Paula Schnurr Is New Head of VA’s National Center for PTSD


Read the full story, published by the Geisel School of Medicine.

Paula Schnurr, a research professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine, has been named executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Paula Schnurr headshot

Paula Schnurr is the new executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. (Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox)

Approximately 800,000 adult Americans experience PTSD each year. In fiscal year 2014, more than 531,000 of the nearly 6 million veterans who sought care at a VA health care facility received treatment for PTSD. Through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders, the National Center for PTSD advances the clinical care and social welfare of America’s veterans and others who have experienced PTSD and trauma. The center’s executive division, at which Schnurr is based, is located on the campus of the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. Many of the center’s leaders, including Schnurr, serve as senior faculty in Geisel academic programs.

Schnurr has been an integral part of the center’s leadership since its inception, having served as deputy executive director from 1989 until December 2013, when she became acting executive director upon the retirement of Matthew Friedman, professor of psychiatry and of pharmacology and toxicology at Geisel.

As executive director, Schnurr is responsible for all professional, management, and administrative aspects of the complex, multidivision center. She oversees and directs the center’s research projects, educational programs, strategic planning, and other national programs. She also provides oversight and guidance to advance the quality of care for veterans with PTSD or trauma-related mental illness within the VA health care system, promotes mental health, and supports prevention programs.

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