As one of the three pillars of the VA, research plays a critical role in the treatment of Veterans. This episode starts with a description of research at the VA. Hosts Levi Sowers and Brandon Rea discuss different achievements that have been accomplished through VA funded research.
Dr. Randy Kardon is director of the VA Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss (CPTVL). The CPTVL is one of 14 centers nationwide that are funded by the Rehabilitation, Research and Development service. These fall under the Office of Research and Development within the VA. Additionally, the CPTVL focuses on a multitude of visual disorders that affect Veterans ranging from glaucoma to light sensitivity after traumatic brain injury as well as migraine.
Born and raised in Iowa, Kardon spent his formative years in Des Moines. After high school Kardon came to the University of Iowa on a full scholarship with an interest in science. With the guidance of his mentors, he finished his undergraduate studies in three years and was part of the first sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program to pursue both a doctorate and a medical degree. During medical school, Kardon experienced “love at first sight” with ophthalmology, and the eye as a window into the human body. His dedication to treating Veterans occurred during his medical school rotations.
Now with over 30 years of experience as an ophthalmologist at the Iowa City VA Healthcare System, Kardon specializes in neuro-ophthalmology. Neuro-ophthalmology is a subspecialized part of eye care and ophthalmology dealing with vision problems of unknown cause. These ophthalmic problems often connect to problems in different areas of the body like the brain.
Kardon shares his expertise, health issues he focuses on, and how he provides specialized care. Finally, the hosts discuss the goals of the center and how the VA Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss hopes to aid Veterans through its research.