Article 3.

Research Collaboration on Health and Other Problems.

127B-20. Collaboration on research to address health and other problems required; report by UNC General Administration [System Office].

(a) The System Office of The University of North Carolina, in collaboration with Operation Re-Entry North Carolina at East Carolina University, North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, other institutions of higher education in this State, the North Carolina National Guard, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, shall, to the extent available resources allow, collaborate on research to address the behavioral health problems and challenges facing military personnel, veterans, and their families.

(b) The research required by this section shall be conducted by collaborative research teams which shall include civilian investigators from institutions of higher learning in this State and private research organizations, health providers in regional and national military health system institutions, and providers and investigators in VISN 6 in the VA system. These teams shall aggressively pursue federal funding to conduct the research required by this section.

(c) At a minimum, the research required by this section shall include the following goals:

(1) To define the behavioral health problems facing service members, veterans, and their families, with a special emphasis on the behavioral health needs of the reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard.

(2) To develop, implement, and evaluate innovative pilot programs to improve the quality, accessibility, and delivery of behavioral health services provided to this population.

(3) To evaluate the effectiveness of new programs put into place by the National Guard and other military organizations to address the behavioral health challenges facing military service personnel, veterans, and family members. The National Guard shall cooperate in providing information to assess the effectiveness of behavioral health services provided to it and its members.

(4) To contribute to the knowledge of evidence-based behavioral health screening, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery supports for military service personnel, veterans, and their families.

(5) To study other issues pursuant to requests by the various branches of the active and reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, in order to improve behavioral health services for service members, veterans, and their families.

(d) On July 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, the System Office of The University of North Carolina shall report its findings to the Joint Legislative Health Care Oversight Committee and to the House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Health and Human Services. (2011-185, s. 10(a)-(d); 2018-12, s. 14.)