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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 19, 2008

UI researchers part of $10 million rural health grant to VA Medical Center

The Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has received a five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Rural Health to establish the VA Midwest Rural Health Resource Center.

Peter J. Kaboli, M.D., Iowa City VAMC staff physician and associate professor of internal medicine in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will direct the center.

The grant will support a number of new initiatives to enhance health care delivery to rural veterans and to close gaps in quality and access to care that may result from the geographic isolation faced by rural veterans. The Iowa City VAMC was one of three sites nationwide to receive funding in a national competition.

"This is a distinctive award that will allow us to be a leader nationally in disseminating new knowledge about rural health systems so that they better meet the needs of the rural Midwest population and veterans throughout the nation," Kaboli said. "Our research team is thrilled to begin this exciting new phase."

The establishment of the Rural Health Resource Center represents a partnership between several VA medical centers within the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 -- the network of VA hospitals and community-based clinics located in Iowa, western Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Barry Sharp, director of the Iowa City VAMC, noted: "The VISN 23 VA Midwest Rural Health Center represents the culmination of a tremendous amount of prior collaborative work within VISN 23 in developing research and programs that seek to improve the quality of care received by rural veterans. This award will bring together the collective strengths of VA medical centers and community-based clinics and the four academic partners to put VISN 23 at the forefront of national rural health work within the VA."

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: Contact Kirt Sickels, public affairs specialist at the Iowa City VAMC, at 319-339-0735 or for the Iowa City VAMC news release. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs news release is available online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,