Executive Summary & Mission
The Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) galvanizes senior leaders from across academia, government and industry who have a deep personal commitment to Veterans’ concerns related to brain health. The VAC represents, advocates and supports Veterans’ interests to CVB, to partners, and to the broader community engaged in the support, research, prevention, and treatment of brain health conditions.
The VAC’s priorities are to advocate for evidence-driven approaches to discover new solutions for the “invisible wounds of war” and serve as a voice by providing advice and strategic recommendations for CVB’s mission and objectives.
“These brave men and women voluntarily stepped up on the line to serve this great nation with the goal of protecting our freedoms…many have gone into harm’s way at personal expense and sacrifice. We cannot leave any more of them behind. It is our national obligation to support those that have come home with both visible and invisible wounds.”
– Frank Larkin, Former U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms, Chair of the Cohen Veterans Bioscience Veterans Advisory Council
(1) Sharing veterans’ perspectives, challenges and needs associated with brain health to increase understanding by CVB, the community and other relevant stakeholders and to inform the research roadmap to optimize the health and welfare of Veterans;
(2) Leading awareness and other communications efforts to engender the fullest support and engagement from within and outside of, the veterans community for brain health research;
(3) Increasing and reinforcing both access and collaboration across the community of interest working to understand, prevent and treat brain-related trauma and brain health conditions;
(4) Reinforcing legislation and other measures that can be used to promote awareness, garner support, and advance the execution of a comprehensive regimen of research that will enable prevention and treatment for brain health.
“I think the two most urgent needs are to establish the most effective treatment protocols that are tailored to the individual’s situation…and to determine the most effective ways to prevent traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress and preserve long-term resiliency and brain health.” – Brian Losey, RADM, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Executive Director of the Cohen Veterans Bioscience Veterans Advisory Council
The Council announced 2020 brain health priorities for service men and women and veterans at an inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C. Key among VAC’s priorities is to advocate for data-driven approaches to discover new solutions for the “invisible wounds of war” and raise awareness of brain trauma and related conditions. The goal is to influence the development of diagnostic tools, prevention guidelines, targeted therapeutic solutions and rehabilitation pathways that will mitigate post-traumatic stress disorders, moral injury, substance use disorders and the high rate of suicide.
To this end, VAC outlined its goals to advance brain health in 2020:
- Share Veterans’ perspectives, challenges and needs associated with brain health to inform research that will help optimize their health and welfare.
- Lead awareness efforts to engender support and engagement from within and outside of the Veteran’s community for brain health research.
- Increase access and collaboration across the community to prevent, diagnose and treat brain-related trauma and other conditions.
- Reinforce legislation and other measures to garner support and advance follow-through on a comprehensive regimen of brain health research.
- Drive efforts to improve research and awareness for brain trauma as a risk factor for suicidality.
Learn more about the VAC and its goals for 2020 in this Press Release: Cohen Veterans Bioscience Launches New Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) To Address Brain Health Priorities