Differing opinions about advancing healthcare and medical access for all people may be cause for discussion, but the one thing we can agree on is that improving upon these fields for America’s Veterans is an incredibly worthy cause. But this means research, data, and access to the right pool of information to source those findings. This is where the Million Veteran Program (MVP) comes in. The object of the program is to advance the health and welfare of Veterans, and it’s looking for participants.
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What Is the Million Veteran Program?
The Million Veteran Program is a large, national initiative put on by both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). MVP is a research program that is looking to help Veterans by discovering better healthcare procedures as a result of collecting and studying information from those who have served. Some of the information being collected involves lifestyle, genetic risk factors, and exposure to certain chemicals or conditions while serving in the military.
In the pursuit of such knowledge, the VA and DoD are looking for 1 million or more Veteran volunteers to provide vital information for their database. Here are the key areas of health that the Million Veteran Program aims to improve for Veterans:
- Cancer is a major threat to all people, and Veterans are no exception. Especially because the battlefield can expose our nation’s heroes to all sorts of vile conditions with negative health effects. MVP is helping improve healthcare for a range of cancers.
- General wellness can be improved with the right education and choices. This means helping Veterans understand how to lead healthier lives with the right nutrition, activity level, and more.
- Heart health is of vital importance for Americans. More of us will die from heart disease than any other condition. Understanding the risks, how to prevent it, and the different ways that heart disease manifests can help Veterans and civilians in the long run.
- Mental health is a healthcare service that’s been neglected for far too long. These days, things are different and improving, but MVP is looking to take things even further. This means helping improve prevention and treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and Veteran suicide.
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The information collected by the VA Million Veteran Program from volunteers is confidential. Despite concerns about aspects of research like DNA data collection, the program uses secure methods of retrieval and storage for the betterment of Veterans.
Despite the Million Veteran Program controversy surrounding the issues of privacy, the VA and DoD have taken further steps such as encryption and strict access to all information to ensure that privacy and security are top priorities.
The process also involves clear consent from participants and a strict outline as to how the program works and is using the data that Veterans provide. With safety secured, signing up is a great way to help both the military community and civilian communities enjoy numerous health benefits.
Signing Up To Make an Impact
Collecting information on the genes of Veterans can and already has led to better healthcare breakthroughs. By volunteering, you’re helping support your fellow Veterans and others within your community. Joining the VA Million Veteran Program is simple:
- First, either log in or create your AccessVA account in order to verify your identity.
- Next, you’ll complete the consent process, allowing access to your health records.
- Once you’ve consented, you’ll need to schedule a visit, at your convenience, to provide a sample of your blood.
- After you’ve provided your sample, you’ll be asked in accordance with the program to complete surveys about your health, lifestyle, and military experience.
If signing up online makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry, there is an in-person option. Simply call the MVP Info Center toll-free at 866-441-6075 at any time between Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm ET, and you can schedule your visit.
Million Veteran Program compensation works strictly on a volunteer basis and doesn’t involve monetary payment. However, you’ll be making a direct impact on the lives of the American people you’ve served before, and can potentially help yourself and family, too. To learn more about the MVP program including eligibility or other concerns, their FAQ site is available.
Is the Million Veteran Program Legitimate?
Yes, the Million Veteran Program is a legitimate study from the VA that aims to improve the lives and healthcare of Veterans, the military, and other communities at large. The findings and processes are all outlined in detail in the FAQs on the website. As for the overall health of our Veteran population, the quest continues as more advancements become available.
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