VA now offers online enrollment for Million Veteran Program
Volunteers who want to participate in a Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical research program, meant to shed light on the genetics of disease, can now register online.
The VA’s Million Veteran Program is designed to link genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military-exposure information to better understand the impact on the health—and illness—of veterans.
“MVP has already resulted in a number of important scientific publications that increase our knowledge of conditions that affect veterans’ health, and we expect this resource to continue to prove its value over the coming years,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a written statement. “VA is excited to announce the launch of MVP Online, which will make it even easier for veterans nationwide to take part in this landmark research effort.”
Those veterans currently enrolled in VA healthcare can use their existing credentials to securely log in to MVP Online to view their personalized dashboard and learn more about the program.
According to the VA, more than 775,000 veterans have already joined MVP, which has the largest representation of minorities of any genomic cohort in the U.S. The goal is to ultimately enroll 1 million veterans in MVP’s genomic database.
Volunteers donate blood, give permission to researchers to access their electronic health records, as well as agree to take a baseline and periodic follow-up surveys.
“To partner with MVP, veterans can use the online portal to complete the consent process, allow access to health records (for research purposes only), answer surveys about their health and lifestyle, and schedule an MVP visit at a participating VA site to provide a blood sample,” states the agency’s announcement. “VA is currently piloting ways to make the MVP sample collection more convenient for veterans who do not live near a participating VA site.”
MVP data is being leveraged by more than 30 VA projects. As part of one of those efforts, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is partnering with the VA under the Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes Now (CHAMPION), with an initial focus on three health problems that affect the largest number of veterans—cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer and suicide.