The Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds: 2019 Progress Report

In 2019, the Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds has continued to drive an active Congressional outreach campaign aimed at making the VA a world-class partner on the most advanced research and development projects related to PTSD and TBI.

Committed to 100 Days Faster

Our largest push this year has centered on improving clinical trial startup at VA sites. Right now, less than 2% of clinical trials involve VA sites, meaning that Veterans are often last in line for cutting-edge treatments that are only available through clinical trials. In an effort to bolster the VA’s capacity to change these dismal statistics, the Coalition has identified an objective and strategic reform agenda that centers around improving VA clinical start up. According to industry data, VA clinical trial sites are, on average, 120 days slower to activate than non-VA sites. Because of these lengthy delays which can cost companies millions of dollars per day many of our country’s leading research organizations and pharmaceutical companies do not even attempt to bring clinical research to the VA and have not done so for decades. Our “100 days faster” initiative sets a measurable goal that will ultimately put the VA on par with other world class research organizations. It has received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and has also been endorsed by VA leadership in the Office of Research and Development.

In May, the Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds and the National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) organized a multi-stakeholder letter calling on Congress to support our 100 days faster” initiative. Joining the letter were organizations that serve Veterans, including the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Military Veteran Project, and NAMI Montana, as well as patient support groups and representatives of the research community.

In June, our CEO & President Dr. Magali Haas testified in front of the House VA Subcommittee on VA. Dr. Haas testified alongside Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the VA Deputy Under Secretary for Health, for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, and Dr. Rachel Ramoni, the head of the VA’s Office of Research and Development, who endorsed the 100 Days Faster” initiative. This hearing was very productive and marked a point of key alignment between the Coalition and VA leadership regarding our reform agenda.

Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds in the News:

About the Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds

Established in 2017, the Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds (Coalition), brings together leading non-profit organizations to advance a comprehensive research-focused advocacy agenda that addresses the invisible wounds of war and other significant comorbid conditions known to contribute to the suicide epidemic among Veterans and service members. The Coalition advocates for reforms to how the federal government prioritizes, manages, and funds brain health research, focusing on four key priorities: developing high-quality brain trauma therapies for Veterans and service members, adopting collaborative research roadmaps to guide the science, increasing the body of evidence on emerging therapeutic solutions, and ensuring full implementation of important mental health legislation. Learn more here

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About Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB)

Cohen Veterans Bioscience is a non-profit 501(c)(3) biomedical research and technology organization dedicated to advancing brain health by fast-tracking precision diagnostics and tailored therapeutics.