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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Scientific Merit Review Board

The HSR&D Scientific Merit Review Board is made up of several panels organized by HSR&D review areas. Please note that review panel membership and assignments may change for each review and will be updated after the most recent review is completed.

See also HSR&D Merit Review Success Rates

Winter 2022 Review Panel Membership Lists for Health Services Research

  • HSR-1: Health Care and Clinical Management
  • HSR-2: Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Health
  • HSR-3: Healthcare Informatics
  • HSR-4: Mental and Behavioral Health
  • HSR-5: Health Care System Organization and Delivery
  • HSR-6: Long-Term Care, Aging and Support Services
  • HSN1: Health Services Research Innovation
  • HQ8: Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI)
  • MRA0: Mentored Research

August 2021 Review Panel Membership Lists for Health Services Research

  • HSR-1: Health Care and Clinical Management
  • HSR-2: Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Health
  • HSR-3: Healthcare Informatics
  • HSR-4: Mental and Behavioral Health
  • HSR-5: Health Care System Organization and Delivery
  • HSR-6: Long-term Care, Aging and Support Services
  • HSR-9: Opioids Safety & Opioid Use Disorder
  • HS2A: Social Determinants of Health
  • HQ8: QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative
  • MRA0: Mentored Research
  • IMPORTANT: This list is for information purposes only. Under no circumstances should an investigator communicate directly with any review board member about an application either before or after the review. Please direct all questions about reviews to the Scientific Program Manager who oversees the relevant review committee.


    Interpretation of an application's overall score: Reviewers serving on the Scientific Merit Review Board (SMRB) assign each application a single score that reflects their assessment of the overall scientific merit based on consideration of the review criteria. The individual reviewer scores are averaged and then multiplied by 100. Below are the general guidelines currently used by SMRB reviewers. [Note: While all applications are reviewed, not all applications are discussed and scored by the review panel. Only discussed applications receive an overall score; others are "unscored." Applications that are candidates for being unscored include any proposal with an average preliminary score placing it in the lower (least meritorious) 25-30% of applications for review. An unscored application may be very appropriate for resubmission, depending on the comments in the written critiques.] See Guidelines for Scoring HSR&D Proposals.

    Scientific Review Officers (SRO)


    Review Group SRO Phone Email Description
    HSR 1 – Health Care and Clinical Management Cathie Plouzek, PhD (202) 443-5753 Cathie.Plouzek@va.gov Health care and delivery to include medical care; medical/surgical management; provider preferences and behaviors; diagnosis; prognosis; best practices; guidelines; COVID disruption in patient care; opioid use and management; pharmacology; and pharmacotherapeutics.
    HSR 2 – Behavioral, Social and Cultural Determinants of Health and Care Crystal Henderson, EdD

    Amanda Borsky, DrPH, MPP (Women's Health)
    (205) 393-7340 crystal.henderson1@va.gov

    Amanda.Borsky@va.gov (Women Veterans' Health only)
    Patient preferences, perceptions, and behaviors (including engagement and self-management); personal, sociodemographic, and cultural factors affecting health and care (patient/population/provider/community); patient decision-making; focused patient-centered health care improvements and innovations; patient-provider interactions and communication; populations with disparities in health (women, rural, minorities, LGBTQIA+); women Veterans' health, and health disparities related to COVID disruption in patient care.
    HSR 3 – Healthcare Informatics Kevin J Chaney, BA, BA, MA (202) 443-5681 Kevin.Chaney1@va.gov Research in informatics and health information technology (HIT) tools and systems to enhance effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of VHA care, including impact of new information technology on patient experience, clinical analysis of big data to generate new evidence and scientific discovery (MVP data; genomics data, phenotypic data; emerging health data); development, testing and evaluation of novel and innovative digital HIT tools, emerging health data standards, and research methods.
    HSR 4 – Mental and Behavioral Health Robert William O'Brien, PhD, MA (202) 443-5741 robert.obrien7@va.gov Research on assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental health conditions (such as anxiety, depression, serious mental illness, and PTSD) and behavioral health conditions (such as substance use disorder and addictive disorders); suicide and suicide ideation; mental health - primary care integration (MH-PCI); access to mental health care; and COVID disruption of mental health care.
    HSR 5 – Health Care System Organization and Delivery Amanda E Borsky, DrPH, MPP (202) 443-5739 Amanda.Borsky@va.gov Main focus on organizational models affecting delivery of care across systems (different care settings or healthcare systems), quality improvement, best practices in implementation of health care organization, system efficiency and redesign, cost efficiencies, resource optimization, COVID system-wide disruption in care, management and human factors affecting care, and process models and models of care.
    HSR 6 – Long-Term Care, Aging and Support Services Lynne S Padgett, PhD (202) 443-5790 Lynne.Padgett@va.gov Research focused on two broad areas: 1) Rehabilitation and functional outcomes, including activity, mobility and exercise; 2) Aging and care settings (e.g., home, long-term care, frailty) as well as supportive services, caregiving, palliative and end-of-life care, and COVID disruption in aging patients care.
    MRA0 - Career Development Robert Small (202) 443-5743 robert.small@va.gov Mentored health services research with an approved Letter of Intent. Research topics span the full HSR&D and QUERI research portfolios.

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    Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.