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First Annual PACT Act Research Symposium for Veteran Health

The PACT Act represents one of the most important expansions of health care and benefits in VA history.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first annual PACT Act Research Symposium for Veteran Health.

  • We explored research relevant to deployment military exposures and health outcomes in Veterans
  • The symposium facilitated future collaborations among researchers interested in studying the impact of deployment-related exposures

Read the published VA News story Researchers support Veterans exposed to toxic substances PACT Act empowers new research to improve Veteran health.

You can now tune into the recorded sessions, which are available online.

Read the published scientific journal article First Annual PACT Act Research Symposium on Veterans Health: A Colorado PACT Act Collaboration (CoPAC) Initiative.

When: The event took place on May 3, 2023
Where: Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Aurora, CO) and Virtually
Who: Researchers and other experts interested in improving the health of Veterans

  • Morning session focused on respiratory health
  • Afternoon session highlighted mental health
  • Speakers discussed the PACT Act, VA data availability and how to initiate and engage in VA research

Organizers: VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) for Veteran Suicide Prevention and our partners in the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Research Service and the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.

About the PACT Act

What is the PACT Act?
The PACT Act is a historic new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. The law empowers VA to provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

  • Formally known as the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act
  • Signed into law in August 2022
  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and Post-9/11 combat Veterans
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive locations for Agent Orange and radiation exposure
  • Provides toxic exposure screenings to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
  • Helps us improve research, staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures

What role can research play?

  • Improve health outcomes in Veterans for exposures related to deployments
  • Identify biomarkers of exposure
  • Develop knowledge that will ensure future generations of Veterans do not have the same issues


Please email Andrew Hoisington, symposium co-chair, at

This research symposium is presented by the VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System and other Denver area collaborators. The event is partially sponsored by Denver Research Institute.

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Last Updated 30 November 2023