With a cheer and a cut of the ribbon, Providence VA marked the opening of the Capt. John H. Harwood Research Center.

VA renovated the former Harwood Army Reserve Center to create a state-of-the-art facility for ground-breaking research. The Army Reserve center was built in 1950, closed in 2006 during the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and was transferred to VA in 2012.

Renovated 22,640 square feet, adding more than 7200 square feet

VA renovated approximately 22,640 square feet, adding more than 7200 square feet, at a cost about $12.8 million.

The center is named after a Rhode Island resident who was killed in action June 7, 1944, on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Harwood was 25 years old.

Research conducted at the new facility aims to improve care for Veterans challenged by aging, disease or disability.

Researchers working in numerous health areas

Researchers in Providence are working on new interventions to reduce Veteran suicide and substance abuse after hospitalization, and ways to reduce depression among elderly Veterans living in community living centers.

They’re also identifying risk factors for food insecurity among Veterans, assessing for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among homeless Veterans, and looking at how Veterans respond to COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses.

“Providence VA punches well above its weight in terms of groundbreaking medical research for our Veterans due in large part to our partnership with Brown University,” said Lawrence B. Connell, Providence VA director.

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