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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence

About VA Airborne Hazards and
Burn Pits Center of Excellence

The Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence (AHBPCE), located at the New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (NJ WRIISC), was officially recognized by Congress and the President in Public Law 115-929 as a VA Center of Excellence in May 2019.

Improving Veteran Health through Research,
Education and Clinical Evaluation

The Center of Excellence focuses primarily on:

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Clinical and translational research related to airborne hazards and burn pits
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Specialized evaluations and diagnostic approaches to unexplained shortness of breath and other respiratory conditions
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Detection of emerging patterns in health conditions using data from the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
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Education that involves developing and disseminating best practices that can improve health outcomes for Veterans

We are advocates for Veterans who have concerns about potential adverse health outcomes related to airborne hazard exposures. Through ongoing research and clinical work, we seek to understand and find solutions for these exposure-related health issues. Through education and outreach, we provide information to providers and Veterans on our findings that can lead to better evaluation, management and care.

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Our Specialized Clinical Assessment

Clinical evaluations are conducted for certain Veterans with self-reported health concerns through the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry who have then been selected or referred by clinicians at other VA facilities for in-depth clinical assessments. Information from these evaluations is used to make management and treatment recommendations for individual Veterans, support research studies and identify trends in health outcomes to improve care standards and treatment protocols.

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Our Research

Center of Excellence researchers are committed to improving the diagnosis, management and treatment for Veterans facing health concerns related to airborne hazard exposures. Using data from the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, clinical evaluations and other sources, researchers can identify questions and conduct in-depth studies that will help find answers to these concerns.

Research conducted by the Center of Excellence and other collaborators is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international scientific meetings.

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Outreach and Education

Key to the Center of Excellence's research and clinical work are our efforts to develop and widely disseminate information and education on best practices for providers and Veterans. We offer virtual classes for Veterans on airborne hazard exposures and present a variety of informational materials for Veterans, their families and Veteran Service Organizations.

We know Veterans expect their health care providers to have the level of knowledge necessary to support their evaluation and care. To promote that knowledge, we provide webinars on emerging science and clinical best practices for providers within the VA, Department of Defense and the community. Using podcasts, webinars and other channels allows us to reach as many providers as possible.

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The VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

To advance our mission, we utilize data from the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to detect trends in self-reported health concerns of Veterans who have been exposed to airborne hazards. By integrating the Registry into our research and clinical efforts, we can better understand how long-term health conditions may be related to these exposures.