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Russ Vandermaas-Peeler

Research Public Health Analyst


MS, North Carolina State University
BA, Marshall University

A research psychologist with more than 25 years’ experience, Russ Vandermaas-Peeler conducts military behavioral health research through system design and implementation, and data analysis and reporting.

Mr. Peeler has spent over 25 years with RTI working primarily on military behavioral health research. He currently serves as co-investigator on a longitudinal cohort study examining the effectiveness of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. He also worked on the first ever multi-site randomized control trial that demonstrated that SGB is an effective treatment for PTSD systems. Throughout his time at RTI, he overseen numerous projects similar in support of the military community—from the proposal stage through implementation to publication. He served as project director for a study using virtual reality to supplement therapy for PTSD as well as co-authored, designed, and illustrated two separate 200-page graphic novels developed for the Navy and Marine Corps to better prepare their personnel for the stress of their first combat deployment. Mr. Peeler also was project director for a Submariner Operation Stress Survey, a study that examined health behaviors among Navy submariners on 17 submarines.

Mr. Peeler holds an MS from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and a BA from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. He also has served as an adjunct professor of psychology at Elon University and a lecturer in psychology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

RTI worked with the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) to collaboratively write and design The Docs. This 200-page graphic novel was designed to psychologically prepare Navy Corpsmen for their first and subsequent deployments to Afghanistan and to help inactive Servicemen who may still be wrestling with post-combat issues. The Docs realistically portrays common concerns faced by our military personnel in war zones and serves as a discussion tool for lessening the stigma associated with combat/operational stress (COSC).


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