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19,000 Veterans join MVP at Pittsburgh VA

VA in November officially reached 1 million Veteran enrollees in its Million Veteran Program (MVP). The historic number includes 19,000 Veterans who joined through Pittsburgh VA.

MVP launched in 2011 as a genetic research program and is now the largest such program of its kind in the world. We have participated in MVP from the start, enrolling our 19,000th Veteran in December 2023.

A few of the million Veterans in the Million Veteran Program

The 19,000 enrollees include Veterans from southwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Butler, Altoona and also Belmont County in Ohio. “We’ve even had some Veterans from as far as Clarksburg, West Virginia, and Cumberland, Maryland,” said Bea Chakraborty, MVP research coordinator.

Chakraborty and Cathy Boarts of the MVP team with their friend “Gene Nome” are pictured above.

Pittsburgh VA is one of 19 sites to have enrolled “such a phenomenal number of participants,” said Anicka Samuel, MVP national program coordinator. Over 70 VA sites participate in MVP.

The one million enrollees’ achievement demonstrates Veterans’ unwavering commitment to contribute to the greater good. “But it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about the tremendous impact this program has on the lives of Veterans and all Americans,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, in this video message.

Thanks to MVP, Veterans have directly contributed to over 350 peer reviewed publications.

Team has traveled over Pennsylvania and surrounding states

Because many Veterans visit Pittsburgh VA’s main campuses only when necessary, Chakraborty’s team has traveled all over Pennsylvania and surrounding states to enroll Veterans. “They’re out there. They’re just too far and too remote. Our population is a little older and tends not to travel as much,” Chakraborty said.

MVP staff visited Wheeling, West Virginia, as well Butler and Erie during fiscal year 2023. And there are still more areas to visit with Veterans who want to enroll. Some 200 Veterans in the Johnstown area and 100 near Clarksburg and Morgantown, West Virginia, have expressed an interest in joining. Efforts are underway to visit those sites, too.

What’s next?

VA and Pittsburgh VA will continue enrolling Veterans in MVP with a new focus on increasing enrollment among underrepresented communities.

“Our next goal is to ensure that MVP offers medical insights for every Veteran from every background, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, geography or health condition,” said Elnahal.

“We plan to visit more places,” Chakraborty added. “Clarksburg, Belmont, Johnstown for sure.”

How to join?

Any Veteran—enrolled in VA health care or not—can join MVP. To learn how, call 866-441-6075 or visit MVP.

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