Maryland Resident and PANDORA Org Director Completes Service on Gulf War Illnesses Research Panel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Jan. 5, 2014 - PRLog -- Gulf War illnesses advocate and sufferer, David Hatfield, Ph.D., who is also a retired U.S. Army sergeant major, recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIPR) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Hatfield was nominated for participation in the program by PANDORA Org, for which he serves on the board of directors. As a consumer reviewer, he was with prorminent scientists as a full-voting member at meetings to help determine how the $20 million appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 2013 will be spent on future Gulf War illnesses research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of individuals living with Gulf War illnesses, family members and persons at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as disease screening, diagnosis, treatment and quality of life.

"This was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had advocating for Gulf War veterans, or for veterans period," said Hatfield. "The scientists and medical professionals seemed to truly appreciate and understand the value of our input to the process, just as we appreciated theirs. I believe we made some very positive strides in helping improve the state of research in Gulf War illnesses during a very busy three days."

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together since 2006 in this unuique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of Gulf War illnesses research applications.

"The consumer reviewers on each panel are instrumental in helping the scientists understand the patient's perspective and provide valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project, said Colonel Wanda L. Salzer, M.D., director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. "They bring with them a sense of urgency and remind all of the human element involved in medical research."

Applying scientists propose to conduct innovative research aimed at the treatment and elimination of Gulf War illnesses. The GWIRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.

More informationa about the Department of Defense GWIPR Research Program is available at the Website:

PANDORA Org is a national nonprofit organization advocating for and providing assistance to people with neuro-endocrine-immune diseases, including myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Gulf War illnesses, chronic or post-treatment Lyme and environmental illnesses. Learn more at

Tina Tidmore
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Tags:Gulf War Illnesses, Maryland, Veterans, GWI Research Panel, Dept. Of Defense
Location:Grand Rapids - Michigan - United States
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