Iowa City VA seeks panel participants

Local News
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A research team at the Iowa City Veterans Administration seeks area veterans for a research project aimed at improving health care and access for individuals experiencing serious illness.

“We are developing a tool for providers and veterans to enable rural veterans to have clearer and more open conversation about serious illness in the VA, whether they are with the veteran themselves, their family’s members and/or friends,” explained Dr. Maresi Berry-Stoelzle, the clinician and researcher conducting the study, in a news release.

Veterans interested in joining the project should contact the project’s research coordinator, Sarah Murray, at

“At the VA, we know serious illness can be difficult. But we also know that experience can be made easier when the patient has increased guidance in what to expect and therefore the ability to make more informed decisions about their care. This project is looking for the culturally appropriate ways of introducing the conversation to veterans,” Berry-Stoelzle said. “In order for us to do build an intervention, we are reaching out to veterans in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois to partner with us on the design of the project.”

Those who are selected to participate will be asked to attend virtual meetings with researchers two or three times over the next year for one to two hours at a time.

The first meeting will be 6 p.m. Dec. 9.  “We’re curious to learn more about how veterans engage in conversations with their providers and families about advance care and serious illness,” Berry-Stoelzle said.

Topics such as serious illness, palliative care, elder needs, advance care directives, mental and functional decline, and dying will likely be discussed.

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