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Michael J. Hall, PhD

Dr. Hall first joined the Iowa City VA Health Care System (ICVAHCS) in 2007 for the opportunity to do clinical work while working with graduate students and other trainees and conducting research. He is a Neuropsychologist and Licensed Psychologist, serving as a Co-Director of the Polytrauma Support Clinical Team and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Hall initially became involved in research during his senior year in college. His parents were involved in research, and he learned the questioning component and the value of the research process early in life. Dr. Hall’s research interests have evolved as post-deployment issues among returning veterans became a growing part of his clinical work. He became more interested in applied research and developing programs for veterans to address the gap that exists between the knowledge gained through research and services provided.

Time is precious when dealing with veterans who are suffering. Knowing the services offered to veterans can be improved is the primary motivating factor behind Dr. Hall's work. 

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is being able to have a noticeable impact on individuals, which results in improved quality of life.” – Dr. Hall

Active Projects

Life After War: Post Deployment Issues

Dr. Hall is currently working with Tamara Woods, Pre-Doctoral Intern at the ICVAHCS, on the development and implementation of a college course (Life After War: Post Deployment Issues) to help assist veterans with the transition from military to post-secondary education. The goal is to increase retention and academic success through improving student veterans’ academic self-efficacy, study skills, sense of community on campus and knowledge of the biology of common post-deployment issues. He is also working collaboratively with the University of Iowa, the ICVAHCS, and the Veterans’ Benefits Administration Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services on an intervention to provide integrated services to veterans with disabilities while helping train the next generation of professionals by working.

The New York Times featured the Life After War course in an article. The University of Iowa also published a press release when the course first began in 2010. Follow the links to read more! 
NYT_cropped.JPG  Soldiers Come Home to Hit the Books 

Iowa.JPG UI Student helps veterans through new College of Education course

Dr. Hall’s current research includes investigation of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); assessing the impact of the course Life After War on functioning; and investigation of factors associated with stigma about post-deployment mental health problems, post deployment and the impact on seeking care. He also collaborates on a study of veterans who have been followed through the Iowa City Polytrauma Clinic since its inception in 2007.

Impact on Veterans

Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning with physical and mental health problems that are often related to their military service. The impact of such problems can be significant, and research allows for the development of programs that reduce the impact of deployment-related issues. As deployment impacts many major areas of veterans’ lives (e.g. school, work, family, intimate relationships), and as the type of impact varies (e.g. sleep, mood, cognition, physical health), efforts to address veterans’ transition from deployment must be comprehensive. One important result of interventions targeted at easing veterans’ transition will be increased likelihood for vocational and scholastic success among the veteran population.