Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jan-Feb RAC Meeting Agenda Distributed: Focus is on New VA GWIs Strategic Plan, Important New Research Findings

( - The final agenda for the upcoming January 31 and February 1 meetings of the Congressionally charted VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (RAC-GWVI) was provided to RAC members today, and shows the continuing focus on the development of the new VA GWI medical research strategic plan.

Since speaking up in frustration earlier this year about the lack of a true strategic plan to guide VA's medical research for Gulf War veterans' illnesses -- particularly Gulf War Illness (GWI) -- I've been pleased to see the response of VA, the RAC, and the newer Gulf War Steering Committee (GWSC).

There has been a lot of  important work done by the GWSC's nine working groups composed of RAC and GWSC members and leading GWI medical researchers.

The new VA strategic plan on Gulf War veterans' illnesses  is now nearing completion and, as of this writing, is is now squarely focused on developing and providing effective treatments to help improve the health and lives of the hundreds of thousands of Gulf War veterans still debilitated by chronic multi-symptom illness.

During the RAC's next meetings that begin a month from today, our veteran-focused body will target much of its time on further developing the new treatment-focused strategic plan for VA.  The first day's meetings will be joint meetings of the RAC, GWSC, and VA's National Research Advisory Committee, which helps oversee and guide all of VA's wide-ranging research efforts.

The meetings will be rounded out with presentations on VA's Gulf War-related research direction and new medical research findings, including:
  • Research updates from the WRIISC-Washington, DC
  • Brain and neuro-endocrine chemical findings in GWI patients (Dr. Julia Golier, VA-Bronx)
  • GWI disease biomarkers found in cerebrospinal fluid of GWI patients (Dr. James Baraniuk, Georgetown University)
Input from the non-RAC member public is always welcome and generally continues to be both well-received by the RAC and serves to guide the RAC in its mission. Public comments are welcome and encouraged on the issues being addressed during the two days of meetings and any other matter related to the RAC's purview.  Public comments can be provided orally by those attending in person during the scheduled public comment periods, or in writing.  Written public comments for distribution to RAC, GWSC, and VA-NRAC members should be sent via email to

The meetings will be held in Washington, DC at the VA headquarters building complex.  Those wishing to attend via free teleconference should contact for instructions.   

The full agenda provided to RAC members today is here:

1 comment:

GunnerGod said...

The research that I have done over the last five years overloaded my prior hard drive. Since then I've added another. On the research, I have found almost everything and some the government will deny. I myself continue "The Battle After the War" with the many illnesses I suffer from. I continue to help my fellow Veterans from knowledge to assisting with their Appeals. Yes, this is a step in the direction. Yet a step forward in a long harming journey.