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National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)

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NCRAR's mission: To improve the quality of life of Veterans and others with hearing and balance problems through clinical research, technology development, and education that leads to better patient care.

The National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) located at the Portland VA Medical Center (PVAMC) was established in 1997, and is currently one of fourteen Centers of Excellence funded by the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) Service. It is the only such center dedicated to the discovery and delivery of cutting-edge solutions to auditory system impairments. The NCRAR is also unique among auditory research facilities because of its focus on the rehabilitation of auditory dysfunction and translation of research findings into practice. The Center uses a multi-disciplinary approach that includes both basic and clinical research components to bring diverse perspectives and solutions to common auditory problems. We carry out clinical trials, develop technologies, and plan an important role in cultivating the next generation of auditory researchers through education and mentoring programs.

The NCRAR's consortium of researchers work on a number of projects to increase knowledge about hearing impairments and improve the care and treatment for Veterans with hearing loss. The NCRAR also has developed and nurtured mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships with an impressive network of academic institutions, other Federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Health & Human Services Office on Disability, commercial industries, and private foundations who pursue specific education, research and development objectives consistent with the vision, mission and guiding principles of the Center.

The Center conducts research, trains new scientists, and disseminates information to clinicians who assess and treat Veterans with hearing disabilities. In addition, the Center works to educate and inform the public about conservation, how to prevent further hearing loss and effectively cope with tinnitus.

Guiding Principles

  • To improve the quality of life of hearing-impaired Veterans by providing practical solutions to fundamental problems associated with chronic impairments of the auditory system;
  • To foster and expand partnerships with community institutions, for education, dissemination of information, and training of rehabilitative auditory research-scientists and clinical professionals;
  • To continue the development of shared core center facilities and equipment resources with collaborating programs and institutions to deliver effective rehabilitative therapeutics in the most efficient manner; and
  • To utilize the research synergy of the NCRAR to develop useful innovative research and rehabilitation technologies that directly influence and contribute toward establishing standards of clinical practice.