U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Dr. Greg Reger, a Veteran and psychologist, utilizes virtual reality (VR) to improve mental health outcomes for Veterans. With lived experiences and technology, he addresses challenges like PTSD, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, saving lives while expanding VR implementation.
As an early leader in the utilization of VR to treat PTSD, Dr. Reger pioneers VR treatment for combat-related trauma. By recreating realistic combat scenes, BraveMind facilitates exposure therapy, helping Veterans heal from PTSD symptoms. Feedback from his Iraq deployment enhanced the program, offering 14 immersive environments. As part of the Extended Reality Network and VA Immersive initiative, Dr. Reger collaborates on a computer-generated patient for suicide prevention training. This interactive platform equips providers with effective techniques for real-life care.
Dr. Reger co-created the PE Coach app, guiding patients through PTSD therapy exercises, tracking progress, and teaching coping techniques. PE Coach's global impact is evident with downloads in 32 countries. Collaborating with the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Dr. Reger's team employs VR therapy for suicide prevention. Safe environments help Veterans process triggers, increasing engagement and care access.
Dr. Reger's approaches offer non-pharmaceutical mental health solutions for Veterans. By improving training and using VR for exposure therapy, he revolutionized mental healthcare. Motivated by his Iraq War deployment, Dr. Reger understands service members' challenges and trauma's impact. His passion for VR as a healing tool drives his dedication to supporting Veterans.
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
DR. GREG REGER
Deputy Associate Chief of Staff,
Mental Health Service