Promoting research partnerships to improve veterans’ health


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 ยงยง7361-7366 to provide flexible funding mechanisms for the conduct of research and education at VA facilities nationwide. 

What We Do

NAVREF is committed to reforms that will increase the quality of care for veterans and has created Access to Clinical Trials (ACT) for Veterans Initiative with the VA to accomplish this task. The initiative is focused on establishing a dedicated system for initiating and conducting clinical trials efficiently within the VA and was borne out of discussions between VHA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and NAVREF held in late 2017. Through this partnership with the VA, NAVREF helps bring more high-quality clinical trials to veterans by streamlining processes, increasing efficiency, and reducing timelines for veteran patient clinical trials.  

NAVREF also spearheads the “100 Days Faster” initiative, pledging to help the VA cut its clinical trial start-up times by 100 days by 2021.  Through this process, NAVREF seeks to highlight the VA’s extensive medical records, centralized institutional review board (IRB), clinical trial infrastructure, and diverse 9 million patient population to encourage industry-sponsored clinical trial cooperation with the VA.

Why It Matters

Currently, less than two percent of clinical trials are offered at VA hospitals. These delays dissuade key pharmaceutical companies from bringing clinical research to the VA, despite the fact that in the past, the VA has been the source of key medical studies that led to breakthroughs in implanting pacemakers, creating CT scans, and curing tuberculosis.

This is alarming to NAVREF and its member non-profit corporations (NPCs), because it means that veterans are not receiving innovative care that can save their lives. For many veterans, acceptance into a clinical trial could be their last opportunity to receive quality care to cure or mitigate maladies like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, COPD, chronic pain, cancer, and heart disease. Supporting NAVREF provides cutting-edge access to care and saves veterans’ lives.

Vision, Mission and Values

Vision: We envision a nation in which veterans receive the finest care based on innovative research and education.

Mission: Building a stronger veteran research and innovation community through support and collaboration.

Tagline: Promoting research partnerships to improve veterans’ health

Values: The membership, board and staff of NAVREF value:

  • Transformative research
  • Partnership in vibrant VA research and education programs
  • Respectful, collegial and transparent relations and communications with stakeholders
  • Integrity in governance and management
  • Proactive leadership and high quality management
  • Advocacy for research that advances care for veterans

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