David Reed, PhD, a clinical psychologist and researcher, completed the VA Health Services Research & Development Advanced Fellowship at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in affiliation with the University of Washington. During the fellowship, Dr. Reed honed his skills and expanded his perspective by understanding the importance of improving mental health at the systemic level. He vividly recalls his introduction to VA’s Whole Health approach, recognizing its potential to revolutionize Veteran care by promoting well-being in many aspects of their lives. This holistic approach aligns with Dr. Reed’s passion for cultivating meaning and purpose, a theme he carried from his earlier career as a touring singer-songwriter, where he saw music’s power to affect others positively. After completing the fellowship, Dr. Reed received a career development award through the National Institutes of Health. He is with the University of Washington as a postdoctoral scholar, with 25% of his time as a Health Service Research Specialist at the Center of Innovation (COIN).
“As a clinical psychologist, I was trained to understand how to improve mental health at the level of the individual. My VA training broadened my perspective and taught me how to improve mental health at the level of the system. I learned that Veteran care depends not only on talented people, but also on a system of care delivery that meets their needs. Veterans had the courage to serve our country and deserve the best possible care after their service ends. It is an honor and privilege to play a small role in improving their care.”