"Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future" was the theme of VA's Health Services Research & Development Service (HSR&D) National Meeting held in Washington, DC on February 13-15, 2002. Hosted by HSR&D's Midwest Center for Health Services and Policy Research in Hines, IL, the meeting began with a special celebration to mark 25 years of HSR&D funding. The celebration featured a retrospective exhibit and video, and several honored guests were in attendance including past HSR&D Directors and VHA's Chief Research and Development Officer, John R. Feussner, MD, MPH. The rest of the scientific meeting brought together more than 550 researchers, clinicians, and policy makers who participated in a variety of presentations, paper sessions, workshops, and a poster and exhibit session. Current health services research showcased at the meeting included: improving patient safety, clinical reminders as tools for quality improvement, the cost of chronic disease, end-of-life care, and translating research into practice. One of the meeting highlights was an address by Secretary for Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Anthony J. Principi, who emphasized VA's commitment to providing the best care possible to patients within the VA health care system, and spoke specifically about the significant impact of HSR&D studies on veteran health care. Another meeting highlight was the presentation of the prestigious Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research to Stephan Fihn, MD. MPH. Francis Murphy, MD, Acting Under Secretary for Health, presented the award.