The Vets First podcast is a research-based podcast that focuses on the VA healthcare system and its patients. Instead of being just another research podcast, the Vets First podcast was created with a primary focus on the Veterans and their stories. The hosts, Levi Sowers PhD, and Brandon Rea work to bridge the gap between the state-of-the-art research being performed at Veterans Affairs and the Veterans themselves in an easy-to-understand manner. Importantly, Levi and Brandon want to assist researchers around the country to better understand the needs of Veterans. In this podcast you will hear interviews from Veterans with specific conditions and then hear from VA funded researchers who are studying those very topics as well as other highlighted services the VA provides.
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse or officially sanction any entities that may be discussed in this podcast, nor any media, products or services they may provide.
Season 2 Episode 9 – Supporting our active-duty military, Veterans, and first responders: Jim Ravella and the Gary Sinise Foundation
In this episode, hosts Levi and Brandon welcome Jim Ravella, Vice President of Programs at the Gary Sinise Foundation. They discuss the missions, programs and initiatives offered at the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Season 2 Episode 4 – Two candid discussions about drug use disorders: Trever Siver and Henry Uken
In this episode, Levi and Brandon discuss drug use with two Veterans who suffered from drug use disorders. Trever Siver and Henry Uken provide honest and gritty stories about their lowest points and recovery.
Season 2 Episode 8 – Exploring treatment of PTSD, headache, and depression through brain stimulation: Wave Neuro and TMS
In this episode, podcast hosts Levi Sowers and Brandon Rea dive into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a treatment for depression, PTSD, and headache, with expert Dr. Erik Won.
Season 2 Episode 2 – Not broken, just doing things differently: Director of Disability in Education for the Student Veterans of America, Dan Standage
In the opening of season two interviews of Vets First Podcast, Levi and Brandon welcome Marine Veteran, Dan Standage. In this podcast, listeners will hear from the Arizona native, starting with a brief overview of his childhood and career in the Marines, his emotional and physical journey after becoming legally blind during his station in Japan, and finally his contributions and career in blind rehabilitation services. Levi, Brandon, and Dan discuss the importance of mentorship in the development as individuals, and the importance of adaptability and perspective in the face of change.
Season 2 Episode 7 – Perseverance through care and routine: Dr. Carolyn Turvey and Dr. Anne Sadler discuss research on depression and suicide risk with our Veterans
In the beginning of episode seven, Levi and Brandon speak with Dr. Carolyn Turvey to discuss her studies on functional impairment and depression in Veterans. The second half of the episode features Dr. Anne Sadler, a researcher with VA Health Services Research and Development and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa.
Season 2 Episode 6 – The ongoing battle: Josh Marino and Rob Otto share about PTSD, depression, and suicide
In the second half of episode six, Levi and Brandon interview Rob Otto. Listeners will hear about Rob’s early life, career in the military, and life after service and his experience with mental health. Rob discusses PTSD among Veterans and suicide prevention at the VA. In the second half of episode six, Levi and Brandon interview Rob Otto. Listeners will hear about Rob’s early life, career in the military, life after service and his experience with mental health. Rob discusses PTSD among Veterans and suicide prevention at the VA.
An indepth and personal approach to VA related research. It is interesting to hear from Veterans, what problems they face, and then hear from a specialist or reasearcher attempting to fix those problems. It is done in a way that I can understand and I got to learn about the researchers themselves!
Very well produced. I love that this is a podcast from the researchers in the trenches learning about how to improve my life as a veteran. My favorite is hearing them interview the veterans that are directly affected by the treatments themselves. It has to help how the researchers think about TBI, Hepatitis, etc. Very interesting podcast and I am excited for the 2nd season!
First Episode !
I loved hearing from the veteran with a tbi. I also suffered a tbi during my time in the service. It’s good to know there are other veterans experiencing similar long term effects of tbi.