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Research News


Healing and Education through Arts: World Premiere of the Opera – Veterans’ Journeys

April 22, 2021


Music and Libretto (text of opera) by Ken Wells, MD, MPH, an HSR&D investigator and staff psychiatrist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, will be featured in the World Premiere Streaming Event of the opera “Veterans’ Journeys” on Thursday, June 3, 2021 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm PDT, with an encore on Sunday, June 6, 2021 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm PDT. Register here. The opera is based on interviews with Veterans and family members, as well as Dr. Wells’ family members. Dr. Wells also won accolades for an opera he composed titled “The Center Cannot Hold,” which told the story of Elyn Saks, a University of Southern California professor of law and psychiatry, who began having schizophrenic episodes in high school. In speaking about his work as both a musician and psychiatrist, Dr. Wells stated that he’s “attracted to turning points… moments in our lives that give us insight, strengthen us, and put us on the road to better days.”

The “Veteran Resilience and Recovery: A Community Academic Conference” on addressing homelessness and behavioral health in Veterans is scheduled as a pre-opera event on May 27, 2021 at 1:00pm PDT. Register here. The event is sponsored by UCLA. The UCLA/VA Center of Excellence (COE) for Veteran Resilience and Recovery supports trainings and research to improve outcomes for Veterans with homelessness and behavioral health needs. The Conference will highlight COE research and partners. UCLA and VA have partnered to serve Veterans for more than 70 years, starting with the formation of a medical affiliation between UCLA’s School of Medicine and the VA healthcare system after World War II.


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