Featured Alumna – Dr. Galina A. Portnoy, PhD

Dr. Galina A. Portnoy, PhD

Dr. Galina Portnoy is a 2017 graduate of the Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health at VA Connecticut. She is a research psychologist at VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) and Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine. Before coming to VA CT, Galina trained as a clinical and community psychologist and received her PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore County after completing a pre-doctoral clinical internship at VA Boston Healthcare System.

The Women’s Health fellowship gave Galina the experience and contacts she needed and positioned her to establish an independent program of research in intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention. With the invaluable support of her fellowship mentors, Drs. Sally Haskell and Cindy Brandt, Galina was able to conduct several impactful studies using survey data her mentors had collected as part of the Women Veteran Cohort Study (WVCS). Additionally, she was able to add a measure of IPV perpetration to the subsequent wave of data collection, which enabled her to move forward with the next steps in her research plan and grant submissions.

Following completion of the AFWH, Dr. Portnoy received a VISN 1 Career Development Award (2017-2019) followed by an HSR&D Career Development Award (2020-2025) to develop and evaluate comprehensive screening and treatment for IPV perpetration among Veterans under the continued mentorship of her fellowship Director, Dr. Sally Haskell and with the additional mentorship of Dr. Kate Iverson.

As a result of her success in fellowship, research awards, and mentoring received, Galina was able to continue her trajectory by receiving funding to develop and direct the first National IPV Assistance Program “Innovation Hub”, the IPV Center for Innovation and Research (IPV-CIR). The goal of the IPV-CIR is to develop, disseminate, implement, and evaluate innovative, high-quality, Veteran centered, trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented practices for IPV detection, prevention, and treatment, particularly related to IPV perpetration. Additionally, Galina and the IPV-CIR have recently begun collaborating with the Center for Women Veterans to develop a report of secondary analyses of IPV prevalence among Veterans as part of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (H.R. 7105), Section 5305. Findings from this report will be used to inform recommendations on improvements in equitable access to and use of healthcare-related to IPV among Veterans.

Dr. Portnoy is overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunities and mentorship she received through the AFWH. It is these experiences that enabled her to set her sights on a blended career in research, clinical work, implementation science, and healthcare policy in the service of enhancing relationship health and safety among Veterans.