Veteran's Administration


With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary care of our Nation's heroes, VA Puget Sound strives to lead the nation in terms of quality, efficiency and public service through its proven record of innovation and extraordinary care of Veterans. As the primary referral site for VA's northwest region, VA Puget Sound provides care for over 90,000 Veterans each year from Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

The Mental Health Service has a strong academic and teaching mission, serving as a major research and training site for future psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and a number of other allied health professionals. The VA Puget Sound has one of the Nation’s largest VA research budgets, and is on the leading edge in many areas impacting our Veteran population to include traumatic brain injury, telemental health, smoking cessation, geriatrics, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to name a few.

Mental Health Research

Mental health research is integral to the mission of the VA Puget Sound and to the advancement of the healthcare of veterans across the country.


The VA Puget Sound hosts one of ten nationwide Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECC), the Northwest MIRECC. The mission of the Northwest MIRECC is to apply modern genetic, neurobiologic and clinical trial methodology to the discovery and development of new and more effective treatments for major and often treatment resistant mental disorders afflicting veterans and the active duty combat personnel who will become veterans.

Translational research efforts focus on treatment for PTSD and its substance abuse comorbidities (alcohol and tobacco); the chronic behavioral consequences of mTBI and its objective diagnosis through biomarkers; the elderly veteran with agitated dementia; and schizophrenia and the adverse metabolic consequences of antipsychotic drug therapy.


The VA Puget Sound also hosts the Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE), an independently funded research and education center devoted to the research of and provision of education in the treatment of veterans with substance use disorders.  CESATE provides a robust environment for researchers devoted to substance use disorders across numerous clinical specialties.


The VA Puget Sound Healthcare System’s Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) works to integrate high-quality, cost-effective models of clinical care, basic and applied research, and geriatric education with existing programs and resources. The GRECC consistently strives to improve the delivery of health care to elderly veterans through multidisciplinary programs that emphasize disorders of the aging nervous system.

Our MIRECC, CESATE and GRECC centers consistently draw talented psychologists, psychiatrists and other researchers from across the country, making the research environment at VA Puget Sound one of a kind. 

Please visit the VA's Clinical and Education services for additional information.