Building on her efforts to support veterans in Iowa and across the country, combat veteran U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-Iowa) bill to improve veterans’ health was recently signed into law. The new law will increase collaboration between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and Department of Energy (DOE) to apply innovative, data-driven, approaches to improving health outcomes for veterans.
“Our veterans deserve the best quality care possible, and in order to tackle the wide array of health concerns these heroes face—such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress—we need an all-of-the-above approach,” said Senator Ernst. “This new law will allow for greater collaboration and innovation between government agencies and it will spur the development of new tools to improve the health and wellbeing of our veterans.”
The Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act will build on current interagency collaborative efforts between DOE and the VA—like the Million Veterans Program Computational Health Analytics of Medical Precision to Improve Outcomes initiative.
Specifically, the bill authorizes a program under DOE to support innovative research focused on developing tools to solve large-scale data analytics and management challenges associated with veterans’ health, and to support the VA’s efforts to identify potential health risks among veterans. The bill will also establish partnerships to improve data sharing between federal agencies, institutions of higher education, and non-profits. Together, these initiatives will advance DOE’s expertise in artificial intelligence and high-performance computing and will utilize these capabilities to improve health outcomes among veterans.