United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Mental Health



COE 17 Returning War Veterans 



The VISN 17 COE is comprised of five core areas: Assessment, Treatment Development & Treatment Outcome, Neuroimaging & Genetics, Education & Dissemination, and Business Operations. Each core is in constant collaboration with the other cores to ensure that knowledge gained from one area can be immediately applied to another.

Current projects at the COE focus on:

  • Identifying factors of the development and expression of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and alcohol- and substance-use disorders (SUD), including individual difference variables, environmental factors, and genetic contributions
  • Acceptance-based behavioral treatment of comorbid PTSD and SUD
  • Motivational enhancement in the treatment of SUD
  • Problematic drinking and PTSD symptoms in Veteran versus non-Veteran firefighters
  • Early identification of manifestations of stress disorders, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other neuropsychiatric conditions
  • Factors which mediate and moderate the response to exposure to traumatic events
  • Investigating the efficacy of the collaborative care model for PTSD management in Primary Care settings
  • Identifying successful methods of outreach to returning Veterans and their families, and developing methodologies to support the transition of OEF/OIF veterans from active duty to successful community re-entry
  • Testing a new MRI sequence to determine its ability to detect subtle pathology possibly related to blast-induced neurotrauma and mild-moderate TBI
  • Investigating the biological basis of PTSD and depression (using genetic analysis, MRI, and microscopic anatomy)
  • Identifying strengths, areas of growth, and needs in relation to promoting recovery through Psychosocial Rehabilitation services