The VA Information Resource Center (VIReC) develops resources for and provides guidance to VA researchers using data. Our staff, scientists, and advisors include database and informatics experts, research methodologists, and experts for various database content areas.
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is a national leader in health research. VIReC is one of three Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) resource centers that supports this effort. We were established in July 1998 to service the VA research community, and are funded by HSR&D Service Grant 98-004.
VIReC provides direct support to VA researchers using VA data and information systems through our HelpDesk.
|Veterans||VA Phone Numbers|
VA Information Resource Center (VIReC)
Hines VA Hospital (151V)
5000 S. 5th Avenue
Hines, IL 60141-3030
To advance VA capacity to use data effectively for research and quality improvement and to foster communication between research data users and the VA healthcare community.
Advancing Data Knowledge & Methods – We conduct research and collaborate with experts in the field to create a knowledge base of factual and evaluative information about VA data and information systems.
Disseminating Data Knowledge – We disseminate information that enables researchers to maximize the power of VA data and information systems and facilitate knowledge sharing among the data user community.
Enhancing Data Access & Capacity – We collaborate with VA data stewards and program offices to enhance data availability and to address issues affecting research that uses data and information systems.
VIReC is a key source of data knowledge and guidance regarding VA data and information systems. VIReC disseminates products and services on our Intranet and Internet websites, including data documentation and user guides, cyberseminars and tutorials, HelpDesk services, and access to our virtual knowledge-sharing forum.
Data Knowledge Products – a knowledge base of factual and evaluative information for VA researchers who are using VA data and information systems.
Education – cyberseminars, presentations, and tutorials to help VA researchers with accessing and using VA data.
Data News – current news and updates regarding health data, databases, and medical informatics.
Publications – peer reviewed articles, papers, and journal supplements published by VIReC staff.
Support – individualized responses to requests from VA researchers about databases and information systems used for VA research.
VIReC maintains Internet and Intranet websites. This is VIReC's Internet site. The purpose of this site is to provide general information about VIReC activities. It is recommended that researchers use VA Intranet sites whenever possible. These sites contain additional information only available to VA staff.
VIReC's Intranet site provides resources and guidance for VA researchers using data and information systems. VIReC also collaborates on the VHA Data Portal, a gateway to information about VHA data. Researchers with VA network access can visit these sites by copying and pasting the following URLs into the browser.
VIReC Intranet: http://vaww.virec.research.va.gov/
VHA Data Portal: http://vaww.vhadataportal.med.va.gov/
VIReC’s staff and scientific advisors include database experts, informatics experts, research methodologists, and experts in various VA database content areas.
Maria Souden, PhD, MSI, Acting Director, Research Health Scientist
VIReC Acting Director, previously Associate Director for Communications. Directs Center operations and strategic development; leads collaborative dissemination efforts with other VA offices; conducts research in communication, knowledge sharing, and use of information. PhD and Master’s from the University of Michigan School of Information. Affiliated Faculty with the School of Information Sciences (iSchool at Illinois), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Former postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin School of Information and Communication Studies; prior experience in the planning and development of strategic communications for the private sector.
Margaret Gonsoulin, PhD, MA, Associate Director, Social Science Analyst
VIReC Associate Director, previously Senior Program Lead. Collaborates on Center operations and strategic development; leads VIReC’s core enterprise of understanding and articulating the nuances and use of VA data; conducts research using VA data and develops documentation, training, and methodological expertise. PhD from the University of Virginia. Former Associate Professor of Sociology and Research Consultant at California State University, Fresno.
