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HSR&D Manages New Elizabeth Dole Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research

September 7, 2018

Recently, VA announced funding for a new center of excellence to expand its capacity to deliver innovative, data-driven, and integrated approaches to improve services for Veterans and their caregivers. Managed by HSR&D, the first of its kind center will be named for Senator Elizabeth Dole in recognition of her national leadership and advocacy on behalf of the nation's 5.5 million military and Veteran caregivers. The Elizabeth Dole Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research will allow VA to further evidence-based research that informs the most appropriate and effective care for Veterans based on their needs, most notably by:

  • Involving caregivers of Veterans in the design and implementation of innovative models of care;
  • Applying the best caregiver and Veteran-driven metrics for evaluation and feedback;
  • Using data science to inform matching of services to different Veteran and caregiver groups; and
  • Applying implementation science to improve the deployment of best practices in home- and community-based care.

The resulting work will inform care delivery and improvement by empowering Veterans, caregivers, VA and non-VA providers, and leadership in making informed choices regarding the best care for Veterans and support for their caregivers.

The Center consists of a multidisciplinary team that takes advantage of HSR&D's virtual network of nationally recognized VA investigators and their university affiliates. The team of VA investigators at the Center is led by Luci Leykum, MD, MBA, MSc, former HSR&D Career Development Awardee and part of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). Additional collaborating sites (and leaders) include: Stuti Dang, MD, a geriatrician with the Miami VA Healthcare System; Mary Jo Pugh, PhD, RN, FAAN, Research Career Scientist with HSR&D's Informatics, Decision-Enhancement and Analytic Sciences Center (IDEAS 2.0), Salt Lake City; and Ranak Trivedi, PhD, former HSR&D Career Development Awardee and part of HSR&D's Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), Palo Alto, CA.

"Given Senator Elizabeth Dole's significant impact on, and dedication to, military and Veteran caregivers, it is only fitting that VA names this center of excellence in her honor," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. The Center will serve as a model for excellence in peer-reviewed research on innovation, training, evaluation, implementation, adoption, and dissemination of best practices in supporting the caregivers of Veterans across VA, the federal government, and private and non-profit sectors.

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