A primary Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research program hit its goal but it is not stopping there.
The Million Veterans Project (MVP) reached its milestone on Nov. 8 when the one millionth veteran was added to the research program, which was launched in 2011. The goal of MVP is to collect information from veterans and analyze it to improve VA health care and services.
Jennifer Deen, associate director of Cohort and Public Relations in VA’s Office of Research and Development, talked about goals moving forward.
“So, what’s next?,” Deen said. “We have a lot more work to do. A couple of our high impact goals for the cohort in general is making MVP more accessible and bringing MVP to the veteran through the ways that are most convenient to them.”
Those include sending a kit to the veteran, opening new locations and more.
Deen also said VA wants to increase the numbers of the underrepresented populations. Of those already signed up:
• 90% are male.
• Three in four are white.
• 18% of participants are black and 8% are Hispanic, including some who identified as being multiracial.
The average age is 67, with more than one in three between the ages of 70 and 79. Overall, 81% are 50 or older.
By diversifying those numbers, it would help create better health-care solutions for all veterans. So VA is encouraging veterans with diverse backgrounds to sign up for MVP.
“We want to bring that value back to the veteran at the point of care,” Deen summarized. “The future looks really bright for MVP. We want to increase diversity and bring MVP to the veteran to let all veterans be a part of this. Expanding that data access so researchers, inside and outside VA, have the ability to impact research and help us with our next goal and scope of the project. And it will be something our physicians can use in the real world.”