Chandrea Culbreath, MPH, BSN, Customer Service & Product Development Manager
Meghan Grum, MS, Research Health Scientist
Dolores Ippolito MPH, Administrative Coordinator
Melissa M. Joyce, MPH, Administrative Officer & Project Manager
Kristin de Groot, MPH, Senior Data Analyst, VA/CMS Technical Director
Donghui Kan, MS, Health Information Analyst
Linda Kok, MA, Data Access, Privacy, & Security Liaison
Bonnie Paris, PhD, Data Knowledge Analyst
Dharani Ramanathan, MPH, Data Knowledge Analyst
Amanda Taylor, PhD, Research Health Scientist, VA/CMS Project Manager
Puling Zhang, MA, Health Information Analyst
Qiuying (Lucy) Zhang, MS, Health Information Analyst
Hira Khan, MPH, Education Lead
Jenifer Stelmack, MSW, Web & Dissemination Lead
Charlesnika Evans, PhD, MPH, Scientific Advisor
Denise M. Hynes, PhD, MPH, RN, Scientific Advisor
Mary K. Goldstein, MD, MS (Chair)
Director of Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Program Director, VA Special Fellowship Program in Advanced Geriatrics, Associate Director of Physician Post-Residency Fellowship Program in Health Services Research and Development, Associate Director of Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Informatics, VA Palo Alto Health Care System; Director of Program on Primary Care Policy and Practice Advancement, Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University; Professor of Medicine (Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research), in Medical Center Line at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Stanford University School of Medicine; Professor of Health Research & Policy (by courtesy), Stanford University School of Medicine.
Cynthia A. Brandt, MD, MPH
Staff Physician, Researcher, Deputy Director of the Pain Research Informatics Multimorbidity and Education Center of Innovation (PRIME COIN), Co-Director of the VA Connecticut Medical Informatics Training Program, and Co-Director of the VA Connecticut Women’s Health Research Training Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Professor of Medical Informatics and Co-Director of the Yale Biomedical Informatics Research Training Program, Yale University School of Medicine.
Jessica A. Davila, PhD, MS
Chief, Methodology and Statistics Program, Houston Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety, a VA Health Services Research & Development Field Program, Houston, TX; Associate Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.
Stephan Fihn, MD, MPH
Director of Office of Analytics & Business Intelligence, Northwest Center for Outcomes Research In Older Adults, VA HSR&D Center of Excellence, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; Professor and Head, Division of General Internal Medicine, and Professor, Department of Health Services, University of Washington (UW).
Joseph Francis, MD, MPH
Deputy Chief Improvement and Analytics Officer, Office of Reporting, Analytics, Performance Improvement and Deployment (RAPID), Veterans Health Administration, Washington, D.C.
Michael E. Matheny, MD, MS, MPH
Research Health Scientist and Physician, Geriatrics, Research, and Clinical Care (GRECC), VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN; Associate Director, VA TVHS Informatics Fellowship, Nashville, TN; Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Population Health Informatics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
Amy R. Rosen, PhD, MS
Director, VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI) on Measurement to Advance Patient Safety; Research Health Scientist, Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR); VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA; Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.
Todd H. Wagner, PhD
Associate Director, VA Health Economics Resource Center (HERC); Associate Director, Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA; Consulting Professor, Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University; Fellow, Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research.
Mary Whooley, MD, FACP, FAHA, FACC
Primary Care Physician and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation, San Francisco VA Health Care System, San Francisco, CA; Director of National VA Measurement Science QUERI, VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA.
Laurel A. Copeland, PhD
Associate Director, Center for Applied Health Research, and Co-Director of Health Outcomes Core Central Texas Veterans Health Care System / Scott & White.
Francesca Cunningham, PharmD
Director, Center for Medication Safety Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI) and Program Manager, Outcomes Research, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Hines, IL.
Systems Analyst, VHA National Data Systems, Austin TX.
Director, Community Living Centers and State Veterans Home Clinical and Survey Oversight, Department of Veterans Affairs.
Nancy Johnson, MSA, RN, BSN
Lead Clinical Analyst, DSS Database Development, VHA DSS Decision Support Office, Bedford, MA.
Management and Program Analyst, VHA OHI HDI Data Quality, Business Product Management-Analysis & Profiling.
Todd H. Wagner, PhD
Health Economist, VA Health Economics Resource Center (HERC), VA Center for Healthcare Evaluation (VA HSR&D Center of Excellence), and the VA Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA; Consulting Assistant Professor, Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University.