Formed in 1992, the National Association of Veterans'
Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit
membership organization of research and education foundations affiliated
with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. These
nonprofits, also known as the VA-affiliated nonprofit research and
education corporations (NPCs) are authorized by Congress under 38 USC
§§7361-7366 to provide flexible funding mechanisms for the conduct of
research and education at VA facilities nationwide. Currently, NAVREF
has 84 members.
NAVREF Annual Activity Report
Adobe PDF Version
IRS Form 990
IRS Letter of Exemption
▪ Response to IRS Questions
NAVREF envisions a nation in which veterans receive the
finest care based on innovative research and education.
NAVREF's mission is to advance the success of the VA-affiliated research
and education corporations.
partnerships to improve veterans’ health
board and staff of NAVREF value:
Partnership in vibrant VA research and education programs
Respectful, collegial and transparent relations and communications with
in governance and management
leadership and high quality management
for research that advances care for veterans
5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 214
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
|| Barbara F.
West, Executive Director
Angela Murakami, Program Director
directions and map:
The NAVREF office is conveniently located on the Washington, DC/Maryland
border near the intersection of Wisconsin and Western Avenues. It is
two blocks north of the Friendship Heights Metro Station on Metro's Red
From 495: Take
I-95 to 95 towards Rockville to Exit 34 South (Wisconsin Avenue
south towards DC). Continue on Wisconsin Avenue south
towards DC for approximately 4 miles. Take a right onto
South Park Avenue and an immediate left into the Highland House
here for a map
Membership in NAVREF is open to VA affiliated nonprofit research and education foundations
established, governed and managed in accordance with 38 USC
§§7361-7366 as well as individuals and organizations appointed by the NAVREF board of directors.
Class A: Nonprofit research and education foundations affiliated with Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and established under Title
38, Subchapter IV, Sections
§§7361-7366. Class A members are voting members of the organization.
Class B: Individuals and organizations appointed by the NAVREF board of directors. Class B members are voting members of the organization.
Membership roster including contact information organized
by state or
Class A (VA affiliated nonprofit research and education foundations): Dues are based on an NPC's total revenues as reported on line 12 of the NPC's last completed IRS Form 990.
for NAVREF's due structure.
Minimum dues are $100.00 for NPCs with total revenues from $0 to $50,000. The NAVREF membership year is June 1 to May 31.
Class B: The NAVREF board of directors determines dues for Class B members.
Elizabeth Hill, RN, PhD
Fred S. Wright, MD
Dennis Smith, FACHE
of Research and Development Liaison:
Joel Kupersmith, MD
Holly H. Birdsall, MD, PhD
of Academic Affiliations Liaison:
Malcolm Cox, MD
To host a board meeting, please contact the NAVREF office.
NAVREF serves as a forum for promoting the highest standards of fiscal and administrative management of the NPCs by supporting services and conducting educational programs tailored to the NPCs’ unique needs. Brief descriptions of programs and services currently provided by NAVREF are provided below.
Advocacy. Each year, NAVREF is a leader in efforts to achieve an increase in the federal appropriation for the VA research program. Through timely alerts, an extensive grass roots network is kept apprised of the status of appropriations and urged to contact legislators on a regular basis. Annual Conference participants spend a full day on Capitol Hill hearing briefings by members of key committees and meeting with their own legislators. NAVREF also recommends to Congress updates in the NPCs’ authorizing statute as needed.
Click here to go to Advocacy
and the Legislative Action
Annual Conference. Each year, NAVREF holds a three- or four-day annual conference in the Washington, DC area. Educational
general sessions and breakouts backed up by written
acquaint NPC executive directors, board members and administrative staff with the latest developments in fiscal, personnel and IRS nonprofit management as well as VA regulations that pertain to the NPCs specifically. NAVREF meetings are open to all NPCs and the general public regardless of whether they are members.
Information about the next NAVREF Annual
Best Practices Consultations. At the request of the executive director of a member foundation, NAVREF will support the costs of sending a pair of specially selected, experienced executive directors to spend two days on site reviewing all aspects of the NPC’s management and suggesting “best practices.” Prior to the visit, the consultants examine the NPC’s bylaws, policies, procedures, accounting systems, IRS tax returns, board meeting minutes, interpersonnel dynamics, etc., and then tailor the consultation to the foundation’s particular needs.
Information about Best Practices Consultations and a management checklist.
Best Practices Program. The
Best Practices Program is a risk assessment and management resource
designed to provide the executive director, board of directors and
management staff of a VA-affiliated nonprofit research and education
corporation (NPC) with tools to work toward implementing "Best
to go to the Best Practices Program.
Fall Meeting and Seminars. Each fall, NAVREF sponsors an in-depth one- or two-day seminar on a specific area of NPC management taught by an expert in the field. Past seminars have focused on human resource management, federal grants and contracts, and NIH grants administration.
Information about the next NAVREF Fall Seminar.
Insurance Program. To facilitate risk management by the NPCs, NAVREF sponsors a group insurance program. Low-cost policies specifically tailored to meet the NPCs’ insurance needs are provided through an individual broker. This benefit is available only to NAVREF members.
Information about risk management, internal controls and insurance.
Brokerage Accounts. In 1993, NAVREF surveyed the major brokerage firms and determined that
when used with the Insured Savings Account (ISA), the Merrill Lynch
Endowment Management Account (EMA) meets the VA requirement that all NPC funds
must be backed by the full faith and credit of the US government at all times.
In 2001, Salomon Smith Barney was also found to have an acceptable
account when the Business Financial Management Account is used in
combination with the Insured Deposit Account. NAVREF can recommend
brokers at each of these firms who are familiar with the constraints
imposed on NPCs or NPCs may use local brokers of their own choosing.
National Office. NAVREF maintains
its offices at 5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 214, Chevy Chase, Maryland
20815. The office is conveniently located on the Washington, DC/Maryland
border near the intersection of Wisconsin and Western Avenues. It is
two blocks from the Red Line Friendship Heights Metro station which
facilitates getting to downtown and Capitol Hill meetings, and is just
two Metro stops from NIH. Any time you are in the Washington, DC area,
please stop by for a visit!
The NAVREF office is staffed by two
full time employees:
Barbara West, Executive Director
Angela Murakami, Associate Executive Director
NAVREF Executive Director Barbara West.
Drawing on her extensive experience in nonprofit management, Ms. West regularly answers questions and provides guidance to NPCs. Ms. West is a member of several professional organizations such as the American Society of Association Executives, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the BoardSource. She applies their expert advice and timely updates on nonprofit management to developing guidance for the NPCs. Ms. West also has working relationships with
the VA General Counsel, the Inspector General, VA Headquarters personnel and members and staff of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. She consults regularly with all of these and private sector experts.
NAVREF Up to Date. NAVREF emails all members updates on timely issues on an as needed basis. These often contain a mix of timely notices, updates on legislative issues and articles about NPC management.
issue and archives
OGC Corporations Panel. The Office of General Counsel (OGC) Corporations Panel consists of specially trained VA attorneys who are available to review draft clinical research agreements negotiated between NPCs and private-sector study sponsors as well as other legal matters. These attorneys ensure that VA interests are protected and that appropriate terminology governs the administration of the research or educational activity. For a fee, these attorneys will also negotiate terms on behalf of an NPC.
Information about the OGC Corporations Panel and its services.
Preferred Vendor Program. NAVREF sponsors a procurement program designed to use the purchasing power of the NPCs to obtain substantial discounts from vendors of research supplies and office equipment.
Sixteen major vendors provide discounts ranging from 10-70%.