Sierra Pacific (VISN 21) MIRECC
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VISN 21 MIRECC
Improving the clinical care of Veterans with dementia and with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through development of innovative clinical, research, and educational programs.
The, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) were established by Congress in 1997 with the goal of bringing best practices in mental health care into the clinical settings of the VA. The MIRECCs conduct research, produce clinical educational programs and products, that enhance clinical treatment to veterans. Our center was established in 1998 and is the only one oriented towards geriatric psychiatry and psychology.
The Mission of the Sierra Pacific MIRECC is to build an integrated system of clinical, research, and educational efforts designed to improve the clinical care for Veterans with dementia and with PTSD both in VISN 21 and system-wide. Veterans have several risk factors that uniquely put them at risk for PTSD and dementia. Our approach is to identify risk factors for cognitive decline in these older Veterans then to develop and implement novel countermeasures to minimize this decline. Our strong translational research programs are helping to ensure that the health and mental health care needs of all older Veterans are met with specialized programs. The need is increasingly important as Vietnam Veterans grow older and more susceptible to cognitive decline. Our approach is most clearly summarized by the figure below.