VA Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship | NW MIRECC - MIRECC / CoE
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VA Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship | NW MIRECC

VA Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (VAPORHCS MIRECC Fellowship)

James Boehnlein, MD and Ruth Ann Tsukuda, Ed.D, MPH, Co-Directors
Maya O’Neil, Ph.D. and Benjamin Morasco, Ph.D., Co-Directors of Research Training
Sarah Suniga, Ph.D. and Trisha Vinatieri, Psy.D., Co-Directors of Clinical Training

The Veterans Affairs' Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment is a two-year postdoctoral training program. The primary goal of the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center's (NW MIRECC) Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship program is 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. In collaboration with their mentors, the Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellows will develop and implement research projects, publish and present findings, write grants, and utilize the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery. Psychology Postdoctoral Fellows devote 75% of their time to research and education activities (25% of research must be clinically-focused) and 25% to clinical training. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows are trained in clinical and health systems research, advanced clinical care service delivery, and program administration in an interdisciplinary setting. The VA Portland Health Care System NW MIRECC Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship site is linked electronically to other national MIRECC sites for didactic, academic, and research efforts.

The mission of the VISN 20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center is to improve the health and well-being of Veterans by developing, evaluating, and disseminating effective treatments for PTSD and its complex comorbidities including the behavioral consequences of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), substance use disorders, chronic pain, and dementia. NW MIRECC studies are conducted through clinical research and through translational research wherein teams of clinicians and scientists work side-by-side to characterize and model key features of clinical problems and then translate the findings from scientific theory or animal models into practical applications for Veterans. NW MIRECC collaborates and consults with other MIRECCs and Centers of Excellence, as well as with other VA, federal, state and community agencies to disseminate best practice treatments and current research findings related to PTSD and associated conditions.

The VISN 20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship has a variety of novel training opportunities:
  1. Participation in weekly research-oriented videoconferences with fellows from the national VA Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment.
  2. Collaboration with clinical researchers who share a common interest in polytrauma, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury.
  3. Presentation of research to various disciplines of health practitioners in academic and community settings and the MIRECC Presents videoconference series.
  4. Participation in the design and implementation of CME conferences and distance learning programs for VA and non-VA professional staff, and programs for Veterans and their families, throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  5. Optional participation in Oregon Health & Science University’s Human Investigations Program (HIP), which offers an integrated clinical and translational research education curriculum and results in a Certificate in Human Investigations.