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The Researcher's Guide to VA Data

VA Information Resource Center


About VIReC

data banner

Who We Are

How Can VIReC Help?

VIReC assists VA researchers in need of information about data resources specific to their research.

The VA Information Resource Center (VIReC) develops resources for and provides guidance to VA researchers using data. Our staff, scientists, and advisors include database and informatics experts, research methodologists, and experts for various database content areas. Check out the Meet VIReC: The Researcher's Guide to VA Data cyberseminar to learn about us, our products, and how to navigate our web environments.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is a national leader in health research. VIReC is an Office of Research and Development resource center that supports this effort. We were established in July 1998 to service the VA research community.

Contact Information

VIReC provides direct support to VA researchers using VA data and information systems through our HelpDesk.

Researcher HelpDesk
Veterans VA Phone Numbers
VA Information Resource Center (VIReC)
Building 18
Hines VA Hospital (151V)
5000 S. 5th Avenue
Hines, IL 60141-3030
708-202-2415 (fax)
Please note that due to COVID teleworking, access to the VIReC office lines are limited.
Email is encouraged for the fastest response.

What We Do


A community of informed VA researchers empowered to use data effectively to improve Veteran health and health care.


To support the effective use of data by VA’s analytic community to transform Veteran health and health care as part of a learning health system.

  • Create Data Education & Resources – We translate complex information about VA data into user friendly data documentation, guides, methods briefs, cyberseminars, and tutorials.

  • Disseminate Data Knowledge – We facilitate knowledge sharing and the centralization of information about VA data through our websites, HelpDesk, and data user forum.

  • Strengthen VA Data Capacity – We collaborate with VA data stewards and program offices to increase the availability and utility of data within the learning health system.

VIReC Products & Services

VIReC is a key source of data knowledge and guidance regarding VA data and information systems. We disseminates products and services on our Intranet and Internet websites, including data documentation and user guides, cyberseminars and tutorials, HelpDesk services, and access to our virtual knowledge-sharing forum.

  • Data Knowledge Products – a knowledge base of factual and evaluative information for VA researchers who are using VA data and information systems.

  • Education – cyberseminars, presentations, and tutorials to help VA researchers with accessing and using VA data.

  • Data News – current news and updates regarding health data, databases, and medical informatics.

  • Publications – peer reviewed articles, papers, and journal supplements published by VIReC staff.

  • Support – individualized responses to requests from VA researchers about databases and information systems used for VA research.

VIReC's Websites

Did You Know?

VIReC maintains Internet and Intranet websites. Some resources are only available on our Intranet sites to researchers with VA network access.

VIReC maintains Internet and Intranet websites. This is VIReC's Internet site. The purpose of this site is to provide general information about VIReC activities. It is recommended that researchers use VA Intranet sites whenever possible. These sites contain additional information only available to VA staff.

VIReC's Intranet site provides resources and guidance for VA researchers using data and information systems. VIReC also collaborates on the VHA Data Portal, a gateway to information about VHA data. Researchers with VA network access can visit these sites by copying and pasting the following URLs into the browser.

  • VIReC Intranet:

  • VHA Data Portal:

VIReC Team

VIReC’s staff and scientific advisors include database experts, informatics experts, research methodologists, and experts in various VA database content areas.

Executive Leadership

Maria Souden, PhD, MSI, Director, Research Health Scientist
VIReC Center Director, ORD Strategic Initiative for Research & EHR Synergy (OSIRES)

Melissa M. Joyce, MPH, Associate Director for Administrative Operations

Jenifer Stelmack, MSW, COR, Associate Director for Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Project Leads

Kristin de Groot, MPH, Project Director, VA/CMS Data for Research

Hannah Gelman, PhD, Program Manager, OSIRES

Linda Kok, MA, Senior Analyst for Data Access & Policy

Bonnie Paris, PhD, Program Manager, VA REDCap

Amanda Taylor, PhD, Program Manager, VIReC Data Translation Initiative for QUERI

Analysts & Project Specialists

Carlee Bettler, MS, Data Knowledge Specialist

Lindsay A. Blumenburg, BSHA, VA REDCap

Natassia Boening, MPH, OSIRES

Regina C. Davis, MS, OSIRES

Carolyn A. DePalma, BS, OSIRES

Megan M. Donadio, BA, Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Andrea Goubeaux, MSW, OSIRES

Meghan Grum, MS, COR, Administrative Operations

Anne E. Hines, PhD, Data Knowledge & Documentation

Dolores Ippolito, MPH, COR, VA/CMS Data for Research | Data Access & Policy

Angela Jannotta, BA, Data Access & Policy

Donghui Kan, MS, VA/CMS Data for Research

Molly Kessner, MPH, Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Mark McCranie, MA, Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Linda Miller, BS, CAPM, Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Ashley Morris, BA, OSIRES

Sandra (Sandy) Pineros, PA-C, MPH, OSIRES

Isaac Purton, MA, OSIRES

Kjertsi Rich, PharmD, MA, BCPS, Data Knowledge & Documentation

Susan Salas, MLIS, VA/CMS Data for Research | Data Access & Policy

Jeanette Spitz, MPH, OSIRES

Joanne M. Stevens, BSN, RN, VA/CMS Data for Research

Sydney Thurman, MPH, Knowledge Management & Dissemination

Erika Trumble, MPH, Customer Engagement & Assessment

Katrine W. Weismantle, MSW, VA/CMS Data for Research | Data Access & Policy

Eileen Wilbur, MPH, RPh, OSIRES

Qiuying (Lucy) Zhang, MS, VA/CMS Data for Research

External Advisors

Chandrea Culbreath, MPH, BSN, CHTS-TR, Scientific Advisor

Margaret Gonsoulin, PhD, MA, Scientific Advisor

Neil Jordan, PhD, Scientific Advisor

HSR&D Center Expert & Stakeholder Forum

Mary K. Goldstein, MD, MS, Chair

Robert Neal Axon MD, MSCR

Cynthia A. Brandt, MD, MPH

Kelly Cho, PhD, MPH

Jessica A. Davila, PhD, MS

Joseph Francis, MD, MPH

Margaret Gonsoulin, PhD, MA

Susana Martins, MD, MSc

Michael E. Matheny, MD, MS, MPH

John Quinn

Todd H. Wagner, PhD

Mary Whooley, MD, FACP, FAHA, FACC

Wyndy L. Wiitala, PhD