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VA Health Systems Research

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Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, Acting Director of HSR

Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, Acting Director of HSR

Amy Kilbourne, PhD, MPH, Acting Director of HSR

Dr. Amy Kilbourne is the Acting Director of VA’s Health Systems Research (HSR), taking over for David Atkins, MD, MPH, who retired at the end of September 2023. In this role, Dr. Kilbourne will oversee a more than $120 million intramural health services research program, comprised of approximately 1,000 funded investigators that conduct more than 300 ongoing research projects aimed at improving the health of and care for our nation’s Veterans. HSR&D also supports 18 Centers of Innovation (COINs) located across the country, in addition to four resource centers.

Before serving as Acting Director of HSR, Dr. Kilbourne was Director of QUERI, where she led over 40 centers devoted to implementing evidence-based research into clinical practice that improves the health and healthcare of Veterans. She is a national expert in implementation science, partnered-oriented research, and evidence-based policy. Moreover, Dr. Kilbourne brings with her an extensive working knowledge of VA operations and policy, through her previous national roles as Associate Director of the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC website available on the intranet only -, and as Director of the VA Homelessness Health Services Research Initiative, in partnership with the National Center on Veteran Homelessness.

In addition, Dr. Kilbourne has initiated several VA studies in priority areas that include mental health, care coordination, health disparities, and women's health. Her research has led to a number of VA national initiatives, including a VA directive on re-engaging Veterans with serious mental illness into care, a health disparities research roadmap, and a mental health patient-aligned care team (PACT) model. She is a prolific author, with more than 220 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Kilbourne also is the recipient of several awards including the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the Gerald L. Klerman Research Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

Dr. Kilbourne received her bachelors of arts at the University of California at Berkeley (double major in molecular biology and rhetoric), and her masters in epidemiology and PhD in health services from the University of California Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Kilbourne is Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan (UM) Medical School. She is also a member of the NIMH National Mental Health Advisory Council (NAMHC) and a Senior Fellow with the Partnership for Public Service.

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