The Naval Health Research Center supports fleet readiness through research, development, test, and evaluation on the biomedical and psychological factors affecting the performance of operational warfighters and field medical personnel. Most of the work conducted at this facility is in the advanced development stage and requires close and continuous interaction with operational units of the Navy, Marine Corps, and DoD.
Much of NHRC’s research focuses on deployment and career-span health and performance of DoD personnel, which requires close coordination with senior medical department representatives afloat and force medical officers ashore. In 1998 NHRC was designated as the DoD Center for Deployment Health Research. Studies include epidemiological analyses on the effects of deployments and occupational exposures on mental and physical health, physical readiness standards and strategies to reduce physical training injuries, physical and cognitive performance within austere operational environments, and modeling and simulation to support field medical logistics and treatment facility configurations. Current initiatives include the Millennium Cohort Study (a 22-year prospective study of over 150,000 DoD personnel), the Navy/Marine Corps Combat Trauma Registry (collecting traumatic and non-traumatic medical treatment data from far-forward Level 1 and 2 medical treatment facilities), and the study of combat operational stress reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder among deployers. NHRC is also working with the Army on a major phase-3 clinical trial of a new Adenovirus vaccine. A new initiative is examining balance and physical performance in warriors suffering significant trauma. NHRC’s location within a major fleet concentration area affords access to Navy and Marine Corps operational platforms and special warfare units and training commands. The center is also collocated with several leading research universities.