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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a leader in health research in the nation. VA research foundations have been a key factor in their success. In 1988, legislation was passed by Congress to allow VA Medical Centers to create and use nonprofit corporations as a funding resource to help advance healthcare goals.

Today, 82 of these nonprofit corporations exist across the nation in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.  They work hard to enhance VA research and education at VA Medical Centers. In 2010, these VA research facilities reported over $257 million in revenue and supported over 4,000 research projects.

In 1997 the Iowa City VA Medical Research Foundation (ICVARF) was established as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation. The ICVARF began efforts to support medical research and educational activities of the Iowa City VA Health Care System.