About the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center - MIRECC / CoE
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About the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

The Veterans Affairs' Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon conducts Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Research that afflict Veterans

Tackling PTSD and TBI at the VISN 20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), operates one of the nation's largest health care systems. The VHA is comprised of eighteen Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) that manage and oversee 172 medical centers and other medical facilities.

As part of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 20 (VISN 20), the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) improves the health and well-being of Veterans by developing, evaluating, and disseminating novel and effective treatments for military posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its complex comorbidities. The most prominent of these comorbidities is repetitive blast mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI); others are alcohol use disorder (AUD), chronic pain (in particular, post-concussive headaches), cognitive impairment, and increased risk for neurodegenerative disorders (chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE] and Alzheimer’s disease [AD]).

Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) map

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is comprised of eighteen VISN that manage and oversee 172 medical centers and other medical facilities. The Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center(NW MIRECC) is part of VISN 20 which is comprised of the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

In the fall of 1997, VISN 20 leaders from the Puget Sound VA Health Care System and the Portland VA Health Care System were commissioned by Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to establish one of the first three Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) in the United States. That center, the NW MIRECC, now provides protected research time, developmental study support, and new resources to a diverse, multidisciplinary cadre of biostatisticians, endocrinologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, radiologists, educators, clinicians, young investigators, and support staff, all of whom work together to deliver world-class, cutting-edge science, education, and clinical care to Veterans and health professionals at medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics throughout four northwestern states—Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. This important work spans three time zones and is only possible through productive collaborations with local and national academic, government, industry, military, and community partners.

The knowledge produced by Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) research efforts is disseminated through web-based and face-to-face educational offerings nationwide and directly implemented in our specialty clinics throughout the Northwest. This collaborative approach to mental health has had a profound impact on the lives of Veterans. Most notably, staff at the NW MIRECC pioneered the use of the blood pressure medication prazosin to treat trauma-related nightmares, one of the most common symptoms of military PTSD. Due in part to our educational outreach efforts, this medication is now prescribed to over 100,000 Veterans and active-duty Servicemembers, and we continue to investigate its usefulness for other psychiatric conditions that are common in Veterans.

At the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, we continue to strive to improve the health and well-being of Our Veterans. Please exploreour site and, for more information, please call or visit us in Seattle, Washington and/or Portland, Oregon.


Get involved with Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC)

Participate in research: the Veterans Affairs ranks as one of the nation's leaders in health research. These research studies have significantly contributed to advancements in our understanding of medical problems that have led to health improvements for Veterans and civilians alike. Whether you are currently on active duty, a Veteran, or someone who has never worn the uniform, you can participate in NW MIRECC research in Seattle, Washington.

Learn through MIRECC Presents:  enhance your skills and understanding of mental health issues affecting Veterans by attending MIRECC Presents. MIRECC Presents is held on the first and third Wednesday of each month from October to June, between Noon and 1:00pm (PT).

Become a Fellow:  The Veterans Affairs' Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment is a two-year postdoctoral training program designed to train and equip physicians, psychologists, and other allied health professionals with the knowledge and expertise to lead clinical research efforts that make lasting contributions in the lives of Veterans experiencing mental health challenges.

Subscribe to the NW MIRECC e-mail list:  stay informed of NW MIRECC activities and opportunities by joining the NW MIRECC e-mail list.