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Military Exposures & Your Health - 2023 - Issue 11


In this issue:

Version 2.0 of Exposure Ed Mobile App Now Available

VA has updated the Exposure Ed app, a free mobile app that helps health care providers have informed discussions with Veterans about their military environmental exposures and health concerns. Veterans can also download this publicly available app.

With the Exposure Ed app, users can:

  • Look up information by exposure, conflict, or date and location of military service;
  • Find local VA services and information on VA policies and programs related to exposures; and
  • Print or email helpful information about exposures directly from the app.

Version 2.0 of Exposure Ed was launched on November 27, 2023, and includes several new and important updates, such as:

  • Updated content throughout the app, increasing providers’ confidence in the accuracy of data when consulting with Veterans;
  • Easier access to points of contact at VA, which will improve the communication and coordination of care for Veterans; and
  • Access to recent exposure-related announcements from VA HOME to keep users up to date with the latest information.

To get Version 2.0 of the Exposure Ed app, visit the VA Mobile app store for links to download the app on your Android or iOS device. If you have an older version of the app, you can upgrade to the latest version using these links as well.

The Complex Exposure Threats Center

VA’s Complex Exposure Threats Center (CETC) is an emerging national program aimed at studying and evaluating novel, complex, and poorly understood exposures. CETC is a sub-center of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center within VA’s Health Outcomes Military Exposures. CETC provides subject matter expertise to improve VA’s understanding of health effects that may arise from new technologies and the combined effects of complex environmental hazards through the evaluation of focused cohorts of Veterans with unique occupations or exposure histories.

Currently CETC is focusing on clinical evaluations and research for two distinct groups:

  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists, and
  • Veterans exposed to anomalous health incidents (AHIs).

CETC will conduct clinical evaluations and research efforts tailored to address the unique circumstances or needs of the targeted Veteran groups. CETC‘s research focuses on better understanding how complex exposures and poorly understood hazards impact Veterans’ health.

A recent research effort by the CETC Computational Modeling and Data Integration Core involved evaluating published data on Havana Syndrome, a phenomenon experienced by diplomatic personnel who served in Havana, Cuba, and other U.S. diplomatic locations since 2016. These personnel reported audible sensory issues and neurological symptoms consistent with what the U.S. military has characterized as AHIs. In the published article, CETC researchers developed a computational model to capture and represent information from the scientific literature to generate predictions about the pathophysiology of the reported neurobehavioral health effects. The analysis revealed a regulatory mechanism of neurological sequalae similar to mild traumatic brain injury and predicted a recovery trajectory over time.

Learn more about CETC and its clinical evaluations and research efforts.

Military environmental exposure training for providers

The War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC), a part of VA’s Health Outcomes Military Exposures, is partnering with the American College of Preventative Medicine (ACPM) to offer both VA and non-VA clinicians the opportunity to earn a Level 1 Certification in Military Environmental Exposures (MEE). Since the fall of 2023, ACPM issued almost 800 certifications, most of which were earned by VA employees.

In the fall of 2023, ACPM and WRIISC launched the promised and long-awaited Level 2 MEE Certification Program. This 10-module program, designed for practicing clinicians and taught by leading field experts, focuses on case-based learning of commonly reported military environmental exposures. It further advances the foundational knowledge gained in the 5-module introductory Level 1 MEE Certification.

In recognition of the tremendous educational impact that these Level 1 and Level 2 MEE Certification Programs offer to both clinicians and Veterans, the WRIISC works collaboratively with fellow VA offices to promote their benefits. Learn more about Level 1 and Level 2 MEE Certifications.


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