The Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development is launching the Million Veteran Program (MVP), an important partnership between VA and Veterans. The goal of MVP is to better understand how genes affect health and illness in order to improve health care for Veterans. Participation in MVP is entirely voluntary and will not in any way affect Veterans' access to health care or benefits. MVP has extensive safeguards in-place to ensure information security and patient confidentiality are top priorities. MVP is a research program that could allow current Veterans to help transform health care, not only for themselves, but for future generations of Veterans.
In order to do this, MVP will establish one of the largest databases of genetic, military exposure, lifestyle, and health information. Research findings based on MVP may lead to new ways of preventing and treating illnesses in Veterans. Such findings may help answer questions like "Why does a treatment work well for some Veterans but not for others?"; "Why are some Veterans at a greater risk for developing an illness?"; and "How can we prevent certain illnesses in the first place?" With the expected enrollment of one million Veterans over the next five to seven years, MVP aims to be one of the largest databases of its kind in the United States.
The goal of MVP is to partner with Veterans receiving services in the VA health care system who volunteer to share their health information, as well as genetic material. Active involvement in this program includes:
• Filling out surveys about health and health-related behaviors;
• Providing a blood sample (containing DNA and other substances) that will be stored for future research;
• Completing an optional health assessment;
• Allowing secure access to VA and VA-linked medical and health information, including past and future health records; and
• Allowing future contact
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