of life," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center. "Now many patients have the option to receive quality treatment at home versus being in the hospital." (09/25/2018)

VA Cardiopulmonary Research Center of Excellence Renewed - "We look forward to expanding our team of outstanding investigators and the scope of our research in vascular biology," said Dr. Sharon Rounds, co-principal investigator. "This kind of interdisciplinary, cooperative research is important because the heart and lungs function interdependently, and many Veterans suffer from conditions affecting these organs, as do many others in the general population." (08/07/2018)

VA Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology Renewed - "We're honored to have the opportunity to continue developing, testing and implementing neurotechnologies and other restorative therapies for Veterans with disorders affecting mobility, limb function or mental health," said Dr. Leigh Hochberg, a neurologist and neuroscientist, and director of CfNN. (05/30/2018)

Study Examines Low-Current Stimulation with VR for Treating PTSD - "Virtual reality plus tDCS seems to help Veterans suffering from PTSD, even in individuals who have tried many medications and treatment approaches with little to no benefit," said Philip. "PTSD affects as many as 25 percent of Veterans and is a signature injury of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." (04/11/2018)

Joint Training Exercise at Former Army Reserve Center - "Citizens in areas close to where the training will take place will be notified in person by police representatives prior to the training," said Brian Kelley, deputy chief of VA Police at the Providence VAMC. "We've made every effort to implement appropriate safety precautions to prevent unnecessary risk to participants, as well as area residents and their property." (02/12/2018)

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Multi-Site Study to Examine Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Seizures - The $3.6 million award, W81XWH-17-1-0619, will examine whether a form of cognitive behavior therapy – a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy approach to problem-solving – could be effective in reducing the frequency and/or severity of seizures in those with traumatic brain injury, or TBI. (10/25/2017)

Multidisciplinary Approach May Help Vets with Pulmonary Hypertension and Coexisting Conditions - "A multispecialty approach to a suspected case of pulmonary hypertension is recommended, but there are few data available on the adherence to guidelines or outcomes in such patients," said Dr. Matthew Jankowich, a researcher at Providence VAMC and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and lead author of the paper. (08/23/2017)

Research Funded to Help Combat Antimicrobial Resistance - "Dr. McConeghy's research represents a novel contribution to the VA health care system," said Dr. Gaurav Choudhary, chief of research at the Providence VAMC. "The results could play an important role in VA antimicrobial stewardship efforts locally and across the nation." (07/26/2017)

Providence VA Medical Center to Open New Wellness Center - "The new center will provide alternative therapies and other wellness services to enhance Veterans overall health and wellbeing," said Stephanne Proske, Patient Experience Officer at the Providence VAMC. "It exemplifies our commitment to provide the patient-centered care Veterans have earned through their service." (06/28/2017)

State of the Providence VA Medical Center - "These achievements are the result of a sustained effort from our staff, volunteers and community partners," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "Working together, we can continue to provide the high-quality care Veterans have earned through their service and sacrifice." (06/01/2017)

Paper Shows Promise, Risks of Trans-Cranial Stimulation Treatment for Psychiatric Disorders - "This is the first comprehensive review of low-current stimulation in psychiatry," said Dr. Noah Philip, a psychiatrist and researcher at the Providence VA Medical Center, lead author of the paper. "Low current stimulation has the potential to revolutionize how we deliver non-invasive brain stimulation through small, portable devices, but there are risks, and we want to help clinicians and researchers understand this rapidly growing field." (03/03/2017)

Sickle Cell may Confound Blood Sugar Readings of African-Americans - Dr. Wen-Chih Wu, a cardiologist at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center and associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology at Brown University, who is the study's senior author, said, "This could be a particular concern of African-American Veterans, because diabetes is roughly twice as prevalent among Veterans versus the general population." (02/10/2017)

500 Area Veterans Enrolled in Genomic Research Database - "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." (02/08/2017)

Providence VA Medical Center Earns 5-Star Quality Rating - "This achievement is the result of a sustained, systematic process improvement effort from staff throughout the medical center," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. "It's the commitment of our exceptional staff, volunteers and community partners that enables us to provide Veterans with the high-quality care they've earned through their service." (01/11/2017)

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Giving Tree Provides Gifts for Veteran Families in Need - "What better way to serve Veterans than helping to bring them the joy of happy children during the holidays?" asked Donna Russillo, chief of the Voluntary Service at the Providence VAMC, who coordinated the toy drive. (12/15/2016)

