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Our research team provides the day-to-day in-depth reporting and analysis that drives the work of VHPI.


Jasper Craven

Reporting Fellow

Jasper Craven writes about the military and veterans' issues for outlets including Politico Magazine, The American Prospect, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and Vermont Digger. He is presently focused on military and veterans' issues, where he has written about snake oil salesmen hocking dubious PTSD treatments, untoward corporate and ideological lobbying over veterans' policy, and corruption inside the Vermont National Guard. He co-authored the 2022 book Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs

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Josef Ruzek

Senior Policy Analyst

Dr. Josef Ruzek retired as Director of the VA National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division in April 2018, after helping improve PTSD services in VA for over 26 years. Ruzek is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Co-Director of the Center for m2 Health at Palo Alto University. He has been a member of the VHA Undersecretary's Special Committee on PTSD and served as psychotherapy champion for the joint VA-DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Traumatic Stress. Ruzek specializes in early intervention to prevent the development of PTSD, dissemination of evidence-based treatments for PTSD, and development and evaluation of internet and smartphone-based interventions for trauma survivors. His team at the National Center for PTSD developed widely used apps for veterans, including PTSD Coach and PTSD Family Coach.


Suzanne Gordon

Senior Policy Analyst

Suzanne Gordon is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail, JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The British Medical Journal, and others. She was the co-editor of the Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series at Cornell University Press. Suzanne is the author,editor,  or co-author of 21 books.  Her books on veterans issues include Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans and The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Policy Making and Patient Care and Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs.  Her other books on health care include Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines, Beyond the Checklist: What Else Healthcare Can Learn from Aviation Teamwork and Safety. She received the DAV’s Special Recognition Award for her writing on veterans’ healthcare.


Russell Lemle

Senior Policy Analyst

Russell B. Lemle, PhD, is a Policy Director for the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute. From 1981 to 2019, he worked for the San Francisco VA Healthcare System, the last 25 years as Chief Psychologist. He’s authored numerous scientific publications and media commentaries, including in The Hill, The American Prospect, Washington Monthly, Federal Practitioner, Guns & Ammo and California Firing Lineon the prevention of firearm suicide and the looming decimation of the VA resulting from explosive outsourcing of veterans’ health care into the private sector. Dr. Lemle has been widely recognized for his contributions to veterans’ health care policy and firearm suicide prevention, including the American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Citation (2005), APA Division 18 Harold Hildreth Award (2011), Association of VA Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL) Antonette Zeiss Distinguished Career Award (2013), AVAPL Patrick DeLeon Advocacy Award (2016), and the Disabled American Veterans’ Special Recognition Award for Veterans Health Care Advocacy (2020). In 2017, the AVAPL Russell B. Lemle Leadership Award was established in his honor for those who promote leadership development to improve veterans’ mental health care. He was a member of the Presidential PREVENTS task force and has testified to Congress on veterans’ mental health policy.

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