San Francisco - War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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San Francisco

San Francisco PDCEN

San Francisco VA Healthcare System (SFVAHCS) is a multispecialty tertiary care center affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), one of the premier clinical and research institutions in the world. SFVAHCS has the largest funded research program in VA, with a budget of $81 million in 2019 and housing over 13 national centers of excellence. The SFVAHCS serves as the west coast location for the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence Post-Deployment Cardiopulmonary Evaluation Network (PDCEN).

The PDCEN provides standardized and comprehensive clinical evaluations for Veterans enrolled in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits Registry (AHOBPR) to better identify the relationship between airborne hazards and burn pit exposures and longer-term health outcomes, to identify research to improve understanding of health concerns and to identify possible treatments to improve care. The PDCEN is composed of VA physicians with expertise in pulmonary and occupational medicine. The San Francisco PDCEN is a multidisciplinary team with extensive expertise in the assessment and management of pulmonary diseases that are due to environmental and occupational exposures.

The San Francisco PDCEN studies a multitude of subjects related to Veterans’ concerns about their post-deployment respiratory health, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the effects of tobacco smoke on lung capacity. Some of our collaborations and scholarly work include:

  • Elastin Degradation and Lung Function Deterioration with Remote Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Never-smokers. Mustra Rakic J, Zeng S, Rohdin-Bibby L, Van Blarigan EL, Liu X, Ma S, Kane JP, Redberg RF, Turino GM, Oestreicher Stock E, Arjomandi M. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2022 Jul 29;9(3):377-393.
  • Zeng S, Dunn M, Gold WM, Kizer JR, Arjomandi M. Remote exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is associated with lower exercise capacity through effects on oxygen pulse, a proxy of cardiac stroke volume. BMJ Open Respiratory Research. 2022 May 1;9(1):e001217.
  • Actigraphy informs distinct patient-centered outcomes in Pre-COPD. Chen J, Weldemichael L, Zeng S, Giang B, Geerts J, Ching WC, Nishihama M, Gold WM, Arjomandi M. Respir Med. 2021 Oct;187:106543.
  • Lung volume indices predict morbidity in smokers with preserved spirometry. Zeng S, Tham A, Bos B, Jin J, Giang B, Arjomandi M. Thorax. 2019 Feb;74(2):114-124.
  • Respiratory Responses to Ozone Exposure. MOSES (The Multicenter Ozone Study in Older Subjects). Arjomandi M, Balmes JR, Frampton MW, Bromberg P, Rich DQ, Stark P, Alexis NE, Costantini M, Hollenbeck-Pringle D, Dagincourt N, Hazucha MJ. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 May 15;197(10):1319-1327.
  • Schneiderman AI, Dougherty DD, Fonseca VP, Wolters CL, Bossarte RM, Arjomandi M. Diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans: Veterans Affair's concordance with clinical guidelines for spirometry administration. Military medicine. 2017 Sep 1;182(9-10):e1993-2000.

The SFVAHCS team of PDCEN currently consists of:

Dr. Mehrdad Arjomandi, MD - Director
(https://profiles.ucsf.edu/mehrdad.arjomandi)
Dr. Sheiphali Gandhi, MD, MPH - Associate Director
(https://profiles.ucsf.edu/sheiphali.gandhi)
Dr. Paul Blanc, MD, MSPH - Consultant
(https://profiles.ucsf.edu/paul.blanc)
Dr. Yorusaliem Abrham, MD - Postdoctoral Fellow and Program Manager
(https://profiles.ucsf.edu/yorusaliem.abrham)
Ms. Chantal Kloth, BS - Program Coordinator