VA Research Awarded DoD Contract for Amputation Care Study - "This study will be the largest, most comprehensive, study of Veterans and service members with upper-limb amputation," said Dr. Linda J. Resnik, the principal investigator for the study, who is also a professor of research at the Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University. "Findings will be used to improve quality of care, and inform evidence based policies for device prescription and provision of rehabilitation services." (09/28/2016)

Research Project Funded to Study Heart Valve Disease - Dr. Alan Morrison, a cardiologist at the Providence VA Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said his team's long-term goal is to develop new treatments to improve the survival rate and quality of life for Veterans with calcific aortic valve disease. (09/06/2016)

Celebrating VA Medical Research - "VA research benefits both Veterans and the progress of medical science nationwide," said Dr. Gaurav Choudhary, chief of research at the Providence VAMC. "The Providence VA Medical Center is host to 240 different research projects in many cutting-edge areas of research, including neurotechnology, prosthetics, posttraumatic stress, health services, heart and lung diseases, genomics, and alternative pain management." (05/11/2016)

Long-Term Services Research for Vulnerable Vets Gets Funding - "With the projected doubling of Veterans over 65 years old who will be eligible for VA-funded long-term care in the next 10 years, there's a critical need for innovative ways of providing long-term care that both meets the needs of Veterans and promotes their independence," said Dr. James Rudolph, director of the LTSS Research Center. (04/14/2016)

Providence VAMC to Host Vietnam Commemoration - "All of us on the committee are proud and honored to be a part of planning this event," said Dan Evangelista, Vietnam Veteran member of the steering committee and former chief of Veterans Affairs for the State of Rhode Island. "My comrades did not get a proper welcome home when they returned from the Vietnam War; it's long past time to honor and thank them." (03/09/2016)

VA Releases Video Series on Veterans with Epilepsy - Many consider traumatic brain injury, or TBI, to be the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, 333,169 U.S. military service members have been diagnosed with TBI since 2000, and the number is growing. In addition to symptoms such as memory problems, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, U.S. service members and Veterans with TBI are at greater risk for seizures and epilepsy. (03/03/2016)

Providence VA Medical Center Opens New Dialysis Facility - "The new facility is an outstanding example of our commitment to provide the exceptional and accessible care Veterans have earned through their service and sacrifice," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VAMC. (02/18/2016)

Providence VA Researcher Awarded Pulmonary Pilot Study - Research from the senior investigator on the project, Dr. Gaurav Choudhary, associate chief of staff for research at the Providence VAMC, shows that pulmonary hypertension is significantly underdiagnosed in Veterans. (02/11/2016)

Hospital-in-Home Program can Provide Veterans with Alternative to Hospital Stay - Ray Edington, a Woonsocket, R.I., resident and Navy Seabee Veteran of Vietnam, had an infection that required intravenous antibiotics. This kind of treatment would normally mean a hospital stay, but he and his wife, Karen Edington, were offered an alternative. (02/02/2016)

Providence VA Medical Center to Renovate Main Entrance Lobby - "The renovations will improve Veteran access, safety, comfort and privacy," said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center. "During the construction, we are asking that everyone, for your safety, be alert for changes to the traffic flow, and follow the instructions on signs and from staff." (01/06/2016)

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Rhode Island Neuroscience Research Agreement - Rhode Island's most prominent research institutions engaged in brain science announced that they have entered into a formal agreement to work jointly toward helping solve some of the many mysteries of the brain. The partnership with Lifespan, Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Care New England and Providence VA Medical Center is focused on identifying the causes as well as treatments for a wide-range of diseases and disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury and autism. (12/04/2015)

Providence VAMC Nurse Executive Presented National Award - The VA Secretary's Awards in Nursing Excellence recognize recipients' contributions to the health care of Veterans, are patient-driven and demonstrate a recognition for excellence among the recipients' peers. An award is given only once to an individual. The Veterans Health Administration is America's largest integrated health care system, operating more than 1,700 sites of care and serving more than 8 million Veterans. (12/01/2015)

Providence VA Medical Center Mental Health Summit - The Providence VA Medical Center will host its annual Mental Health Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the 5th floor auditorium of the main hospital building, 830 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, R.I. (09/01/2015)

Gemma Donates Janes Gowns to Providence VAMC Women’s Health Center - The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation donated 250 "Janes" gowns to the Providence VA Medical Center Women's Health Center Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (08/19/2015)

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