Tom Berger, PhD
Dr. Tom Berger serves as the executive director of the Veterans Health Council at the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) national office. Berger is responsible for developing and presenting congressional testimony and position papers on veterans’ benefits, healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse issues.
Tom Berger is a Life Member of VVA and founding member of VVA Chapter 317 in Kansas City, Missouri. Berger served as a Navy corpsman with the 3rd Marine Corps Division in Vietnam, 1966-68. Following his military service and upon the subsequent completion of his postdoctoral studies, he held faculty, research, and administrative appointments at the University of Kansas in Lawrence; the State University System of Florida in Tallahassee; and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also held program administrator positions with the Illinois Easter Seal Society and United Cerebral Palsy.
Berger has been involved in veterans' advocacy for over 25 years, and he is a member of VVA's committees for health care; government affairs, Agent Orange and toxic substances; and women veterans. As such, he is a member and the former chair of the Veterans Administration's (VA) Consumer Liaison Council for the Committee on Care of Veterans with Serious Mental Illness (SMI Committee) in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the VA's Mental Health Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Depression Executive Committee (MHQUERI) based in Little Rock, Arkansas; the South Central Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center (SC MIRECC) based in Houston, Texas; and the Education Advisory Committee for the National Center for PTSD, based in White River Junction, Vermont.
Berger has addressed veterans' health care issues on local and national media outlets, including CNN, and before FDA committees and Justice Department commissions. On many occasions, he has presented on-the-record testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees, subcommittees, and roundtables regarding mental health, substance abuse, and related health issues affecting U.S. veterans.